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Gracious Plum - Seedling

original - Mandan, ND 1957 ~ open pollinated seedling


pit planted fall 2018 ~ open pollinated seedling


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  Mont Royal


  Sapalta Chum

  South Dakota



original Gracious - Fruit oval to roundish yellow-orange fruit with coral-red mottling.Yellow orange firm juicy sweet flesh. Freestone. Excellent fresh eating, sauce or jam. Upright spreading tree. Rare. Z3.  Pits from 2018 - other plums blooming at that time: Grenville, Kaga, LaCrescent, Underwood, Waneta. Cut down original Gracious tree 2022 (see bottom of page).

2023 - Healthy moderate growth - about 6 ft tall now, unusually "tame" balanced shape.  Transplanted Plum2 (an American Plum sucker) ~40 ft away for future pollination.

2022 - Pulled out Gracious Pit #1 - had shothole like parent often did, decided it wasn't worth growing. Pit #2 is growing quite differently, one stem, more strongly upright, many laterals, healthy. Need to put another plum near it for pollination as it is by itself plum-wise.

2019 - Last fall's pits grew well, vigorous, transplanted from nursery 10/7. GP#1 - 28"^. Trimmed to 1 shoot & transpl to east orchard halfway between Southworth & Patten. Good roots.  GP#2 to ne area, south of LAnse.

2018 - Planted 2 pits from fruit in fall in nursery.

Gracious Plum tree 2018 winterHISTORY of original Gracious Plum 2002 - 2022

2002 - Did OK but little tall growth. [no notes 2003-2005]

2006 - Blossoms, aphids. Doing OK first of July. Rank grower. 5 plums! good, sweet, juicy yellow flesh, red/yellow skin. Planted pits in garden plot. [?]

2007 - Many blossoms, many aphids, no fruit.

2008 - Biffypost 4/23. Quite a bit of blight (shotgun/red leaves). One plum!

2009 - Many blossoms, no fruit (early June freezes). Badly infested with wooly aphid. Soap sprayed -- not good idea! Damaged leaves. Put on tanglefoot and washed/wiped off as many as could. 6/23 ladybug eggs hatching! Took care of aphids. Later looking better.

2010 - Many blossoms, some fruit. 8/20 dozen ripe on ground, most of rest fell when shook tree. Total of 30 plums! Great, juicy sweet pulp, skins rather tough and sour.

2011 - Pruned to better shape. Full of blossoms. Sept. dropping mostly half ripe fruit (probably due to dry). 9/16 dropping ripe so picked. Total of 21#! Made very good sauce [10# yield 7 1/2 pints].  Direct grafted piece onto nearby Tri-Plum to be 1/3 of that tree (G2), along with LaCrescent and Underwood.

2012 - Lost all blossoms/fruit to 5/30 freeze.

2013 - Full of blossom when hard frost. No fruit. Continues gangly growth.

2014 - Cut back overly long limbs. Lanky grower. Full blossoms. Lots aphids. Blighty leaves but good growth. Plums started dropping early Sept. Better ones 2nd wk Sept. Last ones ~ 9/20. Later plums all good and large. Total ~14#.

2015 - Full of blossoms but 3 very cold nights in spring probably did in crop except for a scattering of fruit. Did get a few plums, later to mature. Tree continues gangley, vigorous growth. Continue pruning to contain it into a semblance of shape.

2016 - First year of summer pruning (instead of early spring). Looking better. 5/21 full of blossoms. Pruned 6/2, petal fall, brought height down for a more balanced tree. Leaves usual shothole/red. A few fruit -- 11 plums!, dropped/picked ~ 9/9. Few in number but good and appreciated.

2017 - Pruned some larger branches June/July, opened up more. Full bloom last wk May (with most all). Blighty wet year, lots aphids, rough leaves but still grew strong. A few fruit, 2 full size, 4 small, Sept.10-16. Good flavor.

2018 - Summer pruned some larger limbs, thinned some, full of spurs. Full bloom - 6 fruit. Mature end Aug/first Sept. All leaves buckshot. Some long growth on some branches, none on others. Need to cut those back to get new wood. Maybe need to spur prune more.

2019 - 5/11 cut out/off upper branches to lower top, plus a ctr cross lg one. Pulled, tied, weight quite a few to get more weep. Pruned some long upright spurs. Was more new wood than previous, most at top. More spreading now. 9/11-20 2 ripe drops, quite a few more on tree. Pick as ripe = 43 total.  G2 - 9/13-20 15 total ripe fruit, smaller than main tree fruit.

2020 - 5/26 full bloom. 5/31 freeze 25 deg. Half dozen fruit. 9/5 not ripe yet, small.

2021 - Hot, dry spring. 5/18-21 all plums, chums full bloom. 5/27 four nights freezes 24-30 deg. No fruit. April pruned quite a bit off top and opening up center. Looking better.  Cut down Tri-Plum (Gracious, Underwood, LaCrescent).

2022 - Pruned off a lot of vigorous last year uprights, plus some old top/upright spurs in the spring. Sporadic new growth. Tree continues with leaf issues and aphid/ants. It did set fruit this year but almost all were insect damaged or diseased. I decided to stop fighting it and end of August had Steve cut it down. The space felt good. And the tree will live on in spoons carved from the trunk.

Copyright Susan Robishaw

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