Plum rootstock Stone Fruit compatibility

Hi I have a couple old stumps that are sprouting that look like plum so I grafted a bunch of stone fruit onto them. A lot of people will say online that all stone fruit is graft compatible but that’s not true.
The two plum stumps as far as I can tell are cherry plum (green leaf) and wild plum (thorny).
I got this chart from CRFG

So far, the grafts that seem to be sprouting are:
-Japanese plum
-capulin cherry
Not working:
-European plum

I have a lot more root suckers available and I’m going to a scion exchange this weekend. I would like to graft a Nectaplum on here if possible. I’m curious if Nectaplum could be used as interstem for peaches and nectarines. I have heard that I should be able to graft apricot next year onto the pluot I grafted this year.

I would love to hear your experiences grafting stone fruit onto plum volunteers in your yard

Well, I got a few apricot chips and buds to take on a prune plum root stock last year. How long they last and how well they do remains to be seen.

@marknmt that’s awesome - looking back at my chart it says that many apricots will work. I was assuming they didn’t work because mine didn’t work. Or at least it’s been 3 weeks and the Japanese plums, Capulin cherry and pluots all have little green buds while the others have brown buds and I can pull them out

The rootstock of one I believe is Prunus Cerasifera, common cherry plum with green leaves. We have a lot of them growing semi wild in the neighborhood. Some are the purple leaf variety - I used to climb the trees and eat these as a child.
The other one is thorny which I think means it’s either Prunus Americana or Nigra. Nigra is the Canadian plum which probably doesn’t make it this far down in California.

Now I wish I had taken a better look at all the overgrown trees before we cleared most of them from the property

Hi Avonfan,
Chances are we can make it work, but I need more information if you can provide it:
I would like to narrow down the varieties of your two plum stumps. The green leaf cherry plum that I have does have some thorns on its mature branches, but do you have any record of the original mature tree that was there? The other you mention with thorns is likely p Americana, depending on your region? In some regions though it could be anyone of these p Texana, p augustofolia, p Nigra, etc! So if you don’t mind giving me the largest city nearby, I can possibly narrow down this native variety. Also in the chart you gave I cannot read the several of the abbreviated definitions so tell me more about that chart. It would be helpful too to post a closeup photo of both sets of suckers before you began to graft when they had foliage if you have them.
Kent, wa

The cherry plum I feel pretty sure about

The thorny one seems like it must be p Americana because I’m in SF Bay Area

I was reading about plum rootstock. There’s an old one called Citation that supposedly works for every stone fruit except cherry. I’m wondering if I can graft on the plum and use as interstem.
Reading more - a lot of trash talk about Citation. Myrobalan 29c works for plum and Nectaplum so I think that might work as interstem.

Can you graft that Nadia hybrid plum (cherry x asian plum i think?) onto Peach or Cherry rootstock?

Peach for sure,but uncertain about Cherry.

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The thorny one could be P Texana or P Mexicana depending on how close to Mexico you live. This pic looks like my p cerasifera which can serve as interstem for most stonefruits. Your native should work to accept most Asian or native hybrids grafts. I have grafted P Mexicana to Wild Goose. So you can try a lot of varieties particularly the hybrids with cherry heritage like Nadia.
Kent, wa

You might keep in mind too that if you want a dwarf tree many stone fruits graft to Nanking cherry (prunus tomentosa). I have a plum on Tomentosa 12-15 years old that produces yearly.


Hi, I had success this year putting a cherry onto a wild plum. Good growth! Everything else I tried on wild plum failed but that was me, not the trees. I learned a lot for this next season.

The graft and the cherry buds look fine for next year but by the of the summer Japanese beetles had munched all over the cherry leaves, so it was scary going for a while. The beetles didn’t even nibble at the surrounding plum leaves.

I went to the CRFG scion exchange today and got a bunch of stuff. I got like 6 types of pluot since those seem to be doing well. They also had Spice Zee Nectaplum which is usually grafted to peach rootstock but I thought I would give it a shot.

@TerrythePirate What kind of cherry to wild plum? My understanding is capulin cherry works fine but “real” cherries like Bing need their own rootstock. The citation hybrid rootstock was everything but cherry, indicating it’s different enough not to blend in with the rest of prunus which can be made to all get along with multihybrid root stock.

Cool, do you happen to know the variety of your wild plum?
Kent, wa

@DennisD i can only guess it’s wild plum. Never seen it fruit. Was cut down when we bought the property. Lots of scraggly sad trees everywhere.

@DennisD i realized there are more options - there’s a Catalina cherry about 100’ up the hill from that (prunus ilicifolia). Here’s a pic from when that was fruiting last year

Doesn’t seem very thorny but it’s another prunus in the area

Across the street there are cherry plums flowering

If in doubt just use the cherry plum as your interstem to graft to the thorny one. Since it’s is no longer dormant, that’s not a problem since you do not need buds to grow on the interstem! To prepare the cherry plum interstem, I would cut them at least 7-8” long, remove all flower buds and any growth buds that are opening. A growth bud towards the end where you connect your scion is ok as long as it’s still not leafing out. Then start with your interstem to scion graft and cinch it tight with a strong 1” wise plastic strip. Then use parafilm to seal the scion but not touching the graft tape. Then graft the interstem to the rootstock, again using a strong 1” wide plastic strip to cinch up the graft union. Then use parafilm to cover the interstem not touching the graft tape. It’s important to keep a separation between your graft union tape and your parafilm, because, when you go later to remove the graft tape after the graft has taken, this avoids the grafting tape getting stuck to the parafilm, making removal much easier.
Another option I quite often use gives a second chance for the graft to take: In preparing the interstem, replace any growth bud with a chip bud from your scion, or even another variety.

  1. The process of cutting, preparing the interstem and grafting scion to interstem, to rootstock should all be done without pause to assure your interstem does not dry out and stays fresh as you make each cut. It also prevents oxidation of the cambium by immediately joining the fresh cut pieces. So carefully laying out the pieces to assure they all will fit together before you begin graft union cuts is important.
  2. I cut my grafting tapes from common ordinary plastic bags. They are much stronger than parafilm and do a better job of applying pressure on the graft union.
    Hope this helps.

@DennisD so far the cherry plum and the wild plum seem to have the exact same graft responses so no need for an interstem. Of course the scions only have little green buds so far so they could be tricking me

Keep in mind Avolin, those scions will of course swell buds with the energy stored within the scions limited sugar supply, but that energy source must last until the grafts have calloused which under optimal conditions takes about 3 weeks. Fluids cannot flow in the xylem and phloem from rootstock to the scion until callousing is completed. They will act this way no matter what you graft them to! So until you have several inches of vigorous growth and the new growth does not wilt away, you cannot assume your graft has taken. When it does take you will see vigorous growth.

Another option you have is to take good sized branches from that p cerasifera and root them now. Those by mid summer could serve as very reliable rootstocks.

I guess I shouldn’t be celebrating yet

It’s either a Gold Cherry or an Early Burlat Cherry, I’ll know in the spring.