Common name: Plum and prune
Plum is the vernacular name given to deciduous trees of the species Prunus domestica L. (European plums), P. salicinus Lindl. (Japanese plums) Rosaceae), to their hybrids, as well as to their fruit. The European plum, which is of east European or western Asian provenance, is the major provider of commercial varieties. The fruit is usually round, green, yellow to red and blue, and some varieties are grown for prunes (dried plums). The Japanese plum is of Chinese origin, the trees require less chilling than the European varieties, leading to their early blooming. The fruit is oblong or heart-shaped and never blue.
Plums are best grown on slightly-sloping, well-drained soils, the European varieties doing better on heavy soils, the Japanese on lighter soils. Due to their uneven ripening plums require more than a single picking, which, as the fruit skin is very thin, is mostly by hand; the hardier prunes can be mechanically harvested. The fruit should immediately be cooled and packed in soft materials that prolong its life by delaying moisture loss. Plums are mostly consumed fresh, with a small portion going to beverages, extracts, wines, jams and canning. The annual world crop of plums came to about 9,300.000 tons in the year 2002, the major producers being the former USSR, USA, China and Romania. By the year 2004 Israel had almost 2,200 hectares planted to peaches.
Plum pests in the Middle East
Anonymous, 2003. FAO Production Yearbook for 2002 # 56. FAO, Rome, Italy.
Anonymous, 2003. Statistical Abstract of Israel # 54. Central Bureau of Statistics, Jerusalem.
Bhutani, V.P. and Joshi, V.K. 1995. Plum. In: Salunkhe, D.K. and Kadam, S.S. (Eds.), Handbook of Fruit Science and Technology, Production, Composition, Storage and Processing, pp. 203-241. Marcel Dekker, New York.
Cohen, M. (Ed.) A Guide to Integrated Pest Management of Stone Fruits in Israel. Pest Identification, Monitoring and Treatment Thresholds. Fruit Board of Israel (in Hebrew).