Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Grafting cultivated plums onto wild plums

Grafting cultivated plums onto wild plums can indeed be done... and I have a photo to prove it!


This year I decided to try an experiment. I planted a Chickasaw plum in my front yard a couple of years ago. Being a tough Florida native, it's grown like a weed and suckered wildly.

Before it leafed out this year, I took some bud wood off a couple of improved Florida plum varieties and grafted them on to some of the suckers. Out of five tries, it seems that at least two have taken... and the one in the picture has really flown.

There are native plums all over the place. They produce small, tart fruit that are mostly eaten by the birds... yet the trees are carefree and grow in terrible soil. It's interesting how different the leaves are on the improved types... big green leaves instead of the tiny green and red leaves of the Chickasaw plum.

Why not take advantage of their hardy nature and graft in some big, sweet plums? It's too late for this year, but it would be a good February project to try in 2015.

I'm certainly going to graft some more varieties onto the suckers in my yard. I might even guerrilla graft some on trees around the neighborhood. All you need is a good donor tree for bud wood, some grafting tape and a sharp knife.

Free plums!

UPDATE:

Here's the grafting tape I use (thanks, Amazon!)

Poly Budding Tape

4 comments:

  1. Isn't it too late for the year?
    I have some callery pears that need some fruiting pears grafted... I recently read a walter reeves post about using super glue...
    It seems like something has to be used to knock out the air bubbles... when I tried using just tape... none grew.

    I have a buncha flatwoods plum... that sure aren't worth eating as they are... and they come back every time I attempt to dig them out... suitable candidates for sure... but I seem to have a fungus attacking my peaches and wild cherries... not sure that working with the plums would be worth while...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes... too late for this year, at least in Florida. You could try grafting wax on the pears, perhaps. If you have budwood, might as well try on the flatwoods plum. Good winter goof-off project.

      Delete
  2. Do you buy special grafting tape? If so, where do you get it from?

    ReplyDelete

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