Chinese plum is rarely found in our gardens - this is a fruit tree, despite its long history, it is just beginning to conquer the hearts of amateur gardeners. We find out how this exotic tree differs from ordinary plums, and whether it can be grown in a harsh climate.
Chinese plum features
The main features of the Chinese plum - its unique winter hardiness and fascinating flowering. This culture can be grown practically in any climatic zones of Russia - it is so cold-resistant. And in its flowering form, the Chinese plum can compete in beauty with the famous sakura. Flowers appear on the branches before the leaves appear, turning the tree into a blooming ball.
This Chinese plum is really from the Middle Kingdom. The homeland of this amazing tree is the mountainous regions of Manchuria. In China, it is called the three-flowered or willow plum. Different varieties of this tree, the Chinese are grown over the course of several millennia. Fruits of the “Chinese” were eaten by emperors - the tree occupied an honorable place in the imperial gardens.
In the 16-17 century, Chinese plum appeared in Japan. The Japanese appreciated the magnificence of the blossoming plum and the taste of its fruits. Before being in Europe and Russia, the Chinese plum first came to the USA - it was brought there from Japan.
Russian breeders spent a lot of time on breeding varieties adapted to Russian winters. At one time, I. Michurin crossed the Chinese plum with a homemade, seeking to create varieties that combine cold resistance and a pleasant taste. Modern varieties feel great in regions with harsh winters.
Abundant flowering of Chinese cherry does not guarantee a large crop - it depends on the quality of pollination.
Description and characteristics
Chinese plum blooms early and bears fruit early. This advantage often turns into losses - as the tree blooms in early spring, there are great risks of poor pollination.
- Tree. Low, with a round sprawling spherical crown. Compact tree like a ball. Especially during flowering.
- Leaves. Elongated, large, shiny, completely smooth.
- Fruit. More often round or heart-shaped, smooth, with juicy fibrous pulp. Less common varieties with elongated fruits. The color of fruits - yellow, scarlet, burgundy, red, as well as their combinations and shades. The skin is very strong and dense.
- Flowers There are 3-4 flowers on each flower bud. That is why the tree is densely covered with buds.
- Start fruiting. The first crop appears 2-3 years after disembarkation.
- Productivity From one tree receive from 10 to 40 kg of plums.
- Fruit weight. Plums weigh an average of 30-40 g. The best varieties - up to 70-80 g.
Fans of Chinese plums, highly appreciate their taste characteristics. But for many consumers, the fruits of the most modest garden plum turn out to be tastier than Chinese plum - dense, tough, with cartilaginous pulp. It can be said that the fruits of this culture are calculated “for the amateur”.
Chinese plum comparison
Differences Chinese plum from ordinary varieties:
- Abundant bloom. The branches are densely covered with pink flowers. This is a very beautiful sight, but it ends very quickly. The tree is in the shape of a pink ball just a few days.
- Small height. All varieties of “Chinese” are not high - no more than 2 m. It is easier to care for and harvest these trees.
- Smooth bark. Many varieties of plums have a small down on the bark, the Chinese variety does not have it - Chinese plums are absolutely smooth.
- Oblong leaves. Unlike the usual garden plum, the Chinese leaves are not round, but oblong.
- Fibrous pulp. The fruits of "Chinese" pulp harsh, it is very difficult to separate the bone from it.
- Specific aroma. The flesh of the fruit smells either apricot or melon.
- Spherical crown. The shape of the ball is formed from the Chinese plum, even without pruning.
- High calorie. In ordinary drains 100 g - 40-42 kcal, in Chinese - 70-80 kcal.
Advantages and disadvantages
Advantages of Chinese plum:
- High frost resistance. It transfers the temperature to minus 45-55 ° С.
- Good transportability. Due to the fibrous pulp and dense skin, the fruit is able to endure long shipments with firmness. Even under normal conditions, the fruits last for a fortnight longer than many varieties of garden plums.
- Skoroplodnost. The tree grows quickly and is characterized by early fruiting. The first fruits appear a couple of years after disembarkation. Every year productivity increases.
- Stability of high yields. When the weather is favorable, the branches are covered with fruits - you have to prop them up so as not to break.
- Universal application. Fruits are tasty fresh, canned. Of them prepare wines, used in baking.
- High immunity. Resistance to most diseases of stone fruits. "Kitaykami" less interested in pests.
