A robust and productive plum tree perfect for both ornamental and fruit use, ‘Toka’ bears pretty white springtime flowers followed by sweet but spicy red fruits in late summer. A hybrid small deciduous tree, it was developed by the South Dakota Experimental Station in 1911. It abundantly produces pollen as well, making it a great tree for pollination of other plum cultivars in an orchard.
Flowering with pale silvery-blue to white blossoms in early spring prior to new leaves emerging, ‘Toka’ is very ornamental. Pollinated by bees, the blossoms will ripen by the latter half of midsummer to reddish bronze fruits with a sweet but spicy flesh that is light golden yellow. It is considered a freestone plum. In autumn the tapering oval leaves can attain blushes of bronze and orange.
Grow the upright-shaped Toka plum in full to partial sun in any fertile, well-draining but moist soil that is not overly alkaline in pH. Tolerant of cold and drought, it will look healthier if protected from prolonged, intense dryness. Already a heavy flowering and self-pollinating fruit tree, increased fruit crops are guaranteed with more than one ‘Toka’ in a clustered orchard grove. Use it as either an ornamental lawn tree or designated fruit tree in an edible garden.
Winchester Gardens generally stocks this item.
White, Light Blue, Silver
Green, Light Green
Select a site that offers loamy, well-drained soil in full sun. Avoid frost pockets.
Set bare-root trees atop a small mound of soil in the center of the planting hole, and spread the roots down and away without unduly bending them. Keep the graft union an inch above the soil line. For container-grown trees, remove the plant from its pot and eliminate circling roots by laying the root ball on its side and cutting through the roots with shears. Don’t cover the top of the root-ball with backfill because it could prevent water from entering. Space standard-size varieties 20 to 25 feet apart, dwarfs 15 to 20 feet apart.
Water young trees heavily every week through the first season. Train Japanese trees to an open center shape; train European trees to a conical shape with a central leader. Japanese plum trees benefit from a moderate fruit thinning; do not thin European plums unless the crop is especially heavy. Plums are relatively pest-free, but may be visited by the plum curculio, black knot disease, and brown rot. Contact your Cooperative Extension office for information on managing pests in your area.
Harvest European plums when they are tree-ripe. They will be a little soft and should come off easily with a slight twist. Late maturing varieties should be near ripe with firm flesh for storing for a few weeks. Pick Japanese plums slightly early and allow them to ripen in a cool place.