If you like gage plums, you’ll love growing Ariel plum trees which are descendants of the gage plum. They produce pinkish gage-like plums. Although they have a fairly short storage life, they’re definitely worth the effort. These incredibly sweet, dessert-like fruits offer a tart note that sets them off from the deep sweetness of a typical gage plum. This plum’s parents are the Autumn Compote and Count Althann’s Gage varietals. The following Ariel plum tree info discusses how to grow and care for Ariel plums.
Ariel Plum Tree Information
Ariel plum trees were developed in Alnarp, Sweden from Autumn Compote and Count Althan’s Gage and were introduced into the market in 1960.
The ariel plum is a vigorous upright tree that reliably produces crops, year after year. These attractive plum trees have an upright, yet open, growth habit. The trees produce medium to large, oblong fruit with a dusky pink exterior and a bright golden pulp with a semi-clinging stone.
A deciduous tree with showy white blossoms in the spring, this tree will lose its leaves in fall and winter.
The plum fruits are high in sugar (over 23%), yet with a hint of tang, making them ideal for use as either a dessert or culinary plum. Some people prefer these plums due to the tart note that contrasts them with some varieties that are cloyingly sweet.
How to Grow Ariel Plums
Ariel plums are partially self-fruitful but would benefit from the close proximity of another pollinator. Their flowers are particularly attractive to bees and other insect pollinators.
When growing Ariel plums, be sure to select a site that is in full sun for the best flavor outcome. The trees prefer at least 6 hours per day. Ariel plum trees are happiest in well-draining, sandy soil and a pH of 5.5-6.5. They enjoy a mesic environment – neither too dry or too wet. As with most newly planted trees, Ariel plum trees will need to be watered each week during their first growing season. Once they have established themselves, this is not necessary. If your region experiences extended dry periods, they will appreciate a deep soaking every week or two.
This plum tree is known to be susceptible to cracking and splitting, especially when grown in wetter climates. It can also be vulnerable to bacterial cankers so should not be planted in regions of high humidity.
Ariel plums ripen in the last week of September sometimes up until the first week of October. Pick them with a gentle grasp and twist to avoid bruising. As mentioned, these plums have a short shelf life of 1-3 days, but for the avid plum connoisseur, they are well worth adding to the landscape for their delicious, sweet and juicy flavor.