Wild plum

Common Name(s): Plum

Scientific Name: Prunus domestica


Distribution: Widely cultivated in temperate areas worldwide


Tree Size: 20-40 ft (6-12 m) tall, 1-1.5 ft (.3-.4 m) trunk diameter


Average Dried Weight: 50 lbs/ft3 (795 kg/m3)


Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .61, .79


Janka Hardness: 1,550 lbf (6,900 N)*


*Estimated hardness based on specific gravity


Modulus of Rupture: 12,810 lbf/in2 (88.4 MPa)


Elastic Modulus: 1,478,000 lbf/in2 (10.19 GPa)


Crushing Strength: No data available


Shrinkage: No data available


Color/Appearance: Plum heartwood can exhibit a cornucopia of colors, typically a yellowish brown, with streaks of pink, orange, red, purple, olive, or gray mixed in. Because of the small size of plum trees, swirled or irregular grain, as well as knots and other defects are common.


Grain/Texture: Has a fine texture with close grain and a slight natural luster.


Endgrain: Semi-ring-porous to diffuse-porous; small pores, sometimes arranged diagonally, numerous to very numerous; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; mineral/gum deposits occasionally present, though not easily seen with lens; growth rings usually distinct due to a concentration of earlywood pores; parenchyma marginal; medium to wide rays, spacing normal.


Rot Resistance: No data available.


Workability: Areas with straight and clear grain are easy to work with hand or machine tools. Care must be taken when surfacing irregular grain or knots to avoid tearout. Plum glues, turns, and finishes well.


Odor: Plum has a distinct scent while being worked that is reminiscent of pumpkin or squash.


Allergies/Toxicity: Although there have been no adverse health effects reported for Plum, the closely related Black Cherry has been reported to cause respiratory effects. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

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