Identification: Small tart plums - are they damsons?

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by RolandPender, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. RolandPender

    RolandPender Member

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    There are several weedy plum trees on our old farmstead that I can't identify. The fruit is very tart and small, and I wondered if they were damsons. Primarily I would like to know if they are edible/usable in any way. I've attached photos. Thank you for any information you can provide.
     

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  2. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    They really are plums - you can taste them to decide if they taste like plums you like to eat or cook with. What colour are they inside?
     
  3. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    It is difficult to see details, e.g. are leaf margins smooth or serrated or how the fruit is attached to the branches? It could greatly help with identification. Having said that, it looks to me like Prunus spinosa.
     
  4. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    The size of the fruits would help as well.
     
  5. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    They look like Damsons, which are supposed to be very good for jams and jellies.
     
  6. RolandPender

    RolandPender Member

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    Hi, thanks for the replies. I'll work on getting my hands on a better camera. In the meantime, there is a photo (the second one) in my original post of one of the plums on a ruler, which shows that they are about one inch long. I have tasted them and they are quite tart, which is why I wondered if they might be damsons (I've never seen or tasted a real damson before). Cheers!
     
  7. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Without counting the marks on the ruler it looks like it is in centimeters :-(
     
  8. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Each major unit on the ruler is divided into 8; so they're inches.
     
  9. sgbotsford

    sgbotsford Active Member

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    Ultimately you don't care what their name is. They look like damsons, and if tart, probably are. You've got them. Make use of them. Try some of the damson recipes you find on the internet.

    Check around and see if you have a local fruit growers group. If so, take some of the fruit along with a twig to the next meeting and get there opinion.

    In addition to jams and jellies, you can make plum brandy -- slivovitz -- which also is great for cleaning grease off your tonsils, and makes tolerable rocket fuel.
     
  10. RolandPender

    RolandPender Member

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    Thank you! Yes, I did try them, and I'm practically positive they're Damsons. They make the most delicious and unusual jam, which matches the description of Damson jam I've read. And I have some soaking in gin that should be ready by Christmas. I'm so happy to have found this fruit! Everyone was encouraging me to cut them down, convinced they were useless weedy wild plums. Instead, I'll be sharing them!
     

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