Sunday, 6 April 2014

Super-sweet heirloom Gage tree makes a comeback

Often described as a Gage flavoured Plum variety, this delectable small fruit has been pleasing connoisseurs for over 80 years.
The small, circular golden yellow fruits ripen at their leisure during August and are usually the most eagerly awaited of all the summer stone fruits. The soft, juicy yellow flesh has a distinct taste that has been likened to apricot and is absolutely divine eaten straight from the tree. They also make wonderful preserves or pies. Often the golden skin colour becomes speckled with fine crimson dots, especially as the fruit ripens fully.
This variety is self fertile so can be grown on it’s own and makes a fairly small easily managed tree which might make it sound easy to grow. In many ways it is, but this is not a variety you would grow in the North, or in a frost pocket. It prefers a warm situation to do well and is often afforded the luxury of a sunny wall.
This treasured old variety is now being offered as a modern space-saving columnar tree which means it can be grown in just 2' of garden space and is also ideal for containers or planted by a walkway. The slender, compact form bears fruits along the full length of stem, which can be maintained easily at around 6' in height. Coes Golden Drop Gage tree can also be grown as a traditional standard tree for an orchard or grassy setting.

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