Disadvantages of Chinese plum:
- Early bloom. Flowers bloom a couple of weeks earlier than that of ordinary plums - at the very beginning of May. When grown in temperate climates, the tree is often subjected to recurring frosts - this leads to the defeat of the buds. Frost leads to yield loss - frozen buds die and crumble.
- Poor pollination. The tree blooms early, and if the weather is cool and wet, then there are no insect pollinators - this negatively affects the yield.
- The fragility of the tree. Term life - 15-20 years.
- Exposure to rotting. The culture often rots due to the root of the neck. To avoid this, the tree is well prepared for wintering.
- Self infertility. Most varieties need pollinators. And even self-propelled is better to provide pollinator varieties - to increase yields.
- Nutrition. By calorie content, Chinese plums are comparable to grapes, and are twice as high as usual. They are not suitable for diet.
Chinese plum varieties
Chinese plum is represented by many varieties that have preserved the best qualities of the progenitor - cold resistance, endurance and yield. Consider the most popular varieties, differing in terms of ripening, fruit quality, tree height and other characteristics.
The grade differs in gentle, tasty fruits. The tree is slightly higher than usual - up to 2.5 m. It differs in late fruiting - 5 years after planting the seedling. Fruits are round, bright scarlet. Fruits begin to ripen in mid-August. The variety is frost-resistant and fruitful, up to 40 kg of plums are harvested from the tree. Tasting score - 4.5. Fruit weight - 25 g.
- the bone is easily separated from the pulp,
- peduncles easily, without damage, are separated from the fetus,
- high yield,
- resistance to pests.
- tendency to fall
- low roughness
- inability to self-pollination.
Mid-season variety bred in the Oryol region. Here it is mostly found. The height of the tree is 3 m. The crown is spreading, not thick. Fruit weight - 30-35 g. Color - black-purple, on the skin - bluish-gray patina. The flesh is amber, sweet and sour. Tasting score - 4-4.2. Fruits are loose but dryish. Maturation is the first decade of September. The first harvest - 5 years after planting. Harvest from a tree - up to 20 kg. In a particularly fruitful year, the crop can double.
- resistance to cholesterol
- partial self-fertility - pollinators are needed,
- insufficient juiciness of fruits
- may be affected by moniliosis.
This is one of the most famous and popular varieties of Chinese plum. The height of the tree is up to 2 m. The fruits are round, weighing 26-30 g. The color is yellow, orange, their combinations and shades. The taste of plum is sweet and sour, with a hard flesh. Productivity from a tree - to 35 kg. Fruiting, starting from mid-August, lasts until mid-October. Recommended pollinators - plum or Red ball. Maintains frosts to minus 30 ° С.
- quickness - the first fruits appear in the second year after planting the seedling,
- adaptation to any climatic conditions.
- the difficulty of separating pits from the pulp.
The gardener made a brief review of the Skoroplodnaya variety:
How is Chinese plum different from the rest?
Chinese plum (Prunus salicina), as it is easy to guess, comes from Celestial, specifically from the northern highlands and Manchuria. At home, it is known as the three-flowered or willow plum. The Chinese have cultivated various varieties for more than one millennium. At one time, the fruits were regularly served to the emperors table, and the trees decorated the palace gardens. Significantly later (only in the XVI-XVII centuries) Japan got acquainted with the Chinese plum, quickly appreciating it. This was facilitated not only by the taste of the fruit, but also by an amazingly beautiful flowering.
Culture came to Europe from the United States, which at the end of the nineteenth century actively developed trade relations with Japan. On the basis of the introduced varieties, an active selection began - first in California, then the whole world joined. This path led to the fact that in some places in Europe, the Chinese plum is still called Japanese.
Compact, neat, low (about 3 m) tree immediately attracts attention. The crown, even without pruning, forms an almost regular ball. The leaves are shiny, larger than the usual plum, and more elongated. The edge is missing.
Fruits are heart-shaped or spherical. Copies, slightly elongated along the vertical axis, fit into the norm, as well as slightly flattened. Color varies from sunny yellow to rich dark scarlet and burgundy. Peel knits a little, but it has a high strength.
The flesh is juicy, the taste is balanced, refreshing. Of course, it is fibrous and does not melt in the mouth, like in southern plums, but also quite on the level. The bone is almost impossible to separate from the pulp. The characteristic flavor reminds someone melon, the other association is apricot.
