[nafex ibiblio list] Steeping Prunus (dwarf strains of plum & sour-cherry) graft-union/getting on own roots

Steven Covacci filtertitle at aol.com
Sun Jan 8 01:50:15 EST 2012

Would it be a good, or at least acceptable, plant to steep the graft-union of dwarf strains of plum (i.e. European plum cv. 'Mt. Royal') or dwarf strains of sour cherry (i.e. 'North Star')?
1. No 'unsightly' graft-union (the least of the benefits), so that the rootsystem on up is all contiguously the same material
2. No risk of future graft-rejection due to graft-incompatibiltiy or an improperly rendered grafting job
3. No risk of the scion over-growing the under-stock (for dwarf strains that, yet, less dwarfed then the under-stock)
4. No graft-union into which borers would, otherwise, aim to enter the tree (the most signficant benefit)
Potential Cons:
1. The specially developed rootstock, in some cases, is specially selected (i.e. P. mahaleb, etc.) or bred (i.e. Krymsk series, etc.) for its resistance to soil-bourne pathogens and soil conditions; the variety itself (scion) may not have the same disease resistance or soil-condition suitability as the selected understock had, before being buried and succeeded over by the roots of the scion, after steeping.
2. The scion may not put forth roots before the now buried rootstock rots away.
In my situation:
A. I'd like to get my 'North Star' sour cherry on its own roots so that, in the future, the base of the trunk (being on P. mahaleb) doesn't form a big bulge as it will do; since 'North Star' is a true dwarf variety, the P. mahaleb will not confer any (further) dwarfing - my guess it that it might even add a little size, if anything.  I'd love the tree to sucker, if that's what would happen on its own roots.  I'm not one to train a Magnolia into a single-trunk specimen, etc.
B.  I'd like to get my European plum cv. 'President' since it's already a semi-dwarf and since the scion is highly black-knot resistant, and the under-stock - although rarely effected by the disease, may or may not be.
C. I'd like to get my flowering dogwood on its own roots since the graft-union is highly subject to infiltration by borers.
New Jersey

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