American Plum, also known as Wild Plum, is present throughout all of Ohio, and is native to most of the eastern and central United States. It white, pungently sweet blossoms emerge in early spring before the foliage breaks bud. It easily forms colonies and thickets in fields, fence rows, and along roadsides and woodland edges, where its suckers from roots and its germinated seeds create a mass planting similar in mounded appearance to that of wild Sumacs and Crabapples.
Its fruits are sweet when fully ripe, and make excellent jelly or jam due to their high pectin and high acid content. American Plum reaches 20 feet tall by 25 feet wide as an individual specimen under optimum conditions, but forms thickets of indeterminate width with time. As a member of the Rose Family, it is related to the Serviceberries, Chokeberries, Hawthorns, Crabapples, Cherries, Pears, and Roses, as well as other Plum species and hybrids.
Planting Requirements - American Plum, like many members of the Rose Family, is very adaptable to a wide variety of environmental conditions, including soils that are rich, average, poor, or rocky, and of acidic, neutral, or alkaline pH. This species likes moist, well-drained soils, tolerates drier soils, and thrives on neglect in full sun. American Plum is found in zones 3 to 8.
Potential Problems - American Plum, like all members of the Rose Family, is prone to a host of diseases and pests, which primarily affect the foliage and fruits.