That One Plum Tree


#1

I currently have one Satsuma (tiny, '17), one Toka (planted '15), and one Flavor Supreme ('15, vigorous). I want to make a new multi-graft tree of other cultivars, like Gages, Euro Plums, maybe American Plums, Damsons, Mirabelles, etc.
I just found this on the Orange Pippen site:
“European plums, gages, damsons, cherry plums, mirabelles, bullaces will usually cross-pollinate if their flowering times overlap.”
My two questions are about grafting compatibility: 1) Can all these in the list be grafted back and forth, as well? 2) Can some of the varieties listed be grafted to the trees that I have? Flowering groups can be dealt with later; it’s grafting compatibility that is my current concern.
I expect to buy one tree as the ‘mule’ to make it’s own fruit but also to receive grafts of the others. Anyone want to offer a suggestion re: a cultivar to be used as the foundation tree?


#2

I got a multigrafted plum tree with 12 varieties of plums including European, Asian, and interspecific.
They will all take.

Tony


#3

American plum is a pretty good rootstock for multiple types of plums.


#4

The devil in this particular set of details “is flowering time overlap” and the fact that most plums explode into flower and are receptive to pollen for a very, very short time. It’s often hard to get two plums of the same species to connect and be fruitfully. Another point is that the term “Cherry plum” refers to so many unrelated things depending on where you are that’s nearly useless for indicated anything other than the relative size of the fruit. Cherry plums in Alberta are hybrids between Asian plums and sand cherries. Cherry plums in California are Mirabelle plums. The Auburn University Cherry plum is a cross between an Asian plum and a Chickasaw plum that just happens to be small. And the list of possibilities goes on. All the above said, if you have enough carefully selected varieties on a tree and everybody lives, you can probably plan it so that everybody will have at least one pollination partner on the same tree that blooms at the same time. That’s really all you need to accomplish to have such a tree. God bless.

Marcus


#5

Sensational!


#6

Thanks! I have so much to learn.
Do you know what the main root stock tree is…or is it an official root stock, not a fruiting cultivar? I don’t want to start with one of those unless it already has many graftable branches…that would be great.


#7

Yes, I’ll have to deal with pollinizing factors as I go. I’m hoping to start with some tree that can take a couple new cultivars every year as it makes new branches. Clark says an American type would probably do that. Sounds good.


#8

I bought a bundle of 10 native plum rootstocks from Missouri Department of Forestry about 8 years ago. Real cheap. They also sent to out of state.

Tony


#9

I am thinking I may have room for only one plum tree. There are a few ‘wild’ so-called cherry plums around. I may gather up some seeds, or order native root-stocks and plant them out and about…but probably not this year.


#10

You have the advantage that you are in Oregon. Here in South Georgia only a few plums work at all, and most of them are either Chickasaw types or hybrids that are more Chickasaw than Asian. As I indicated pollination compatibility is a lot, lot harder with plums than nurseries make out except maybe with the European types that are often self fertile. Personally, if I were in your climate I doubt that I would bother with any Asian X North American hybrids on account of all the pollen sterility and incompatibility issues with most of them. The general rule is that the hybrids must be pollinized with pure American or Canadian plums with no Asian gens in them whatsoever. And then it’s hard as heck to get an American or Canadian plum to bloom at the same time as the hybrids. They really are a frustrating bunch to mess with in my opinion, and the only reason to do it is if your climate is such where those are the only plums that will grow reliably.

I have about decided that my Robusto Asian X Chickasaw plum has a similar problem. It produced a massive crop one year when its bloom time overlapped with a Santa Rosa plum which promptly died for stem canker shortly after blooming. Robusto is sort of but not really pollen compatible with a good family heirloom Chickasaw plum that has been passed down through my family which I know is pollen compatible with wild Chickasaws when they bloom together. The leaves of the heirloom Chickasaw just don’t fully look Chickasaw, so I think it has some Asian genes in it somehow. The sense that I’m developing is that its really hit or miss for plum hybrids in general to be pollen compatible with one another.

Plums may well be my favorite fruit to eat. But they are picky and contrarian as heck when it comes to choosing mates that they will make plums with. As long as you know this going into it, putting the puzzle together in such a way that everybody gets pollinated will be half the fun. God bless.


#11

Well, this fits in well with everything else around here…I have no idea what I’m doing. So far little fruits are starting to show up on my basic trees. That gives me a little room to experiment and not be fruitless. Thanks!


#12

@Seedy,
I think @Barkslip is very knowledgeable about what rootstocks are compatible with how many stone fruit.

That said,I recall prunus americana aka an American plum rootstock appears to be compatible with sevearal stone fruit you listed above.

As for bloom time, in a colder climate like mine zone, 6a/5b, all my J plums and pluots seem to bloom about the same time. E plums bloom a little later than J plums but all my 6-7 E plum varieties bloom almost at the same time, too.

Same is true with my pears. E and A pears in my yard seem to overlap their bloom time. I have at least 8 varieties that have flowered. No issue about cross pollination.

In warmer climate, it is important to know when each variety will bloom and which varieties will overlap.


#13

Hi Steve,

Before I go any further, let’s add that myrobalan seedling “cherry plum” has historical compatibility to: Asian plum, Euro plum, & all hybrid stone fruits: the pluots, aprium, and pluerry should be no exception.

Myro 29C has excellent historical compatibility for all stone fruits with the exception of peach/nectarine and cherry. Is myro 29C better than myro seedling = likely the answer is yes.

