Alderman Plum Tree

Prunus salicina ‘Alderman'

Alderman Plum Tree

Prunus salicina ‘Alderman'

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How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me


The Alderman Plum Tree is a very cold-resistant variety suitable for zones 3 and 4. It grows rapidly into a tree up to 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide. The large plums are very sweet and juicy, with bright-red skin and yellow flesh. It is a clingstone variety, ripening in August and carrying very heavy crops. Grow it in an orchard or in your flower garden – the spring blossoms are lovely.

  • Large red-skinned plums with yellow flesh
  • Sweet and juicy clingstone variety
  • Extremely cold resistant for zone 3
  • Ripens in late August
  • One tree can carry 100 pounds of plums

Full sun is needed for the Alderman Plum Tree to give a good crop of ripe fruit. It grows in most soils that are well-drained, preferring richer soil. Water in summer during dry spells, and prune in summer, simply keeping the tree from becoming overcrowded, and shortening back the branches.

Plant Hardiness Zones 3-7
Mature Width 12-15
Mature Height 15-20
Sun Needs Full Sun
Zones 3-7

When you live in cold areas your choices for fruit trees become more limited. Peaches and apricots are out of the question, pears tricky, and even the choice of apples becomes limited. But don’t worry, because there are always plums. Often overlooked as fruit trees, a good-quality plum tree is fast-growing, easy, heavy-cropping and delicious. The fruit is wonderful eaten fresh or poached, and it’s very healthy, packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It makes delicious baked goods like pies and cakes, and spectacular jams too. Even when you have a wider choice of fruit trees available, a plum tree is a valuable addition for variety. The hardiness of plums varies a lot, but if you are in a colder zone – even chilly zone 3 – then the beautiful Alderman Plum Tree is for you. This top-rated tree will be giving you fruit within a couple of years, and when mature it can easily deliver 100 pounds of delicious fruit – plenty for everyone. The large red fruits have very sweet and juicy yellow flesh, and terrific flavor too. For easy fruit growing it can’t be beaten.

Growing the Alderman Plum Tree

Size and Appearance

The Alderman Plum Tree is a small deciduous tree that grows rapidly, soon maturing and developing into an upright tree that can become 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide. The dark reddish-brown bark is glossy when young, and the leaves are glossy too, making an attractive ornamental tree. The white flowers appear in early spring, and the fruits begin to develop as soon as the petals fall. This plum needs to be pollinated by another plum variety, but often wild plum trees in the surrounding area will do the job for you. Otherwise, plant another plum variety nearby.

The fruit of the Alderman Plum is abundant, and mature trees can carry 100 pounds of fruit. The plums are large, with a bright red skin. The flesh is yellow, and very sweet and juicy, while still with that wonderful tangy ‘plum’ flavor. This is a clingstone variety. This tree will have its first plums within a couple of years, and they ripen in late August. The fruit will last a short time in the fridge, and of course it can be canned or made into jams and preserves.

Using the Alderman Plum Tree in Your Garden

Pretty enough to grow in your flower garden, the Alderman Plum Tree could be planted on a lawn or at the back of a shrub bed. It can be grown in a home fruit garden too, or planted in a row with other fruit trees as an attractive screen for your vegetable garden.


When we say the Alderman Plum Tree is hardy, we mean it. It grows well in zone 4, without any winter damage. Even in zone 3 it is an excellent choice, passing winter well and carrying heavy crops. Plums don’t need the hot summers that many other kinds of fruit need. It will also grow well in warm areas, all the way through zone 7.

Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions

A spot in full sun is best for the Alderman Plum Tree, and that will give you the best bloom and fruit crop. It grows well in most soils, enjoying richer soils like loams and light clays, as long as they are well-drained. This tough plant will grow in almost every garden – just avoid low-lying wet places.

Maintenance and Pruning

Pests and diseases are not going to be major problems for your Alderman Plum Tree. It doesn’t need fancy pruning – simply keep it from becoming overcrowded and shorten back long branches to keep it compact. Prune in summer to prevent disease.

History and Origin of the Alderman Plum Tree

The species of plum called Prunus salicina is usually called Japanese plum, even though it originated in China. In the late 19th century the famous American fruit tree breeder Luther Burbank brought several seedlings and young plants of this species over from Japan, where it had been grown for hundreds of years. One of those original seedlings produced excellent plums and became widely grown. In 1897 the American Pomological Society officially introduced it, with the name ‘Burbank’, in honor of the master breeder. Fruit tree breeding was carried out at many universities across the country at that time, and well into the 20th century. One center that focused on breeding for cold regions was the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, part of the University of Minnesota. That research ended many years ago, but in 1986 the University released an overlooked product of the breeding program, naming it ‘Alderman’ after Professor W. H. Alderman, head of the University of Minnesota’s horticulture department in the first half of the 20th century. It is a cross between ‘Burbank’ and another variety of plum, but more details are not available.

Buying the Alderman Plum Tree at the Tree Center

For easy fruit trees in cold areas, you can’t beat plum trees. Order your plants of the Alderman Plum Tree now, because it’s widely recognized as the best plum for cold zones.

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Alderman Plum Tree

Prunus salicina ‘Alderman'