Of considerable importance is the aesthetic moment. The Chinese plum flower blooms very quickly, but for several days its branches are literally covered with buds. This is explained by the fact that 3-4 flowers form at once in each flower bud. Flower buds bloom before leaf, creating a striking effect. In Europe and the United States, Chinese plum is known as the "princess", "bride", "Snow White".
What are the other advantages of this group of varieties?
- Cold resistance Chinese plum with minimal damage to itself will transfer the temperature to -45-55ºС.
- Transportability. Plums taken from a tree without damage, tolerate travel over long distances, and even without creating ideal conditions are stored for 2–3 weeks longer than other varieties. This is due to the density of the skin and pulp.
- Rapid growth and precocity. The size of adult trees saplings reach 2–3 years after planting on a permanent place. At the same time, you can expect the first harvests, increasing with each subsequent season.
- Stable high yield and appearance of plums. If the weather is successful, the shoots literally dot the large beautiful fruits of bright colors. From such a mass of branches bend and even break.
- Versatility. In addition to fresh use, Chinese plums are great for home canning and winemaking, baking.
- High resistance to the most common diseases of the stone fruit, less “interest” on the part of pests.
There are some disadvantages:
- Chinese plum blooms very early, on average 1.5–2 weeks earlier than usual varieties, in early May. Therefore, in areas with a temperate climate, it is often exposed to the negative effects of return spring frosts. The buds, stuck in the frost, fall off, you can not wait for the harvest.
- Pollination problems. The reason is the same - early flowering. Pollinating insects are absent at this time, the weather is damp and cold.
- Relatively short period of existence of trees. After 15–20 years, the plum orchard will have to be completely changed.
- The culture is prone to the development of rot, the main cause of which is the rooting of the root collar. Therefore, the preparation of the tree for the winter should be given special attention.
- Self-fertility of most varieties. Even those that are declared as self-fertile, significantly increase the yield in the presence of suitable "partners".
- High calorie. In contrast to the classic plum, the energy value of the "Chinese" is comparable to grapes. For those who wish to vary the diet, this is not an option.
In the southern subtropics (Crimea, Kuban, Krasnodar Territory), Chinese plum is not very popular. First, it endures a drought much worse than the cold, and secondly, they prefer to grow more sweet, “marmalade” varieties. But for the Central region, the Moscow region, the Urals, Siberia, the Far East - it's just a godsend.
The Oryol dream is one of the novelties of domestic breeding. The variety recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. The parent of the hybrid is the plum Alyonushka. The Oryol dream arose as a spontaneous mutation, in the process of free pollination. The hybrid shows the best qualities at home - in the Central Black Earth region.
The variety is valued for its large (40–45 g) fruit size and attractive appearance. Red-purple plums have many small subcutaneous points of a darker brown color and a thick layer of gray plaque. The flesh is yellowish-brown, amber, the juice is completely colorless. The flesh is not too dense, almost entirely composed of fibers. It is almost impossible to separate a small rounded bone from it.
Tastes are estimated at 4.5-4.7 points. Plums varieties Orlovskaya dream very sweet. This is due to the low content of acids (slightly more than 1% of the total mass). Crop is removed in the first decade of August. Averages - 20-25 kg per tree.
The maximum height of an adult plum is 2.5 m. The spreading sparse crown is similar to an inverted pyramid. Almost all branches are pulled up. The bark peels off.
A significant plus is partial self-fertility. However, pollinator varieties never interfere. Orlovskaya dream also differs almost record-breaking indicators of frost resistance. This applies to the tree itself, and flower buds. Plum is not terrible klyasterosporioz. There is only one drawback - the more fruit is tied, the more their size decreases. The average crop weight remains about the same.
What to consider when preparing for planting?
- Highlighting a place under the Chinese plum, remember the need for pollinator varieties. At the site should be at least two, and preferably three trees that bloom in the same time. This condition is not satisfied plum home, turn, dresser. Some other varieties of Chinese plum, cherry plum and hybrid (Russian plum) are suitable. Between trees leave at least 3 m, between rows - 3–3.5 m.
- Chinese plum does not tolerate the soil, the acidity of which is at least slightly higher than neutral. The best option is a slightly alkaline primer. If this is not the case, add dolomite flour (400 g / m²), wood ash (twice as much). You will kill two birds with one stone, enriching the soil with calcium, which this culture loves very much. Slaked lime due to excessive "aggressiveness" is undesirable.
