At the intersection of edible landscaping and pollinator gardening, Prunus Americana is poised to please. The free-spirited gardener interested in creating a food forest and planting for pollinators will adore the American Plum. Likewise, this spring specimen works marvelously in more manicured gardens as long as regular pruning is performed.
The American Plum is a vigorous native shrub or small tree that packs a big punch. An abundance of fragrant white flowers emerge in spring and provide early food for pollinators and an incredible show for gardeners. Native bees are especially fond of the blooms. Later on, the foliage hosts several species of butterflies. In late summer, edible fruits are good for jams and jellies.
American Plum grows happily in a variety of habitats, but it will grow with best vigor in moist, well-drained soil and good sun exposure. Dense shade will decrease vigor, but it can handle some shade and grows along the edges of woods in the wild. It is an excellent choice for erosion control and natural screening.
If left to run amok, this plum naturally forms a dense thicket, but it can be maintained as a tree or more compact shrub with regular pruning. A good trimming also helps control any sharp side branches and makes it suitable for smaller home gardens or more formal landscapes.
In addition to its own merits, American plum is a good choice for gardeners looking to increase yields on Japanese plum varieties.
Interested in learning more about spring flowering trees? Check out our blog on stunning flowering crabapples.