Bullace? Cherry Plum? Other?

wonkothesane

Member
Mar 18, 2016
11
0
Eryholme, UK
I think this is my first post, which makes me realise I should go and introduce myself, since I've been lurking for a while.

I noticed a smallish tree at the in-laws' a couple of weeks ago that was growing through their fence. At the time I thought is was blackthorn due to the dark bark and spiny protuberances that snagged me.






Selling it as a favour to remove a nuisance, I offered to take it out to save further damage to the fence. Naturally I had plans for the wood (spoons and sundry).

However, when I came to remove it, I found hard green fruits much too large to be sloes.



I found one fruit that had started to get some pinky/red blush on it and cut it open to check it was really a plum. Despite being very firm, I tasted it and it was surprisingly sweet and tangy so I ate the whole thing. All the others I noticed were still completely green.




Immediately after cutting, the thickest part of the trunk was somewhat orangey, which has darkened considerably since (unpictured):





I'm not a great botanist but also don't like to be pointed at http://lmgtfy.com so I did a certain amount of due diligence and came up with two possibilities. I assumed it was some kind of Prunus, and initially thought it was White or Golden Bullace (the fruit look very much like the ones pictures on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullace) but then it specifically says "distinguishable from the sloe by its broader leaves and small number or complete absence of spines." and there were a reasonable number of spines.

Alternatively, I thought it could be a Cherry Plum (Prunus cerasifera) but the fruits of that tree look too red when ripe.

I'm not entirely sure why it matters so much to me, since my main interest in it is the wood; which looks like it should be very nice to carve. Just inherently a bit retentive, I suppose.

Thanks in advance for looking.
 

Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,115
266
69
SE Wales
That's what we call a Mirabelle in these parts, and ours come in both yellow and red varieties, they're at exactly the same stage as that which you show just now. Prunus is a really strange one to I.D., as different parts of the UK have different names for the likes of these, Bullace especially is a nightmare as every part of the country seems to have it's own definition for the name. The other thing is that Prunus will readily hybridise, and does so regularly so you see all sorts of crosses that aren't in the books and then you never see them again.

But they're all delicious in one form or another and good for you as well :)
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,389
876
63
Florida
..... Prunus is a really strange one to I.D., as different parts of the UK have different names for the likes of these, Bullace especially is a nightmare as every part of the country seems to have it's own definition for the name.....
Not any better here. we tend to use the words Bullace, Scuppernong, and Muscadine interchangeably depending on region or even from one family to another.

The tree pictured looks a lot like our cherry trees. When a bit bigger than pictured they make great fence posts.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,276
1,376
McBride, BC
To me, the horizontal, brownish lenticels on the outer bark surface mean Prunus sp. (plums & cherries).
Very appetizing plum to see, as well. I guess no more fruit, huh?
Forgive me: Looking at the wood pile, my first thought was to wonder how many BBQ loads of smoke wood I could expect from that!
 

Tengu

Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
10,771
410
47
Wiltshire
Some sort of decorative but still edible plum family?

Where my home is the council have planted loads and the fruit are all colours.
 

mrcharly

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 25, 2011
3,246
33
North Yorkshire, UK

Giantwalks

Member
Jul 26, 2016
41
0
Planet Earth
www.justgiving.com
Gosh - that's awful.
Are there restrictions on importing them?
No, there are no restrictions, but the imported plant would survive about a year, maybe two, and then it will die because plants normally need about 4-5 years to get a resistence against some infections. It´s a huge problem worldwide because each and every day thousands of new breedings apear on planet earth. Some are good, some defenitely not. It´s all about consuming alot and quick. The banana is such a plant. On planet earth you wont find a natural banana anymore. Maybe in the rainforest. But all the bananas you can buy are genetically engineered because of one tiny virus. That´s the reason for the existence of the Laboratory of tropical crop improvement in Leuven/Belgium. There they have seeds of all banana-sorts worldwide. Whenever the virus destroyed a plantain, the farmers take a new banana-sort from Leuven. (fu... I have to improve my english)
 

Ferret75

Full Member
Sep 7, 2014
447
2
Derbyshire
My brother has a similar tree growing at his new home, but it appears to be a commercial type as it looks to be grafted to a rootstock. The fruits are of a similar size shape and green colour at the moment and they are in tight clusters close to the branch grouped around the spurs. Some branches have pseudo spines with some similarities to sloes, but no-where near as vicious! They don't hang like a damson does and are much rounder with a large stone at the centre. As someone mentioned above, we think it's a hybrid, especially as some of the older gardens nearby have both damson and plum trees in them... We're patiently waiting for the mystery fruit to ripen so we can 'test' them... all in the name of investigative botany, obviously!!


Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
 

badoosh

Tenderfoot
Mar 22, 2015
79
0
manchester
Looks like a cherry plum,loads near me the building company planted when they built new houses. They come in all shapes,sizes and colours and white blossom early on in the year. Make nice jam. I cut a few sticks from them and the wood seemed to have a red tinge to it.
 

Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
4,495
1,190
55
W.Sussex
Looks like a cherry plum,loads near me the building company planted when they built new houses. They come in all shapes,sizes and colours and white blossom early on in the year. Make nice jam. I cut a few sticks from them and the wood seemed to have a red tinge to it.
The purple leaved varieties can have a very pink tinge to the wood. They're everywhere round here and I also call them Mirabelle plums, though a true Mirabelle is yellow. They make excellent eating, and are closely related to the greengage.
 
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