Which plum rootstocks for my location?

So I will soon be ordering a couple plum trees (Toka and Superior) from either One Green World or Raintree nursery. The difference is that OGW uses Marianna 2624 for both, whereas Raintree uses Myrobalan 29c for Toka and St. Julien A for Superior.

I live in west PA and will be planting them on a hilltop orchard with well-drained soil that is atop a shale layer about 1.5 ft down. The site is full sun but pretty windy.

Anyone have opinions on which nursery to order from based on the rootstocks given my location or maybe just experience with the nurseries?

I don’t know if it’s a negative or a plus, but Marianna rootstock is known for suckering. The downside is that you might have to remove lots of suckers, but the upside is that if you need Marianna rootstock you’ll have a good supply.


That is true. I’m not sure if it will be a negative or plus either. I mulch well around my trees and mow ever often enough that they probably won’t be a problem. The extra rootstocks could be nice if I plan to multiply my trees in the future.

Why are you ordering Toka and Superior as your first plums. Are you in a Z5 or colder? Superior is generally highly rated here, but Toka, I think, not so much.

At any rate, a lot depends on how much room you have. I like Myro, but orchards I manage usually aren’t cramped for space.

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I picked those 2 because of their resistance to black knot. Obilnaja was another option. I have a lot of wild cherries and some wild plums on the property that spread black knot. I’m in zone 6a/5b.

I am planting them at 15 ft apart like the rest of my trees. I will keep most of my trees pruned to stay under 15 ft.

There are quite a few people here who love Toga, aka Bubblegum.

Well, when I bought my 3 plum trees (all Euro), Raintree had them on Mariaan 2624. My trees seem to grow fine going on 5 years this spring.

As for suckering. I wonder how long it takes for this rootstock to sucker. So far it has not occurred.


Nice! How long before your trees started fruiting? I read that Marianna can fruit a bit quicker. That’s interesting that they haven’t suckered. Everything I read said that they tend to sucker a lot. I also read that they have shallow roots the first few years which makes me a bit nervous about planting them on a windy site.

My site is not windy at all so that’s a good thing. I planted them in full sun,10 hr a day kind of sunlight. I’ve bent their branches ecery year and keep it open center.

My trees started fruiting the 3 rd year in ground. I am not sure how much Marianna contributes to early fruiting but I think the branch bending and lot of sun helps, too.

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I don’t remember, but it wasn’t more than a year or two. I pruned pretty heavily for grafting, and had it in a 15 gallon container, and it sent up shoots pretty soon. I took one of the suckers and chip grafted an apricot to it (the only apricot graft I’ve ever had succeed!) and gave it to a friend, who harvested apricots from it two or three years later. It isn’t in a pot now, and hasn’t been pruned heavily- I don’t know that it suckers currently. When the snow clears I’ll check.

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I have a couple plums on this. It’s not much of an issue for asian plums and hybrids, but I wonder if it should be avoided for slow growing euro plums. On my Stanley, it sends out about 2 dozen shoots from under the graft line throughout the whole growing season. I’m constantly mowing it back. I was away for the summer a couple years after planting it. Some shoots from the roostock managed to get bigger than the Stanley. :grimacing: I guess it is a bad idea to put a low vigor graft on a high vigor rootsock with high suckering potential.

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Hmm… So far, all my 3 Euro on Marianna have not suckered. None were slow growing , either. All have fruited early, too.

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Around here, the work of controlling black knot varies widely from site to site, regardless of the presence of native infected trees. Most of the time, just staying on top of galls and removing them on site works fine and the issue isn’t crucial enough to select varieties on the basis of resistance, except for that typhoid Mary of BK, Methely.

I have to say that I have had to work harder in the last few years to control it, but I manage about 100 orchards, It’s been a while since we had a dry spring.

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You may be right that staying on top of removing the galls would allow me to grow most varieties successfully. I’m just afraid of dealing with black knot since I’ve seen how fast it can spread and take over a tree and how aggressively you have to prune sometimes to control it. I’d rather play it safe right now with the more resistant varieties and maybe expand in the future if black knot isn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

I’ve seen a Methley in a nearby town and yikes was that thing was completely covered with galls.

Yeah, last year was extremely wet here. The rivers were always high.

I have one too, and it is also 5 years old and never suckered. Maybe it depends on conditions or what is grafted to it?
I think you made a great choice. Both plums are worth growing for sure. BK resistance is just a plus! If you wanted to add other plums via grafts, a great choice for rootstock. I have little room here, so all my trees have grafts. I like to devote a scaffold to each cultivar. My trees have between 2-5 scaffolds.

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Thanks for the input everyone! The consensus seems to be that Marianna 2624 is a good rootstock that should work well. Anyone have input on the rootstocks from Raintree, Myrobalan 29c and St. Julien A?

Good rootstocks too. I have all mentioned, and all are working for me, but I only have so many trees. others that have seen hundreds may have a different opinion. I have seen so little difference, and I have been looking too.

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I have a problem with Mariana 2624 suckering a lot for my trees and it is annoying. Myro also suckers but I do not have as much a problem with it.

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In my location with young trees, St. Julien A has been the most cold hardy of the three.


We have several 25-year-old Japanese Hybrid plums on Marianna 2624 in our orchard (maritime WA State). Yes, they sucker. And these trees get quite large - 45 feet in diameter (8 feet high) they way we prune them. They do sucker prolifically, but this seems to be an advantage against voles. These trees serve as a buffer from a grass field adjacent to the orchard, and voles don’t seem to like the mass of shallow roots that Marianna 2624 puts out. Marianna also seems to be quite drought tolerant, and supports the tree well in our 20" deep, sandy/loamy soil.

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That’s good to hear about M2624 doing good in dryer soils. It does so well in my wet location that I was afraid to plant it on some new land we have that is much drier and better draining.