History: Toka* is a hybrid of an American plum (Prunus americana) and a Japanese plum (Prunus salicina) that was created by Dr. N.E. Hansen who is known for his extensive career in developing cold hardy plant varieties. He developed Toka at the South Dakota Experiment Station and introduced it in 1911.
Why We Grow It: Toka is also known as Bubblegum plum due to its flavour and smell which bears an uncanny resemblance to bubblegum. These plums are incredibly aromatic, and will fill your kitchen with their perfumed scent as they sit out to ripen. The clingstone fruit features deep red skin and bright yellow freestone flesh that is firm but juicy. It is good for fresh eating or preserving.
Canadian Hardiness Zone: 4
Soil Preference: Sandy loam and loam, like plenty or organic material. Prefers average to moist conditions with well-drained soils, avoid planting anywhere that floods for more than two weeks in the spring.
Growth Habits and Disease Resistance: Vigorous and hardy with an upright and spreading growth pattern, produces heavy crops.
Sun/Shade: Full sun (approx. 8-10 hours of sun daily)
Pollination: Self-pollinating, this variety will produce fruit without a Japanese plum tree of a different variety but will produce more and better fruit if one is present
Ripens: Early September
Storage: Keeps about a week in the fridge.
Recommended Use: Fresh eating, preserves
Size including roots:
- 1m+ Whip grade: 100cm+
- Branched grade: 100 cm+ with 3 or more branches, 30 cm or more
- <1m Whip grade: less than 100 cm
*It is unclear what this name translates to in English but 'toka' can mean 'etc/among other things' or 'river crossing' in Japanese