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  • Wanting tomato answers, kinda technical

    I've been raising a certain type of tomato for about 25 years, got the seeds from a member of Seed Savers approx. 1985. Now I notice on different sites on the internet they have a type called Climbing Triple L, supposed to be a heirloom, described as acidic, growing 15 to 20 feet tall. Anyhow the ones I grow are called triple climbers and they are very different. They can grow very tall as long as you can tie them up, but the leaves are different. Mine are bigger with smooth edges (I've only seen a picture of the Climbing Triple L). Also the triple climbers are a sweet and very large tomato with very few seeds. I have kept the bloodline pure although I think they have acclimated to growing here in Fairbanks, Alaska. Would this be just two different varieties with similar names? Or could there be something else going on?

  • #2
    I have no idea what that could be, but I grew Bangladesh heart and it was a vine-like climber. Being a heart type, it had very little seeds and on the sweet side. Fruits were mostly one lb range.

    dcarch

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    • #3
      It could be the Bangladesh heart, maybe that's the original bloodline. I'm almost kinda sure though that these triple climbers I grow are the same ones that were kind of a popular breed approx. 1900-1940, then the seed catalogs dropped them, maybe they lost popularity or something. But I've talked to gardeners in their 90's and I've never heard of the now popular climbing triple L. Anyhow regardless I'll never give up on these plants. Do you know much about tomatoes getting acclimated to certain areas? I think I've got these acclimated to Fairbanks, AK. Seems like they have really toughened up over the years.

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      • #4
        What's the fruit color of your Triple Climbers. Ami

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        • #5
          I pulled out my 1992 SSE YeEarbook and can only find a variety called Climber, which is med sized pink potato leaf variety. And the leaf form you describe is PL.

          Triple L Crop is also described as a a large pink PL variety in later Yearbooks which apprently originated in the early 1980's with possibly Porter Seeds.

          I have some earlier Yearbooks and can look in the 85 and 84 for you, but I'd really need, roughly, the state of the person you got the seeds from if you can remember it, b'c prior to 1986 tomato varieties weren't listed by color as they are now, rather, varieties for everything were listed by US state and within that state alphabtically by SSE code and it's horrible trying to trace down almost anything.

          With a quick look at some early 1990 Yearbooks I didn't see anything listed as Triple Climbers but I have a hunch that the variety Climber I saw in the 1992 Yearbook might be what you have unless you're absolutely sure yours was called Triple Climber and not just Climber.

          Hope that helps a bit.

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          • #6
            I'd like to lean toward the Pink Climber, same potato leaves but the ones I grow have the red fruit and beef heart, or maybe even more beefy than a beef heart, very few seeds and sweet flavor. The fruit can be cluster-like or round and sometimes very large, the fruit isn't consistent size or shape, also these plants put on a lot of fruit. From what research I've done the original Triple Climber had pink fruit though. The person I got these from was from California and she called them Triple Climbers. strange thing is when I first started growing these tomatoes they were less deep red, maybe growing them this far north had something to do with it. I'm sure they have acclimated and are very resistant to cold weather. I've tried to keep them pure but they might have cross pollinated with the triple L (Giant tree). It could be a vague possibility.

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            • #7
              Triple Climber goes back further than SSE. It was sold in my grandfathers old gardening magazines (which he stopped getting in the late 70's). he had seed but didnt grow it much because it went every where. I grew it one time in North Carolina. It was as you described. It wasn't productive in that climate so I never bothered with it again.

              As with many heirlooms, I think it's a variety that got passed around and renamed. Some, like you, probably kept it more pure than others and didnt rename it. Other's simply renamed it because they forgot or passed it on to someone else who renamed it. While others might have got it crossed but the major habit type didnt changed.

              I've also seen this same exact "type" called "Italian Climber" (complete with embellished story about coming from the "Old Country") or something similar. Lattice or Ladder tomato (because one could grow it up lattice on a house or needed a ladder to pick them) are also referenced in old garden books. These are probably from the same original source that has been long forgotten but over time slightly different traits have been selected - like Giant Tree etc.

