Chickasaw Plum Inventory


I’m certainly willing to send seeds when I have them. I would love to a couple of those seedling Odom and Guthrie. We are slowly putting in a community orchard on the grounds of the Habitat for Humanity affiliate I work at, and your Chickasaw seedlings will probably be hardy enough to survive a fair amount of neglect. God bless.



@coolmantoole Just sent you a PM. Let me know your thoughts.


I would be interested in growing seed . I have space to grow them . So if anyone has some this year to share send me a message .


I’ve abandoned all ‘cultivated’ plums for Chickasaws… they’re the only thing that will fruit and ripen here in my no-spray/no-care orchard system.

I’ve got two thickets of Chickasaws here in my orchard - a red-fruited one that started with one little stem I rescued out of the cow pasture 20 years ago, the other a larger yellow-fruited strain growing alongside a gravel road a couple of miles from here. I prefer the yellow - larger, heavier-bearing, and sweeter.
Also have several trees of Guthrie, courtesy of scions sent by a friend in FL some years ago, all grafted into the yellow-fruited clump.
Photo earlier in this thread is pretty typical of Guthrie fruit… 25-50% larger fruit size than the straight species… mine has, to me, a very distinct ‘peach’ flavor.
I have one seedling of Guthrie that came up in a sinkhole where I’d dumped a big batch of pits after pulping them out. Getting about big enough to bear fruit… hopefully I’ll live long enough to see if it’s as good as the parent.


My friend, Larry Stevenson, who gave me my McKibben plum has provided me a history, pictures and a description.

It clearly grows to be quite the impressive tree for a Chickasaw. The fruit are in his words twice the size of what typical of wild Chickasaw plums. The skin is bitter, but the flesh is sweet which is typical for Chickasaws. It ripens in early June in Pace Ms. God bless. Marcus


I forgot to add in the history behind the McKibben plum. Here is the history emailed to me from Larry Stephenson:

My McKibben ancestors brought that plum from North Carolina to Tallahatchie County, MS, in 1851. The original bush has grown to be a grove near Bruce, MS, and members of the family have dug sprouts from there since then. I got mine from a cousin in Teoc, MS, who planted hers in 1960. It’s a tree now, not a bush, remarkably healthy and ancient for a native plum, they aren’t usually long-lived. The fruit is about twice the size of the native ones I see around here. Typical native plum as far as taste, bitter skin and very sweet flesh. The trunk and leaves are remarkable free of disease and bugs. It’s about the only stone fruit I mess with.


@coolmantoole Larry has some good stuff! Great guy- I know him from NAFEX.


Question withdrawn- I see my answer above.


My understanding is that they are highly variable. God bless.



Ive never known there were any such things as various cultivars. Mine are all just pulled from suckers and transplants that grow wild around SW Kansas.


Do your Chickasaw plums attract plum curculio? My peaches were ruined last year and the only “wild” plums in my area were my Chickasaw type plums. The tree was given to me by a friend who said it grew well in Florida and had “good sized” fruit for jelly. Those plum trees were rooting everywhere, bloomed profusely for about 14 years and never had a plum! I researched Chickasaw plums on the internet and couldn’t figure out exactly how the plum curculio infests the trees and at what point (bloom, fruit?). Finally gave up and cut them down. I have small trees of Odom and Guthrie. Do these varieties also attract plum curculio?

My mother grew a fairly large plum in north Florida which I thought might be the Excelsior. A friend gave her some seedlings. They grew into large trees and made wonderful jelly. I haven’t been able to find a tree of Excelsior, but not sure if I have enough chill hours. Our last few winters have been very warm.


Yes plum curculio do attack Chickasaw plums, but the plums are much more resistant to brown rot than either Asian plums or European plums. That means that while the curculio will damage part of the plum, it won’t necessarily cause the whole plum to rot before ripening. Note, I have noticed that plum curculio don’t seem to like the Asian X Chickasaw hybrid Robusto very much. It’s the only plum that I have experience with where this seems to be the case. As for your chickasaws not producing fruit. My guess is that all the Chickasaws in your area are clones of each other suckering from a common root. To test this, simply introduce a blooming tree from somewhere else while the flowers are freshly open and the bees are flying. You can literally cut down a small tree or a branch and stick it in a five gallon bucket with water near your trees, and if lack of unrelated pollenizer is the problem they should set fruit. God bless.


My Guthrie and odum plums are starting to ripen, so here’s an update.

Guthrie-no disease so far in 3 years with no spray. Plum curculio hit pretty hard, but this just encouraged me to do some needed thinning. Incredibly vigorous, I’ve already summer pruned twice to try to control height. Very heavy fruit set on some branches, almost none on others despite blooms. Didn’t see many polinators while blooming. Ripening fruit tends to crack in this very wet weather we’ve had, but hasn’t rottted. Fruit soft, juicy, sweet and tangy.

Odum- mostly the same as Guthrie but only 5% of the fruit set. Ripening a a couple of weeks behind Guthrie, so I haven’t sampled any yet.


That is great news. Hope to have a few next year. Thanks, Bill


Glad to see your update and hope you can post some more pictures. I have fond memories of picking from the wild thickets of these plums that used to grow here, though I haven’t seen any in ages. I planted some American and Chickasaw seedlings from Willis this spring and they are growing like weeds.


My Guthrie seems to be highly attractive to little bees (much smaller than honeybees) every year. There always seem to be lots of them in the tree. Unfortunately, the other chickasaw I had to pollinate it died, so there hasn’t been anything around to cross-pollinate it, and Guthrie also blooms very early which isn’t good for fruit set but I always especially appreciate the very pretty bloom and very nice scent when winter first starts to yield.


This is a couple of internet pictures of plums that remind me of the ones I grew up eating. You could find these plums all over road sides and pasture edges. My favorite was to eat these as they start softening or as we term it turning. Some would ripen yellow and some would be red.



Does this look like one? I found it growing at the edge of my yard. It doesn’t look like it was planted intentionally but I don’t know what it is.

The fruit look very plum-like to me.


It looks like a plum but not like the ones I pictured above.


I don’t think that’s a Chickasaw. The leaves look wrong. However, if it’s growing in some corner of your yard without any care, and it will produce some decent fruit, it’s a winner.