Oullins Gage Plums: Tips For Growing Oullins Gages

By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

The difference between a plum and a gage plum is described as drinking the fruit rather than eating it. Seven or eight gage plums are known, with the French Oullins gage tree being the oldest. Prunus domestica ‘Oullins Gage’ produces scrumptious fruit, golden and large for the type. You may wonder what is an Oullins gage? It is a European type of plum, called a gage or green gage.

Oullins Gage Information

This tree was first documented in Oullins, for which it is named, near Lyon, France. Oullins gage information indicates that the European trees grow readily in the U.S. if you can find them. This specimen was first marketed in 1860.

The fruit is described as exquisite and ambrosial. It is ready for harvest in mid-August and is exceptional for eating fresh, culinary endeavors, and desserts. If you’re interested in growing Oullins gage plums, you’ll have your own exquisite gage fruit.

Growing Oullins Gages

This specimen is most often grafted onto a St Julian rootstock. Care of the European gage is somewhat different than that of the Japanese plum.

Before planting, remove wild plums that may grow in your landscape. This helps avoid the spread of disease. Gage plums are susceptible to brown rot, a fungal disease that affects stone fruits. Plant your new Oullins gage in full sun and loamy, moist soil amended with compost. Don’t plant in a low-lying area where frost may settle. Plant so the graft union is an inch (2.5 cm.) above the soil.

Pruning is essential for all plum and gage trees and the Oullins are no exception. Like other fruit trees, prune this one to keep a single liter (1 qt.). Gages bear on one-year-old shoots as well as older spurs. They require less pruning than Japanese plums. When pruning, take off young shoots. Spurs and shoots with a heavy fruit set must be thinned to avoid breakage; however, a heavy fruit-set is unusual on this tree.

Gage trees actually take care of their own thinning, by dropping fruit in spring. If this happens with your tree, keep in mind it is a normal action. Follow the fruit drop by hand-thinning each fruit to three to four inches (7.5 to 10 cm.) away from the next. This encourages larger fruits that taste even better.

Harvest the Oullins gage when some fruits are soft, generally in mid to late August. European gage fruits are best when allowed to ripen on the tree, but may also be picked just as they’re turning soft. If you harvest this way, allow them to ripen in a cool place.

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Oullins Plum Tree

One of the largest and most attractive of the Gage Plum family, Oullins Plum is a reliable and productive variety and a delicious, late summer treat. Oullins Plum delectable fruit has firm, sweet and tender, greenish-yellow flesh with pale gold skin.

One of the largest and most attractive of the Gage Plum family, Oullins Plum is a reliable and productive variety and a delicious, late summer treat. Oullins Plum delectable fruit has firm, sweet and tender, greenish-yellow flesh with pale gold skin.

Latin Name: Prunus x domestica
Site and Soil: Plums like 1/2 day to full sun and well-drained soil.
Rootstock Description: A semi-dwarf rootstock for Plums and other stone fruits, Marianna produces trees 10′-12′ in height or less.
Pollination Requirements: Oullins is partially self-fertile. Plant with another European variety like Nichols Plum for the best crops.
Hardiness: Plums are hardy to minus 30°F.
Bearing Age: 2-3 years after planting
Size at Maturity: 10-12 ft. in height.
Bloom Time: Late March
Ripening Time: Mid-August
Yield: 50+ lbs.
Pests & Diseases: Our plums are not bothered by pests. Bacterial Canker can occasionally damage trunks or branches. Symptoms of this disease are exudations of amber-colored sap. Spraying lime-sulfur or copper in the fall and early spring can help control Bacterial Canker.
USDA Zone: 4
Sunset Western Zone: 2-12, 14-18
Sunset Northeast Zone: Not stated

Cambridge Gage

Availability: In stock Out of stock

Produces the classic Greengage fruit. An excellent rich flavoured gage. Medium sized round fruits with yellow green bloomy skin and yellow flesh. Sweet and juicy. Partially self fertile.

Picking time – mid August Pollination group – D

Count Althan’s Gage

Availability: In stock Out of stock

A fine quality gage. The large fruits have a purple skin over a yellow background with lots of golden dots and a thick bloom. The golden yellow flesh is sweet, juicy and of good flavour. The round oval stone comes away from flesh almost free. Fruits mid August.

Originated in Czech republic in 1860 and introduced into the UK via Belguim by River’s Nursery, Herts by 1867. A reliable cropper, it is not self fertile requiring a pollinator.

Picking time – mid August Pollination group – D

Jefferson’s Gage

Availability: In stock Out of stock

Fruiting from late august the Gages are yellow green skinned with red russet dots with a long faint suture from top to bottom. The flesh is golden yellow, sweet and of good flavour. A Gage that originated in the US around 1825 and is named after an American president. Rootstock: St Julien A. Now sold out

Picking time – late August Pollination group – B

Coe’s Golden Drop

Availability: In stock Out of stock

An excellent late Gage picked from mid September and extending the plum picking season. Large in size, with golden yellow skin and red spots and lines. The golden yellow flesh is juicy sweet and of rich flavour. Requires pollination. Raised first in Suffolk in late 1700s Rootstock: St Julien A

Picking time – mid September Pollination group – B

Oullins Gage Information – How To Grow An Oullins Gage Tree - garden

Fruit trees for sale | Gage Trees.

