Underappreciated Plants: The Methley Plum

Underappreciated Plants: The Methley Plum
Category: Underappreciated Plants
Posted: 10-03-2012 02:16
Comments: 0 [Post]
Synopsis: Raintree Owner Sam Benowitz introduces his upcoming blog series, Underappreciated Plants.

On a regular basis, I will share my thoughts. After 40 years of growing and tasting many fruits, it always puzzles me why some that I know are really the easiest to grow are not selected by more people.

I think people are asking the wrong question.

The question shouldn't be what is the best-tasting cultivar of a particular type of fruit like a pear or a plum, but rather what is a good-tasting cultivar which a beginner can succeed at growing and will produce a good crop in most years.

The fruit tree we have had the most consistent success with is the Methley Plum. It is hardy in USDA Zones 4-9 and is a cross of an American and Japanese plum.

The Methley produces heavy crops almost every year -- even when its snowing here -- when it blooms in early spring. It's self fertile and, very importantly, it has a sturdy growth habit that holds massive crops on the tree without breaking the branches.

Also, the Methley tolerates less-than-skilled pruning. What you need to do is just thin out some branches in the winter so the sun can get in to ripen the fruit.

Methley is great eaten fresh and makes great jelly. It can be made into leather, and it makes a great sorbet.

So there you have it. If you have room for one fruit tree, consider the Methley plum.

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