              You should just keep calling it what you have and continue to save it as you know it. If you can take pictures of the leaves and fruit so that can be passed on. That way someone else in the future will know and not rename it something else.

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              • #8
                Triple Climber goes back further than SSE

                ****

                Absolutely, as do many many varieties. I can only tell when a variety was first listed in the SSE YEarbooks and many times there's info that does go back to which company first introduced a variety or where a variety originated from and when I do get a chance, and remember, I'll try to dig out that 1985 Yearbook referred to and see what I can find for fishfly.

                And these days there's a lot more info on the net about past histories of tomato varieties than there ever was before, and I mean back to the early 80's when I first got interested in such histories. Before that, when I was a kid, the man from Harris seeds came to the house and my father ordered stuff like Valiant and New Yorker and Marglobe and the like and all I knew were the names, which didn't interest me at the time.

                And fishfly, I'm thinking of your name and the arrival today of my brother who now lives in NC. He's a fairly well known bamboo rod maker and ties his own flies and I know he'll stop by here to sleep at night on the sofa sleeper andmake his AM coffee but will be out there trout fishing most of the time.

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                • #9
                  Climber Tomato vs Tree Tomato

                  What relationship exists between Climber types and Tree types? Oltv mentions "Italian Climber," which makes me think of the highly touted "Italian Tree" tomato on Gary Ibsen's site.

                  How are these types related? Could they be the same?


                  John

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lamb Abbey Orchards View Post
                    What relationship exists between Climber types and Tree types? Oltv mentions "Italian Climber," which makes me think of the highly touted "Italian Tree" tomato on Gary Ibsen's site.

                    How are these types related? Could they be the same?


                    John
                    http://victoryseeds.com/catalog/vege...mato_pink.html

                    Here's a link from Victory Seeds which should take you to the page where New Big Dwarf is described. Click on the red link that says tree type to find out what a true tree type should be.

                    Folks named varieties climbers and similar just b'c for them the vines were long. But they aren't tree types at all.

                    There'a variety I've grown called Giant Tree which is a typical tomato variety with an indeterminate plant habit that's nothing outstanding at all. And there are other tomato varieties that have tree as part of their name that aren't true tree types either, as they were originally defined ala France as described in the red link.

                    YOu also post at Tville and I remember that definitions for a dwarf plant, tree type or not as opposed to others is also part of that Dwarf Project Forum.

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                    • #11
                      Climbing Triple L ???? This can't be right. That implies Climbing LLL and Triple L is redundant, and not the intended meaning of Trip L crop. There fore the correct nomenclature should be:
                      Climbing Trip-L-Crop


                      I remember the Burgess seed catalog carrying this when I was a kid and I remember this variety involved in my breeding work about 40 years or more ago. I knew what they meant by Climbing Trip-L-Crop----a late tall growing plant that if given the opportunity would triple the yield of earlier varieties. Tomatoes were always called vines, therefore, any tomato growing tall was a vine and must be a climber if it grew up and up for a long season and the idea of such a tall vine implied a triple crop of tomatoes. Hah!

                      I've been raising a certain type of tomato for about 25 years, got the seeds from a member of Seed Savers approx. 1985. Now I notice on different sites on the internet they have a type called Climbing Triple L, supposed to be a heirloom, described as acidic, growing 15 to 20 feet tall. Anyhow the ones I grow are called triple climbers and they are very different. They can grow very tall as long as you can tie them up, but the leaves are different. Mine are bigger with smooth edges (I've only seen a picture of the Climbing Triple L). Also the triple climbers are a sweet and very large tomato with very few seeds. I have kept the bloodline pure although I think they have acclimated to growing here in Fairbanks, Alaska. Would this be just two different varieties with similar names? Or could there be something else going on?
                      I always thought of them as a potato leaf Ponderosa type tomato, and had thought somebody was hyping the name despite a true variety name somewhere in the background. It seemed that advertising the Climbing Trip L crop name made dollar sense.

