Development of new plum varieties has lagged behind that of apples and cherries, but Avalon is an excellent example of how growers are starting to improve on the traditional English Victoria plum. The flavor for eating fresh is far superior to Victoria, and although cropping is not quite as heavy as Victoria when the tree is young, once it reaches full size it is still a very respectable cropper.
The flesh is firm and sweet with some tanginess. The stone separates fairly cleanly from the flesh.
Unusually for a plum that is so good for eating fresh, Avalon is also an excellent culinary plum. Avalon plum jam has a deep blue/purple hue with a strong sweet flavor. The plums can be picked slightly underripe for use in puddings, when they are a pale red color, or wait until they are darker red and fully ripe for eating fresh.
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Avalon produces a strong-growing tree, generally healthy and not requiring much attention. It is partially self-fertile but benefits from another compatible plum tree nearby.
Avalon flowers quite early, so make sure you are not planting in an area prone to late frosts.
Disease-resistance appears to be generally good.
Advice on fruit tree pollination.
Avalon was developed by R. Jones at East Malling Research, in Kent, and released in 1989. It is a seedling of Reeves, an old and well-regarded English plum variety. The same breeding programme also led to another useful plum variety called Excalibur which was released at the same time.