sand plums or american or both, soil type

norman2012January 25, 2012

I am ordering some pecan trees from the forestry dept soon for an orchard (to graft late).

While I am at it I am planning on ordering some plums and mulberries. All these are bare root seedlings and come in bags of 50.

I am new to all of this and still learning.

My question is should I order American plums or Sand Plums?

I am planting a pecan orchard in a couple months (Oklahoma 7a)

according to



the soil is moderately acidic loamy and udolls suborder of the mollisols order

I have 40 acres, most of which have been used for grass (hay) in the past several decades. There are about a hundred native and Stuart pecans about the same age.

I am planning on building sort of a food forest on the land I'm not farming.

thanks for all the help

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sorry, I can't figure out how to edit posts. I just realized there was a native plants forum this probably should have gone in

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 2:26PM
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What are Sand plums?

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 9:20PM
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    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 2:52PM
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Wild plums.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 8:38PM
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I would do some research before you plant out either.. If you don't tend to them - they become brown rot and plum curc magnets - which will then cause problems with nearby orchards and such...

If you do plan to spray - then either will be good... Both make fine jelly and food for wildlife.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 9:35PM
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I'm only really familiar with American. It's quite common here in NM and CO. The fruit can be of very good quality, but I have noticed a good deal of disease in wild thickets, so John's caution is probably a good one, and the species tends to be a very inconsistent bearer. A related wild species, Western Sand Cherry, I have been very impressed with, since it always seems to look healthy and is always loaded with quality ripe fruit come July, and stays a nice manageable size.

While I'm on the subject... another native I'm a big fan of is golden currant (Ribes aureum)... IMO the berries are better than those of cultivated species of currant (which can't really be said for wild plums or cherries), and the plant is beautiful and tough as well. It can grow to a fruiting size 6 foot tall shrub in two or three years from seed, greens up early, and is also an important wildlife plant.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 10:47PM
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Norman, are we talking about P. angustifolia and P. americana? I hear people talking about wild plums from 30 years ago in my neighborhood, but I guess changes in land use/management haven't been friendly to plums. Can anyone tell me what species the wild plums that people in my part (western Piedmont) of North Carolina would be? Would whatever that plum is also be the best bet for a low maintenance plum? What about beach plums (P. maritima)? Edible Landscaping makes them sound pretty well immune to late frosts and brown rot, and also not very prone to plum curculio trouble. How would P. angustifolia and P. americana fare in those respects? Is P. maritima adaptable this far south and inland? It seems like P. angustifolia and P. americana are small but good for fresh eating, is that right? Are there other native plums that might be grown here? Anyone know anything about flatwoods plum (P. umbellata)?
My understanding is that Japanese plums are P. salicina and European plums are P. domestica, and I guess damson plums are yet another Old World species, P. institia. What does that make AU Rosa, then? And what then is P. atropurpurea (which I saw on Edible Landscaping's plum page)?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 6:05PM
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The ones in the Carolinas are P. americana. They are good for fresh eating, but ONLY when they are 100% fully falling off the tree ripe, and then only if you like tangy fruit........ Before then, they are quite bitter...

People waxed poetic about them - memories of when they were kids and Grandma used to make jellies and pies out of them... If you don't make jelly or cook with them, then they are probably not worth it. Most people don't anymore... (I make annual batches of American plum jelly - it's one of my favorites.)

They also forgot that back in the day - pesticides were FAR more deadly and long lasting/lingering in the soil than they are today... and there wasn't the fear of pesticides like there is now.... It wasn't anything special to see people applying Lead arsenate, Benalates, and Tobacco based pesticides in a home lawn 50-years ago...

The Carolinas have a much more intense insect and rot pressure than up north... You won't get successful crops out of even those wild plums without a couple well timed sprays a year... They don't require the intensive care of a European plum - but they still require care to get fruit past year 2 or 3.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 7:14AM
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Thanks for all that information, John.

Plum jam is my favorite, so if P. americana is a likelier low-maintenance bet for jam than damsons, then I'll have to plant one or two. You haven't tried beach plums where you are, have you, John?

I'm hoping to find some options (wild and/or domestic) to produce jam-type and fresh eating plums.

I got just one chickasaw plum off my biggest tree last year. Despite blooms all over the well branched, 15'+ tall tree, it only started to size up maybe a dozen plums, and all but one must have either aborted or gotten eaten prematurely by wildlife, I assume. Could a frost have thinned the crop so severely, or is a tree 4 years in the ground just not old enough to set a real crop yet? The one I got was a perfect fruit, though, and definitely fit for fresh eating.

If my main challenges are frost, rot, and plum curculio -- Japanese beetles have never really done serious damage to anything for me here, not even grapes or pole beans -- I'm hoping if I can find types of plums that can handle the frosts and not all rot that I might be able to find some low-tech organic way to keep plum curculio halfway under control. Would any of the domestic plums (Euro or Japanese) come anywhere close to what I'm looking for? If I'm going to try something, which do you think would come the closest?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 7:53AM
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thanks for responses. Im not sure on the variety cousinfloyd. I assume they are what you have listed

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 3:58PM
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Greetings: I fully realize that this post is too late to help folks in winter 2012, but if your planting plums in the SE USA, and can provide some maintenance, I recommend using hybrids between P angustafolia (Chickasaw Plum) and P. salicacia (Asian plum). These are bread to have the eating quality of an Asian plum but the disease resistance of a Chickasaw plum. Even with these you will have to do some pruning and spraying. There are two series of these, one produced by Auburn University. The Auburn series plums tend to have higher chill requirements and would be better for the upper south. The other major series is the "Byron Series" developed by the agricultural station in Byron GA. These trees have lower chill requirements and are best for the lower south like the coastal plains of GA and AL. There is a third series called the Gulf Series which may be a hybrid with a different wild plum species, but these are good for hardiness zone 9 and higher. Thanks and God bless.

PS: I planted 4 varieties of the Byron series and one of the Auburn University series this winter, and so far all the plants are doing great. You can get several members of the AU and Byron Series from Johnson's Nursery out of Ellerjay GA. A couple members of the Byron Series and the Gulf series are available at Just Fruits and Exotics outside of Tallahassee FL.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 5:28PM
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The sand plums dont need much maintenance if they are in the right area. We have an orchard right off the river and they grow great. Our soil is sand though not the red dirt. They dont like that as much. We sell our hearty & delicious trees, seeds and fruit on Great prices and deals.

Here is a link that might be useful: River Side Sand Plums

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 2:51PM
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