These are my two cleft grafts on my plum tree. The grafting tape fell off both of them. I’m a little concerned how the wood is splitting on both. I was wondering if I should put grafting tape or tree sealant on for the winter?
Hopefully the splitting is normal for cleft grafts.
It looks like the Santa Rosa doesn’t accept those plums very well. Normally the unions completely mend over. I think Toca is a combination of American plum sand Cherry and Japanese plum. Maybe there’s not enough Japanese plum to give good compatibility.
The grafts are extremely vigorous in terms of vegetative growth. Does that not matter?
Also the grafts look really good at their primary sites/sides of the branch. This is the other side of the branch where it is filling in.
I’m viewing this on a call phone so maybe it looks worse. If the other side is mending and has covered the joint you are probably OK. I wouldn’t try to seal the joint. It’ll harbor rot. My biggest concern is having a lot of vigorous growth and break at the union. If the union looks like it can’t support all the new growth prune it back. I know you hate to do that when you are excited to see a new graft grow but you don’t want to loose the whole thing either.
I see your new pictures now. The compatibility looks real good. Depending on how much growth you have above the union you may still want to consider trimming it back if it looks like it could break .
I have been pruning the growth the entire summer. I plan to significant trim the branches in the early winter.
I have noticed santa rosa, superior, and toka all like growing vertically, i.e, vegetative growth. It’s very frustrating to get good horizontal growth on these varieties. High maintenance and patience are required.
Also all are black knot susceptible.
Update to all. These grafts eventually worked out. Posted pictures of a Toka and Superior plums. Santa Rosa plum is black knot susceptible so I ended up top working Waneta plum onto the last Santa Rosa plum limb. I have found in areas where black knot is endemic, trees with American plum genetics fair better. Toka plum is very vigorous, especially when compared to Superior plum, and needs aggressive pruning every Spring.
Which do you think taste better?
Superior plum is slightly better tasting than Toka. With American-Japanese hybrid plums you should probably have both for pollination purposes. Toka flowers for a long period of time and pollinates all American-Japanese hybrids.
I have both, but superior has not fruited yet. Love toka though.
Superior has weaker limbs and is not as vigorous. It tends to develop a weeping habit. Superior plum also tends to bear heavily every other year.
Toka is not much stronger. Wind broke a 6-7 inch thick branch on my toka this year.
Yes constantly cutting of black knot on my Santa Rosa. I also have Toka on it along with beach plum and Yakima. Toka is small but I prefer it to Santa Rosa. Thinking of cutting back most or all of the Santa Rosa or moving all of it to different rootstock.
Any opinion on the quality of yakima?
The Yakima graft fruited for the first time this year. Good European plum. Vigorous grower. It’s claimed to be very cold hardy but doesn’t matter to me since I’m in zone 7.
I have Santa Rosa, Yakima and Toka on the same tree. They are all good but I prefer the Toka taste. The Toka are smaller.
I’m surprised you grafted Yakima, a European plum, onto a Japanese plum tree. My understanding is most European and Japanese plums aren’t compatible. I know there are exceptions to this rule.