Finally after 20 years of testing and growing plums, I found a strain that makes a plum even easier to establish while at the same time reducing or eliminating entirely the suckering aspect of many wild plums. Combined with its large leaves and excellent full canopy this hybrid of wild goose plum and chickasaw plum provides both the clean foliage with a central trunk and symmetrical branching. The fruits are a bright red like the chickasaw plum without as much tartness but still free of diseases and insects both for the foliage and the fruits.
The discovery of this strain was quite by accident. I noticed a number of wild goose plum seedlings with incredible vigor in my greenhouse that often grew to 5 ft. in one year. These often had chickasaw plum type foliage. For a while I thought I had mixed up the seed but realized the groves are 300 feet away perfect flying distance for pollination. I took those few plants and made an outplanting separating them from all the other plums. Over the years, the plums grew nicely and were flowering regularly but no fruit. For a while, I thought they were sterile. But after they reached a certain size, the fruiting began. This is a good sign indicating long life as well as being able to maintain that central trunk as is without suckers or borers. This is critical in the plum world.
This is a good selection both for rootstock as well as experimental fruit production and an ornamental plum. Cultivar selection would be easy in one generation and would lead to more robust forms of wild, indigenous plums useful for areas outside of commercial plum production and where late frosts destroy the European types as well as black knot. These two problems make plum growing difficult if not impossible in most of the central and eastern U. S. Curculio is not found in this planting ever and no fruits are infected with bugs. Part of it is due to the thick skin on the plum making it unlikely to keep a population of bugs constantly infecting the fruit.
The image of the trees in my library is one of trees that were hammered on by white tailed deer on trees that were never protected. So they have this 'dog leg' look to them totally created by deer. This is normal and actually increases fruit yield especially if rubbed. It is these strong side branches that can accommodate heavy fruit production. This is OK to a point but once the trees leave the browse line the growth dramatically increases as now there is no one reducing the foliage. I just started using chicken manure and gypsum on them to further develop the fruiting spurs and overall health of the trees.
Yields are not known yet on these seed selections but initial results show medium bearing trees much like the chickasaw plum but not massive like the beach plum.
Germinating the seeds: Add a lightly moist Canadian peat moss with the seeds and let sit for 3 days. Then put in the refrigerator for 33 to 38 F for 90-120 days. Like all plums some will start to sprout during this period in the fridge. You can pluck these out and then pot them up. The seeds have been stored at full moisture levels and have not dried out so do not soak them. Keep a check on the moisture in the peat moss so the seeds do not rot when they crack open and the radicle emerges.
|Genus & Species||Prunus munsoniana x angustifolia|
|Hardiness||-25F to -30F|
|Height (ft)||15-25 ft.|
|Width (ft)||15-20 ft.|
|Pollination Requirements||Self pollinating. Additional plants from this same strain will make it even more fertile. Some overlap with chickasaw plum and wild goose plum but possibly not enough to call it cross pollinating to any degree.|
|Soil||Very adaptable from sand to loam. Similar in requirements to the American plum.|
|Ease of Cultivation||The most vigorous plum cross I have found. Once established trees can maintain both a central leader and fill out with to create a strong single stemmed tree averaging 2-4 ft. of growth per year depending on the location. Works well in poor soils while creating a solid canopy which suppresses grasses much better than other plums.|