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The Delicious ‘Sweet Treat Pluerry’

Sweet Treat Pluerry

 (Prunus ‘Sweet Treat’)

 

 

Sweet Treat Pluerry overview:

  • This is a new and delicious tasting fruit which is a cross of many different stone fruits.

 

Sweet Treat Pluerry fruit appearance:

  • Overall, the fruit looks like a large cherry.
  • Most fruit are about the size and shape of a ping pong ball.
  • The Sweet Treat Pluerry  fruit has thin deep red colored skin with golden specks.
  • The flesh is primarily yellow with an orange tint. However at the edges towards the skin there is a transition to orange-red with speckles. It is a very attractive fruit.
  • The seeds are also rather small for the size of the fruit.
sweet treat pluerry

Cut sweet treat pluerry showing the small seed inside.

sweet treat pluerry sliver held up to the sky

sweet treat pluerry sliver held up to the sky

 

Sweet Treat Pluerry fruit taste:

  • In a word: Delicious!
  • You can often taste the individual flavors from the trees parents:  plum, cherry, peach and apricot.
  • However, I have noticed that the Sweet Treat Pluerry fruit has a different flavor profile depending on when you pick it in the season.
    • Early on in the season, the fruit is crisp, somewhat tart and not as sweet.
    • When fully ripe, the fruit is extremely sweet, less tart and not as firm.  I have also noticed that later on in the season that this fruit has stronger apricot flavors.
    • As I write this I am eating last fruit of the season… So good!

 

Sweet Treat Pluerry

Juicy bite out of a sweet treat pluerry

 

Sweet Treat Pluerry fruit season: 

  • Since this is a new fruit, the “official” numbers are not exactly agreed upon.
  • However, for me, the fruit tastes great for picking from June to August.
Unripe sweet treat pluerry

Unripe sweet treat pluerry

 

Landscaping use: 

  • This is a nice looking deciduous tree.
  • A dense cluster of small white flowers cover the branches in the spring.
  • The prolific red fruits hanging on the tree for a long time and make it very ornamental.
  • The Sweet Treat Pluerry has an upright growth habit with rather narrow notch angles (30 deg).
  • The best planting time is late fall to winter.
Prolific sweet treat pluerry flowers

Prolific sweet treat pluerry flowers

 

Soil:

  • Since this tree is relatively new, there is not a lot of info about it.
  • My tree is grown on ‘Myro 29C rootstock‘, and to date I believe this is the standard rootstock for this tree.
  • Based on what I know, it seems logical to treat this tree like a prune or plum.
  • Side note: The soil in Southern California is usually pretty challenging for most fruit trees.
  • Therefore, when I planted this tree, I did what has worked for me in the past for my other stone fruit;  I aggressively augmented the soil with grow mulch/compost, and inoculated with Micorriza.  Click here for the planting method that I have used with great success.

Myro 29C plum rootstock:

The tag for the rootstock says:
Shallow, but vigorous root system tolerates wet soils.
Is immune to root-knot nematodes, and has some resistance to oak-root fungus.
Widely adapted, excellent all-round rootstock for almonds, apricots & plums.
Unpruned tree height of standard varieties is 15-25 ft.
Trees on Myro 29C may be held to any desired height by summer pruning.

 

Water:

  • I water this tree on the same schedule of my other stone fruit (plums, peaches, etc).
  • For established trees, I back way off in the wet winters.
  • Covering the ground around the base of the tree with a good layer of wood mulch will help to retain moisture in the summer.
Sweet treat pluerry fruit early in the season

Sweet treat pluerry fruit early in the season

Sun:

  • Full

 

Fertilization:

  • Considering the trees parents and the root stock, it seem logical to fertilize this tree the same way you would a plum/prune or peach.  These trees are generally fertilized about the same.
    • (BTW; a dried plum is a prune)
  • Most references suggest fertilizing plums and peaches one time in the spring at or just before bud break.
  • The recommendations usually involve a complete fertilizer such as 10-10-10.
  • And applying a 1/2 pound of this fertilizer for each year of the trees age up to 5 pounds total.

 

Pollination:  

  • Bees are the major pollinating insect.
  • A separate pollenizer tree is required for the fruit to set.
    • The currently agreed upon pollinizer tree for the Sweet Treat Pluerry is the Burgundy plum.
    • However, I believe that there are likely many other trees that will do the cross pollination job… they just have not been thoroughly evaluated yet.
    • Other Japanese plums and pluot’s also seem to be good candidates for cross pollination.
sweet treat pluerry vs burgundy plum

sweet treat pluerry vs burgundy plum in the background

 

Tree Pruning:

 

Temp:  

  • Since this is a new fruit, the “official” numbers are not exactly agreed upon.

