23 February, 2010 - Whitcombs, Accolades, Okame and PLUMS

Discussion in 'Vancouver Cherry Blog' started by wcutler, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Vancouver, BC Canada
    'Whitcomb' still have blossoms, many faded now to pale pink. 'Accolade' with the double blossoms are fully in bloom in some areas and still coming along in others. The 'Okame' trees at the Fraser Parkade at UBC are in full bloom. You can check in the Cultivar Locations forum for where to find examples of any of these.

    Most of what's in bloom now in Vancouver are PLUMS.
    cerasifera_understock_lf_unrolling_small.jpg 200070311_WestEnd_Plum_Cutler_0768.jpg 20080312_Bute_Plum_Cutler_0234.jpg
    The first photo is Douglas Justice's.
    Vancouver has 17,000 street tree plums - that's about as many as all the street tree cherries and ten times as many as our street tree 'Akebono' cherries. This is bad timing for you, if you're just trying to learn about 'Whitcomb' and the emerging 'Accolade' trees.

    Here are three pointers:
    1. Our plums open their leaves at the same time as their blossoms. None of the cherries opening now do that. The late cherries do that, but they're not out yet. So you might need to get out of your car to have a closer look! While you're there, see if the buds and blossoms are hanging in bunches (like cherries that you eat). Our common plums won't do that, though you might have to look closely; some of those plum stems are awfully close together.

    2. Plum blossoms are fragrant

    3. This hint only applies locally and in the next two or three weeks: where you see a whole street filled with white or pink blossoms (and particularly another whole street one block over, or a whole street with several blocks in bloom), those are plums unless they're one of the whole-block locations for 'Whitcomb' and 'Accolade' listed below.
    20080403_e59_dt-van_plum_1783.jpg Cutler_2007010_01.jpg
    These are plums. Denis and Teresa's photo on the left, from E. 59th Ave at Lancaster
    I hope these things are gone before the 'Akebono' cherries come out (not likely though). Try to get the sort-of round lollipop shape of the plum trees in your head.

    And then there's this prominent plum, at Kits Beach, often mistaken for a cherry, as it's not the usual plum shape. This is where you'd have to get up close to have a look.
    Mariko Izaki's photo

    Whole block cherries
    'Whitcomb' cherries:
    Martin Fon's photo from 49th and Ash

    Dunbar, 39th and Olympic
    Grandview Woodland, Victoria Drive at 5th, in McSpadden Park
    Kensington-Cedar Cottage, Dumfries at 21st, with 'Accolade' trees across the street
    Oakridge, Tisdall Park on Ash between 45th and 49th
    Richmond, on the northwest corner of Alexandra and Hazelbridge, in full bloom with Canadian colours near the Richmond Olympic games venues
    Sunset neighbourhood, E.59 Avenue between Prince Edward and and Main Street (with one Accolade - look for the one that's different!)

    'Accolade' cherries:
    Joseph Lin's photo from 5th and Nootka
    Kerrisdale, Yew, 43rd to 46th
    Hastings-Sunrise, 5th and Nootka.
    Kensington-Cedar Cottage, Dumfries at 32nd
    Kensington-Cedar Cottage, Lanark at 21st
    South Cambie, Laurel at 19th
    Strathcona, Pender, Heatley to Campbell
    West End, Chilco Park at Comox and Chilco
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2010
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    WA USA (Z8)
    >often mistaken for a cherry, as it's not the usual plum shape<

    Low, spreading crown shapes are common among plums with Prunus salicina in their background. Older, green-leaved Japanese orchard plums often look like the purple-leaved one shown here. Purple-leaved plum cultivars seen repeatedly in Seattle with a Japanese influence visible in their growth habit include 'Newport', 'Spencer Hollywood' and 'Vesuvius' (not to be confused with the purple-leaved cherry plum 'Krauter's Vesuvius').

    I have noticed that the new 'Cripoizam' (now ubiquitous at outlets down here) has Japanese plum characters in its leaves and flowers. It was selected for its erect branching, young specimens sometimes evoke 'Amanogawa' - and like it will probably broaden significantly with age.

    The Kits tree should be photographed up close in flower, leaf and fruit (if any) in order to make it possible for someone not able to visit it themselves to present a possible identification. If it turned out to be something comparatively remarkable, like 'Hollywood' it should be propagated and planted elsewhere, in order to preserve it.

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