can i graft a fruit cherry tree to a wild cherry tree?

thecityman, Zone 7a/6b near NashvilleNovember 4, 2013

Hi folks! I have a small (4") wild cherry tree that is right in the middle of where I'm trying to develop a small orchard. I have left this tree because I've been told that it could help cross-pollinate some of my fruiting cherry trees (I've planted 2 species of sour and 2 of sweet cherry). I would love to hear from some of you all whether that is even true (can wild cherry really pollinate fruit cherries)? (There are other wild cherries nearby that will remain if I graft this one). But the real purpose of this post is to ask if you all think I can cut the wild cherry tree a few feet above ground and then graft a fruit cherry onto it (via a bark graft/rind graft). I think I've read enough to know how to do the graft and the size of the wild cherry would probably work out based on grafting videos I've seen..BUT CAN A WILD CHERRY accept a fruit cherry graft? BTW...I have no idea what kind of wild cherry it is. Others nearby on my land that look just like it do produce really tiny, inedible wild cherries and grow VERY large. Thanks for helping.

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If it is a pin cherry, then yes you can graft succesfully to it. Although I do not know how well rind grafting will work. But you can (and I have) cut them back and then graft to the watersprouts that emerge the following year.

If it is native Black Cherry it will not graft successful.

Pin cherries rarely reach any size so I suspect it is a black chery, but there are a few other native cherries that may work.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 10:10PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Best to try and see one year, you might be out of windfall mentioned, even with pin cherries, it took me close to 20 years to find out that I have two species, one will take the graft, the other not!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 10:41PM
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thecityman, Zone 7a/6b near Nashville

The level of expertise here amazes me....Thank-you both! Is there any tips for telling what kind of wild cherry I have? Also, if I try it and it doesn't work, will the graft just die and/or not take, or will it "take" but just not bear fruit.
If I post photos of the tree would it help you all know it it is a pin or a black? But the other wild cherry trees just a few feet from this one are probably almost 50 feet tall...we are talking LARGE trees so I'm guessing black. DANG!!!! I am crushed if this won't work...I was all excited because the wild cherry is in the perfect location in my orchard for a fruit cherry AND it is so healthy and established (4"-6") it would have been PERFECT. But knowing how big it will get based on nearby ones I can't leave it. What about the pollination thing? will wild cherries pollinate fruit trees?

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 11:17PM
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So glad I didn't cut down my wild cherries yet. I have three (presumably) wild cherry trees on my property. The fruit looks like a regular cherry, but the flesh to pit ratio is very low and the flavor starts off cherry and then leads into a crappy aftertaste. Instead of destroying them, I will try to graft from my Minnie Royal and Royal Lee cherry trees. Nothing to lose.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 12:18AM
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The weeping ornamental Yoshino type tree at my old residence put up seedlings everywhere, and I grafting several to NorthStar (Pie Cherry) with a bark graft 100% takes. I know not wild cherry but folks might have have the seedlings about as well. Not certain how the tree will perform long run on this rootstock.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 6:58AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

If not compatible you can expect many things like,...not growing at all, graft can grow for a while, couple of weeks, month, then dying off, or it can grow good for some years, heaving fruits and then unexpectedly dying off.
You can graft some vigorous branches several feet away from the trunk, not heavier then your thumb, or prune it heavy, let water sprout form and graft on these the following year closer to the trunk.

I don't think black cherry is helpful for your pollination of sweet cherries, also, most likely not flowering the same time, I would graft self fruitful cherries.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 10:23PM
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I tried whip grafting 50 Evans Bailey scion onto northern Wisconsin black cherries, or choke cherries. I had about 50% take and hope a few make it this spring. the native tree is very vigorous and needs constant attention. I will give it one more year and let them go from there. I did it as a test. anyone try it ?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 11:51PM
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Greatest likelihood is that your cherry is P.serotina, the native wild black cherry; it's everywhere here. I've never seen pincherry in this neck of the woods. Or, if I did, I didn't recognize it.
I'm not aware that serotina will cross-pollenize - or even bloom in synchrony with - any of the 'edible' cherries.

Evans/Bali is a great cherry for Konrad and folks in really cold climates - I've seen the photos to prove it. But let me save you some more grief, at my own expense: don't waste your time with it where you are; it's a 'dog' here in our hot zone 6 setting.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 5:17PM
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I actually had much better luck grafting sweet cherries to wild cherry trees.
I kept cutting down wild cherry trees that kept volunteering & decided to put grafts on them instead to harness their ability to pop up 6 ft or more after being cut down. method used was to slice open a diagonal cut in the young trunk bark & push over the recipient wild root stock to inset a small twig of the graft, then covered with grafting wax. A year orcs later I had buckets of sweet cherries from those grafted trees. unfortunately, the wild trees are susceptible to borers and often die within a few years Had pie cherry grafts take too, but with less impressive results. my favorite successful graft was putting a yellow sweet cherry graft onto a center shoot on a non-producing sweet cherry(due to no cross pollination. I now have an odd separate 'tree' growing up the center of the black cherry, with yellow cherries happily growing & the rest of the sweet black cherry tree producing heavy crops of black cherries. This tree is now self-pollinating due to the graft.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 10:54AM
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A neighbor has a native cherry tree in northern Virginia that is about 6 feet tall and very much in need of pruning. She would like for me to prune it and graft a some scions from my stella cherry tree. I have never grafted cherries and I have some questions. Will a stella scion take on a native cherry? I was planning on pruning most limbs and leaving a nurse limb. Using a bark graft to graft a few scions. When should I take the scion wood; should it be dormant like pears? If I decide on a bud graft, when should I harvest the bud sticks? What grafts are more likely to take? Are bark/cleft grafts made during the spring like pears?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 7:32AM
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Here in anchorage ak zone 4 I grafted black republican and somerset on
Prunus Maackii they are now around six years old the bark is copper colored and very thin. An old timer told me to graft it real early in the season
He had a half dozen trees grafted on it

    Bookmark   November 18, 2014 at 12:44AM
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I found this old thread and thought I'd update. after the winter from hell last year,, I lost 100% of the grafts I did to wild cherry. 12 of 50 appeared to grow one year.....then fail. I'm not sure if the cold got them, or they weren't comparable but they all died!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2014 at 10:05PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Yeah...that's what I suspected, black cherry and chokecherry is not compatible.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2014 at 10:37PM
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I have read that in this instance that people can do two grafts. The native variety being the most hardy and strongest rooting, then a short intermediary piece which can bridge between the native and fruiting varieties. Can anyone assist? Or know someone who can? I have cut down a large native cherry and would like to graft lapins and stella to the sprouts which are sure to come up this spring. "example taken from plum/almond stone fruit grafting" - " Also (and this is where the fun starts) most fruit trees in the Prunus genus are sometimes compatible with each other: almonds, apricots, nectarines, peaches, and plums all are compatible for grafting, but occasionally it's complicated. For example, some plum rootstock is not compatible with peaches or nectarines; and some almonds require an intermediate step before grafting onto some plum rootstocks."

    Bookmark   December 11, 2014 at 11:17PM
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I've tried a lot of different grafts to pronus virginia without success. Going to keep trying.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2014 at 2:46AM
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Several years ago I raised a seedling grown from a seed from a store bought sweet cherry. The resultant tree (now quite large) looks exactly like a wild cherry. In fact, 20 feet away in a neighbors field is a wild cherry and these two trees are identical looking in every regard.
I tried several grafts of Montmorency on it and none took. Should I try again or try using sweet cherry or just abandon the idea. I don't mind experimentation or failures as long as I know it's possible.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2014 at 3:50AM
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