History Of Plum Trees And Their Hybrids

The documentation of early plums growing in antiquity is sparse.  The best evidence of that oldest existence is best recorded through America's most famous pomologist, Luther Burbank, who reported in his twelve-volume botanical literary classic, Little Fruits, Volume IV page 136, the European plum, Prunus domestica, and its ancestor fruit originated from the Caucasus Mountains near the Caspian Sea.  Burbank comprehensive evidence that the prune (dried plum) was a staple food of the Tartars, Mongols, Turks, and Huns Who maintained primitive horticulture from a very early period.   Several sites have set on the ridiculous idea that, since the European plum, Prunus domestica, seeds were not seen at the ruins of Pompeii after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, Whereas, most other old world fruits were,  This plum could be reasoned for a recent hybrid Spontaneous chromosome  Doubling to produce a hexaploid offspring.


The earliest reference to the plum background from the American colonies came from Prince Nursery of Flushing, New York, which was launched in 1737 and reported in 1771 in an ad 33 types of plums  Available.  These plum trees were not any doubt European plums, Prunus domestica.

Henry Laurens dwelt in Charleston, South Carolina, and served as a President of the Continental Congress.

William Bartram described two species of American plums in his famous novel, Travels, in his 1792 trip to Georgia, in which he identified that the Chickasaw plum, Prunus Chickasaw, and in Alabama, he discovered a wild plum, Prunus indica.

Luther Burbank donated more toward improving and hybridizing plum trees of various species compared to any other individual in history.  His job on the plum group of rock fruits stands apart from any other individual for his unequaled contribution to improving a variety of fruits that are grown and enjoyed now.

Burbank says his importation of twelve plum seedlings from the year 1885 was that the Most crucial import of fruit bearers ever created at a single time into America.

Burbank brought plums from all around the world and intercrossed them at a giant Melting pot  To produce the very best characteristics and to reject the wrong ones.  These genetic plum mixtures were recombined for many generations and led to plum hybrids now that are really so different from the first species as to appear to be new species.

Burbank stated he spent more time hybridizing plums than with any other plant breeding program, and he reported he screened 7.5 million plum hybrid seedling spans before releasing outstanding cultivars for sale.  His famous line of plum trees, which were popular from late 1890 S is still admired and grown commercially for sale and in backyard gardens now, for example, Burbank, Santa Rosa, Wickson, Golden, Satsuma, Shiro, and Ozark Premier.  His first colossal achievement was applauded by USDA Professor, H.E. Van Deman, who suggested the pick-of-the-lot creation of Luther Burbank is named after its founder, thus, the Burbank Plum.

Most of Burbank's plum tree successes come from his combining the genetic materials of 4 significant types of plums whose ancestry originated from Japan, Europe, America, and China.

The most prosperous crosses involving plums come from the Western plum, the many exotic, Satsuma. This unique plum climbed a red skin with a pale-blue netting bloom overlay.  The pulp was dark purplish-red, firm, yummy with a superb quality to be favored for home-usage.

The Japanese plums climbed in many colors in the skin from white to purple, were significant and rather tasteless, but the Japanese natives ate them while green and hard.  The Japanese plum genes appear to dominate many hybrid plum offspring.  Chinese plums, Prunus simonii, were aromatic, with abundant colored skins, a small pit, but the skin cracks and the fruit tastes sour.

European plums, Prunus domestica, are diverse in sizes, most significant to small, sour or sweet, complicated genes, many-colored skins, very widely adaptable, good for fresh eating, drying, or canning.  The disadvantage: they are too juicy or watery.   Green Gage, It is a well-known standard European cultivar.  Prunes are very high in sugar content.

Many species of America plums are very hardy and productive to the extent of covering the ground in spring with several layers of fruit.  These plums can be yummy but have inadequate delivery quality.  Burbank published a superb hybrid breed of this cross called Robinson plum.

American plums, Prunus Americana, crazy sea plums, Prunus ortolans, the Chickasaw plum, Prunus augustifolia, Western sand plum, Prunus besseyi, the beach plum, Prunus maritima, and the California wild plum, Prunus subcordata.  These native plum trees are unusually cold, hardy, and arctic temperatures do no harm to them, even in the northernmost part of the central United States.

The  Myrobalan  Plum originated as a French species, Prunus cerasifera is used extensively as a peach tree and plum tree rootstock that has been harmonious with all the consequent fruit tree marriage and seems to be extremely resistant to nematodes and root diseases.

Burbank's aim in hybridizing plums would be to produce a tree that had Stability, novelty, variety, hardiness, beauty, transport quality, and adaptability.

The plum leaves and twigs exhibit many subtle features that can be gotten by the plant hybridizer to predict the future characteristics of fruit, which will be grown from small seedling crosses.  Many hybridizers knew from experience a predictable outcome, even though these plant qualities are too abstract to describe to an audience, like changing facial expressions or minute variations of color changes.  If the leaves of a plant are dark reddish, the fruit is going to be reddish.  This same phenomenon is related to blossoms like the canna lily leaf color and the reddish rhizome color, or at the crinum lily cultivars, a red bulb means a reddish flower; a light green bulb means a white blossom.

These plums develop into various skin colors, which range from white to yellow, orange-scarlet, red, violet, deep blue, almost black, striped, spotted, and mottled.  These seedless plums were delicious and unique but were not commercially successful with growers or with public demand.

Burbank crossed many plums that had a tendency to produce fruit with high sugar content, like the sweetness of figs, pineapple, and oranges.  This high sugar content makes it feasible for your plum (prune) to ensure long term preservation, even when it is dried.  The prune includes a thick and rough skin of these feel that is required to not crack when the industrial drying procedure begins and proceeds to provide a yummy, honey-sweet fruit which lasts well.

A prune will not dry appropriately into a marketable fruit unless the plum includes a sugar concentration of 15%.  Before drying, the prune is underwater briefly into an alkali solution that prevents potential fermentation by preventing germs from growing to the surface of the skin.  For decent prune production commercially, a prune tree must be a trusted grower with a substantial annual crop of fruit.  The prune must ripen early when the days are long and warm and must drop from the tree to prevent high picking prices at the proper ripening time.  The prune fruit must dry and cure into a black shade and grow a small pit.  Most prune hybrids are hybridized from the European plum, Prunus domestica.

Additionally, there are three ornamental types of flowering plum trees recommend for planting: Newport, Prunus cerasifera 'Newport', Purple Pony Prunus cerasifera 'Purple Pony,' and Red Leaf Plum Prunus cerasifera 'Thundercloud,' flowering plum trees.

Thundercloud  Flowering plum, Vesuvius, and Othello.  Some of those red leaf flowering plums developed by Burbank grew delicious red fruit along with the beautiful reddish decorative leaves.

Burbank sifted out the complexities of plum hybridization and even spanned the plum with all the almond, Prunus dulcis, expecting to create a yummy almond kernel plus a delicious pulp.  He created many spans with the Apricot, Prunus armeniaca L., and created plumcot trees, a 50/50 blend of plum trees and apricot trees; Pluot trees demonstrate a 75/25 mix of plum trees and apricot trees, and Aprium trees a 75/25 blend of apricot trees and plum trees.

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