Grafted mulberries


some wild peach-relatives actually live hundreds of years, so probably best to try it on nectarines, which are considered perennial, but for some reason decline pretty quickly(in human terms).


yeah, it is quite possible. Nectarines and navel oranges are some could think of. I feel it is purely a matter of determining the lifespan/ productive lifespan of a nectarine on its own roots in a disease/pest-free environment.

as an another diversion , this time pertaining to humans-- in laboratories around the world are tons of hela cells, and these were supposedly cervical cancer cells, from Henrietta lax(hence the Hela name), which seem to be immortal. Which could be analogous to sport cells from humans. Only difference between nectarine and hela cell is that the most vicious/indestructible cancers are typically undifferentiated cells, whereas nectarine sports are fully functional fruiting stems.


The clones are exact copies “in the moment you graft”. Because of the ongoing mutations the mothertree will change also. So if you take a cutting from a specific tree one year (pretend you preserve its exact condition) and another a year later, the cuttings are not the same. The last one is a year older. And there is no tree you could get the scion from last year from. The mothertree and all its descendants by cloning are the same age (one year older than last year and so on).Thats what is meant. The variety itself ages, not only the tree it is growing on. I have difficulties to word it right…

As I understand the arguments a sport is as old as the original variety


My hypothesis would be that this is NOT true IF it were possible to neatly root prune as easily as it was to prune the top. Picture a hydroponic peach tre, in which you drain and prune the roots by some rule related to the mass of the wood take from the top. I think you’d have to kill such a tree by pathogen or improper pruning causing some kind of accumulated damage. I think you’ll find trees need new roots because we can’t care for the roots as easily as we care for the tops.



My bark grafted mulberries on wild mulberry rootstocks looked great. They are grew 10 plus feet the first season. I liked the Girardi the best due to the dwarf form. The IE, Kokuso, and Oscar are way too tall after two seasons. I only have about 30 years left in my lifetime to see how these trees grow. My new grafts fruited the same season. When I collect my scions to graft, I usually chose the one with fruit buds on it so I can get the graft to fruit either the first or second years. That including pawpaws, Asian pears, plums, pluots, peaches, some Euro pears, and apples.



which is why should be done in aseptic laboratory conditions. With airlayers there won’t be a need to prune much, since cuttings only have adventitious roots anyway and don’t have vigorous taproots of seedlings.


paranoid about my finite existence too, so in a hurry to broadcast extremely long-lived mulberries and jujubes. Actually sent juju seeds across the atlantic and there’s nothing more fulfilling about the thought of several generations of children harvesting from those potential trees-- hundreds of years after my mortal fate :slightly_smiling_face:


Bacteria and virus do damage to peach tree branches, trunk, and roots. Once the damage starts it can spread and the whole tree dies. That may take 10 or 20 years for peach trees depending on the attack. Find a healthy branch with new growth that has not yet been affected by the bacteria and/or virus and graft it to some healthy roots and there is a fresh start. The cycle can go on for a long time.
Even under perfect conditions there may be some occasional damage during cell division so that accumulating damage may eventually make cloning impossible or mutations may change the characteristics of the plant. That may not be a problem until thousands or years have passed.

As @carot said, at least for us:


I don’t think mutations support the idea of a biological clock because they are random. They will be different on every branch or clone, it would be lines from mutated selections that die out together. Creosote bushes can live over 10,000 years without any help from people, they rejuvenate themselves by growing in an ever larger ring with new roots and shoots keeping their growth vigorous enough to survive.


I just want to shout out a quick “Thank you” to all that participated in this fascinating discussion. I have been searching for the answer to the lifespan of clones for years, and although it still is not completely resolved to my satisfaction, I have gained an expanded viewpoint to consider. I hope the originator of this thread, Botanical Bryce, received an satisfactory answer also…And I understand his concern. Incompatabilities at graft unions can be quite problematic…I see it often in persimmons, but in mulberries (other than M. nigra) most graft unions are nearly seamless and offer the hope for a long-lived healthy tree. Our fruit trees are an extension of ourselves…I don’t just want my trees to live throughout my lifespan, I am hoping they will make me (sort of) immortal. So if anyone else has any additional specific knowledge concerning “grafted vrs non-grafted” mulberries, please inform Bryce and myself.


The last time I researched the subject of vegetative reproduction in trees, I concluded from the papers I read that there actually is growth from meristem undifferentiated cells that reset the clock (or age) of the clone to close to zero, that difference explaining why the juvenile phase is skipped. Grafts are in essence cuttings or air layers, but instead of drawing nutrition from their own roots, they do from a rootstock. All are different forms of vegetative reproduction. That explains why “varieties” have been around for hundreds if not thousands of years, whereas individual trees only live a predetermined lifespan for that species. I agree with @Richard in that regard. Very perplexing and fascinating question nonetheless…


Callous material at the base of branches, twigs, and fortified nodes often contain meristem cells. This is why I always include it in cuttings I create for rootings. In some perennials it is also a site for tissue culture cell collection.


this is actually the case in point am so curious about. And my query is-- if an airlayer that has successfully rooted is not removed from the mother tree, will its age not be reset close to zero? I mean, when exactly will the resetting occur, upon removal from the tree?

conversely, and as an example for many who may have grown tomatoes(for our purposes, pertain to a perennial variety of tomato). As a tomato plant ages, it tends to grow roots above the soil line without having to be girdled/treated with hormones. If we cut the specimen at the main trunk below soil line, will this effectively reset the age of the above-ground tomato? This process is nothing more than a severe case of root pruning, so wondering if this act makes the air-layer reset the tomato’s age.

now, with peach/plum trees, if we hypothetically infect them with borers at the trunk below soil level and effectively cause root pruning(but not so much to cause death). Admittedly this sounds philosophical(and i hope you don’t find it condescending an argument), but this effectively translates to the tomato analogy, and curious if this would trigger resetting the age of the trees. Would the trees now be ‘younger’ than they were prior to the borer damage?

and lastly, the bare-root trees we receive from nurseries pretty much have the same circumstances due to severe root pruning.


Somatic embryogenesis proves that the growth changes a plant goes through as it matures are not genetic. Because clones are reverted to a seed like state they regain seedling/baby plant characteristics. A cutting only goes back to being juvenile, just like when a mature tree is pruned hard and becomes vigorous again.

Scenarios on clones on their own roots and theory of rejuvenation

i just move the discussion to another thread


Has any one had success grafting Geraldi onto Dwarf Mulberry as rootstock? I’ve failed twice now. Is it not compatible or a bad match? Maybe I should try to graft onto the Red Mulberry rootstock?


Along that vein, has anyone tried grafting black mulberry Morus nigra onto Dwarf mulberry? I’m planning on experimenting with this next Spring. It would help to know if the two are compatible.


I’ve tried Geraldi onto Illinois Everbearing twice without success.


Good to know. Strange I would think that would work as well.


I agree with Dax. I never field plant a tree deeper than I should. This is especially true for people with heavy soil. With that said, a workaround is possible. If you have access to a light fast draining potting mix, then it is possible to upsize pots with the graft union below this potting mix. It may or may not grow roots where you would like it to.