Prunus tomentosa as Rootstock

Our friend Lucky once told me plums and peaches are accepted - I just want to double check that I would also be fine grafting: pluots (makes sense they would and long term) but pluerries I’m curiously unsure of.

What else grafts long term within species (common names or botanical) and which specific hybrids are accepted? I did some digging on here and saw precisely what Lucky has already told me. ‘Carmine Jewel’ cherry came up in that someone wants to have a go at it on tomentosa.

Thanks for as much clarification as possible.


1 Like

You can view this post on compatibility grafting Compatibility grafting?. I don’t think you can graft carmine Jewell on Nanking cherries. My experience has been western sand cherries and Nanking cherries are more plum than cherry compatible. I’ve never tried grafting cherry to Nanking.


I plan to try carmine jewel on Nanking this spring. I did some research on plums and peaches and I believe it was very dwarfing but have no practical experience. If I remember correctly @marknmt has something grafted on a Nanking but I could be wrong.

I have a prune plum grafted to tomentosa. It’ll be in its ninth leaf this summer and so far has produced three prunes!

It’s very (severely?) dwarfing, with a base caliper of less than 2" and a height of perhaps five or six feet. I’ve barely pruned it, aside from a little thinning. Turned the central leader into a vase simply by pulling the leader over about 45 degress, and when it put up another leader I pulled that over too.This year it should have its laterals shortened. I’m hoping for a fair bloom, weather permitting, and more fruit this year!

Fwiw, another prune from the same root system that this one was taken from also just started bearing last year, so maybe the rootstock did not delay bearing.

I have Japanese plums grafted on western sand cherries. One is about 6’ tall and looks like it will bloom next year. I removed most of the row because of canker.

This is all I got from Lucky: “Nanking cherry (P.tomentosa) is actually more closely related to plums than to true cherries… will accept - and dwarf - plums and peaches; grafts are long-lived.”

I like the natural dwarfing. It’s appealing to me. Tell me Mark as I’m in the shadow - what are the cultivars of prune plums if you’d only name a few… are they different species from European and Asian plums?

I’d sure like to find an inexpensive dwarf rootstock for plums, peaches/nectarines, apricots, pluots, and hybrids of plums - and one that borers won’t be attracted to; also one that doesn’t sucker to beat hell like Prunus americana.

I came up today with 12-18" seedlings from Minnesota’s State Nursery for a buck 15 each. I’ve inquired and they will sell out of state.

Trees Minnesota Online Tree Sales


I’m not surprised about the canker.


I have no idea! I’ve got a prune that was given to me 20-30 years ago by a coworker. It was a sucker that came off of their tree. It grew really neatly and taught me something about pruning prune plums, to wit, it’s hard to go wrong. But a backhoe split it and a couple of years later it died.

Well, to make a short story long, the roots gave me all the prune plum plants I could ever want, and they (the prunes, not the plants) taste great and make great jam, so I haven’t worried about any others. I grafted to the tomentosa because I wanted a compact plant in a particularly particular area (we need to be able to get a tender truck past it for our well) and because I wanted to see if it would work.

But I do think that prune plums must be European. Somebody else will tell us.

Does that help?

1 Like

It’s like a jigsaw puzzle I’m trying to put together. Just like that thread Clark linked to above. There is no ultimate book for compatibility. I read thru that and only got a glimpse of P. tomentosa and from Lucky, again.

The way I see it… plums, peaches, apricots, pluots, are all good for tomentosa and since pluerries take most of their traits from plums (flavor/size/appearance inside and outside), I see no reason they too shouldn’t have compatibility issues.

Thanks, Mark.



Prunes are European plums, Prunus domestica, along with gages (Reine Claude varieties), mirabelles and damsons. Most common subspecies of P. domestica are:
P. domestica ssp. domestica – common plums, zwetschge (historically, prunes, but the meaning of this word shifted from denoting this subspecies to describing any dried plum).
P. domestica ssp. insititia – damsons and bullaces.
P. domestica ssp. italica – gages.
P. domestica ssp. syriaca – mirabelles.
Also, many E. plum varieties are hybrids of plums from these subspecies.

1 Like

So what is prunus tomotosa? Plum or cherry? It tastes like cherry.

Krymsk 1 rootstock is a hybrid of Prunus tomentosa × Prunus cerasifera; it’s a pretty good dwarfing rootstock for several Prunus species, although incompatibilities with some peach and apricot varieties have been noted.



It’s neither plum, no cherry, it’s a separate species in the Prunus genus.

1 Like

Thank you, Stan.


I got the impression from past discussions that plums on prunus tomentosa (nanking) might need support, but maybe that was just prunus besseyi (sand cherry). Can anyone clarify?

I wonder if an interstem would work?

I’m going to trial Asian plums, apricots, pluerries, pluots, plumcots on 50 tomentosa seedlings beginning likely 2018-2019. I’m going to plant them this spring and get them well-established and beefed up before I begin.

We already know that European plums (Asian, probably I will assume) & peaches/nectarines are accepted.

@AJfromElmiraNY, from what I understand currently, support isn’t an issue with tomentosa.

@Derby42 Possibly pluerries… ??? Cherries so far have been nixed from the equation.



Dax you could be correct. Great thread by the way. I am interested to hear about your results.

It’s time we tried.

Thank you, Derby.


1 Like

I think this deterred me from trying peaches/nects on Nanking: I decided to go with prunus americana for peaches.