Prunus padus grafting (mayday tree / European bird cherry)

I haven’t seen a lot of info or pictures of anyone using Prunus padus (the mayday tree / European bird cherry) as a rootstock. This tree is found all over Alaska in the urban areas. It’s an incredibly robust tree and nearly indestructible once it gets established. The tree is invasive and will take over the landscape. I have two massive trees in my yard and there are fresh shoots popping up all over the place and if you don’t trim them back you will have a mayday forest on your hands in no time. The mayday produces a tiny, somewhat astringent fruit that is mostly pit with a tiny bit of flesh.

I figured since I already have this monster taking over my yard, why not try to do something useful with it? I ordered a few pieces of plum scion out of Fairbanks to see if I could get anything to grow. I have bad luck with grafting and had very low expectations. I checked on things today and here are the results. I hope the grafts continue to grow and can survive the winter. I think I will try grafting some sour cherries next year.


Michurin created hybrids of padus and cerasus, (cerapadus), so I would hope for good compatibility to cherry.


What kind of Plum scion? I grafted Opal into one last year, in the Anchorage area, and got 24 inches of growth. It was looking great until the wind storm came through and ripped the graft off.

Just a couple plum scions from here-

I actually just got back from vacation and all the grafts are dead. It’s really a frustrating tree. I’ll try again next year and try to work in some cherry scions and see if those do better.