Posts Tagged plumcots

Not so plummy

A while back, as we completed the eco-friendly renovation of our two-candle home, I persuaded the spouse that we needed a couple of fruit trees in our pocket-handkerchief backyard. After mild debate, and total inability to find a greengage tree supplier anywhere in Ontario, we settled on a plumcot, which was billed as a high-yield, plum-apricot hybrid with a delicate taste and the ability to resist a Canadian winter, as well as two cherry-plum hybrids called chums.

But we’ve had that tree for about five years now, and I’m definitely not feeling the love. For the first couple of years we had no fruit at all, and then the squirrels climbed in and devoured the few green/yellow orbs that survived frost, rain and polar vortex. There was a lot more fruit this year, and I started to get my hopes up. But even before they ripened those damn squirrels knocked dozens off the tree, leaving sad, green fruit rotting on the ground. We picked the two baskets of what was left and let them ripen indoors, only to end up with an almost tasteless yellow-red clingstone plum. Not nice enough to eat, too few to freeze, so I decided on one small batch of jam, as the deciding factor on whether we keep the tree.

The verdict. Yes, my plumcots boil down quickly into a well-set, if curiously cloudy jam, with a pleasantly tart taste (from the lemon, perhaps?) and an interesting aroma that’s apricot as much as plum. But I don’t think it’s worth the effort of tending the tree, which isn’t a particularly good-looking specimen anyway. Time to cut our fruit tree losses and move on? But how do we get rid of the root, and what will we plant in its stead?


The good news. Our backyard raspberry patch had a few iffy years as well, especially after we dug the canes up so we could run the wiring for a fast charger for the spouse’s new electric car. But this year they are doing well, and I’m enjoying raspberries on cereal, with yogurt and fresh off the canes. Of course it’s not really a glut. You can never have too many raspberries.

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These are chums

Something over a year ago I persuaded the spouse that we needed fruit in our little back yard, and I fell in love with the idea of chums and plumcots, which are hybrid cherry-plum and plum-apricot respectively. We bought two chum bushes and a plumcot tree from Green Barn Nursery in Quebec and picked them up from their Ontario affiliate in the early spring. There were a few flowers last year, but no fruit, and more flowers this year as the bare sticks we came home with transformed themselves into leafy bushes and fast-growing trees.

chums2

This year we got one plumcot, but it vanished one morning before I even had a chance to inspect it properly, and five lonely chums. I’ll be away for a bit, so I picked two of them today, even though they were clearly not ripe yet, in the hope I would beat the birds and squirrels to the bounty.

Obviously I should have waited — they are supposed to be deep purple on the outside, not green with purplish blotches. But I think they will be quite nice if we net them as they ripen and if the critters don’t get them first. It’s hard to tell the taste when they are still so tart, but I’d say more of a plum than a cherry. Time will tell.

chums1

Will we ever get enough of these babies to make a jam?

 

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