Today I cut scions I’d promised folks. Beautiful day for it, too! All went well except for my Sapalta chums. Both bushes are vigorous growers, full of new growth shoots, lots available to cut - but they all had blossom buds. I could not find one place anywhere that didn’t have the triple bud, which I think means they are all blossom buds, right? Leaf in the middle, blossoms on the sides?? Sapalta has always been an excessive bloomer, and fruits very well when weather allows. But I expected to find some growth with single flat leaf buds. Maybe they just don’t grow that way. I couldn’t find anything online.
But the big question is, are the cuttings likely to graft OK? Any ideas? Sue
For my grafting style, I have busted the myth of to cut down to just two buds and remove the flowers or fruitlets that formed. I don’t do that anymore. I even let the grafted branches bear fruits for me that growing season. As for my trees that I have grafted, it has never become a concern.
Sometimes, the only way for me to get fruits from high chill cultivars is when I visit my friends living in the foothills or mountains where they get the longest chilling hours, I would ask for their yard long pruning clippings and then I would graft it to my tree here in our yard, and it would be loaded with fruits. Grafting yard long or even longer limbs that have flower buds isn’t new, especially if you’ve been grafting forever, you’ll have to try something audacious from time to time to push the limits.
It actually depends upon how vigorous you want your grafts to be, if you want them to produce fruits the soonest time or until they’ve grown bigger.
When you graft scionwood with flower buds they would bear fruits the quickest but also the graft isn’t as vigorous, they grow slowly. When you graft scionwood that are juvenile water sprouts, they tend to have no flower buds and can be very vigorous when grafted.
These are just general observations as there are always exemptions such as sometimes the scionwood with flower buds will have juvenile water sprouts when grafted to a juvenile branch. But knowing these and how you want your grafts to grow, you select the appropriate scionwood for your objectives.
I like your thinking, you have been very helpful in many ways, thanks for all the input.
Most of us feel water sprouts is the way to go. One should be patient. I try to harvest from them when possible.
I want a lot of grafts to have diversity in flavor and ripening times, but for me I have other goals too…breeding stock. I want my own cultivars, like my pink raspberry Irene. Or hopefully my Indian Glo peaches or Drew51 plums.
Hi Trevor - I like the Sapalta a lot but it’s been with me the longest and is the most reliable of my plums. It’s a Hansen hybrid, chum size smallish, maybe an inch or more, with beautiful dark rather sour skin. But when really ripe the flesh is dark purple sweet and juicy and full of flavor. Hardy, prolific blooming, reliable and prolific fruiting. My early notes aren’t real good, but weather allowing the original Sapalta fruited almost every year I think and I’m not sure I had any other plum every year. But mostly it’s been Gracious, or an unknown seedling cherry-plum, or an unknown red plum, and Pembina for a few years (only itme I had a good Gracious crop). I like them snacking off the tree, for wine, and especially for sauce. Attractive, too.
I tried to make the original Sapalta a tree but it wanted to be a bush and a bush form is really the way to go. I have a note from Hansen from an old publication, “All the sand cherry hybrids … should be kept in bush form with many stems close to the ground. As they bear heavily on one-year-old wood, try to have an abundance of this wood coming on by pruning back the shoots that have borne several years. The sand cherry hybrids should not be trimmed up with a high stem, as some practice with ordinary plums.” I’ll second that!
My original lived 25 yrs but wasn’t productive at the last. I have two new ones going now (one grafted and one from the root shoots - turns out my original was on its own roots and not grafted) and got some fruit last year so I expect to be back buried in Sapaltas soon. Sue