Chickasaw Plum Tree-Prunus Angustifolia
The Chickasaw Plum Tree is a deciduous multi-stemmed shrub-like tree. It has several other names: sand plum, sandhill plum, Florida sand plum, hill plum, mountain cherry and the Cherokee plum. The tree grows in the eastern and central United States from northern Florida to the west through New Mexico and Colorado and Kansas to the east across southern Missouri, Tennessee, southern Virginia and along the eastern border down through the Carolinas. It also grows throughout California.
The Chickasaw Plum Tree grows to heights of 12 to 25 feet with a canopy width of 15 to 20 feet. The tree likes full sun but can tolerate partial shade. It likes clay-loam soils and will grow naturally in dry sandy soils. It doesn't like extremely alkaline soil. It's preferred growing zones are 6 through 9.
The green leaves are shaped like the head of a lance, rounded at the base, about 2.5 inches long and less than an inch wide with two red glands near the top edge. The tree's twigs are smooth and reddish-brown. Older trees have a rough, scaly bark. In March through April, the tree blossoms with slightly fragrant white and yellowish-white flowers. The edible plums are 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter and appear between June and August. The ripe fruit is a thin-skinned yellow, red or orange-red plum used to make wine, jam, and jellies.
This fruit was first cultivated by native Americans, and today it is propagated by seeds and by planting one-year-old bare root seedlings that are 18 to 24 inches tall. Protect seedlings from weeds and grass competing for growing room and animals looking to eat the seedlings.
Animals get great use out of the Chickasaw Plum Tree. It serves as a bird nesting, resting and loafing stop. It is also used as thermal cover and resting cover for many larger animals. And all the birds and foot beasts eat the plums.