Wild Plum, Prunus Americana, is a Small, Deciduous, Fast-Growing Tree
Wild plum, formally called Prunus americana, is a small, deciduous, fast-growing, short-lived, colony-forming native tree. It is a Prunus species native to North America, which occurs in rocky or sandy soils in woodlands, pastures, abandoned farms, streams, and hedgerows throughout the State. The plant is part of the Rosaceae, or rose family, and it can tolerate different weather conditions and thrives in various soil types. Wild plum is also the American or Marshall's large yellow sweet plum.
This tree could either be a single-trunk tree or a multi-stemmed shrub. As a tree, it can grow from ten to twenty feet tall, with a broad, spreading crown. As a shrub, it forms large colonies and is winter-hardy. Wild plums can grow on average in dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun to partly shaded areas. It has abundant, tiny white flowers that open before the leaves emerge in spring.
Flowers are three-fourths to one inch across with five white, round, or egg-shaped petals and a single slender yellow-tipped stamen at the center. Flower stalks are thin and hairless. Wild plum leaves are alternate and straightforward. The blade is oblong-elliptic in shape, two to four inches long and one to three-fourths inches wide, and has a hairy stalk. The upper surface is dark green; the lower surface is lighter in color and has sharply toothed edges.
This tree offers attractive foliage in the spring and summer and ample fruits, which are a great addition to the landscape. The fruit is smaller, rounder, and bright red with a thin waxy bloom. It measures one inch in diameter with a hard seed inside. The taste and consistency of the fruit are the same even as the tree reaches maturity. The young tree bark is reddish-brown to gray, peeling off as it matures.
The wild Plum Tree, Prunus Americana, Is Essential in Wildlife Habitats and Lasts for Decades If Given Proper Care.
By nature, this tree is an essential part of the wildlife habitat. It provides food and shelter to songbirds like cardinals, finches, and mammals. Rabbits or deer often hide in the low branches. During winter, prairie chickens, pheasants, and grouse take cover in the thickets.
The plum tree will last for decades if given the proper care. It is essential to water new trees at least once a week to have healthy leaves and fruits. Once established, water the tree every month as it needs regular watering and prefers well-drained soil. Like other fruit trees, wild plum trees have many non-fruiting branches, or "suckers," that grow from the trunk. Consider pruning these, and they will produce the best quality fruits.
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