Compatibility grafting?

I’ve enjoyed reading your posts about interstems and was wondering if you are growing Palmetta

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Im not growing palmetto at the moment. Are you referring to saw palmetto? Perhaps the grapefruit like Pomelos? Due to our climate in Kansas in can be very challenging to grow many things. Im not sure i know which plant your referring to. Thank you!

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Ah sorry, I was looking about the palmetta apple crab for the pear on apple trees. Looking for feedback to see if people had tried it. It appears that palmetta interstem with pear on apple takes well but fails two years later.


Are these the same 50 ft mountain ash we have growing all over town? Is there delayed compatibility issues or diseases with this combo? Will it grow a 50 ft pear tree?


unfortunately there isn’t much info. on it. yes these are American mountain ash. they don’t grow much bigger than 30ft. here. since i grafted onto it, I’ve been spraying it when i spray my other fruit trees. so far so good.


There is one thread that mentions it here Williams Pride. It mentions Konrad who is located in Canada as being one who grows them. @hungryfrozencanuck4b do you have any additional suggestions or things to add about the palmetta apple on pear or pears on the palmetta apple? The colder climates are unique and the questions are best answered by those with hands on experience. In Kansas i have not done it yet but im paying attention if you had good success. Kansas has more trouble with heat and drought not just cold weather. Our wi ters have been more mild in recent years than when i was a child. Normally i dont link to ther forums but in this case Konrad has done the work already Hardy pears.... I added a link to this thread and maybe Konrad or someone with experience will have a chance to answer your specific questions.

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Any troubles with the ash borers? A lot of ash trees have been removed preventatively in this area.

EAB affects ash trees in the Fraxinus genus, not mountain ashes (Sorbus). So they should be fine.


Oh. Do mountain ashes grow in the Midwest? How does one identify them?

The flowers/berries make them easy to spot here.


they are a very ornamental tree with their bright orange berries and dark green alternate leaves. if you want some seedlings i have dozens of volunteers here popping up every spring. might take a half doz. next spring and graft different pears to them to see how they do. i believe they are z2 hardy. they also grow pretty good in part shade.


I’d recommend a good field guide with a dichotomous key. The Peterson’s Trees and Shrubs is pretty good, but there may be better ones. Mountain ash is a small to medium tree with alternate branching, pinnately compound leaves (a lot of things that have this type of leaf get called “xxxx ash”), smooth-ish gray bark, showy white flower clusters, and clusters of orange/red berries. Ash (Fraxinus) tends to get much larger and has opposite branching, and the fruits are more like those of maples. Ash is actually in the olive family, whereas mountain ash is in the rose family (along with apples, pears, plums, and a boatload of other important fruit species).

You can see a map of states and counties with documented populations here. Just because a county is blank doesn’t mean it’s not there, just that no one found it and wrote it down. Still about as good a source for distribution as you’re going to get.

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I had bookmarked this posting of yours, the peach on P. americana. Have you reported the success or failure on these grafts? Did a couple searches and didn’t come up with anything. I am curious how it turned out!

My peach (Contender) on p americana are doing great, they fruited nicely last year, good sized too. A bit of overgrowth at the union, but not too bad.


That’s great! Congrats :smile:
I have a lot of P. americana suckers and want to try grafting a few peach varieties this spring. Your success is an encouragement so I’ll do it - Thanks!

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Watch nectarine everyone. Myself & another forum member have seen some really ugly, incompatibility.

Peach, no problems ever and I do not know why. You can put all the hybrid stonefruits, Asian plums, (you can try Euro. plums) and you’re going to have a lot of success with them but watch for swollen unions telling you about incompatibility. According to Bob Purvis - he was not real happy about a nursery in the USA putting all their Euro plums on Prunus americana stating that (“15-years” had something to do with his own/personal opinion about longevity/death of that rootstock combo.) Bob also told me Apricot doesn’t graft to americana but Tony in NE. has had apricot on P. americana for something like 8-years and no-issues. Bob should not be discounted by that mere statement though. He’s an expert in the field and may have been not thinking when he told me. I do it to.

Basically, it’s a hell of a rootstock. Mow the suckers off like you would anything other… and realize that unless you’re in a climate that agrees with stone-fruit requirements, you are not going to have very-long-lived, trees. It seems here in IL. that applying copper and dormant oil and trying to kill Japanese beetles gave me 6-9 years on a lot of what I began with and now have only a Saturn peach and a Starking Delicious plum, remaining.


Thanks for that information Dax. I read and reread these threads but then a few months later I have forgotten what I should have learned the first time through!
Regarding apricot on P. americana; what about P. americana as the rootstock and a peach interstem with apricot grafted to that? I have a lot of plum suckers to work with and plenty of peach I can use for interstem. There are a couple apricots I would like to have so I am thinking of ordering scion and giving it a go.

Sure, you’re most welcome.

I’d use a pluot if you have access… it’s the ticket.

And, Japanese plum. but here’s what you should walk away understanding from (any) grafting situation; when you aren’t using the same species to graft onto, the next question always becomes vigor. People are looking for and want vigor. Don’t put any thought into this particular instance, however, always try to best match vigor when grafting. At some point differing vigors will be extremely noticeable and will ultimately become the end of a tree’s life (think of grafting 100 or 150 old trees such as pecans - to illustrate.)

Phylogeny tells you how close species are or apart. I look at phylogeny charts every so often, indeed.

Vigor and phylogeny; very-important.

The sole reason I suggest pluot is because a long time ago when I was researching graft-compatibility among the Genus Prunus I believe it was Dave Wilson Nursery that recommends pluot first as an interstem among the whole gambit of that group of plum-apricot-peach type of stonefruits.



I was intrigued by Tony’s apricots on the plum rootstock, as I’ve tried many similar grafts and they all failed, either immediately or within the year. Lots of success with apricot to peach and apricot to Manchurian Apricot roots. I would encourage your inter stem idea as being a good plan.

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Interesting stuff, Dax. P. americana is native here and has many advantages going for it. I like it as a rootstock. But… I have been focused on “will the graft take”, not considering how vigor is involved and how that will ultimately play a role on longevity. Short-sighted. :thinking:

Palmer, I too was interested in Tony’s success. I think I may try several grafts, see what I get.

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