Prunus Americana - your experience

I have heard about the grafting compatibility and versatility of prunus americana. In 2018, I bought two of this rootstock and planted them in my yard. In 2019 and 2020, I grafted a few plums, pluot and plumcots on each rootstock.

The trees have grown very slowly. The soil is not the best but every other fruit trees in the same soil have grown well. Bith trees have grown at the same slow rate. This year, the trunks are only about an inch in diameter after 4 years in ground.

Last week, a branch of Spring Satin broke. We put it back with a hose clamp. This morning a Lavina branch broke.

The actual rootstock is skinny inside that white tree tube.

All these grafts grow vigorously. The rootstocks do not grow fast or strong enough to support them. I am likely to remove both rootstocks later this year. I wait because I hope to harvest a few fruit they are carrying.

What is your experience with prunus americana?
Am I so unlucky to get weak growth on both of them?
Can you post pics of your fruit trees on this rootstocks?

Hi Mamung
This particular rootstock is best used when you want to form a plum thicket, much as you see in the wild natural settings. It’s ideal for that if you do not try to graft very aggressively growing scions. If you do graft other varieties it’s a good idea to support them independent of the rootstock if they appear to outgrow it. In this case you probably need to top the broken limb to limit growth until the wound heals over, and place another vertical support underneath the broken limb to temporarily support it for several years.
I have this rootstock naturally growing in my garden and my neighbors garden, so I am very familiar with it. Each year I remove so many and give them to others as desired.
If your space is limited and you desire to replace these with better and stronger trees that will give you the ability to graft on multiple varieties of any plum (European, Asian, or American and hybrids), I suggest ordering Puente from Fowler Nursery in CA. Although Fowler is a commercial supplier to local orchards and deals mostly in volume, they also ship to individuals.
Puente is an Adara plum tree grafted onto a Lovell peach rootstock. The three I ordered this year were grafted back in March with multiple plum and peach varieties and are doing very well. Puente will grow a full sized tree but you can control height by top pruning. That’s my best recommendation to obtain a multiple variety plum or peach.
Kent, wa


I planted a few of them along the side of our porch two years ago with the intention of creating a mini-thicket. They get good sun and are in some of the best soil in the yard. They’ve grown very slowly compared to other trees (a seed grown peach easily surpassed the one year old trees). They also seem to have weak branches - they are always getting broken off by birds and chipmunks. This spring, a rabbit got through the fence and took one of the trunks down to 12" or so. That seemed to spur more vigorous growth, so I might try pruning them more agressively. I can’t say anything about grafting to them, however.

Thanks @DennisD and @Megan_6a for confirming the fragility of prunus americana.

Can we graft Asian plum onto European plum vice versa? If so do they survive well Dennis?

Hi Vincent,
I have not tried it so I cannot say for certain! Logically I see few reasons to do so since they cannot cross pollinate each other, but I assume you have a good reason for doing so. One thing I have noticed in past grafts it that both Adara and Cherry plum are viable interstems for all of the grafts I have tried to include European plums. If I were to try to graft European plum to any others I would use one of these interstems.

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There is no issue of grafting Asian plums to Euro plums.

I have not grafted a Euro to Asian. I did grafted hybrids to Asian without any issue.

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@mamuang @DennisD i knew both Asian and European plum will take the grafting on the same root stock without any problems. Even they couldn’t share pollen for pollination but some one has rooms so limited to plant more trees then they need multiple grafting on the same tree. Yes some experience from us said grafting Asian on European plum be okay but European couldn’t graf onto Asian plum. Hopefully someone do the testing and we have more grafting knowledge. Thank you so much both of you. Vincent.

Hi Vincent
If you need a few interstems I can spare a few, even mail them to you if in a hurry!

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@DennisD I have multiple varieties of plum for myself thank you for offering. Now I am practicing some small grafting. Let’s see how they take in Spring. I will do Asian plum on European next year because they all sprout and ready to bloom soon. I grafted one very cherry seedling onto European root wait and see if it take that mean Asian on European will take as well. My grafting skill not too good. Thank you so much and I will update here later Dennis.

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I have grafted Lavina (P. cerasifera X P. salicina) and Muir Beauty (P. cerasifera) on Satsuma plum. Lavina is on its 3rd year and Muir Beauty on its 2nd. Both are vigorous and produced fruits so far. I also have Great Yellow (thanks to @alan ) on the same tree and it’s the most vigorous of all the grafts even in its first year.

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Great to know. So the hybrid and Euro plum graft on Asian plum without any issues. Thank you so much for sharing information @californicus

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I have an Adara grafted to P.A. So far after summers of growth there are no problems. It isn’t overly prolific as growth goes, but it is a nice size little tree. I’m away from home so I can’t take a picture. Supposedly incompatibility issues show up later on.

I grafted a Brooks euro plum scion to a Santa Rosa Asian plum last year and it grew well and fruited in the same year so it can be done!