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 Damson compatability 
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Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:19 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Post Damson compatability
Hey all,

I have a load of damson suckers which I have been sharing and transplanting (it is on it's own roots). Can I bud graft Euro plum varieties onto them? Has anyone ever tried it? I would love to buy Myroblan or St.Julien but in Eastern Canada they are as scarce as hen's teeth.

Thanks


Wed May 07, 2014 12:09 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1154
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Damson compatability
Yes. Though he sold the property years ago, a local guy had grafted many European ‘prune’ “plums” to European prune seedlings. That’s how we actually met – at an HOS event eons ago… I then visited his place many times. Since Damson’s a European, and you’re considering another Euro, I think you’re good.

Now I don’t remember how well they took, or if they’ve lasted, but I’m pretty sure he was also sticking Asian plums on his seedlings, too. With around 40 to work with, he’d become a mini-experiment station for short-term compatibility, with nothing to lose. But as for long-term …I’d have to check with the ‘new’ owners.

I’ve seen many debates on the forum here regarding rather Asian on European lasts. My best recollection is that it’s short lived… But many folks ‘around here’ are happy with the results of a seedling ‘prune’ (that’s what most were used for around here, dried prunes); both fruit and root strength appear acceptable for years.

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Wed May 07, 2014 8:14 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1354
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Damson compatability
The old conventional wisdom is Asian on Euro good.

Euro on Asian bad.

We're talking about graft compatibility of fruit trees, in case your mind was wandering.
John S
PDX OR


Wed May 07, 2014 11:03 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:19 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Post Re: Damson compatability
Hey guys,

So, according to Wikipedia Damsons are a subspecies of Prunus Domesticus. I am going to try a few in August and I will post the results.


Thu May 08, 2014 6:06 am
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 5:24 pm
Posts: 126
Location: Puyallup, WA
Post Re: Damson compatability
In 2009 I topworked Early Golden and Hollywood plums onto a five-year-old damson plum tree. The graft unions are very healthy looking and comparable in size on both sides of the graft. I have a few other grafts on the damson: purple gage (2010), Long John (2010), and Mirabelle (2012). The latter grafts weren't in as ideal location on the tree though so they aren't growing quite as well. I think if I pruned back some damson limbs to give the grafts some better growing room they would do better. I have had good luck with whip and tongue grafts on plums and cherries if I graft in January or February and wrap with parafilm.


Attachments:
File comment: Early Golden on Damson. Pointing at graft line.
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File comment: Hollywood plum on Damson.
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DSCN4863.jpg [ 187.42 KiB | Viewed 503 times ]


Last edited by Dubyadee on Fri May 09, 2014 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Thu May 08, 2014 9:55 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 5:03 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Vancouver WA
Post Re: Damson compatability
Plums I have had an easy time with doing whip & tongue but other stone fruits and sweet cherry often won't take as well. I have now reliably gone May budding for 50% of everything I don't have dormant scions for. This way I can start after May 1 as I have for sweet cherry this year and this way it starts growing by June 1. There is just something exacting about sweet cherry done W & T that I don't know. It seems very good now that I handle sweet cherry wood at about 27F storage when done on actively growing stocks in the outdoors that are already active in the ground. Were yours in pots?


Thu May 08, 2014 10:25 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1154
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Damson compatability
John S wrote:
The old conventional wisdom is Asian on Euro good.

Euro on Asian bad.

We're talking about graft compatibility of fruit trees, in case your mind was wandering.
John S
PDX OR


Yes, that’s the ticket! … and glad I wasn’t taking a drink of anything with that last line, John…

…and, why can’t I be so concise :roll: ...too many years of this foolishnes..?

Rooney wrote:
Plums I have had an easy time with doing whip & tongue but other stone fruits and sweet cherry often won't take as well. … There is just something exacting about sweet cherry done W & T that I don't know.


I’ve had the same difficulty, Rooney. 27 degrees …too cold for a refrigerator and too warm for a freezer, how do you manage that?

The last batch of W & T cherry grafts I made were with what appeard to be tight dormant scions from our exchange – onto a number of seedling cherry trees. Including several cleft grafts, which I definitely avoid with cherries, one of perhaps six W & T grafts took. I was discouraged and embarrassed – my friends were expecting another cherry orchard… Makes me nervious every time I graft a cherry at our Exchange, though I usually mention that ‘Budding’ is a more reliable method for cherries.

Plums have been the opposite, fortunately, and it sounds like a ‘go’ for Damson suckers :P

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Thu May 08, 2014 11:02 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:19 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Post Re: Damson compatability
Rooney wrote:
Plums I have had an easy time with doing whip & tongue but other stone fruits and sweet cherry often won't take as well. I have now reliably gone May budding for 50% of everything I don't have dormant scions for. This way I can start after May 1 as I have for sweet cherry this year and this way it starts growing by June 1. There is just something exacting about sweet cherry done W & T that I don't know. It seems very good now that I handle sweet cherry wood at about 27F storage when done on actively growing stocks in the outdoors that are already active in the ground. Were yours in pots?


May budding! I was under the impression that August was the time for bud grafting. I will have to give this a try.


Fri May 09, 2014 5:06 am
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Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 5:03 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Vancouver WA
Post Re: Damson compatability
Viron, I see these problems as same ones I have read about on peach to peach grafts. By going plum and peach together reliability would go up. Then I remember from a totally different report that both the scion and the rootstock each contribute callous during any grafting operation. That true we might conclude together from our plum experiences that plum can callous better than peach or sweet cherry wood can. So plum and cherry are never compatible so who would ever test this theory like the fact for peach. It's possible that Dubeadee had been lucky having both scion and stock become active at exact time as each other or fortunate to have been in the same winter storage cooler.

