Plums in the upper Midwest

Fri. Aug. 26, 2016

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Plums in the upper Midwest

oh sure, they’re okay tasting.  Even sometimes they’re quite good but plums in the upper Midwest have never really matched those in California…  until recently!

The University of Minnesota Extension wrote a great article about this new plum developed by Dr. Brian Smith at the University of Wisconsin/River Falls.  Lydecker/BlackIce Plum This plum is hardy to zone 3 and is comparable to a California plum!  It is infertile so it will need a pollinator such as ‘Toka’ (which comes highly recommended) or ‘Alderman’ or  ‘Compass’.  You need a plum that flowers at the same time.  Do NOT spray insecticides while your plum is blooming or the bees will not come to pollinate.

BlackIce™ was bred from a flavorful Californian plum (Z’s Blue Giant) and a winter hardy plum (Oka). With this combination of genes, the BlackIce™ has a dark purpley-black tender skin, with rich juicy red flesh on the inside, and free-stone pit that does not stick to the flesh. All while being winter-hardy to as low as -35 ºF (Zone 3b) and ripening 2 to 3 weeks earlier then any other large quality plum for the Midwest!

Plum 'Black Ice' fruit

This plum is now widely available locally!  Check with your nursery.  ‘Black Ice’ is more susceptible to disease so you may want to start fungicide applications early to prevent the problem.  Ask at your local nursery where you buy the tree.

'Black Ice' Plum

More information at:




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