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 Propogating old plum 
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Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 10:22 am
Posts: 2
Location: portland
Post Propogating old plum
I have a week or two to propogate an old plum tree before it is removed to make way for construction. Is there someone in the Portland area that can help me do this? The information I've been able to find says that this is not a good candidate for rooting, but must be grafted. I believe the current tree was not grafted.

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-Harley


Sat May 19, 2007 10:36 am
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Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 421
Location: SW Washington
Post Re: Propogating old plum
If the current tree is not grafted, then perhaps the easiest way to propagate it would be via root suckers.

Do you know if it has any suckers coming up from the ground that you could separate?


Sat May 19, 2007 1:22 pm
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Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 10:12 am
Posts: 1
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
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A year ago, my old plum tree had to be removed. It was about 70 years old. I tried air-layering some branches and had success, only to have the newly rooted branches die in the pot.

I have one offspring from the old tree that I rooted from a scion years ago. It has been in the ground for three years and it was doing brilliantly; now it is dying. Not certain why. Maybe leaf curl or some other fungus.

I have some root stock and need to try grafting scions onto those. Here's the rub: it's almost summer and maybe not the ideal time to graft in Southern California, but I have little choice. The tree is going.

Any suggestions as to the best grafting technique?

Thanks,
Greg


Sun May 20, 2007 11:00 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1166
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
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Harley; I agree completely with the suggestion you dig a root-sucker from near the base of the tree. If, as you say, it's not a grafted tree, such a 'sucker' will become an identical tree.

If there are no visible root-suckers, I'd dig down after some roots! If you can get enough root from the tree, like a 2 or 3 foot piece - plant it, or several of them. Just 'plant' them in a flowerbed / garden area and leave the bigger end very near, or just poking above the surface. They may 'root!' If so, transplant them early next spring.

...And too bad you hadn't known about its fate a few months sooner :roll:

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Mon May 21, 2007 12:38 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1166
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
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Greg; it would sure be nice to figure out what's causing the demise of this three year old plum..? It would be a shame to propagate it, only to watch it die yet again... do you have any idea what variety it is? Occasionally, if not usually people have a well known variety and would be best off tracking down a virus free replacement.

But if you're intent on continuing its line … how 'fast' is it dying? Does every branch look equally bad, or is there a 'good one?' If you've got a still-healthy branch, or 'water shoot' you can / should allow it to develop as long as possible before removing and Budding (Bud-grafting) it to another tree or rootstock later this summer. ...up here Summer's just begging...

If the tree looks equally bad, as far as grafting, your only hope is that at the base of its new leaves the buds have developed enough to be transferred (Budded) to the rootstock you mentioned. And this rootstock needs to be very young, 1 to 3 years old, with bark thin enough to allow you to delicately transfer a bud or two from your ailing specimen.

Here's a basic site on "Budding Techniques":
http://www.ext.nodak.edu/county/cass/ho ... ft/bud.htm

Here's a site with great photos, just click on one to enlarge it. It applies to citrus, but I think it'll work for your plum:

Home Fruit Production-T-Budding Citrus Julian W. Sauls, Ph.D.
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/citr ... udding.htm

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Mon May 21, 2007 12:45 pm
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Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 10:22 am
Posts: 2
Location: portland
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Thanks Viron. There are no visible suckers right now, so it looks like finding a root that might grow is my best option.

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-Harley


Tue May 22, 2007 5:58 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:54 am
Posts: 88
Location: Essex, England Zone 8
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I'd add that you should provide some sort of rodent/deer protection too.


Wed May 23, 2007 8:42 am
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 5:24 pm
Posts: 126
Location: Puyallup, WA
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In addition to your root cutting experiment I'd suggest you go ahead and take some woody cuttings from the upper portion of the tree and try rooting them. I've had decent luck with rooting prunus such as Otto Luyken, Portugal Laurel, and Frost Peach. Try to get woody stems without any fruit spurs as they and blossoms inhibit rooting. Strip off all but a couple leaves on pencil-sized or larger cuttings, insert into a deep pot of rooting medium, and use rooting hormone. I kept my cuttings shaded from full sun by just putting a picnic table bench over them.


Thu May 24, 2007 7:25 pm
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