Plum tree variety for Ellicott City

Asked September 23, 2018, 11:09 PM EDT

What's the easiest variety of plum tree to grow in Ellicott City? Flowers more important than number of fruits. Hoping for something that will need little to no pesticides and can weather the winter.

Maryland disease issues plant selection plum crabapple trees ornamental fruit trees

3 Responses

Ornamental as well as fruiting plum trees can be lovely, but they are not long-lived in our area.
Tree fruits require a fairly rigorous management and carefully-timed chemical spray schedule for pests and diseases that are common here.
For an ornamental tree, we don't even recommend a schedule to lessen the pesticides in the environment.
That said, as long as you know that going in, you could enjoy your tree in a healthy state for 7-15 years or so.
If you want fruits and flowers, do a search of plum trees from internet growers and compare the flowers and tree shapes for both European and American varieties.

If flowers are your most important factor, there are some beautiful crabapple trees bred for improved disease resistance, and Kwanzan cherries are lovely and are more hardy than some others.
Here is our publication IPM Ornamental Fruit Trees for some info on the problems that they can have:http://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_docs/programs/hgic/HGIC_Pubs/TreesandShrubs/...

We often tell people that if it is fruit you want to grow, small fruits like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries etc. are the easiest with least chemical inputs.

cm

Thank you for your advice. This is a gift from my 5 year old daughter to her Uncle, and we live in California so we are very unfamiliar with what grows well in Ellicott City, MD.
We have decided to look further into Crabapple trees.. The crabapple has a better mature size for the property (15-20 ft), rather than 40 for the cherry.
It would be nice to plant a tree with small fruits so that birds are attracted to the berries in the winter.
Of these "Good choices to attract birds that I found on your website, can you tell me which variety can be found for purchase in nurseries and which variety is most hardy?: " ‘Sargent’, ‘Sargent Tina’,‘Adirondack’, ‘Snowdrift’, ‘Profusion, ‘Indian Magic’, Harvest gold’, ‘Ormiston Roy’, and ‘Prairiefire’.

Here are Penn State and North Carolina publications that will help with your choice: mentioned: https://extension.psu.edu/theres-a-flowering-crabapple-for-that
and https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/superior-crabapple-trees-for-the-landscape

Upon checking disease resistance and attributes in Dirr's Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, we would narrow it down to Prairiefire, Adirondack and Sargent.
You would have to check availability for whatever nursery you choose.
We would think that at least one or two of those varieties would be widely available.

cm