Source Native American Plum
The wild plum is a native tall shrub to small tree which is thorny, winter hardy and drought tolerant, thicket forming. Edible fruit, eat fresh or use in making jams and jellies.
Flower Type – Cross-pollinating, fascicles, Flower Color is White. Fruit Color is red to yellow when mature.
It is a round headed crown large bush or small tree, will sucker freely forming a dense thicket or hedge row.
Crown Height is generally about 6 feet tall but can reach 8 to 10 feet under good growing conditions with a width of 6 to 10 feet wide. It is a somewhat shallow rooted bush with it’s root system being wider than it’s crown spread.
American native plum is adapted to a wide variety of soil types. Works well as a garden tree/bush, wind break or as a dense hedge row. It is cold hardy to USDA hardness zone 3 to 8, and has good drought tolerance. It’s is a full sun to partial shade plant.
American wild plum is important to songbirds and animals for nesting, loafing, and bedding area. Fruit is not a preferred food for songbirds and game birds. Twigs, fruit and foliage are browsed by deer.
Sand plums grow wild in the southern U.S. from Texas and Oklahoma eastward. Also called sand hill plum or chickasaw plum, this tree often forms thickets of plants only a few feet tall. Sand plums bear red orange plums eaten by many types of wildlife as well as human foragers. The sand plum makes an interesting ornamental hedge or tree anywhere in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9.
Drought resistant sand plum flourishes in sandy soil or even in heavy clay and naturally forms low ground cover used by many wild animals and birds. Ranchers in Texas, Oklahoma and other states where the chickasaw plum grows often treat the bush as a grassland invader. Sand plum actually provides essential food and shelter for important species like the bobwhite quail.
As a single tree, sand plum sometimes reaches 25 feet in height, with a spreading crown wider than it is tall. The dense spring bloom arrives early and white flowers cover the plant before any foliage appears. Sand plum survives in any well drained soil.
Many nurseries sell sand plum, although in parts of its native range the plants could be dug and transplanted from wild thickets. Sand plum has many brittle thorns that cover the branches of older plum bushes and mature trees. Sand plum grows about a foot to a foot and a half in height each year. Cutting back half of the new growth annually forces plants to send up multiple shoots and branches, creating a nearly impassable hedge.
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