American Plum, Prunus americana, is a thicket forming native plum. The American Plum is one of several species on native plum species. These trees were once common in prairies and woodland clearings. They are now found most often in fence rows and along roadsides.
They are important to Honeybees and other pollinators because they bloom early in the season and bloom heavily giving a concentrated nectar and pollen source. The thick branchy growth is a prefered nesting site for many songbirds. They sweet fruit is a favorite of people and fruit loving birds and other wildlife.
American Plums like all native plums are resistant to Black Knot which is a fungal disease that affects most European and Japanese Plums. The fruits are small but tasty and make great jams and jellies. They ripen in August. They were grown as a semi-cultivated crop by Native Americans.
The tree grows as a suckering shrub and can reach 15′ to 25′ in height and can spread quite wide from root suckers. It can be controlled by mowing. An individual tree, contained by mowing sprouts can grow to 25′ tall and 25′ wide with a flattened rounded profile not unlike a Japanese Maple.
American Plums are one of the first flowering trees of spring often blooming surprisingly early. A fresh breath of spring after a long cold winter.