Yoshino Cherry Rootstock

I’m planning for future cherry crops on the cheap. I have one 3rd leaf montmorency, three 2nd leaf mazzard trees, a 10yr old yoshino, and 100s of yoshino seedlings. The yoshino produces flavorful but small and tart cherries every year that it doesn’t get frosted out, hence the seedlings. I am in z7a NC. Does anyone have experience grafting into a yoshino or its seedlings? I would like to add Bing and utah giant to the orchard for sweet cherries, and Juliet bush cherry. I have chip budded the montmorency on the large yoshino and that seems to be doing OK so far. I’m not sure I will keep the mazzards around since I’ve learned they take allot of work to keep small and take a long time to bear fruit. Also any advice for sweet cherries varieties in the southeast would be appreciated.

I removed the film from the bud this afternoon and it has taken and doing well. I cut the end of the yoshino branch it was on to see if it will push montmorency growth.

Maybe graft onto the Mazzards? they are semi dwarfing and one of the popular rootstocks

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I am curious of the long term compatibility of using flowering cherry as rootstock

I have not heard of anyone using Yoshino cherry as a rootstock. Isn’t Yoshino cherry usually a big tree similar to mazzard in size?

You probably want to look at the Eastern sweet cherry thread. It deals with growing sweet cherries in humid regions with Summer rainfall. There are also recommendations as well for cultivars.

Basically you want to plant cultivars that are adapted to the East, spray for brown rot and net or place bird scare tape on the tree. Dwarf and semi-dwarf rootstocks help too such the Krymsk and Gisela series. WhiteGold and BlackGold are usually recommended for the East as are a few others. Bing isn’t recommended in the East due to fruit cracking problems. I suspect Utah Giant would also have cracking problems. Sweet cherries are harder to grow in the East than tart cherries due to brown rot and fruit cracking.

My mature yoshino is probably 20ft tall and growing but it has a nice spreading habit. I was thinking about tip grafting to get early production, but I will probably abandon the use of the yoshino seedlings. I have several (for me) stone fruits planted nearby that will require sprays for brown rot and PC, so that won’t be too much out of my way. Do you have any sources for those rootstock that might have them available still? I don’t want to lose a year.

I think you are too late for rootstocks or trees at this point.

Really now with the pandemic you want to start looking for rootstocks and trees in November and have a order in by the end of December. Dwarf or semi-dwarf cherry rootstocks are hard to get in small quantities. I would suggest buying trees instead at least initially.

Raintree nursery offers trees on Gisela 5
Trees of Antiquity offers trees on Krymsk
Cummins Nursery and Grandpa’s Orchard offers trees on Gisela rootstocks sometimes

Another option is Schlabach’s. They have a fairly good selection of sweet cherries on Krymsk. My trees from them came on Krymsk 6. Trees run about $20 ea.

They are Amish so you will need to write a short letter asking for a catalog and send them a check for $2.00.

Schlabach’s Nursery
2784 Murdock RD
Medina, NY 14103

For rootstocks look at the link below. It has some ideas on what you can actually buy. One thing to remember is Krymsk 5 and 6 cannot be used for multi-graft trees since they are sensitive to latent viruses. In addition to the sources in the link you could ask if you could buy some Krymsk from Schlabach’s Nursery. For Gisela 5 you’ve going to have to propagate it from cuttings (it’s off patent). Details on how to do this are also included in the link.