- It is best to grow a “Chinese woman” on a natural or man-made hill 0.5–0.6 m high. This will help to cope with the problem of groundwater close to the surface (above 1.5 m) and the stagnation of cold moist air.
- It is best of all to implant a plum stalk of a Chinese plum on a cherry plum or a dresser. Homemade plum varieties (with rare exceptions) will not work. The trees may not die immediately, but they will be stunted for sure. Life expectancy is no more than 10 years.
- Dimensions of the landing pit - 50 cm in depth and 70 in diameter. At the bottom of the required layer of drainage of sand, broken ceramics, pebbles, rubble.
- In the process of planting, make sure that after the soil has settled, the root neck is exactly at ground level. Initially, it should be raised by 4-7 cm, depending on the density of the soil.
Important care details
- watering Chinese plum, try to soak the soil to a depth of about 40 cm. Further pointless - its root system is superficial. Approximate rate - 10 l / m². The irrigated area should approximately coincide with the crown projection,
- Chinese plum does not tolerate chlorine. Discard any fertilizer, if it is part of,
- The optimum form of the crown is longline. There is a clearly defined central shoot, skeletal and semi-skeletal branches,
- in due time take care of rather strong and steady support. Chinese plums have rather thin branches, which often bend and break under the weight of the crop.
How to survive the winter?
- in the fall or at the beginning of winter, wait until the negative temperatures at night become a constant phenomenon, and wrap the trunk with 2-3 layers of burlap or special covering material that lets air through,
- if winter is snowy and warm, with any increase in temperature to 0ºС and more, rake snow from the trunk, exposing it. This will help to avoid root sub-root. In their natural habitat culture is used to very cold and windy winters with little snow,
- shake snow from branches regularly. Severity can break them
- in the spring do not let the stagnant melt water around the trunk. Если понадобится, соорудите канавки для стока лишней жидкости.
Алёнушку выращиваю много лет. Сортом очень доволен. Очень ароматная с пряным вкусом слива. Хороша на еду, прекрасна в компотах. Сливовица из неё получается тоже очень ароматная! Размер варьирует от года к году, когда достаточно крупная — граммов под 50–60, когда помельче — 30–40. Урожайность хорошая и регулярная. К болезням и вредителям достаточно устойчива. Единственный её бич — это тля. Nowhere else, but on Alyonushka is already full! In general, the variety is quite winter-hardy, but in 2014 it noted a decent freezing of one-year growth. But nothing oklemalas. I don’t really like the fact that she has a non-separable bone, but this is not so terrible. Tender, tasty and very fragrant flesh Alyonushka decides everything!
Plum Alyonushka is a beautiful fruit, constant generous yield and ... And guaranteed mass piles of aphids, twisted shoots, poor sour taste. Disappointed long ago. Although I met a sample that was not affected by the aphorism, but still the taste is poor.
We have two Chinese plums growing (extreme conditions for the Moscow region, last year frost -42ºС, flower buds have frozen). These plums have become the favorites not only of ours, but of all our neighbors for beauty and yield. Skoroplodnaya in July, everything is taken for a peach, and in early August - for Chinese apples. Plums are large, tasty, sweet, with a little sourness. The only, in my opinion, the disadvantage is self-barrenness. There are also ordinary plums in the garden, tasty, but inferior to Chinese women.
Skoroplodnaya - an excellent variety, which shows the harvest within 2-3 years after planting. Fruits are large, weighing 35–40 g, have excellent taste.
Plum Skoroplodnaya much tastier of all that I have tried. I liked it very much, the taste is fresher than that of domestic plums.
Plum Superior ... The title says almost everything. This is a normal, respected world variety - not a fake one. The variety is self-fertile, late blooming, ripening - 2 decade of August, fruits 60–70 grams, stored for a long time according to one nursery of Ukraine (elite in terms of varieties represented on it). Of the minuses - the bone is not separated well, but this is a feature of cherry plum, Chinese women. The elitism of a variety can be determined by whether it is included in the description of a steep nursery in the USA, Ukraine ... Yes, the variety is presented on these sites. Winter hardiness 4 climate zones - great!
Manchu beauty goes bad for me. Suffer from thaws in winter. Frosty winter is better. The fruits are too small and dry. The red ball and Alyonushka are much larger and tastier.
