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Pluots

Posted by deanSFBA z9 SanFranArea (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 29, 05 at 14:53

I'm trying to figure out which pluots to get. If you've tried them, could you rate'em on a 1[poor] to 5 [excellent]
scale:
Dapple Dandy
Emerald Drop
Flavor Finale
Flavor Grenade
Flavor King
Flavor Queen
Flavorosa
Flavor Supreme
Geo Pride
Splash
Tri Lite Peach x Plum
4 in 1 DD, FK, FQ, FS
comments on taste and growing them?
thanks
dean


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Pluots

I have the 4 in 1 mentioned. The Flavor Queen has almost totally taken over the tree, with the other 3 one branch each, I was warned about this and tried to keep their growth even, but it didn't work. Maybe you could do a better job. I like all 4 kinds, but the favorite, fortunately, is Flavor Queen,


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RE: Pluots++

Awhile back there were instuctions for planting several bareroot trees in one hole; I copied it and paste it for you:

Multiple Plants in One Hole

The three-to-a-hole thing is a totally new concept to me. I question if that would work because each of the trees would grow at unequal rates. I have a Fuerte, a Reed and a Haas planted in close proximity (15 feet apart) and clearly the Fuerte is growing much faster than the other two. All three were planted at the same time, but the Fuerte is easily twice as big as the other two.

If you put three trees in the same hole, wouldn't one eventually overgrow the other two?
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Three in a hole planting is easy. To insure good drainage first make a 12" to 18" mound that is at least 4 or 5 feet wide. Then dig a hole in it large enough for the three 5 gallon size trees. Throw some slow release fertilizer in the hole. Make sure the trees are a few inches above the soil surface. They may settle a little. And you don`t want them planted too low. Cover the whole mound with a thick coat of mulch and you are set. The trees won`t grow any slower because they are sharing a hole. Its a great space saver.

Reed and Pinkerton are Guatemalan and Fuerte is a hybrid. You need a Mexican for better pollination. Bacon would be a good choice.
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For years I`ve done the 3 in a hole planting with all my fruit trees from avocados, persimmons, cherimoyas, asian pears and guavas to peaches, plums, nectarines, apples and apricots. I get good production from all of them. I`ve never had one of the three trees grow faster and take over the hole.

It works especially well with stone fruits like peaches. In one hole I have a early bearing peach, a mid season and a late season variety.

My avocado trees are still young so I don`t get that many avocados yet.
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Three in one or 4 in 1 up to several in one hole is a very good alternative to multigraft trees. I have pears that are not graft compatible so I planted them all in one hole, and they are not complaining. They've been busy supplying me with fruits for two seasons now. But then again, most of my fruits are multi-grafts, some I did the grafting myself.
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It is still possible to plant them in one hole if the difference in size is not great. So just find a bigger Granny Smith to match the size of your Pink Pearl. During the dormant season, you can dig out the pink pearl to bare root it. Make sure to prune the top to compensate for the root disturbance. You can prune the pearl to be the same size as that of granny smith. Then plant them back together in the same hole.

Deciduous trees that go a period of dormancy are okay for this. I have even dug bigger trees, bare-rooted them and relocated them to the proper place. When the winter temperature is mild, I dump a lot of ice around the plant everyday for one week before I dig them out and bare-root them. You can not do this with Avocados and most other evergreen fruit trees like citruses.
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??? You're mentioning 5 gal plants.... I was under the, perhaps misguided, impression that to do this 'multiples in one hole' technique you had to use bare root trees. ????
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You don`t see bare root avocado plants. For some reason only "stone" fruits like peaches, plums and apricots are available bare root. I`ve only seen avocado plants in 5 or 15 gallon containers. The trunks aren`t as close as they would be if they were bare root, but it hasn`t made a difference in my trees.
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I think the reason you don't see bare-root Avocados and Citrus is because they're evergreen trees. You can't really bare-root an evergreen commercially.
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..so can i place all three 5gal buckets(with the bottoms cut out) in the hole?? will that work??? only reason ide like to do that is i once heard that the buckets serve as a guide for the roots to shoot more downward rather than outward.. that way the roots dont get all crazy and lift my back wall up in the future... but if you just drop all 3 in the hole bare root style so be it..whatevers best for the tree's is best for me. i love hass and reed never tasted bacon though .. anymore tasty trios that will work great together??..
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RE: Pluots

  • Posted by lisa2 coastal CA (My Page) on
    Tue, Jan 3, 06 at 23:47

I love Flavor King and Flavor Queen from the farmers market. However I have not had success getting my pluots to pollinate in my back yard. Self fruitful plums are easier.