Chill hours:

    • I have seen estimated chill hours for the Sweet Treat Pluerry ranging from 850 to 450 hrs.
    • However, from personal experience, I am sure the chilling hours has to be on the very low side of this range.  For example, we had a rather mild winter last year in San Diego and all the leaves fell off this tree as expected.
    • This is the second year that my Sweet Treat Pluerry has been in the ground and it has grown and fruited at a very young age.

 

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 6 – 9

 

Pests: 

Birds: 

    • Unfortunately, Birds have quickly discovered this fruit and apparently love it.
    • I guess I cant blame them, it is very good.
    • (On the positive side, you will know the fruit is ripe when the birds start pecking at it).
      • Bird scare tape tied to a branch next-to the fruit has been keeping the aerial raiders away.
      • I have also recently tried mylar pinwheels for the same purpose.
      • The pinwheels seems promising; just tie them to a nearby stake or branch and make sure they can move freely in the wind.
      • I often get things like this on Amazon for a good price.  However, the current price that I found for this product on Amazon is about 2x the price that I have  found at Target.   Here is the Amazon link for reference.  They are still not that expensive, no matter where you go, but if you can get them cheaper, why not.  I got the same exact product at Target for 99 cents each.
        • Note: If you are looking around at Target (or perhaps any other similar store), I found it in the kids toy section… but it is likely a seasonal thing.   If you dont happen to find those pinwheels at a store, the scare tape actually works great.

 

Fungus amongus:

    • For fungal leaf disease, I am treating this tree the same way that I treat all of my other stone fruit (such as peaches).   So that basically means spraying with an antifungal spray before bud break. See my article on peach leaf curl.  This is a link to the antifungal I get on Amazon.

 

 Bugs:

    • For sap sucking bugs, I am just keeping an eye on things at the moment. I haven’t seen anything yet, but I am also in prevention mode.  My prevention tactic is Tanglefoot (see below)
  • Ants can bring all kinds of disease into your tree (aphids, scale, mealybugs etc).
  • One of the most important organic preventative things I do is to keep the ants out of the tree with the use of Tanglefoot .
  • Important note, don’t apply Tanglefoot  directly to the bark because the thin bark can be easily damaged this way.  Create a skirt of masking tape around the trunk of the tree (with the sticky-side out) or buy the Tanglefoot guard paper wrap.  Then add the Tanglefoot goop on that skirt/paper.

 

Gophers:

    • Gophers do a ton of damage and can kill just about any type of fruit tree very fast.
    • My best defense is caging the roots of my trees at planting.
    • Check out my article on a simple way to build your own gopher cage.
Bird damage to the fruit.  You know they are ripe

Bird damage to the unprotected fruit.

 

mylar bird scare tape tied close to the fruit

mylar bird scare tape tied close to the fruit keeps the birds away

Fruit Use:

  • This fruit is soo good just off the tree.
  • I am sure you could use the Sweet Treat Pluerry for the same type of things that you use other stone fruits for (desserts, pies, jams, etc).

 

Misc:

  • The Sweet Treat Pluerry tree has been categorized as an interspecific.
    • (interspecific = existing or occurring between different species).
  • Its parentage includes plum, cherry, peach and apricot.

[(Prunus salicina x (Prunus salicina x Prunus armeniaca)) x Prunus avium] X [Prunus salicina x (Prunus salicina x Prunus persica)]

or, using common names, [(Plum x Plumcot) x Cherry] X [Plum x (Plum x Peach)]

Therefore, the combined parentage is, 9/16 plum, 1/4 cherry, 1/8 peach, 1/16 apricot.

  • This tree was developed by Zaiger Genetics. U.S. Plant Patent No. 23796.

 

About Thomas Osborne, MD

Dr. Osborne is a Harvard trained Radiologist and Neuroradiologist who loves to share his insight about medicine and gardening.

4 comments

  1. Speaking of such hybrid fruit trees, ‘Spicezee’ peach-plum-apricot has been praised in some circles. As the fruit matures it takes on the white, firm flesh of peaches, with that hint of apricot.

  2. Because of the mixture of fruits in the makeup of the pluerry I do not know when is the best time to prune and to which method. What do you suggest? Thank you.

    • Thomas Osborne, MD

      Hey Howard.

      Best time to prune is when the leaves are gone (so basically in the range of Winter +/- few months).
      I wrote an article about different pruning options, techniques, methods, suggestions etc a while back.
      Check out that pruning article via this link below:
      Search prun Tree Pruning Techniques

      Best,
      Tom

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