Compatibility grafting?

My experience with japanese plums on prunus besseyi , americana, canadian bounty plum have been largely my own research. They are compatible. The japanese plums will not work on cherry plums or goose plums as examples. I just tried every plum for rootstock i could find and figured it out after getting some advice from Bob Purvis on what he suspected might work with besseyi.

Yeah…everyone here says they are compatible, but I put umpteen varieties on last year and all save for a very few overgrew the host and simply popped off. I’m much less than convinced at this point. All were healthy and wildly vigorous growing scions…just popped off. I posted a few photos last year that I think were pretty demonstrative. The ONE single reference I found online (and posted here) stated Euro on Asian = OK, Asian on Euro = not ok. Every single person on this thread that commented agreed that this info was incorrect. They had successfully done this as proof. Yet my little experiment (2 different trees of the same type, from the same source) actually supported that information.
I have nothing to go on other than those factors.


To make things more complicated all of my cherry plums came from sandusky nursery so the question is are there strains out there that are compatible with Japanese plums? In my cases they were total failures. American plums are excellent rootstock for every scion of Japanese plum I tried. My experiment was over a hundred grafts. I found 2 more this year blooming that I forgot about doing a couple of years ago in 2013 or 2014. When I was a kid I recall my mom saying she had a besseyi x plum hybrid because we ate the fruit and it was bitter. The fruit was huge and the bush came from henry fields or gurneys. It was a Japanese cross I think. That variety of bush I think is still being improved on in Canada

Scott this is an interesting read. My grafting has mainly been on pears and apples. Haven’t grafted much stone fruit. I’ve been under the misconception that most stone fruits are compatible. But that article has taught me a few things, one of which is that some peaches can be grafted to Apricot but peaches can’t be grafted to plum. I was not aware of that. Kinda assumed most stone fruit was compatible.

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To elaborate further on cherry plums and why some claim success and others failure in grafting is because like I said above it depends on what the hybrid is. See this definition Cherry plum - Wikipedia. This article confirms what my mother told me as a boy about the cherry plums she had

I was recently wondering if a Winter Banana interstem on bud9 could be used to create dwarf, precocious pears. Maybe a project for next spring!


The article section I’m referring to is . “The term “cherry plum” is the common name for Prunus cerasifera of European origin, but the name is also used more regionally to describe crosses between cherries and plums. The term “cherry plum” as used in this website refers to cherry and plum hybrid crosses. Cherry plums, observed at Carandale, first became available in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Most of the original cherry plums were produced by crossing sand cherry (Prunus besseyi) with Japanese plum (Prunus salicina). Later cultivars were also produced from open pollinated cherry plums and by crossing cherry plums. Most have excellent quality for canning, jams, jellies, pies and juices, and some have dessert quality. Many are low-growing shrubs that produce heavily, making them well-suited for mechanical harvesting. Cherry plum requires cross-pollination. They grow best in sandy soils but most any soil will suffice as long as it is well drained. They do not tolerate waterlogged soils.”

So, there is a problem with Euro Plum on American Plum?

… the term “cherry plum” is … also used more regionally to describe
crosses between cherries and plums.

Only when persons wish to display their ignorance. I keep having to correct people who say that the cherry plums are a cross between cherries and plums when in fact nothing could be further form the truth. Not immediately correcting people only encourages perpetuating misinformation avoiding the modest risk of not making a new friend. You should reject this use of cherry plum too.


You know Eric Amadio has posted links to some multi-university studies on rootstocks. I’ll see if I can find them. Hopefully they are appropriate…if he or anyone knows to what I speak please feel free to post the link(s) yourself.

edit: Found it: - you have to hunt around in various universities for their contributions…U of Cal was one.

edit 2:


American plums work for both Japanese and European plums. They graft very easy.


Besseyi is definately more of a plum than a cherry but regardless they call it a western sand cherry. They called those besseyi hybrids those types of names since long before I was born. I’m not likely to change them but the purpose of this post and the others is to point out if someone says a name of something I need to understand what they meant. These definitions may be helpful

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If anyone is interested in what I found out on my 2014 experiment here is what I did