                      Anytime someone keeps a variety isolated from others for an extended time, the tomato variety should be considered unique in many ways. I remember a person came up to me and an nearly retired tomato breeder from one of the major seed companies and asked if a variety was kept separate by two different people or organizations, is it the same variety? We both answered, No!

                      Things happen over time; records get messed up, small changes from single seed descent or bulk populations, chance admixtures through cross pollination of similar clones, small mutations, etc. I would say that 25 years puts you in the category of a distinct collection. Any seed sent out should, in my opinion, have a notation of origin.

                      As a plant breeder, I have deep respect for varieties grown in a particular region for a long time. Acquired characteristics, adaptation, bottle necking of the germplasm, small mutations, elimination of the original bulk population diversity, the template of Fairbanks, Alaska growing conditions is a valid point of identity.

                      I would propose a point of verity; namely, a side by side grow out of two or more strains of the Climbing Trip L Crop
                      clones. A test hybrid of the different lines and a grow out of the seed for a couple of generations would/should/could exhibit some diversity if, in fact, there is genetic drift, etc.

                      Tom Wagner

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tom Wagner View Post
                        Anytime someone keeps a variety isolated from others for an extended time, the tomato variety should be considered unique in many ways. I remember a person came up to me and an nearly retired tomato breeder from one of the major seed companies and asked if a variety was kept separate by two different people or organizations, is it the same variety? We both answered, No!

                        Things happen over time; records get messed up, small changes from single seed descent or bulk populations, chance admixtures through cross pollination of similar clones, small mutations, etc. I would say that 25 years puts you in the category of a distinct collection. Any seed sent out should, in my opinion, have a notation of origin.

                        As a plant breeder, I have deep respect for varieties grown in a particular region for a long time. Acquired characteristics, adaptation, bottle necking of the germplasm, small mutations, elimination of the original bulk population diversity, the template of Fairbanks, Alaska growing conditions is a valid point of identity.
                        Let's say a gardener acquired Green Zebra seeds from TaterMater Seed catalog in 1983, and subsequently grew the variety continuously until 2009 from seeds he saved out of his garden. Let's say this man's garden included several other tomato varieties each year as well.

                        Let's say this tomato, grown in isolation and consecutively for 25 years appears by just casual observation to be basically the same as when he first grew it summer of 1984 ... I mean from an amateur gardener's perspective. What then should he call his independently evolved variety today in 2009 to indicate it as a distinct collection?

                        I mean, what example of a name might be appropriate to note the distinction between his 2009 tomato and the one he bought seeds for in 1983?

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                        • #13
                          Thanks everyone for the information, its give me a lot to think about. I've been wondering about these things for years, its nice to get this much detailed information.When I first started growing this verity tomatoes in Fairbanks they were very delicate towards cold and the 21 plus hour sunlight, now their tough as nails, I dont even bother covering them up on cold nights, they can take it down to 35 degrees. I've always got a lot of green tomatoes on them when the hard freeze comes, sometimes they will make it through a couple of lite frosts, it usually just gets a fiew leafs. The green tomatos ripen ok indoors after being picked and from what I can tell still retain their flavor. thanks again

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by FISHFLY View Post
                            Thanks everyone for the information, its give me a lot to think about. I've been wondering about these things for years, its nice to get this much detailed information.When I first started growing this verity tomatoes in Fairbanks they were very delicate towards cold and the 21 plus hour sunlight, now their tough as nails, I dont even bother covering them up on cold nights, they can take it down to 35 degrees. I've always got a lot of green tomatoes on them when the hard freeze comes, sometimes they will make it through a couple of lite frosts, it usually just gets a fiew leafs. The green tomatos ripen ok indoors after being picked and from what I can tell still retain their flavor. thanks again
                            I tried to send you a P m tonite Please contact me. E-mail billrogers33@bellsouth .net Thanks Bill

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