For those cherry grafts you did I hope you didn't introduce a virus from whoever donated the scions you used. I have detected viruses in cherry wood before which can bring results down to zero very quickly and if your scions had them the rootstocks will too! The way to go about it this time of year is find fresh budwood of 'shirogugen' flowering cherry and May/June bud into each the stocks. If they grow a few leaves then your assured there were no viruses because shirofugen is a hypersensitive reactor for the two mainstream viruses that we worry about locally.

95% of fruits that can be summer budded can be May budded around Portland and even The Dalles right now because I was there yesterday. Both times of the year you will have wood in the slip condition but more likely in the spring. Chip buds or T budding with most of the wood removed from the bud is one of the differences and also the stock is taken away by a half and then completely after two weeks in order to push the new bud. T budding with wood removed exposes so much cambium that this should never be performed in a breeze that would introduce bacteria. I always do that inside then bring outdoors when its in water or surrounded by grafting clay or other containment.

And another thing I'm sure you will be thrilled to hear is if you bark grafted onto another cherry in the outdoors that you should have done it during a period of warmer weather taking effect, which is when the bacterial pressure of Pseudomonas syringae is at the lowest ebb or has the least effect at destroying the graft. Apparently the warmth hinders the tiny party (bacterial) animals or it promotes the immune strategy that all plants have to fight to some degree.

Large sweet cherry rootstocks should be able to supply a large enough amount of callous because of sheer mass compared to a tiny scion. Because callous going in the upwards direction occurs through the outer woody layers and that going down it occurs in the cambium or ploem (near the bark) it seems we should put a flat ledge cut at the scion so that scion bark meets rootstock wood.


Fri May 09, 2014 9:15 am
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Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:19 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Post Re: Damson compatability
Ok,

So I am in Nova Scotia. The buds on my liberty apple trees are just starting to open. This should give you an idea of how far we are behind many of you. perhaps it will be the first week of June before I can "May bud". How do I know when it is go time?


Fri May 09, 2014 12:34 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 5:03 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Vancouver WA
Post Re: Damson compatability
Sure,

When you can count at least four buds that are at an inch apart from each other and that will be the first time this can be done and choose to use the second straight one counting from the point of origin, at that time the only one you can work the green bud attached tissue away from the newly formed wood. If you can not find any new wood in there yet then wait one more week for the very first time slot to do this, or if in a highly diseased pressured area like we have it can sometimes be beneficial to wait much longer for steady sunshine.

The soft bud tissue without wood in it can be a mess when it hangs up on you. So what I do is carve a 45 degree down angle in my cut and very soft on the xylem woody area. It is below this point of missing bark that the bud will disappear. A small plastic flat object to poke and raise all flaps seem very important as well because (as said) the bud will fold all too easy.


Fri May 09, 2014 12:45 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1354
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Damson compatability
Hi Rooney,
Are you saying that May chip budding is ok but with T budding you should only do it in May if the weather is sunny?
I know stone fruits can get diseases if opened in rain.
Thanks,
John S
PDX OR


Sat May 10, 2014 11:13 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:19 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Post Re: Damson compatability
Thanks Rooney and everyone else.
I will take the advice and wait untl I see at least 4 "new growth" buds on the scion/bud at least 1 inch apart. I will graft onto last year's wood. Does it sound like I have interpreted things correctly? I think it will be a while before I see any new growth on our trees. the weather is cool but the forecast looks promising.

Chris


Sun May 11, 2014 5:34 am
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Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 5:03 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Vancouver WA
Post Re: Damson compatability
Quote:
May chip budding is ok but with T budding you should only do it in May if the weather is sunny?


I guess when I wrote it I aimed it for people like yourself that were more familiar with keeping away cuts so that the little "party animal" guys can't populate in your graft and that we know budding is delayed until (traditionally) August when the little guys are at the lowest ebb. A sterilized greenhouse with no diseased plants will be a perfect "hospital" condition, meaning no wind to carry around diseases that normally exist as hosts almost in everything non fruit related in the yard or other peoples yards. The rain even carries them from the atmosphere. Even a botany teacher from Alberta said to me a few years ago they get bugs "the big guys" land from wind storms that originate from California which never make the cold winters in Alberta, so it goes to show how in-hospitable it is out there.

May grafting can work in Canada because I was helping that botany teacher rescue old apple trees that time in May. They had an early season that year but they worked. Apple is less effected by the little guys but we took all my precautions by grafting with no rain and putting our fresh buds in water containers first before opening the bark. Chip budding might require this also since it's still an opening because there are cell walls that are opened that are easy for "them" to populate as a food source. Once populated from the easy cells they are strong enough to secrete various kinds of poisons or leaching agents to gain hold of adjoining living cells in your graft. The rest of the plant can in many cases detect that and wall off that portion of diseased tissue which further eliminates any chance of a graft to heal properly.

You said something about pruning. I agree the same problems and dangers exist when pruning stone fruits in poor conditions which we both know. But have you ever heard that if you ever had to lop back a stone fruit tree in the winter or spring to leave any lopping back of branches 6" away from the trunk? The reasoning there is that the tree will meet the conditions of an infected limb about half way (3") and far enough away from risking any damage to the trunk and main functions of the tree. It's not very common knowledge but here I think it really matters more than anywhere else because everything grows here as a host for little guys so they are everywhere.

This is the number one reason we might never be able to collect sweet cherry scions here though my luck with them goes way up when storing below freezing. Also my luck goes way up when using certain cultivars of sweet cherry rootstocks that are known ones to have natural resistance such as 'early burlat' (as stock or as scion) which I have as a result of looking at test results from long ago at the Mt. Vernon WA experiment station on fruit trees.


Sun May 11, 2014 9:35 am
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