The beach plum (Prunus maritima) is a wild, native plum that grows in abundance along the beaches, among the sand dunes, and on the coastal plans from Virginia to Nova Scotia. The fruit can be consumed fresh but is commonly used for the making of jam and jelly. From bloom through fruit display, the plants can have high ornamental value. Beach plums, like cultivated plums, are best transplanted in spring. The size is 10-15 foot. Planting space is 5-10 foot. Most beach plums bloom heavily each year but set a crop only once every three or four year. Beach plums are self-sterile, and require cross-pollination. There are several varieties of beach plums that produce annual crop with good fruit size and quality: `Autumn’ , `Stearns’, `Northneck’ and `Squibnocket’ .
The beach plum is attacked by several insects. By far the most important insect pest is the plum gouger, which, some years, destroys over half the crop. The gouger is a reddish-brown snout beetle. Eggs are laid in the newly set fruit and the larvae develop in the pit, reaching maturity and emerging at about the time the fruit ripens in late August, and September. Infested fruit does not size or ripen normally, but remains small and green. The plum curculio commonly infests beach plums. This is also a reddish-brown snout beetle but is distinguished from the plum gouger by its smaller size, rough exterior and the presence of white and black mottling on the back. The egg puncture of the plum curculio is distinctive, being a crescent shaped scar. Infested fruit drop prematurely.
Brown rot, a very common and destructive fungus disease of peaches, cherries, and plums, is one of the most troublesome of beach plums. It can be controlled by thorough and repeated fungicide sprays.