WIld Plum Trees
I grew up in NW Alabama. A coworker and I were talking about things we'd do when little and the conversation wound up talking about what communities would to together. He's from the panhandle of Florida and he described the mayhaw harvest and jelly making. His stories reminded me of my old community picking plums to make jelly, and blackberries too.
When I was little (early 70s) one couldn't stop a car on the road and easily walk into anyones pasture without being mauled by plum tree spines. The little trees (very rarely more the 12 feet tall) would be so thick that they'd be the only tree on the roadside for a while. I guess I haven't seen on in 30 years? It seems something killed them off.
Does anyone reading this still have wild plum trees around?
I remember Mayhaw trees and picking the fruit so Granny could make jelly. It's still my favorite. Hard to find now days.
Never heard of wild plums here in south Mississippi. Did they have a local name other than wild plums?
Seems like Mayhaw trees, and maybe wild plum trees, aren't oramental and desireable enought to be grown or sold commercially. Seems likely these kind of "legacy" plants just aren't maintained by land owners either. Just my best guess.
Check the local road side stands and farmer's markets. Maybe you'll find a jar or two of jelly.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I remember wild persimmions, huckleberrys, and real thick pure ribbion cane molasses. Grandpa'sl land was farmed to help support the other four families in our clan. All us kids were the field hands. A lot of what we ate was home grown. Okra, field peas, speckled butter bead, vine ripe 'maters, hand cranked ice cream, Lord, we were dirt poor, but we ate well. FYI - I hated shelling peas!
Originally Posted By Fbuckshot:
Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
My cousin and I would take turns cranking the ice cream maker and siting on it to hold it down––to keep it from turning with the handle. Remember that? ...You'd get up from sitting on the maker that's so cold that your ass would be itching like crazy from the mild frost bite? Papaw'd make us crank it until we couldn't stop the bucket from turning with the handle, even by sitting on it. Seeing the grown-ups like it so much, and watching them insist we went forst because we deserved it taught us a lot about doing your share, and reward, and recognition.......times have changed.
Since posting the original topic I've done some reading. It seems wild plums aren't at all drought resistant. What with the decades-long drought we're in now and with the county spraying herbicide over the whole right-of-way instead of mowing the road side to the fence..... Back home, people build their fences to withing feet of the road, ignoring the RoW.
Someone also mentioned Japanese beetles, but I don't recall ever seeing one there....but come to think of it and thinking about how Japanese beetles look like miniature ones––I haven't seen June bug in decades. When I was little In the early summer, and without exaggeration, there'd be 2-4 june bugs in our yard per square foot.
I know of a few in Lee Co. Alabama. There is one plum tree in my fathers yard that grew up near his back driveway. I know it has been there at least 25 years. Itis true that you don't see them like you used to.
I also know where there is a natural wild chestnut tree. They are few and far between also.
When my wife and I lived in Lincoln Co., TN (just North of Huntsville, AL) we had a nice wild plum on the property. It bore good fruit our first two or three years, and then just quit.
It was great being able to pick a plum or two while passing under the tree on the lawnmower. It wasn't tall–– maybe twelve feet–– but must have been twenty feet wide.
Plums used to be all over the place at my grandmothers house near Durant, MS. Every barbed wire fence row had a few. Haven't seen any in years.
I've still got half a dozen or so left out front. Well, more like bushes now than trees. I plan on planting more elsewhere if they bare this spring.
Lots of them around Birmingham. I had a House in Wylam for a time, plenty of them on the other side of the railRoad tracks.
this is a wild plum I have growing in the back forty. No fruit
they did used to be everywhere along the road sides. they made a pretty good snack when golfing, bike riding, walking etc.
they have gotten scarce for some reason or another.
Dont hold me to it but i believe it is a Chickasaw Plum.
There are 2 plums common to the MS/TN/Al area that I know of:
We have several Americans on my dad's farm. They're in a hedgerow. He also has several that he planted himself several years ago. They're on the roadside, and the neighbors usually get all that the deer don't eat.