Chickasaw Plum (Prunus angustifolia)

Chickasaw Plum

  • High Quality Plants from Nature Hills Growers
  • Self-Pollinating
  • Native Plant
  • Attractive Ornamental Edible Native
  • Fragrant White Spring Flowers Cover Every Branch
  • Loaded with Cute, Colorful Fruit in Summer
  • Use Fruit in Exceptionally Delicious Jelly
  • Long History of Use by Native Americans and Early Settlers
  • Multi-Stem Shrub or Pruned to A Tree
  • Feeds Birds and Provides Cover for Wildlife
  • Excellent for Naturalizing
  • Fast Growing
  • Easy to Grow

Use this fantastic native tree as a beautiful way to support the health of our integrated ecosystem. Easy-care Chickasaw Plum tree (Prunus angustifolia) is a wonderful option as a unique ornamental in the home garden or to naturalize in a larger landscape.

You can decide to grow this as a multi-stemmed shrub or prune it up into a small tree with a short trunk. Either way, this tree adapts to almost any landscape use. It delivers interest all year long.

In late winter, you’ll be excited to see the swelling buds develop all along the well-balanced branch structure. Almost overnight, sweetly fragrant white blooms cover the dark, attractive bark.

Depending on where you live, the flower power can start as early as February and range through May.

This abundant native grower was found along wide swathes of the United States. It’s named to honor the Chickasaw Nation, who along with other tribes and settlers used the plums as a food staple, and even propagated it.

Native Americans consumed the fruit fresh, dried it for winter and added it to other foods for flavor. The very tart fruit is now most often used in preserves and Jellies with a little added sweetener. The fruit can also be used to make wine.

There is no need to prepare the fruit, as songbirds love the fruit, and so do many other animals. If you have a large landscape, plant Chickasaw Plum as a beautiful tree to protect our environment.

The Chickasaw Plum can satisfy many applications in the landscape. A true ornamental edible, you’ll adore the beautiful, fragrant white flowers that appear along the stems in March before the foliage emerges.

This sturdy, ornamental tree stays pretty throughout the year. From the fragrant blooms in the spring to fruit production in the early summer to the yellow leaves in the fall, the trees ornamental appeal never stops. You’ll love watching how the flowers are followed by small, cherry-like, red to yellow plums which ripen in early to midsummer.

Plant this one by a window where you’ll be able to see the progress from a comfy seat inside. If you have a kitchen window, give yourself a fabulous view of the wonder of nature by planting this tree outside.

Use these small native trees to produce a fantastic spring floral display and as an unmatched addition to food forests to support the needs of wildlife. You’ll love the small edible fruits in homemade jellies, if you can get them before the bevy of birds and foraging animals gets to them first.

Try making a prepared jelly for your Thanksgiving dinner rolls or to zip up savory meat dishes. Ask your family to give thanks for modern inventions like grocery stores! This can become a very meaningful family tradition.

The flowering Chickasaw Plum is a true ornamental with pretty textured bark and a pleasing branch structure. You’ll appreciate seeing more nesting birds and butterflies visit your yard.

How to Use Chickasaw Plum in the Landscape

Also known as a Sand Plum, Sandhill Plum and Mountain Cherry, this is a versatile plant. Use it as the edge of your property and let it naturalize into a wildlife sanctuary for ground-nesting birds like quail or turkey. Or, keep it manicured by pruning it up into a lovely, low tree.

Use a single specimen just about anywhere. Keep it pruned to maintain a tidy look. Allow it to spread wide to become a lovely, living free form sculpture in your landscape.

For naturalizing along the edge of a woods, or bare open field, plant groupings of 3, 5, 7 or 9. For the best look, use a loose, drifting planting pattern.

Vary the spacing between them from 6 to 15 feet on center. Measure from the center of one to the center of the next. Start with a single tree on either end, then try planting 2 – 3 deep in the middle of the drift. Allow the clumps to grow together and expand.

You can also allow the plant to grow and fill in from the crown. Unchecked, this tree provides great erosion control on a slope. Pair it with spreading Sumacs and groundcover Juniper for a year-round display that is far safer than trying to mow at a steep angle.

Try facing the sunny side of a windbreak with these pretty flowering and fruiting trees. You’ll gain interest and easily soften the look. These native trees make a perfect partner for rugged Black Hills Spruce, Colorado Spruce, Eastern Red Cedar, Loblolly Pine or other large evergreens.

Include it in a created Oak Savannah as part of an integrated food forest. These plums are wildlife magnets and will be so welcomed by your local ecosystem.

Tips for Care

The natural habitat is along stream banks and as thickets forming large colonies is fields. Requiring only well drained soil, the Chickasaw Plum grows in a wide range of soils and climates.

Grow in full sun for the thickest growth. In partial shade, the growth habit will spread out a bit and become more open and airier.

When mature, you’ll see deer bed down in them and eat the fruit. You might consider fencing young plants to protect their tender trunks for the first several years.

If used as a specimen single trunk or multi-trunk tree, Chickasaw Plum benefits from being pruned regularly to keep it tidy. Remove any growth from the crown suckers out all the way down to the ground.

The plant requires an acid soil of at least 6.5. It’s a good idea to use a simple soil test to determine pH before planting. If needed, adjust pH down using a soil Sulphur a least one time a year.

Provide a moderate amount of regular water to new plants. Once they are established in your soil, they will become tolerant of periodic drought. Apply supplemental water in extended drought.

This native treasure is a very special plant. Chickasaw Plum fits the bill as a Giving Tree. Give back to your local butterflies and birds and delight your senses. Savor the beautiful fragrant spring flowers and craft scrumptious jellies with the cute and colorful plums.

Chickasaw Plum (Prunus angustifolia) Details

Common name Chickasaw Plum
Botanical name Prunus angustifolia
Hardiness zone 5-9
Growth rate Fast
Height 15 - 25 ft.
Width 15 - 25 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun, Partial Shade
Moisture Low
Soil condition Widely Adaptable
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Flower color White
Leaf color Deciduous