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Santa Rosa Plum on own roots

 
pollinator
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As a gardener I am always performing little science experiements to see what works and try to learn something new.

I have successfully grown (and it is common practice) citrus, goji berry, elderberry, mulberries, grapes, figs (about 15 cultivars myself so far), etc on their own roots.

Late last Summer/early Fall I decided to pop off a few little twigs from my Santa Rosa Plum to see if they would take root in my aquaponics system. All but one rooted. About a 90% success rate or so.

Anyways, I then transplanted them into two containers and limped them along just long enough to rebound from transplant shock... then I set them out in the cold for a hard dormancy for the Winter.

Now all but one has awakened from their slumber. The last one is still green and will likely awaken soon as well.

What I am wondering is...


Has anyone done this with stonefruit of any kind before? I cannot find any reading material online about it.

I wonder how big they would get if I planted them in some good soil. It has only been a month and several have doubled in size too! That is without even watering (but heavy fert though).

I am about to move onto 8 Acres and would not mind having a few of these. Seems easier than managing rootstock to graft onto. I am lazy. lol


You can see them in the pics. A single one in a 5gal pot and a cluster in a 10gal container. Then the row of many different fig cultivars, elderberry, and Goumi berries I am cloning.


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That's awesome Marty.

Yeah I haven't heard of anyone else doing this either, it's great how good the results are.

Here's a link to Marty's aquaponics setup thread.

https://permies.com/t/68438/MOBILE-Rubbermaid-stock-tank-system

I've heard that Santa Rosa plums can grow to 25 or 30 feet in ideal conditions. It should be really interesting how yours do on their own roots. I bet they will be awesome. Excited to see how they turn out and congrats on the new property purchase!
 
Marty Mitchell
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Wow! I can only dream of having a fruit tree that large. That would be amazing.

Thank you for posting that link to my AP thread! I believe the plum cuttings were just out of frame in those pics (in the last post of that thread) actually!!! lol

I am glad you recognized me!!! Makes me feel like I did something good (I hope).

In fact the LSU purple I uprooted (last post in the AP thread) is now knee high and in a 3gal container. It is the tallest tree on the far end of the row of containers in the first picture up above. She is already getting a few double bumps (Figlet&Branch nodes).

I can't wait to see what I get to create at the new home. I will take my time and do it slow/right. 1st goal is to find something to assist cutting the 8AC of grass (Thinking Dexter Cattle). That way I can free up many hours of work each week for other projects like fruit, veggies, fish, and cloning more plants. I want to do a small you-pick/nursery at some point maybe. With a side hustle of making small Aquaponics systems.

~Marty

 
Steve Thorn
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Sounds really neat, keep us updated on how it all progresses!
 
Marty Mitchell
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Sure Thing! They have been cruising along so far... I have not watered anything in a month. However, the weather is pretty cool with occasional thunder storms. lol

I will be sure to post an update later this year. If I forget... remind me.

 
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Plums are the easiest stone fruit to root from cuttings. It’s done all the time, very common. Rooted cutting and grafted trees don’t tend to live as long and strong as seed grown trees, but growing from seed can’t guarantee you a specific variety (plums are usually pretty close to the parent though).

The size they will reach depends on how those new roots do in the soil you plant them into. They are not going to have a tap root, but that’s not a problem in the right conditions. If the roots are weak, that alone could dwarf the tree, and if the roots are strong, the tree could grow very large. So the correct answer is a shoulder shrug. It might fall over in 7 years, it might do great and live for 30. You could always harvest scions from it at some point in the future if it doesn’t do well.

Grafting onto rootstocks is done for a variety of different reasons, and growing from seeds, grafting, rooted cuttings all have different advantages and disadvantages.

Here is an overview article that might save me from writing a novel... (I just found it on a Google search, it’s not my article, but offers a decent cliff notes overview).

https://deepgreenpermaculture.com/2017/02/16/the-difference-between-seedling-grafted-and-cutting-grown-fruit-trees/amp/

Good Luck and congrats on your new land.
 
Marty Mitchell
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@ Paul Eusey

Thank you for both the congrats and the information!

I seek as much knowledge on the subject as I can find. My (mild case of) common sense had my mind headed down the same path that you are talking about. As with most things in life "it depends" is the #1 answer to all questions.

I wonder if the Santa Rosa has dwarfing or full size/aggressive root types. Either way it won't matter because I live in an area that gets lots of rain and I now have started practicing "Grass Fed" for my fruit trees. It is like magic for trees in hardpan clay (brick-like).

