[NAFEX] P. americana rootstock

Brungardt, Sam Sam.Brungardt at state.mn.us
Fri Feb 13 11:48:33 EST 2004


I think that unpolluted P. americana stands do still exist.  A case in point is western Kansas, where no plums are grown commercially and only a very few are grown by homeowners.  These stands are often very far apart and very isolated, particularly if one gets into sections where grazing lands predominate, towns and cities are few, and farmsteads are few and far between. Of course, there is the prospect that there could be hybridization with sandhill plums. -- Sam Brungardt, 

-----Original Message-----
From: Griffin Gardens [mailto:griffingardens at earthlink.net]
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2004 9:58 AM
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] P. americana rootstock


Good point on the variability of P.a. populations John and Dean, and I
would take it a step further and ask what is Prunus americana anymore? In
the first place, you would have to expect huge variation in local genotypes
for a species that occurs over such a wide range of climate and is so
adaptable to various growing conditions. Then consider the hybrids that
occur where its range overlaps with other American plums - P. hortulana, P.
munsoniana and even P.maritima to name just a few. Even here in MN where
the only other species occurring naturally is P. nigra in the north, we
have hybridization from a long history of planted P.a. x P. salacina
hybrids. If you go out in the wild here to compare plums phenotypes you
will find more differences than similarities, and I strongly doubt there is
a genetically pure P. americana growing even here in MN where there is less
potential for corruption than most other regions of the country. 

If you have success with a certain plum rootstock, it seems like the thing
to do would be to cut off the cultivar, grow out the rootstock and
propagate it from the easily rooted cuttings. Even then its characteristics
might be different in another location but you would have a good rootstock
for that cultivar on your location, and improved chance that it would be a
better rootstock than a seedling P.a., whatever that is.

Dave


> [Original Message]
> From: John Bunker <jbunker at gwi.net>
> To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
 > Date: 2/13/04 9:03:38 AM
> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] P. americana rootstock
>
> It's been interesting to read the wildly varied reports on P. americana. 
I
> suspect they are all correct.
> 
> I have grafted many hybrids onto P.americana.  I have seen it sucker
> profusely and I have also seen it not sucker at all.  If I were to guess,
> I'd say that some P.americana seedlings (or maybe populations) have that
> tendency and others do not.  In an effort to increase the chance of
> successful pollination, I often simply graft some of the root suckers with
> other varieties.  The suckers I don't want, I cut to the ground.
> 
> I have not had Jim's experience of the graft strangling the rootstock and
> some of my hybrids are now 20+ years old.  I also have no experience
> grafting P. domestica onto P.americana so I can't help there.  I have
mostly
> used P.cerasifera (Myrobolan) as a  P.domestica rootstock.  With good
luck.
> 
> I have also planted root sprouts of various self-rooted  P.domestica
> cultivars.  Most have suckered profusely when planted on their  own roots.
> P.americana is not the only culprit there.
> 
> I think Robert Scott's project could be very interesting.  If you do
> proceed, I would suggest giving a lot of attention to where the
P.americana
> comes from.  I know Lawyers nursery gets their seed from a variety of
> sources and does not segregate populations from one another.  Rootstock
from
> them would be a random mix.  It might add a great deal to the experiment
to
> pay special attention to different strains, sources, etc.
> 
> On a related topic, I suggest you read the article, Plums on the Prairie
by
> Rick Sawatzky.  I thought it was quite good.
> 
> What a fun topic,
> 
> John Bunker
> 
> Fedco
> PO Box 520
> Waterville ME 04903
> 
> 
> 
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