(1) Brief storage of scion and (2) Best grafting thoughts for plums

Not having ordered scion through the internet before, I am hoping for a little advice. I ordered scion for 10 varieties from Fedco in Maine. 6 Apples, 4 plums. They arrived in the mail today.

I can’t graft until Saturday - 2 days. It’s not a long wait. My question is, would they be better stored in the fridge, or room temp, or outside which is cool, 40s 50s. Or it doesn’t matter. Barring advice to the contrary, I think I would store them in the fridge.

The second question regards the plum scion. I have grafted T-buds. This may not be the best time of year for T-buds. I read that whip-and-tongue is not as good for plums. Is that true? I have had very good take with whip-and-tongue for apples and pears, but realize those are very easy species to graft.

The plan is to graft onto existing plum trees. Another option is, I have some 1-year old starts of Hollywood plum, grown from cuttings. They have good root systems. I read, Hollywood is probably a hybrid between P. cerasifera and an unknown eating plum. I don’t have a good use for the little plum trees - would they be good rootstocks? Hollywood leafs out faster than others, so growth is more advanced now, compared to my larger plum trees.

These are the Hollywood plum cuttings before I potted them up late fall. Now they are growing with lots of leaves.

Hollywood Plum Rooted Cuttings.

Thanks for your wisdom and advice.


W&T works great on plums, nurseries usually don’t propagate that way though and it seems to have gotten a bad name because of that. Plums are very easy to graft, they are like apples or pears.

Put the scions in the fridge right after you get them until you graft.


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Scott, thank you for the advice. I will do whip and tongue.

The plums are old varieties. Maybe more suited for my area, than Zaiger hybrids from California. From the Fedco catalog -

"Ember. Late Summer. (Prunus salicina Shiro x P. americana var) 1936… red-blushed fruit…Rich yellow juicy sweet flesh is very firm and meaty but tender… Tastes and looks like an apricot…

La Crescent…(Prunus salicina Shiro x P. americana Howard Yellow) 1923… thin-skinned yellow fruit is sometimes blushed with a little pink…aromatic and suggestive of apricots…

South Dakota…Prunus americana… tough yellow skin with bright red blush. Medium-firm yellow flesh is meaty, juicy, sweet… very long flowering period… pollinator for all hybrid plums…developed before 1907.

Hanska…(Prunus americana x P. simonii) 1908… Firm fragrant yellow semi-freestone flesh… strong apricot-like flavor…

Thanks again.

First time grafting this year. I tried making whip and tongue but found it difficult since I am left handed and my grafting knife is made for right handed people. I decided to just do cleft grafts with parafilm and nursery tie tape to hold the graft. All of the plum grafts took. The grafts on peaches were less successful.

What was your method for getting the Hollywood Plums to root?Good job. Brady

Brady, thanks.

I treated them as any shrub hardwood cutting. I cut pencil thickness pieces of dormant one year growth, late winter before bud break. Dipped the bottom in dip-and-gro. Stuck them in rich compost amended soil in my tomato raised bed. They got no other special treatment, beyond watering the tomatoes. They were on the north side of the bed, so were shaded. I didn’t expect any to grow, but they all did.

Did the same thing with Shiro. None of those struck. Maybe the Prunus cerasifera heritage roots easily?

I potted them so I can give them to neighbors or something. Kept the strongest and planted it in my orchard. All survived winter and growing nicely.

I’ve had 95% success with cleft grafts for plums and I consider myself a novice at grafting.

I have high success rate with whip & tongue on plum.

Good to see you have successfully rooted plum cuttings. I’m currently trying to root Marianna cutting. Seeing your rooted cuttings give me hope that mine has a chance to root. I didn’t use rooting hormone though.