Variety Nezhenka - Oryol breeding. Like all Chinese Orlov women, Nezhenka is weak in terms of winter hardiness. I froze, froze, and froze, did not restore anymore. Although the fruits are tasty (they are not inferior to Alyonushka), they are rather large (a little smaller than Alyonushka), but they crumble very much when ripe.
Plum Golden Ball is an interesting variety, and has been known for quite some time. Ripening earlier, large fruit 40-50 g (in productive years shallow), yellow with a slight tan, juicy, sweet (sour at the stone and skin). The taste of the fruit creates an almost complete illusion that you eat a late apricot. Apparently, they try to write him into apricots for this.
Most likely, the Chinese plum will not be able to completely oust traditionally grown varieties from garden plots. But as cultivated simultaneously with them, the “Chinese woman” definitely deserves the attention of experienced gardeners, inclined to experiment, and beginners. Agrotechnics is not complicated, and the Chinese plum has a lot of advantages. With proper selection of varieties of crops will not keep you waiting.
History of the origin and description of Chinese plum
In the Middle Kingdom, Japan and Korea, wild plum is growing — willow or Jyulinka, which has received the Chinese name all over the world. Flowering plum tree - the muse of oriental artists on a par with bamboo. The Chinese have been using the fruits for food for more than 3 thousand years, and the tree itself decorates every farmstead in the Middle Kingdom. It is especially beautiful in spring during flowering.
Plum fruits are spherical, yellow or red in color, juicy, sour, with an astringent, sometimes bitterish sandpaper. Stone is not separated from the pulp.
The trees are tall, spreading, 10 to 12 meters high, surprisingly cold-resistant, withstand temperatures below 50 o C, but bloom very early, falling under the spring cold.
Chinese plum was introduced to the United States from Japan in 1870. California's climate was favorable for her. Local breeders based on it brought several excellent varieties. From America, these hybrids came to Europe, and from there to Russia. At the same time in the Far East in Primorye, the Melnikov and Bezrukov brothers, who had come to explore the local lands, discovered the dams of Chinese plum in the excavations of the ancient state of Bohai in 1868. The taste of the fruit was good, and the trees did not suffer at all from the frosts, which reached -50 o C, although there was very little snow in those parts in winter. The brothers named the Ussurian plum found, because it was distinguished from the famous Chinese by its amazing winter hardiness. This quality and attracted breeders, because other varieties of these plants tolerated the frosts of Russia very badly and died in the first winter. On the basis of the Ussuri (Chinese) plum and varieties of the same species, imported from America, modern hybrids have been developed.
It took a lot of time to create seedlings adapted to Russian winters. More I.V. Michurin drew attention to this species and began to cross with a home plum, seeking the desired qualities. New varieties have a pleasant taste and excellent frost resistance. Most of the new products feel good not only in the Moscow region, but also in the North-West region, if, when growing, gardeners take into account the peculiarities of the variety and create the required conditions.
Description of the general properties of varieties
All varieties of Chinese plums are similar in many ways. This is a rapid growth, rapidity. As early as 2-3 years after planting, the trees are blooming. The branches covered with fruits are bent under the weight of ripe fruit.
The larger the plums, the lower the frost resistance and winter hardiness of the variety. The most hardy plants with an average size of the fruit.
The crown of the trees is thick, spreading, spherical. Height up to 2.5 meters, which facilitates the care and harvest.
The abundance of snow and long spring floods inherent in the Central Region are dangerous for the species, whose ancestors grew in frosty snowless valleys. Stagnant water causes the root collar to decay if seedlings are not placed on high hills or ridges.
The flowers bloom early, before the appearance of oblong leaves, the shape of which is the plum received the name Ivolistnaya. It is a lot of inflorescences, they are pink, or white, terry, grow on 3 buds from one nest.
Fruits are spherical, from two to five centimeters in diameter, large, in some varieties their weight reaches 110–120 grams, like that of a peach. The color is bright, from yellow, all shades of red and orange to blue and even purple. Plums are dense, when removed from the tree unripe, can survive. When stored, their taste only improves. At low positive temperatures, up to one and a half months remain.
The taste of home plum Chinese has not reached. The flesh is harsh, sour-sweet. Some varieties have a slight tartness of the skin. In the south of Russia, this species has not taken root, as it is inferior to local species in taste and does not tolerate drought. But further north, where home plum does not survive, the Chinese received widespread.