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RE: Pluots

Flavor King is the slowest growing branch in a multi-grafted tree and usually gets overrun by the others. However, when you plant or dig and replant them, orient the tree so that the slower cultivar is in the south facing and the more vigorous one to the north. This way it wouldn't get shaded out and die off.

Westelle, I have a sister in Fresno and have corrected her multi-grafted whatever (citrus, plums, pluots, apricots, apples), and she has a big yard. The general technique that I use apply well to all kinds of tree when you try to balance the growth. Simply regraft your slowest cultivar over to the vigorous branches of the fastest cultivar, and leave only a few branches of the fastest growing cultivar ungrafted over. I correct for this only when the tree becomes unbalanced again. After three seasons of regrafting in my sister's yard, the trees stabilized with all the varieties having same amount of fruit production.


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Ratings revisited

If I am not mistaken, you have asked this question before in the Fruits & Orchards forum, and I will simply repeat the answers here:

RE: Rating Pluots

* Posted by: bvbrown z9 Monrovia CA (My Page) on Sat, Oct 29, 05 at 15:32

I have tried some of these and will give my (subjective) opinion. Note I wouldn't rate any pluot I have tried as "poor," and they vary a lot in quality with time of year, time since picked, etc:

Dapple Dandy - 3 For me, a so-so pluot.
Emerald Drop - 4 Excellent, when properly ripe, tasteless near the end of the season.
Flavor Grenade - 4.5 mild, but really sweet, an excellent choice.
Flavor King - 5 the best flavor in my opinion.
Flavorosa - 3 another so-so one.
Flavor Supreme - 4 really good.
Flavor Heart (not on your list) - 3 another so-so variety, but large fruit.

One thing the really irritates me as a relative novice in these fruits is that many growers and vendors don't even know the variety they are selling. They know that they are selling pluots, and that they are plums crossed with apricots, but don't know anything else. Also, I have had a lot of frustration with vendors at farmers markets telling me that pluots were "plums", "plums crossed with apples" and other nonsense. Finally, most annoying, is that the vendors don't label the varieties they have on sale, other than to call them "pluots" so you always have to ask when you see something new (and often find out they don't know either).

Brian

o RE: Rating Pluots

* Posted by: fruitnut z7,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on Sat, Oct 29, 05 at 19:17

Flavor Supreme, 5, this yr was the best fruit I've ever grown or tasted. Has less tendency to crack than many others. Productive if properly pollinated. Very vigorous tree so don't over-fertilize.

Flavor Queen, 4, productive, very sweet but not as flavorful as some, cracks.

Flavor King, 5, very sweet and flavoful but very hard to grow because it cracks terribly. Tree very weak so grow on vigorous stock such as Myro, not Citation.

Flavor Grenade, 5, not quite as tasty as King or Supreme but great in it's own way, crisp texture. Cracks less than most. Needs vigorous stock but not as weak as King.

Dapple Dandy, 3, very productive but lacks flavor. This is probably the variety most seen in stores because it is so productive and doesn't split much. Around here they sell them as dinasour eggs!

Other's I had this yr that weren't good or don't have opinion yet are Flavorosa, F Heart, F Treat, and F Fall.

Plums that are in the same league as good pluots are: Royal Diamond, Joanna Red, Emerald Beaut, Betty Anne, and Hiromi Red.

The Fruitnut

o RE: Rating Pluots

* Posted by: fruitnut z7,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on Sat, Oct 29, 05 at 20:56

I was a bit short on time earlier so will list a few more thoughts.

Flavor King is a great piece of fruit. It can be large if properly thinned and is beautiful inside and out. But it is very difficult to grow. It will be useful only as a pollinizer on a multibudded tree because it will runt out and barely grow. If you can grow them without cracking and subsequent rot, you are either very lucky, good, or both! I would try it on a vigorous rootstock, thin heavily so as to help keep the tree growing, and water/fertilize well.

Overall Flavor Supreme is the best pluot I've tried. If you can hold down the vigor and get it pollinated it can be as good as it gets. Best rootstock might be Citation.

The plums listed may not taste quite as good as King or Supreme but they are good and have less production problems, no cracking for me. You need as many pollinzer varieties as possible for the pluots and these will help.

Flavorosa is good only as an early blooming pollinator. I wouldn't get the multibudded trees unless you are very short of space or for the extra pollination they might provide. Good Growing!!