Blackmoor Nursery is one of very few Nurseries in the UK offering gardeners the opportunity to buy Gage fruit trees direct from our Nursery.

All orders are despatched in one delivery. If your order contains both bare root and container grown plants then we can only despatch when all plants are ready.

Any Bare Root Gage fruit trees - Availability means available for supply from Nov-May.

Any Container grown Gage fruit trees - Availability means available for supply now.

How tall will my Gage tree grow?

A guide to choosing the right size. Fruit trees are grafted onto rootstocks. Rootstocks come in 5 sizes (2 for Gages) see the chart below, all of our trees are labelled using these codes.

VVA-1 - Rootstock for Gage trees.
Dwarf 2.5 metres when mature. The new dwarfing rootstock for Plum trees that has replaced Pixy.

St Julien A (SJA) - Rootstock for Gage trees.
Semi dwarfing, Approximate height 3.5-4 metres when mature.

Bare Root = Field grown trees that have been freshly lifted and supplied with no soil around the roots. Only available during the dormant period November-April
10 Litre = Container grown and can be planted all year round. The size refers to the number of litres of compost that the container holds.
1 Year Maiden = A one year old tree and the size depends on the variety but in general they will be 125cm in height and will have some side branches.
2 Year Bush = A two year old tree that has been pruned back in the first winter to form a bush shape. Generally trees will be 140-160cm in height with multiple side branches. This height guide is an end of summer height.


Fruitgrowers handbook

Delivery charges

Collection - If you would like to collect your trees then use this option. Note the collection is from the Wholesale Nursery office between Monday-Friday only. Please allow 1 working days for your order to be processed prior to collection date.

We are not a Garden Centre or retail Nursery. Orders can be placed via our website and the collection option can be selected at the checkout. Your order will then be ready for you to collect during our normal opening hours which are Monday-Friday 07.30-16.30. Our plants are grown in fields that can be 2 miles away from our office so it is not possible to just turn up and select your own trees.

Delivery Charges - The delivery charge is worked out from the weight and the size of the plant. We have several rates that apply to UK mainland addresses. A delivery charge of £8.95 is for all single tree orders. £10.00 if more than one tree except in the case of the Espalier and Fan trained trees where this charge is a maximum of £40.00. The lower postal rates range from £2.80 - £5.70, will be applied to smaller orders of the lighter plants like currants, raspberries, gooseberries, blackberries, asparagus and strawberries although larger orders will go into the £10.00 rate. Once you have put together your order the delivery charge will show before payment. All orders are despatched in one delivery.

To take advantage of a promotional code or gift voucher this must be entered into the redeem code box at the checkout. Discounts cannot be given once an order is completed and any codes have not been used.

Gage Reine-Claude Oullins Patio 4.5L Pot

Introducing – the world’s first truly compact ‘Patio Green Gage’ – now you can pick delicious crops of full sized fruits for decades to come, right from your patio or balcony!

If you have ever tasted old-fashioned greengage fruits, which the French call ‘Reine-Claudes’, you will know how wonderfully tasty and juicy they are. In fact, some would say they are the tastiest fruits you can produce! Available now for the first time in specially developed compact ‘Patio’ form you can grow them as the perfect patio fruit tree for smaller gardens that can be accommodated in as little as 3ft x 3ft! Developed by renowned British fruit grower and ‘Grafter’ William Sibley, this is the marriage of the perfect dwarfing rootstock which ensures it never exceeds 4ft tall, with the truly scrumptious ‘Reine-Claude’ fruits!.

Their sweet late-summer fruits are some of the most delicious you can grow - looking like an unripe plum perhaps, they are packed with an intense flavour not found in regular plum varieties. They are so well loved in gastronomic France, the arrival of the first picked fruits is a reason for celebration in many parts of the country! Best eaten fresh in our opinion, you can also cook with them to make great flavour-packed jellies, tarts, jams, and sauces.

As garden trees, they are very good ‘doers’, meaning they are no-nonsense great performers…. They have the most beautiful spring blossom to kick off the year. A very hardy tree indeed, and partially self-fertile, you can increase crops by growing near peaches and nectarines, or using an artist's paintbrush from flower to flower when in blossom. You might get limited fruit in the year of receipt, but should expect bumper-crops in the second or third season after planting.

This little beauty is destined to stay small, so works well in a big pot on the patio or terrace. The variety has been grafted onto a very dwarfing rootstock that was discovered by William Sibley in the former Soviet Union!! Grab yours while it’s still in stock!

Watch the video: Plum and Greengage Heaven

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