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Plum trees on own roots

Posted by plumdumbyahknow 5b (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 30, 10 at 10:17

Hi I've been reading on this site for years but just got the courage to finally post. Ive been wondering if in my zone if it would be ok to try a few plum trees on there own roots started from dormant cuttings. The tree I have in mind was sold to my mother 20 yrs ago and was labled burbank plum semi dwarf. The tree is about 15 feet tall and not overly vigorous growing putting out about a foot and a half of growth each year. This year her neighbor sprayed roundup and it drifted over and caused most of the tree to die. I hate to lose it and there is still part of the tree alive. Would the tree be to vigorous on its own roots? Would it be possible or more plausable to start root cuttings from the rootstock and graft to that? I hate to lose the tree forever not really knowing the variety seeing as it came from wal-mart. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Plum trees on own roots

I'd buy a plum tree or plum rootstock and bud to that. Raintree sells Krymsk 1 which has been a good dwarf rootstock for plums in my experience. They also sell Marianna 2624 and Lovell if you want a larger tree.

I don't know how the tree would work on it's own roots. You could try own roots and a plum rootstock and see what works for you.


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RE: Plum trees on own roots

I dont mind buying a new tree its just that its from walmart so im not sure if it is the variety it was labled. I have never grafted before but i will try and see what happens. I just thought maybe in a colder climate where we get some die back a little extra vigor might be a good thing.
One more question has anyone ever heard of a Burbank plum and is it the same as elephant heart? Thanks everyone


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RE: Plum trees on own roots

Yes there is a variety of plum named "Burbank". It is not the same plum as Elephant Heart.

There are also many varieties of plum developed by Burbank, so there are many Burbank plums, but Burbank only officially named one after himself. My memory tells me that Burbank is a yellow plum blushed with red. If it is important to you, you can look that up to verify. I'm not going to.


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RE: Plum trees on own roots

Smoke, I have managed trees labeled Burbank at a couple of sites and neither were equivalent to Elephant Heart. They were earlier and not as tasty to me. "Fruit, Berry and Nut Inventory" (Seedsaver's Exchange) lists them as separate varieties.


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RE: Plum trees on own roots

Some plums will root with hormone and bottom heat. Myrobalan plum crosses have greater success.

If you want a sure thing buy another Burbank plum tree.


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RE: Plum trees on own roots

For a start...
I would try to save the rootstock before she all die's out, it's more important then your fruit right now, I'm sure you'll find out what you have growing on top,... but not the root, perhaps you have a terrific seedling. Sounds like you have a vigorous stock and doing good with your soil. Yes, dig up some roots, and or suckers, graft on later. Most often on their own root is not a good idea,..just because the vigor isn't there. Here, I only know of one European Plum, the Mt. Royal you can grow on it's own root and doing fairly well.

Konrad


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RE: Plum trees on own roots

I've got american plums or crosses which have grown from seed or suckers and do very well on their own roots. Also have a european plum that has grown from suckers from the original plant. All have done very well on their own roots.

Just starting to try some grafted named japanese hybrids, will see how they do. May try to graft these onto a few branches of my other trees to lessen the chance of losing all to winterkill if the rootstocks on these trees aren't as hardy.

I wouldn't be afraid to try growing them on their own roots, though it wouldn't hurt to graft to some known rootstocks too just in case.

If the tree that was partially sprayed with glyphosate survives the winter, it will probably survive (with some possible after effects next year such as stunted, yellowed leaves), although you will probably have a bunch of dead branches to remove.


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RE: Plum trees on own roots

>>I've got american plums or crosses which have grown from seed or suckers and do very well on their own roots. Also have a european plum that has grown from suckers from the original plant. All have done very well on their own roots. <<
I'm not sure if you understand the term,.. on it's own root?
When grown from seeds or suckers you have basically a rootstock. The sucker from your European plum is also a rootstock.
Growing the wood of a known cultivar, like greengage, is grown on it's own.


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RE: Plum trees on own roots

I plan to try air layering a variety of fruit trees this spring. At least two sites state it is possible, and I believe a least one was a University Horticulture Center.
Dan


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RE: Plum trees on own roots

Konrad: I must not be understanding what you are saying. My existing trees are on their own roots, and thus would be considered rootstocks if I were grafting new tops. If not grafting, calling them a rootstock doesn't make a lot sense to me as they are also good fruit trees and I might as well refer to the trees as scions, but that doesn't make sense either if I'm not grafting.

Maybe I wasn't clear in my earlier post. My existing trees are on their own roots, the fruit is great, the original trees existed long before I did so are of unknown origin (seeded by the early settlers I suspect, but don't know), and I have no problems with the roots that would make me want to seek out other roots to graft them onto to overcome root problems. However, the new trees I have were purchased as grafts onto commercial rootstocks (which rootstocks, I don't know) and it sometimes seems that commercial rootstocks can be less hardy in my climate than the scion I am trying to grow. So, to help protect against loss of my new scions with rootstocks of unknown hardiness, I may try to topwork scions from the new trees onto branches on my existing trees in order to have a combination with roots that I know are hardy . Then, if my purchased trees AND grafted scions winterkill, I won't be left wondering if I had an unhardy scion that isn't worth trying again, or a hardy scion with an unhardy rootstock.

I guess my point of this is that the original poster asked if cuttings could be rooted and grown or if cuttings needed to be grafted to different rootstocks, my assumption being that they would like to grow the cuttings on their own roots unless it would cause problems, this being the simplest route to preserving the tree they love. My experience is that growing plums on their own roots is nothing to be afraid of. Rootstocks are bred to offer advantages and the poster may want to use grafting to get those advantages, but the cuttings won't be guaranteed to fail if left on their own roots and could easily do very well.


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RE: Plum trees on own roots

I guess we both don't understand each other.

>>Also have a european plum that has grown from suckers from the original plant<<

This has got me confused ...
Not too many European plums grow on their own root,... what is it?
I only know of the Mt.Royal doing fairly well.

Grown from sucker or seed you can call it a plum tree but it's still a sucker and the seed plant is called a seedling.

These vigorous plants you'll have a higher success rate in producing new trees by means of layering or other means of rooting.

The first poster has a known cultivar, thus much harder to produce
offspring, ...which is not recommended in general because the vigor
isn't there. That's why we promote to graft onto vigorous root stock.


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RE: Plum trees on own roots

I understood the original poster was saying the cuttings were already rooted, which prompted my thought that it would be fine to try to grow the cuttings on their own roots, especially because if you got the cuttings to root I would think it would be better to grow those out and take cuttings for grafting later from that new growth rather than change course and graft the rooted cutting--getting rid of the roots. However, as I re-read the post, it sounds as if they are just dormant cuttings, so I would think the best success rates will be had grafting onto a selected rootstock or at least another nearby plum instead of trying to root them. I've not had much success with rooting woody cuttings and it seems the general advice is that rooting woody cuttings has a very low success rate. But, if by some chance they have rooted, I'd still plant them.

My answers get so long, and are off the topic of this thread so I will start another.


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