My multi-graft plum (+ apricot) tree project

So I just planted a Shiro Japanese plum tree with the plan of using it as a mother tree and grafting on two varieties to it (Laroda and Satsuma). I’m planning on making the Shiro 1/3rd of the tree to be on the northern side for vigor management and have already planted it with the lowest branch pointing North.

But now I don’t know where to go from here. I thought the tree was going to come as a whip and I was going to let it grow out for a season but instead it came with a couple of well spaced scaffolds that I cant utilize because I don’t have any scion to graft right now.

I’m not sure how I’m going to convert 2/3 of the tree into two other varieties next year without taking off all the new growth it puts on this year.

You got a very nice tree.
You have a branch that is almost as thick as the main trunk, this branch will eventually be the dominant branch. If you are going to keep this branch , if I were you, I would cut this branch short and plant it North side, place the lower weaker branch on South side.hopefully, all branches are growing in good balance. If it was my tree, I would trim that branch off and select 4 remaining more or less balanced branches for scaffold. My two cents.

I was actually leaning towards removing that branch (and the one attached to it) leaving me with 3 scaffold branches, one for each variety.

Would you then just let those branches grow out for a year and rework them to other varieties?


If the tree roots started to grow, the branch leafs out, I might be able to send you some satsuma, larova, (and Santa Rosa if you want, ) scions to graft this year… Let me check my scions first, I keep few scions after pruning most of the time, but not every time .
My scions are all stored in 32-33 degree and all deep sleep. I don’t want to take them in and out often. So keep me posted, I should start to graft plum in a month or so. By that time, you should know how well your tree is doing too

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Wow, that would be awesome. I will definitely update you when the tree shows some progress.

Very good idea on keeping cuttings every time you prune. I will start doing that so I can offer them to other forum members. :+1:

Some updates here for others that find this thread:


Looks like almost every graft took. :grin: Likely the definition of dumb luck because I grafted at temperatures considered too low (shortly after the tree began to leaf out, when mid 30’s to high 50’s for a couple days straight).

Of the 16(?) grafts one is very sluggish, just leafing out now, and one looks to have been killed by the frost when we had a 25°F low. The leaves on all the grafts are kind of deformed but I suspect thats from the several nights of frost that happened 2-3 weeks ago. All the grafts seem to be taking off again with the last few warm days we’ve had.

So far Tomcot apricot appears to be compatible with Shiro plum. Also grafted on the tree now is Satsuma and Laroda. There will now be 4 scaffolds because I intend to let the Shiro nurse branch (the small one) to continue to grow out.

I’ll probably try my hand at doing some bark grafts to fill out the canopy a bit and as insurance for the two grafts that are struggling.


Congrats. Those are some Auburn type long grafts. I’m starting to see growth on Apple grafts I did in April. Only 3 apple grafts of one variety this year.

Progress update! The grafts are all growing very vigorously, just as strong as the one branch I left of the original Shiro mother tree.

Anyone have any advice for summer pruning plum and apricot trees?


Your tree looks good.I consider the overall shape of the tree and take some off the ends that need

@dimitri_7a hi, do you have an update on the apricot grafted to shiro? I’m planning to graft an apricot to satsuma so your feedback would be valuable. Thanks in advance!

Yeah, all the grafts took and are growing strong. Got some plums last year but I think I started spraying too late because they mostly got taken out by plum curculio. No apricots last year because of late frost or something, fingers crossed for this year. :crossed_fingers:

All the claims about Shirl’s vigor are true, if any Shiro branch is left unchecked it will try to take up all the sun and shade everything else out.


@dimitri_7a thanks, what grafting method did you use for the apricot and did one seem to perform better than the other?

I described my grafting method here:

Works really well for me and is easy to execute quickly.

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