The Fruitnut

o RE: Rating Pluots

* Posted by: Ashok_NCal CA z9b (My Page) on Sun, Oct 30, 05 at 1:32

I've only tasted "Flavor Supreme", "Flavor King", "Flavor Queen", and "Dapple Dandy".

All are outstanding in flavor. But I might possibly place "Flavor Queen" a notch below the rest, mainly because its overwhelming sweetness can be overpowering. When it gets really ripe, eating a "Flavor Queen" fruit is almost like eating candy. This may sound great, but that incredible sugar-blast can sometimes seem to mask the fruit flavors underneath. Still, it is a great fruit and I just put in a new tree of the variety this year.

I will have to dissent from the above negative comments on "Dapple Dandy". I do not think that it is a mediocre pluot, and I'm actually surprised that anyone would feel that way -- perhaps Bvbrown and Fruitnut have been tasting inferior representatives of the cultivar. The fruit that I've harvested have had a wonderful, rich flavor and great sugar/acid balance.

The fruit also taste quite good when harvested early, at the firm-ripe stage, and they hang on the tree quite well once they've attained full ripeness. So the "Dapple Dandy" harvest window is actually quite prolonged (great for the home-orchardist). None of the other pluots that I've tried eating at the firm-ripe stage tasted good to me. (I've never tried "Flavor Grenade".)

I apologize if I'm pointing out the obvious, but the other thing to keep in mind is that not all of these cultivars will be ripening at the same time. The key is to plant multiple types to assure a successive harvest.

In my garden "Flavor Supreme" ripens in June, "Flavor Queen" in mid-July, and "Flavor King" and "Dapple Dandy" in August. So there's no good reason not to grow all of them!

o RE: Rating Pluots

* Posted by: deanSFBA z9 SanFranArea (My Page) on Sun, Oct 30, 05 at 1:31

Thanks, guys [ and belated birthday wishes to Ashok],

I guess I should say I'm in Hercules, in the SF Bay Area, about 2 miles from the Bay and my Sunset climate zone, although on the border of two zones, is more 15 than 17. I put in a Sprite or Delight pluot decades ago and it has thrived on total neglect. It is now about 3 stories high and dependably has small fruit...I don't water it or thin it. I wondering if this location makes any difference in what you would select, if you were in my place.

Also wonder about the multi-budded varieties of pluots and other fruit. Do you have much success with these?

dean

o RE: Rating Pluots

* Posted by: Ashok_NCal CA z9b (My Page) on Sun, Oct 30, 05 at 14:33

Thanks, Dean!

With regards to pluot microclimate issues, Tom A. had some valuable comments on the subject over on "Cloudforest". He's one of the most knowledgeable rare-fruit hobbyists in the Bay Area, and he knows what he's talking about.

I've never bought a multi-budded tree, but I've heard plenty of complaints from people who have lost branches on such trees. Certain branches may be more vigorous, and can dominate other growth -- and the latter portions of the tree may decline or die.

This is not a problem if you can do your own grafting. In this case, corrective grafts can be made to balance the growth. And, of course, you don't have to pay an initial premium for the multi-budded plant.

But if you don't feel comfortable doing this, it might be best just to purchase multiple trees.

o RE: Rating Pluots

* Posted by: ezawada z9 CA Livermore (My Page) on Sun, Oct 30, 05 at 19:38

Flavor Grenade = 5
Emerald = 4.9
The others I would rate 4.5

o RE: Rating Pluots

* Posted by: JoeReal Ca z9/SS z14 (My Page) on Mon, Oct 31, 05 at 12:40

I second Ashok that Dapple Dandy is quite really good, perhaps not as good as Flavor Grenade, Emerald Drop and Flavor King, but indeed it tasted excellent.

If you harvest Dapple Dandy the moment it is soft, it would taste only so-so, and I agree with all on this. The only worst thing than this are the store-bought Dapply Dandies. Now, from the moment it softens, count two weeks, then taste them each week or everyday. There is a period of time that it would taste nearly as good as Flavor Supreme, I figured it would be about 3-6 weeks on the tree after it has softened. It is not consistent on how long they should be on the tree until they tasted good, varies by year. One thing that is good on the side of Dapple Dandy is that the birds do not like it that much because it taste astringnent if not ripe. And even when soft, it is still astringent, you will have to wait at the right time for it to taste good, and that is not consistent as to when.

Flavorosa would be so-so. Flavor Queen would taste just as good as Shiro plum. The others would rate 4.0 for me.

o RE: Rating Pluots

* Posted by: baumer1 5b (My Page) on Thu, Nov 3, 05 at 0:22

Flavor King - 5
Flavor Queen - 5
Dapple Dandy -4


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