First of all I just joined this forum by the advice of rphcfb14 on the Houzz forum. I haven’t liked of that new forum there since it switched over from GardenWeb. In the past I always got great advice from many of the fruit experts on there when I lived in TN, and then moved back to Indiana. Everyone was always so helpful and informative and now so glad I found you all here. I posted last year on the Garden Web forum and got some great advice and help! My sweet cherry trees and sour cherries were losing leaves and wilting here in Northern Indiana. Thanks to the great advice I found out that the culprit was aphids. Nailed the problem with the help from some great people on there at the time, but think I was too late on a couple of my trees. Well the trees were so stressed I lost over the winter my 10 year old Rainer, a Lapins, and a Montmorency cherry. Now I am replacing two of them by switching to plums, not sure if they will be any easier than cherries, but giving them a try. Have a Black Ice plum and a Bubblegum/Toka for cross pollination. Any advice on how to handle and nurture the plums would be appreciated. In addition I would love some advice how to keep the pest’s at bay on all of my fruit trees- one Sweet Cherry Rainer left, a Windsor, and a dwarf sour cherry North Star, apples-Pink Sugar, Mutsu, Fuji, and Florina. Again would love to hear what your strategy is to keep the tree’s healthy and free from disease and pests. Do you all have a regime you follow every year? Just wondering. Thanks in advance and again glad to have found you and be here.
Plums aren’t easy either but I personally think they are easier than cherries, definitely easier than sweet cherries. Biggest thing I think is choosing varieties that are good for your area and are not overly susceptible to disease. Japanese plums seem to be easier than euro varieties on the whole, at least they are here.
I think Z5 might be pushing it for many varieties, but there should be some that will work.
Many Euros will be ok.
Biggest thing aside from disease is protecting from Plum Curculio. That is by far the biggest pest of plums. Borers are an issue, but not all the time…pc is always around and is always an issue when not sprayed for.
You have not gotten a lot of answers could be that you asked specifically about plum and about Black Ice and Toka plum. Black Ice is quite new. Not sure how many grow Black Ice ot Toka. More People here grow and like Superior, Santa Rosa, Satsuma.
Like Appleseed, I think peach and plum are not easy. I am in the east coast. Apple and pear are a lot easier, both Asian and Euro, choose the ones with disease resistance.
As for a spraying program, you need to spray insecticide and fungicide for plum. If you search this forum, there are several threads that describe what products and ways people use to spray.
I’m located in KS/MO. Here the biggest issue with Asian plums and their hybrids are that they bloom too early.
I used to grow lots of asian/hybrid plums but realized they weren’t very reliable in my area. Eventually I switched to Euro plums.
They bloom later than peaches, just before most apples, which tends to make them late enough that frosts don’t affect them to the same extent.
Supposedly Euro plums are a bit more susc. to black knot and brown rot, but I haven’t seen it here with my spray program.
In general, I’ve found plums easier to grow than cherry trees. Cherry trees are more susc. to collapse from bac. spot.
In terms of keeping pests off of fruit trees, for most home owners the best strategy is to kill the pests. This is most effectively done by spraying a good insecticide repeatedly. Of course there are other methods including barrier methods (i.e. Surround, bagging).