What plum scion wood to use on prunus besseyi ?
January 25, 2014
What is your opinion of the best plum wood to graft on a western sand cherry? The base is about the size of my wrist. I was planning to use a rind grafting technique. What are your thoughts?
January 26, 2014 at 10:10AM
Wanted to give a quick update as it may be useful to someone in the future. We decided to use Alderman, Toka, Superior, Kahinta, Waneta, and Gracious scion wood to rind graft over the existing sand cherries because they are hybrids. I have also looked to this guide for information on plums / cherry plums etc. and this guide Originally we planted the western sand cherry as a short term solution to get fruit quickly which served it’s purpose and made plenty of jelly and many other things. Sand cherries are something I believe everyone should grow if they have room. Though partially incompatible this guide discusses the use of the rootstock By using hybrid plums that should improve compatibility. The idea by top grafting over the prunus besseyi is to get fruit of the plums in 2-3 years since the roots are already established and vigorous. I will try and give an update a couple of years from now. As with anything before doing this I also consulted experts to get their opinions as well. Ultimately this is not done a lot at this time but has been done extensively historically. The historical results are that most growers got a plum that lived 8-12 years is my understanding which means 6-10 years of fruit. Perhaps the hybrids will do better or perhaps worse but only time will tell. If there is one variety that takes better and produces more than the others I will let you know the results.
February 26, 2014 at 2:35AM
Bradybb I should mention I plan to leave a branch from the western sand cherry on the tree until the other grafts grow away and take. I’m doing this so the established branch will continue to feed my plant until my new scions are established. If the scions die I wont loose my plant only my time. Then I will go back in the fall and pull the grafting tape and cut off my feeder branch.
This the first plum scion starting to bud on prunus besseyi.3F42080E-AB8F-4198-9B37-8E2EFD93693F
You may be wondering how my plum experiment is going so I wanted to give a quick update. Some are starting to grow away nicely! You can see this is a side graft if you look closely.
May 22, 2014 at 7:24AM
To verify my scion wood was viable I used American plum, sand plum, myrobalan plum, Canadian bounty plum, and goose plum as controls. Canadian bounty plum took the grafts 60% of the time, American plum 70%, myrobalan plum 20%, Goose plum 0% so far. Prunus Besseyi grafts are taking about 70% of the time. The great news is its tree specific so if one graft fails they all fail even if I made three or four. If they take they all take 100% of the time. That implies that I did ok with the grafting of the stone fruits but they may be incompatible since they are genetically different plums grown from seed. Growing besseyi from cuttings would resolve that variable issue. I have a wild purple plum I plan to experiment with this next year. I tried one unsuccessful graft to it this year but was out of scion wood. I have 30+ of them growing.

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May 22, 2014 at 7:28AM
This is a picture of an example of one of the Canadian bounty plums I top worked as a control for the experiment. I suspect my controls may be as useful to someone someday as my actual experiment on Prunus besseyi. Canadian bounty plums spread aggressively through suckering and readily take the scion wood I used in this experiment. The American plum is similar in growth and readily takes the scion wood used in this experiment. They both are highly resistant to diseases that effect plums in this area more so than even prunus besseyi.0A01C207-1B6E-4569-B169-F3EBB7A9FCD8
May 22, 2014 at 7:40AM
In case your wondering about how the scions are doing on the American plum this is a picture of those. I used Rind Graft, Cleft Graft, Whip, Saddle, and side grafting techniques to see if one grafting technique was better than another and found it to make no difference in this experiment. If done properly they are all highly effective techniques.
September 2, 2014 at 8:06AM
The results of the experiment were as follows for the first year the prunus besseyi plum, American plum, and Canadian bounty plum all took the grafts well and the other controls were only partially compatable and the graft died after a few months. I will continue to give updates on this experiment to help people in future grafting endeavors.

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January 20, 2017 at 3:37PM
Any updates for 2015/2016? I’m really interested to hear how it is going.

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January 20, 2017 at 7:46PM
As expected a few plums set this year on one of the prunus besseyi rootstocks. The scions have grown to 7’ now. The besseyi have been a magnet to canker in my orchard so I have removed most of them unfortunately. The great news is Alderman, Toka, Superior, Kahinta, Waneta, and Gracious seem 100% compatible with the prunus besseyi I used.


I put one on this spring. Root M111/Interstem Bud9/ from last season. I recently added a double graft on top of this which has Winter Banana/Harrow pear as the top. The Harrow is starting to leaf out. If successful this would be a welcome way to reduce the pear tree size . Bill


OK. It wasn’t listed for Euro Plums in your first post. I thought I might have made an assumption about their compatibility when reading previous threads on the subject.

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So I had read through this topic when it was originally written and thought it was very interesting. However when it came to grafting this year I must have forgotten some of what I read. One of which was that peach can not be grafted to plum.

We’ll I just realized I grafted some a few peach and nectarine scions to a methley plum tree. When I looked at them today they looked quite good. They are leafing out nicely. Could just be the scion feeding off its own carbs.

Has anyone ever successfully grown peach on plum?

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Some plums can be used as peach rootstock but I don’t know about that one that you used. Here is a link that discusses trials of peaches on plum


The late Lon Rombough told me they did that at Oregon St. U. - WB on a dwarfing apple rootstock to build a good scaffold system, then worked Asian pears on… they lived a long time, but the trees were removed to make room for some other project.

OHxF 513 is compatible with Euro and Asian pears, and Asian ‘pear decline’ reported not to be an issue with 513. Semi-dwarf, should make a tree ~ 65-75% of standard. I’ve been using an 8-10" interstem of 513 between callery understock and Euro & Asian varieties.
Have grafted pears(mostly FB-resistant sand-pear hybrids) onto native cockspur hawthorn (C. crus-galli). Quite dwarfing to the pears.

C.crus-galli also makes a good understock for the various mayhaw selections I’ve been able to get my hands on.

Have grafted peaches and Japanese-hybrid plums onto Nanking cherry (P.tomentosa).

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Thanks for the link Clark. Pretty difficult read for a person like myself. Lol. I’m just going to let it grow and see what happens.

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The most important section to you is this one "

". If it’s a slow growing plum it’s likely somewhat compatible.