Nanking cherry rootstock

So I searched this here and I found where it was mentioned a couple times in passing but there was not much information about it. I planted a row of Nanking cherries down the north fence of my yard as a kind of edible privacy screen from the neighbors driveway. I transplanted seedlings and also grew some seedlings , I think I have about twenty in sizes ranging from 18 inches to over six feet tall. It became apparent to me that this is going to be more Nanking cherries than I need or want to pick. I have a few grafting projects this spring and I think I would like to try to graft something onto a couple of the Nanking cherries. I would like to graft a plum or maybe a peach onto it. I have heard it is extremely dwarfing and that there maybe some degree of incompatibility. I could just plant some other rootstock, which I plan on doing but that is part of the fun of grafting, putting something there that didn’t grow there. Does anyone have any first hand experience with this, or have any information that is relevant?

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No experience here but I have thought about trying this combination several times. Good luck and let us know how it works out. Bill

I will let you know how it goes, I think I will try a peach and maybe a couple of types of plums on it. It may just make me a place to grow some scion wood as I get proper rootstock going. I still think a tiny little peach would look nice though, maybe just four or five feet tall. I think I saw something about this on GW but it was second hand information and they said it was very dwarfing on peaches.

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I bought a really nice Nanking cherry rootstock at a local nursery coming on eight years ago this summer and grafted a prune plum to it. The graft took quickly and the plant did well. It turns out to be very dwarfing indeed, and very manageable. This last year was the first year that I did any pruning on it save a little internal thinning. I let it establish a central leader, and when the leader got tall enough I pulled it over to about 45 degrees so that the tree formed a vase on its own accord. It’s about chest high now. Healthy, happy, but not at risk for getting away from me!

Last year was the first year for it to bloom, but there wasn’t any fruit set. A sucker planted from the same clone is about at the same stage of maturity. I expect to get a fruit or four from it this year, maybe the same from the sucker. We’ll see.

It’s kinda neat to see the graft union. The rootstock is gnarly and tortured looking, while the graft grew into a typical plum- smooth and glossy. The rootstock looks like it’s holding back a rambunctious offspring- holding it back by not sending it money just because it wants to party- and the top growth is obviously constrained. Well, it’s a rough life, and I have yet to know how it’s going to play out, but if I were in your shoes I would go for it.

Good luck and have fun.



Thanks for the details Mark. Wow, eight years old and only chest high.

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I’ll get a photo or two out this spring when it blooms again (hope hope hope).


Looking forward to seeing your pictures. If possible I would like to see the graft union. Thanks, Bill

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So this spring I tried grafting two different romance cherries and weeping cherry on nanking and none took. On a side note I purchased a Juliet and grafted a carmine jewel scion on it which took, kind of a controll I suppose. Maybe next year I will try a plum,


That was for testing purposes, right? Nanking is related and therefore compatible to plums, never saw it being mentioned as rootstock for cherries. But I’m glad you did the testing work to be sure. There is a commercial rootstock for plums developed from prunus tomentosa. Its called WEITO-Typ 226.


Correct, I wanted to try and see what happened, I wonder if Nadia would work as an interstem but of course it is patent protected so I guess we may not know for twenty years or so

Krymsk 1 is Prunus tomentosa × Prunus cerasifera.