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 Myrobalan Plum as Root Stock 
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Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:29 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Foothills of Mt. Hood (southeast of Sandy, Oregon)
Post Myrobalan Plum as Root Stock
On my farm that's at 1200 feet on the west side of the Cascades in the Mt. Hood foothills, there's a very pretty and small old plum tree with dark reddish purple leaves and early-season pink blossoms and VERY tasty smallish dark purple-skinned fruit with dark reddish purple flesh inside. The fruits are about 1.50 inches in diameter. I think it's probably a Myrobalan plum and could be 25 - 40 years old.

We've been here nearly 10 years and with a little annual pruning, the 10 ft tree is about the same now as it was 10 years ago. It is VERY healthy and is HIGHLY disease resistant and highly comfortable with summer drought and winter and spring rains (we get twice as much rain here as Portland gets).

This tree requires NO spraying for fungus/disease/insects at all and is bug-free and trouble free.

In certain years, it sends up some suckers that look to be the same as the parent (same leaf color and shape). Last year it suckered heavily (I love trees that sucker because it gives me more free root stock).

In late January this year, I transplanted a dozen into my orchard formation with the thought of either growing them out with these yummy plums, or using them as root stock to graft some moyer plums, and methley plums on. All 12 are surviving nicely.

What do you think?

Do you think they are Myrobalans?
Do you agree that the mother tree is likely on her own roots (so these suckers will have the same fruit)?
Do you think they will be good candidates for both European plum grafts (moyer) and Asian plum grafts (methley)?
What grafting/budding method do you think would be best (and best time of year)?

Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:39 pm

Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 428
Location: SW Washington
Post Re: Myrobalan Plum as Root Stock
This wont' answer all your questions, but I'll take a stab at some of them. I know I like getting responses even if they aren't comprehensive in their coverage of my inquiry.

I don't have personal experience with them, but Myrobalan plum are a common stone fruit rootstock. If yours is a seedling it may have somewhat different properties than the ones selected for clonal propagation but I'm sure it will make suitable rootstock for grafting.

This site sells Methley on a Myrobalan clonal selection:
This site sells Moyer on a Myrobalan seedling:

I've had good results grafting dormant scions onto established trees using bark grafts and whip and tongue in April/May and believe bench grafting would work as well. I think many prefer budding stone fruit mid summer.

If you like the fruit, by all means, propagate it and let it grow and produce more of it for you.

If you are looking to share or trade, I wouldn't mind a sucker or two after reading your description.

I don't know how common the practice of grafting those types of trees would be at the time it would have been planted considering its age. On that note, is it in a location that suggests it was planted intentionally?

Pictures may help others give a more informed opinion with regards to whether it is in fact Myrolaban and perhaps whether it is grafted/budded.

Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:31 am

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1406
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Myrobalan Plum as Root Stock
My guess is that it's a Japanese plum. It sounds like the variety "Hollywood". Look at pictures on the web to see if you agree. I have tried some that grew from suckers and they were good.

I would not graft Euro plums onto it until you identify it. I know of no Euro plums like that. Don't graft Euro plums onto Japanese rootstock because they have delayed incompatibility. The other way is fine.

Budding would be the way I would do it. The budding workshop comes up on August 4, I believe. You also could whip and tonge or bark graft in late winter, but your take rate will probably be less.
John S

Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:31 pm
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