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Chickasaw Plum for Wildlife

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Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. I’ve been noticing Chickasaw plums on my drive to Sumter recently. I see them on the dry, open woodlands as I drive down towards the Wateree flood plain. They’re modest in size, open and twiggy trees that you wouldn’t call spectacular, as even in bloom their beauty is somewhat ephemeral.  They do make small fruits that are enjoyed by wildlife as they aren’t picky about the damage caused by the plum curculio like we are. They’re considered a must have for wildlife habit as besides providing good shelter for birds they are the larval food source for over 465 larvae of butterflies and moths. Sadly, you can go to big box stores and even some responsible nurseries and buy privet and Bradford pears, but these native trees are difficult to find. My usual go to nursery lists them but they are currently "unavailable.'

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.