Summer 2022We are now accepting pre-orders for delivery from September onwards for pot-grown trees and December onwards for bare-rooted trees.
Orange Pippin Trees UK logo

Old Green Gage plum trees

Prunus domestica
Old Green Gage
Old Green Gage is listed in the RHS Plants for Pollinators
The definitive gage - Old Green Gage is arguably the best-flavoured of any plum variety.

Old Green Gage plum trees for sale

Pot-grown

All pot-grown trees are suitable for planting out in the garden, some are suitable for growing in containers.

  • PG12-year bush-trained 12L pot-grown tree VVA-1 rootstock £55.00
    Medium tree (2m-3m after 10 years)
  • PG22-year bush-trained 12L pot-grown tree St. Julien rootstock £54.00
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
  • PG3Premium half-standard 12L pot-grown tree St. Julien rootstock £56.00
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
  • PG4Fan-trained 12L pot-grown tree St. Julien rootstock £85.00
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
    Contact us

Bare-root

  • BR11-year bare-root tree VVA-1 rootstock £34.75
    Medium tree (2m-3m after 10 years)
  • BR22-year bush-trained bare-root tree VVA-1 rootstock £43.50
    Medium tree (2m-3m after 10 years)
  • BR31-year bare-root tree Wavit rootstock £32.95
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
  • BR41-year bare-root tree St. Julien rootstock £32.50
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
  • BR52-year bush-trained bare-root tree St. Julien rootstock £41.50
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
  • BR62-year half-standard bare-root tree St. Julien rootstock £46.00
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
  • BR71-year bare-root tree Brompton rootstock £34.50
    Very large tree (4m-7m after 10 years)
Next deliveries

Pre-order now for delivery from September onwards for pot grown trees or December for bare-root trees and mixed orders.

Delivery charges

Delivery for a single tree starts at £9.95. It is calculated when you add trees to your basket, based on your postcode.

Old Green Gage is the definitive "gage", and often considered the best flavoured of any plum variety.

It is described by Victorian fruit enthusiast Robert Hogg as "tender, melting, and very juicy, with a rich, sugary and most delicious flavour", whilst H.V. Taylor in 'The Plums of England' (1949) rates it as "For all purposes unsurpassed".

Taylor also mentions the "light and uncertain" crops which is the main horticultural issue with Old Green Gage - although in our experience cropping can be good once the tree is established. In any case this is a small price to pay for such excellence of flavour.

Compared to the attractive colouring of most plums, the appearance of Old Green Gage plums are fairly plain dull green colour, turning slightly yellow when ripe. However this is one that you grow for flavour - for eating fresh it is exceptional.

 

How to grow

The gages are more fussy in their growing requirements than other plums and Old Greengage is no exception.  It is worth remembering that the natural home of most gages is France and Italy - so for more northerly climates such as the UK you need to choose a sunny sheltered spot in the garden for the best results. Fan-training on a south-facing wall is also a good option.

However although it likes a warm sunny summer, Old Green Gage is surprisingly hardy and will tolerate cold winter weather.

Old Greengage is generally considered partially self-fertile but having another pollination partner nearby will definitely help to improve cropping. Old Greengage can be pollinated by most other plum and gage varieties.

If the tree sets a lot of fruit after a good spring, be sure to thin the fruitlets, otherwise the plums will be small and have less flavour.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

History

Old Green Gage has a fascinating history. The gages are usually included within the European plum species Prunus domestica, but are nevertheless a distinct sub-group, being smaller and more spherical, and usually green or yellow in colour. They have been cultivated in France since the Middle Ages, having been introduced from Italy. In France the many different varieties of green-skinned gages are known collectively as "Reine Claude" after Queen Claude, the wife of Francis I who ruled France from 1515 to 1547. Old Green Gage is believed to be the same variety as the French Grosse Reine Claude.

It is generally thought that Old Green Gage was introduced to England from France in the 18th century by Sir William Gage, who lived at Bury St. Edmunds and obtained a tree from his brother who was a priest living in Paris. As a result of his promotion of this new variety all green plums tend to be known as "Gages" in the UK. However, whilst Sir William is undoubtedly responsible for the English name, and the Old Green Gage in particular, there is some evidence that his was in fact a re-introduction of a variety already widely grown in England known as Verdoch, which may have come to England from Italy in the Middle Ages.

Old Green Gage characteristics

Growing

  • Gardening skillExperienced
  • Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
  • Flowering group3
  • Pollinating othersAverage
  • PloidyDiploid
  • Climate suitabilityTemperate climates
  • WildlifeRHS Plants for Pollinators

Using

  • Picking seasonLate
  • CroppingGood
  • Keeping (of fruit)1-3 days
  • Food usesEating fresh
  • Flavour style (apples)Sweeter

Problems

  • Disease resistancePoor
  • Fruit splittingSome susceptibility

Identification

  • Country of originFrance
  • Period of origin1550 - 1599
  • Fruit colourGreen

Pages you viewed


    Trees for sale


    Advice pages


    Tree selection tools