So let’s begin with Toka which is a hybrid of Prunus salicina (Japanese/Asian plum) & Prunus americana (American plum). I expect grafting onto Toka branches, these will have good to excellent grafting compatibility:

All Asian/Japanese plums

European plums = possible but not the best choice. While European plums will have some incompatibilty to Japanese plums, most should not. European plums will graft successfully onto American plum but there is definitely an issue for delayed incompatibility a decade or 15-years down the road. Be observant and watch for any swelling at the graft union and an a non-smooth transition from scion to stock plant.

All pluots/plumcots/Pluerry = very good.

Aprium = good to probably very good, however, be on the lookout for delayed incompatibility signs.

Apricot = 50/50. Apricots are 100% compatible to Asian plum however 100% incompatible to American plum. Watch the union should grafts be successful for future incompatibility.

In a nutshell Steve, all hybrid plums will do very well on roots of Prunus americana.

Damson & mirabelle I place them in the exact category as I would place all Euro. plums. Someone should correct me if I’m wrong. (see above: European plums)

Myrobalan seedling “cherry plum” & Myro 29C (clonal) are likely to be compatible with all stone fruits & hybrid stone fruits but not compatible for peaches/nectarines & cherries. Myro 29C is a more uniformly stable choice of the two rootstocks.

I think that should cover most of your questions. Using Toka as the example expands the information for a lot of combinations.

I think if you want a rootstock for all the things you asked about in your original post, Prunus persica is the best way to go but be aware that “cherry plum”/myrobalan will never graft successfully to it. Everything else will. Lovell of course is a Prunus persica rootstock.

Citation (P. salicina x P. persica) should be regarded as having all the same compatibility of peach. Myrobalan 29C or Myrobalan seedling will offer equal compatibility however with the exceptions that there will be none compatibility to peach/nectarine (add on information for Myro comparison to Citation rootstock).

Lastly, you’ll have to discern which rootstocks are best for your climate.

Now to what will graft successfully to your Satsuma (Prunus salicina) Asian plum:

Japanese/Asian plum of course 100%

Apricot = 100%

European plum = good to very good but watch the union for delayed incompatibility.

Pluot/Aprium/Pluerry = very good

peach/nectarine = good

Now compatibility of your Flavor Supreme:

All pluots/all/pluerry/aprium

Asian plums = all

European plums = good but watch for delayed incompatibility. Should not be a problem though I don’t believe.

Apricots = all

Myrobalan seedling “cherry plum” & Myro 29C (clonal) are likely to be compatible with all stone fruits & hybrid stone fruits but not compatible for peaches/nectarines & cherries. Myro 29C is a more uniformly stable choice of the two rootstocks.

Best,

Dax
P.s. I’m tired, it’s nighttime, so I hope I didn’t overlook something.


#14

Thanks, Dax, you’re always a top-notch resource. Your post has been copied and stored.


#15

Not sure why you are discounting P.cerasifera Dax. It has historically been used as a rootstock for many plums.

I have had success multi grafting pluots, Asian plums, and European plums onto P.cerasifera seedlings for the past few years. Granted it is possible that there may be some delayed incompatibilities down the road but so far all good. The grafted limbs are extremely vigorous commonly growing six to eight feet per year and lots of fruit.

Another example of grafting P.cerasifera is the base of @JoeReal 's 150-n-1 multi grafted plum tree which is an ordinary ornamental purple leaf plum “street tree” planted by the developer. The link has photos and descriptions of how he built it out.


#16

It appears that Prunus americana isn’t a variety like Laroda or Santa Rosa that ya find at a typical nursery, and is generally sold as root-stock. If I understand it correctly a Euro tree or a P. persica would work best for Euro plums. This place (The Tree Store) has a selection of ‘wild’ trees and I think I’ll get a Euro tree and a Prunus americana. I’m thinking of a Morus alba tatarica and a generic American persimmon tree to graft to, for outside the fence, and a black cherry (the black cherry soda fruit?) for the outlands, as well. I learned a lot here. I guess this is it:

Edit: Also, there are three different, very tasty “cherry plum” trees near the Post Office in town, I might as well try to sprout some seeds.


#17

If you want to add just one tree for Euro plums, I would just buy any Euro plum on Myro 29C rootstock, and use it for all other grafts later on. Myro 29C is the standard full-size rootstock for all Euro plums and it has good vigor, so it can support multiple grafts.

According to the modern classification, all these are Euro plums, i.e. belong to the species Prunus domestica:
P. domestica ssp. domestica – blue plums a.k.a. common plums (prunes, etc.).
P. domestica ssp. insititia – damsons, bullaces, perdrigon, and other cooking varieties.
P. domestica ssp. italica – gages a.k.a. Reine Claude plums.
P. domestica ssp. syriaca – mirabelle plums.

They all graft on each other and bloom at similar times (typically, later than Asian plums).


#18

Excellent plan!


#19

I could send you an Americana or two along with the raspberries if you’d like :slight_smile:

Mine (seedling originally, from a local bird, lol) doesn’t sucker badly, has very good 1" fruits but with too-tart skins, and somehow knew not to bloom during our awful warm spell in Feb last year. It was the only tree I had fruit on. It bloomed later than usual, even with that warm spell. Very odd, but cool.

What I have coming up are possibly seedling, but probably suckers because they are near the base of the old tree. I have various short heights (1-3’), but unfortunately a friend bulldozed by the edge last year and I have many more that are only good for low rootstock this year (a few inches tall now).

They may all be shorter than you are looking for, but I thought I’d mention it.


#20

Hi Dan, that’s information I needed. I was told that Euro plum should be the only consideration from two sources & that Myro 29C should be regarded for all stone fruits minus peach/nectarine & cherry.

I will make note that future delayed incompatibility may occur but that the chances for success are good.

Thank you,

Dax