What plum scion wood to use on prunus besseyi ?

clarkinks(5b)January 25, 2014

What is your opinion of the best plum wood to graft on a western sand cherry? The base is about the size of my wrist. I was planning to use a rind grafting technique. What are your thoughts?

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Wanted to give a quick update as it may be useful to someone in the future. We decided to use Alderman, Toka, Superior, Kahinta, Waneta, and Gracious scion wood to rind graft over the existing sand cherries because they are hybrids. I have also looked to this guide for information on plums / cherry plums etc. http://conservancy.umn.edu/bitstream/11299/140015/1/TB252.pdf and this guide http://www.fruit.usask.ca/articles/plums.pdf. Originally we planted the western sand cherry as a short term solution to get fruit quickly which served it's purpose and made plenty of jelly and many other things. Sand cherries are something I believe everyone should grow if they have room. Though partially incompatible this guide discusses the use of the rootstock http://homeorchard.ucdavis.edu/varieties.pdf. By using hybrid plums that should improve compatibility. The idea by top grafting over the prunus besseyi is to get fruit of the plums in 2-3 years since the roots are already established and vigorous. I will try and give an update a couple of years from now. As with anything before doing this I also consulted experts to get their opinions as well. Ultimately this is not done a lot at this time but has been done extensively historically. The historical results are that most growers got a plum that lived 8-12 years is my understanding which means 6-10 years of fruit. Perhaps the hybrids will do better or perhaps worse but only time will tell. If there is one variety that takes better and produces more than the others I will let you know the results.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 10:10AM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

Thanks,sounds like an interesting experiment.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 12:00PM
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Bradybb I should mention I plan to leave a branch from the western sand cherry on the tree until the other grafts grow away and take. I'm doing this so the established branch will continue to feed my plant until my new scions are established. If the scions die I wont loose my plant only my time. Then I will go back in the fall and pull the grafting tape and cut off my feeder branch.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 2:35AM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

Okay thanks Clark.I saw that being done by Tom Spellman in a Dave Wilson Nursery video.
I hope yours is a success. Brady

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 10:20AM
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They are already greening up and starting to push leaves Brady! We will see if they are 100 % compatible soon!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 10:25PM
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This the first plum scion starting to bud on prunus besseyi.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 9:13PM
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You may be wondering how my plum experiment is going so I wanted to give a quick update. Some are starting to grow away nicely! You can see this is a side graft if you look closely.

This post was edited by ClarkinKS on Thu, May 22, 14 at 7:12

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 7:09AM
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To verify my scion wood was viable I used American plum, sand plum, myrobalan plum, Canadian bounty plum, and goose plum as controls. Canadian bounty plum took the grafts 60% of the time, American plum 70%, myrobalan plum 20%, Goose plum 0% so far. Prunus Besseyi grafts are taking about 70% of the time. The great news is its tree specific so if one graft fails they all fail even if I made three or four. If they take they all take 100% of the time. That implies that I did ok with the grafting of the stone fruits but they may be incompatible since they are genetically different plums grown from seed. Growing besseyi from cuttings would resolve that variable issue. I have a wild purple plum I plan to experiment with this next year. I tried one unsuccessful graft to it this year but was out of scion wood. I have 30+ of them growing.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 7:24AM
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This is a picture of an example of one of the Canadian bounty plums I top worked as a control for the experiment. I suspect my controls may be as useful to someone someday as my actual experiment on Prunus besseyi. Canadian bounty plums spread aggressively through suckering and readily take the scion wood I used in this experiment. The American plum is similar in growth and readily takes the scion wood used in this experiment. They both are highly resistant to diseases that effect plums in this area more so than even prunus besseyi.

This post was edited by ClarkinKS on Thu, May 22, 14 at 7:35

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 7:28AM
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In case your wondering about how the scions are doing on the American plum this is a picture of those. I used Rind Graft, Cleft Graft, Whip, Saddle, and side grafting techniques to see if one grafting technique was better than another and found it to make no difference in this experiment. If done properly they are all highly effective techniques.

This post was edited by ClarkinKS on Thu, May 22, 14 at 7:44

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 7:40AM
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The results of the experiment were as follows for the first year the prunus besseyi plum, American plum, and Canadian bounty plum all took the grafts well and the other controls were only partially compatable and the graft died after a few months. I will continue to give updates on this experiment to help people in future grafting endeavors.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 8:06AM
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