This dwarf American plum selection was one of a very few seedlings at our farm of American plum that shows excellent resistance to mildew as well as a stoloniferous tendency producing evenly spaced sprouts or runners coming from a small tree. The small 1/2 inch fruit is a solid red color with little if any insect damage. The outer skin is not that astringent like most American plums but is thick skinned and of course has some astringency. The foliage stays green late in the season. This group of plants was originally selected from a cultivated planting of American plums on an industrial office park. How they ended up in this landscape, I have no idea but for a while it was a reliable producer of both yellow and red fruited selections which I further grew at my farm into fruiting plants.
'Red Runner' 's ability to colonize is its strength. There is some variation of American plum to runner on a genetic basis and you can see this if you grow out lots of seedlings like the nursery used to do. The advantage of this selection is its dense linear sprouts close to each other that can be cut and harvested for propagation as well as mowed over if you don't want them. Normally stoloniferous plums are notoriously not desirable in many manicured landscapes. This is for areas where this type of behavior is rewarded with lots of fruit production on small dwarfish trees with zero insect damage. Unlike most American plums, 'Red Runner' is highly competitive with other plants and can survive in part shade and still be productive so full sun is not necessary. My plantings were made many years ago under the pecan trees I had with almost no thought what would come of the plantings. Little did I know those highly stoloniferous seedlings all one year old or so would continue their ability to spread on a sandy hill under mature pecan trees. What a delight!
'Red Runner' can be used for grafting other plums too. It is a good fruit producer by itself and it can be used in a polyculture system where even part shade has little effect. Produced from seed, this characteristic is not lost however I am sending scionwood and stolons to make sure you get the original selection intact along with enough genetic diversity with the seeds to help establish this highly valuable clone.
|Genus & Species||Prunus americana|
|Height (ft)||4-6 ft. tall|
|Width (ft)||2-3 ft. wide|
|Pollination Requirements||Self fertile but additional Dunbars and American plum will help in fruit production. Or use seeds of itself to help with crossing.|
|Soil||Sandy, sandy loam and loam|
|Climate||Zone 2-3 to zone 8-9|
|Ease of Cultivation||Extremely easy to cultivate. Can easily be cloned by runners and used as a clonal variety for its fruit production. Red Runner contains all the typical fruit quality of the American plum with a slight astringent thick skin and sweet interior. The dense flesh is very good with this selection. It is free of insect pests and the plants are shade tolerant yet will still produce fruit. Since its a dwarf it is easy to grow in a colony and can be thinned to allow better lateral fruit bearing branches.|