By: Mary Ellen Ellis
If you love plums, growing Reine Claude Conducta plum trees should be a consideration for your home garden or small orchard. These unique Greengage plums produce high quality fruit that have flavor and texture unlike any other variety.
The Reine Claude Conducta plum belongs to the group of plum cultivars known as Green gage. These are plum varieties that were introduced to France from Armenia about 500 years ago. They are known for unique flavors and very high quality flesh.
Many of the Greengage varieties are green to yellow in color, but Reine Claude Conducta plums have skin that is pink to purple in color. The flavor is very sweet, and the flesh is crisper than most other types of plum. Its flavor and coloring are both unique, different from other plums, and of the highest quality, although Reine Claude Conducta trees do not produce heavily and may be susceptible to some pests and diseases.
Growing Reine Claude Conducta trees will be most successful in zones 5 through 9. They require full sun and soil that drains well and is fertile. The flowers will bloom on the trees in mid-spring and are white and abundant.
Watering requirements for these plum trees are normal compared to other fruit trees. You should water your new tree regularly for the first season. Once established, it will only need watering when rainfall is less than one inch per week or ten days. Pruning early to encourage good growth is also important.
Reine Claude Conducta is not a self-pollinating tree, so in order to set fruit, you will need another plum variety in the area. Good varieties for pollinating Reine Claude Conducta are Stanley, Monsieur Hatif, and Royale de Montauban.
Some pests and diseases that you should watch out for when growing this Greengage variety of plum include:
Your Reine Claude Conducta plums should be ripe and ready to pick between late June and August.
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Read more about Plum Trees
If you are new to growing fruit trees, plum trees make an excellent choice. Plum trees are easy to grow - usually easier than apples and pears - and require very little training or pruning. The only horticultural challenge is that plums flower quite early in spring, so locations that are prone to frosts are best avoided (or choose a late-flowering or frost-resistant variety). They thrive in most conditions, but they prefer water-retentive soils, and mulching is therefore particularly important for plum trees - farmyard manure is ideal.
Unlike most apples and pears, many plum varietes are self-fertile or partially self-fertile and do not need a pollination partner. For plum varieties that are not self-fertile, another plum tree of a different variety flowering at the same time is usually all that is necessary to ensure good pollination and heavy crops - there are few of the pollination incompatibilities found with apples, pears and cherries.
Plums are also more nutrient-rich than apples or pears, and comparable to some other "superfoods" such as blueberries. Although plum trees do suffer from a range of diseases, they seem to catch them less often than other fruit varieties. Most important of all, the flavour of ripe home-grown plums is vastly superior to shop-bought fruit. Indeed in our opinion freshly-picked dessert plums can offer the most exquisite sweet flavours of any fruit available from the temperate garden.
We offer both 'European' plum trees from the species Prunus domestica - and Japanese plums from the species Prunus salicina. The two species do not cross-pollinate - in part because Japanese plums tend to bloom much ealier than European ones.
PLUOTS (Plum-apricot interspecific crosses)
Dapple Dandy, Flavor Supreme, Flavor Queen and Flavor King
PLUMS AND PRUNES
Japanese and Hybrid Types:
Burgundy, Elephant Heart, Emerald Beaut, Golden Nectar, Howard’s Miracle, Inca, Laroda and Santa Rosa
Damson, D'Agen French Prune, Bavay's Green Gage, Coe’s Golden Gage,Golden Transparent Gage, Imperial Prune, Italian Prune and Reine Claude Conducta
* Many other varieties may also do well here in Santa Clara County. This list is based on UC Master Gardener trials, taste tests, and feedback from local growers.
Rosy GageTM plum developed at the Cornell University Experiment Research Station, Geneva, NY circa 1980 by John P. Watson. The fruit has medium-small size with exceptional quality. It ripens in late August.
Rosy GageTM plum developed at the Cornell University Experiment Research Station, Geneva, NY circa 1980 by John P. Watson. It is a cross between ‘Imperial Epineuse’ and an unknown male parent. It was selected and tested as NY 101 because of its exceptional taste. Rosy GageTM is self-infertile and requires a pollenizer cultivar that blooms simultaneously with it. The ‘Oullins’ and ‘Reine Claude Conducta’ are good quality plums that blooms with Rose GageTM. The fruit size is medium-small, but thinning can improve the size. The skin color is yellow-green with pink blush. The flesh is not sufficiently firm, which makes it less attractive among wholesale chain stores, but it is very popular among backyard orchard owners. The fruit ripens in late August in the Upstate New York. The tree is vigorous with strong and spreading angles of its lateral branches. It requires annual pruning once the tree is mature. It is susceptible to brown rot and black knot fungus diseases. The Rosy GageTM is trademark cultivar from International Plant Management.
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