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The American Plum is a native U.S. plant and occurs in the eastern 2/3 of the country. It could be considered a large shrub or small tree and can reach over 20 ft tall. It has hardiness rating of zones 3-7. It can be seen in heavy thickets that are spread by root suckers and other plants seem to have only one stem. In the early spring it has masses of white flowers.
The plum grows quite fast and seems to live a long time with large stems dying and others taking their place. They have a 1’ long sharp point that is throughout the stems of the tree. They have large quantities of red or yellow fruit that matures in August here in Iowa. Many species of birds and animals eat this fruit. People often make jams out of the fruits.
The Plum can be used in windbreaks and shelterbelts but with its suckering characteristic it can move to areas where not wanted. Plant at least 20 ft away from other larger windbreak trees to minimize problems. We recommend a spacing of 8 ft between plants.