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American Plum

Prunus Americana ~~~ native wild plum


rootstock suckers from purchased trees

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  Mont Royal


  Sapalta Chum

  South Dakota



The first American plums were purchased young rootstock from the old Bear Creek Nursery that I tried to bud graft in the garden. I assume it is an American Plum, though it is possible it could be Canadian wild plum. Transplanted one to side of house bank in 1989. It was a prolific blossomer but never any fruit. Beautiful out ne window. Later, probably 2014, few to no blossom due to shading from grown black cherry tree and other trees. Looking pretty rough by 2016. Quite a few sucker seedlings grew and they blossomed as well, but no fruit. In 2016 I dug two of the smaller ones and transplanted to Orchard for pollinators. In 2017-18 cut down large cherries giving plants left more sun. The old plum was cut down. 

Fedco plum trees in orchard are on American plum rootstock (Gracious, old Pembina now Waneta, etc), so (prolific) suckers are American Plum as well. Let some grow to graft to and for pollinators. Transplanted some within and without orchard. These are vigorous growers.

2021 - Hot, dry spring. 5/18-21 all plums & chums full bloom, including American plums. Sunny, warm but few bees.. Then 5/27 four nights freezes 24-30 deg. No fruit.   Good summer growth.

2020 - 5/26 full bloom. 5/31 freeze 25 deg. No fruit. House1-w doing better, more growth but still small. House2-sc larger, vigorous ~6'^, MontRoyal graft in center looking good. Sucker American plums doing fine.

2019 - So-central amerplums have a few buds! but not open yet 5/30. Not a lot of pollinators but some. Regular plums thick with blossoms - beautiful. 6/1 House plums full blossom. 6/3 SoDakota some blooms. 6/2  Plum1 - 14 blossoms, House2 - 7 blossoms, about half open. Ended with harvest of regular plums of 75 from 3 trees. Hopeful for more blossoming on young orchard ameriplums next year, resulting in, I hope, a good regular plum crop.

Grafted NorthBlue european plum to branch of Plum1,  and Mont Royal to House2. Both grew well. Plan to leave original branches until they fruit then decide how many to leave.

2018 - Original house plum bloomed as did two mid size suckers nearby on hill. Old tree many dead branches, especially lower, but still going. Cut out large WBC clump to south so that should help. No fruit but did cut some branches to put by garden plums.

#1 west - Spindly but looking better, had 4-9" growth.

#1 so-central - Vigorous growth, 5 ft ht now. Looking good. Many 24" branches. May graft to center leader next year (leaving branches original).  

2017 - H#1 (west) didn’t do well, lot of blight, aphids, some shoot dieback. Some better growth mid summer.

H#2 (so-central) all side shoots died but main whip grew well. Tipped to strong bud, good growth summer. Top 2 shoots broke off in wind (tender) but lower shoots growing well. Light leaf blight, mostly healthy.

2016 - 8/23 transplanted 2 of the smaller suckers from house plum to the orchard for pollinating. Leaves not so great this year but pruned off ends of spindly branches anyway to help balance root loss. One north of Grenville & TriPlum (H#1), other (smaller one) in central-south area near transplanted plum sucker shoot (H#2).

American Plum suckers:
Transplanted sucker to sc orchard (top one of 3) from garden 2016. Maybe Bricker, maybe American. Good growth. Summer tip ~ waist height to encourage branching. Let fruit to see what it is. Graft after that, leaving one original branch.

pl-2 Transplanted sucker Oct.2016 from sw corner garden to nursery row then transpl to sc orchard (btm one of 3) June 2017. Likely American Plum from Gracious tree. Good growth. Summer tip when waist height to encourage branching. Let fruit; Graft later; leave some branches original.

Online Notes: Univ Minn dieback or other signs of disease... Consistent, uniform, does not need thinning. Fruits adequately in partial shade. Displays late mid-season ripening...smooth apple red, clingstone; flesh yellow, sweet, firm, but juicy....fall foliage red. (HFT) medium to large J clingstone fruit 2-2.5 inches in diameter. The skin is a dark red and the flesh is a golden hue, both exceptionally sweet for a Japanese plum and very juicy. It is firm in texture ...late plum and ripens in late August. tree vigorous growth, precocious and heavy bearer, self-sterile, no known problems with disease...cross between Burbank and Older. ...Tree: somewhat spreading, vigorous, and precocious. Profuse large, white, flowers. Bloom date is mid to late; best pollenized by South Dakota or Superior, but Waneta and Toka okay. very good eating and keeps well. Ripe about Sept. 1-5 in central MN.

Copyright Susan Robishaw

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