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lauragene's Journal: Underwood Plum (hardy hybrid) 'Underwood' Prunus americana (?) x salicina (?) Southside

  • Member: lauragene
  • Journal: Default
  • Category: Trees: Fruit trees
  • Status: Weather damage

Initial Notes:

The Underwood, a University of Minnesota hybrid release dating to the 1920s. Planted May 2006 (the driest May in recorded history), seems healthy now. The buds are swelling (April 2008). This plum is fertilized by the Toka plum, its near neighbor.
Notes from the University of Minnesota:
Toka: From South Dakota, 'Toka', developed at University of South Dakota 1911, is the best of the pollenizers, but is also an excellent tree in its own right. The fruit, although small, has a rich, aromatic flavor that is unique among available hybrid plums. 'Toka' ripens in mid-August.

M Underwood: One of the hardiest of the hybrid plums, 'Underwood' has been pleasing home gardeners since 1920, making it also the oldest of the commonly available U of M releases. The fruit is medium-sized and of good eating and jam-making quality. 'Underwood' is an especially early hybrid plum, producing ripe fruit beginning in late July.
From University of South Dakota, March 2006: The hybrid plums combine the hardiness of an American red plum (usually Prunus americana but sometimes P. nigra) with the flavor of the Japanese plum (P. salicina). These hybrid plums are good for fresh eating, jams and jellies. The trees will take about 3 years to begin producing fruit and the average yield is about one to two bushels. Small plums are about 1-inch in diameter while large plums are about 2-inches. Pollination requirements: The hybrid plums are self-sterile and two different cultivars must be planted to ensure fruit production. Most hybrid plums are poor pollinators of one another and only a few cultivars are reliable pollinators. One of the trees planted in a plum orchard should be a ‘Toka’, known as an excellent pollinator, or use an American red plum planted within 200 feet of the other tree.

May 9, 2008: About to bloom! Despite many late snows, no damage visible.

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