University of Illinois Extension

Plums

Plums

Plums will grow in Illinois, but European types are suggested over Japanese types and hybrids for northern Illinois. Select varieties that are winter hardy, and have some bacterial leaf spot resistance. Most European plum varieties are grafted on Myrobalan rootstocks, some on Sand Cherry rootstocks, and St. Julian A dwarfing rootstocks. Planting and care for plums is similar to cherries. Prune mature European plum trees sparingly. Suggested varieties include 'Stanley,' 'Dietz,' 'Yellow Egg,' 'Bluefre,' 'Green Gage' ('Reine Claude'), and 'Damson' ('Shropshire'). Plant any two of these European types for cross-pollination. The most serious problem on plums in Illinois is black knot disease, which is difficult to control. European type plums will not cross-pollinate Japanese type plums. Japanese type plums can be grown in central and southern parts of the state but not in northern Illinois as they are less winter hardy. Japanese plums are grafted on Myrobalan and semi-dwarf Marianna rootstocks. They require more severe pruning than European type plums and the center of the tree need to be open. The suggested varieties include 'Methley,' and 'Ozark Premier.'

Small Fruit Crops for the Backyard - University of Illinois Extension