Bonus is that the land I am moving to is essentially forest soil. They just cut the trees down and moved some of the dirt around. So there is great soil there. My current home had it all stripped away down to the clay layer. It has still been working though.

I am attaching a picture of my LSU Purple fig from back when I up-rooted it from my AP gravel bed. It had LOADS of heavier roots already forming. The LSU Purple is known for growing fast and being a heavy producer at the same time. However, with my Negronne and Violette de Bordeaux figs... the roots on them were puny. They are known to be dwarfing.

When I pulled the baby plum trees out I did it way to soon. I was not expecting them to survive and they didn't have much in the way of roots yet. However, two of them had a decently thick root on there. It may have wound up looking like the LSU Purple. I will remove the root crowns from the soil this Fall to take a peak and see what their roots look like.

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Paul Eusey
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Great job on that LSU purple Marty! Figs have one of the more aggressive root systems (never plant them close to sidewalks or concrete cus they will tear it up really fast). I love love love figs. I love the tree structures and the smooth bark and pruning them into cool twisted and gnarled trunks that look awesome for Halloween/winter, I love the leaves (as do livestock). I love the shade they provide, and I love the fruits both fresh and for cooking. Violette de Bordeaux Is one of my favorites, light pale bark, great tree structure, great figs with strawberry colored insides, great flavor, very forgiving and easy to grow. But then again, I love all figs, did I mention I love figs? LOL!!!

Propagation can be fascinating and there are so many different tricks and techniques to play with (more so if you have a proper greenhouse), it can be a fun power high. But I tend to stay pretty grounded and I constantly tell people that mother nature grew it, I just threw the right stuff on the ground and she did the rest. If you get good at some of those techniques then the world becomes your plant store and everything is almost free... And that is very cool.

If you haven’t already taken any college courses (ornamental horticulture, botany, plant science, etc), I highly recommend looking into them to see if you (or anyone reading this) can, as they will teach you far more than what is mentioned within the curriculum. You get to work inside those modern greenhouse and experience the design and layout and all those subtle things that books and videos can’t teach. Most have no idea how much more they learned by those experiences.

I also watch a lot of videos online. Even some of those guerilla gardners and tinkerers without formal training offer some very cool ideas and techniques. I have used some of them just because some are easy and deliver good results.

I also have several friends who are farmers (and I constantly give many of them shit about doing monoculture, but at least they are all growing organic). But I have helped them many times on their farms and orchards. I helped a friend plant an acre of plums by sticking the cuttings directly in the orchard (they all rooted in place, something you can get away with in California’s zone 9 mild winters, sometime they do it in harsher climates but use row covers and heaters).

Luther Burbank (the guy who developed the Santa Rosa plum and 800+ other plants/trees) died in 1926 and I don’t think dwarfing was in vogue during his reign as king of horticulture. So if your roots are good, then you should get a full sized tree. You could graft it onto a dwarf rootstock if you want to make sure you get a dwarf (or onto disease resistance rootstock if you find it’s getting hit by something in its new home. You could grow your own rootstock by planting a plum and grafting a scion from your Santa Rosa onto it. Once you get into propagation and grafting, getting new plants and trees are practically free (and can become an additional revenue stream for many farmers). So it’s a hobby that can pay for itself and potentially help others. It also takes up a fraction of the space as evident by any nursery you visit.


Anyway... Thank you for sharing.


Good Luck!
 
Marty Mitchell
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Paul Eusey wrote:
Great job on that LSU purple Marty!  

But then again, I love all figs, did I mention I love figs? LOL!!!

If you get good at some of those techniques then the world becomes your plant store and everything is almost free... And that is very cool.

If you haven’t already taken any college courses (ornamental horticulture, botany, plant science, etc), I highly recommend looking into them.

I also watch a lot of videos online. Even some of those guerilla gardners and tinkerers without formal training offer some very cool ideas and techniques. I have used some of them just because some are easy and deliver good results.

I also have several friends who are farmers...

Luther Burbank (the guy who developed the Santa Rosa plum and 800+ other plants/trees) died in 1926 and I don’t think dwarfing was in vogue during his reign as king of horticulture. So if your roots are good, then you should get a full sized tree.

Once you get into propagation and grafting, getting new plants and trees are practically free (and can become an additional revenue stream for many farmers). So it’s a hobby that can pay for itself and potentially help others. It also takes up a fraction of the space as evident by any nursery you visit.




Thank you for the "great job"!!! It feels good to get a pat on the back sometimes. lol

I can tell you love figs! I was not really into them until I got a perfectly ripened one off of an in-ground tree. I could still taste the sweetness from my first fig 20mins after eating it. So last year I bought 4 and put them in-ground and proceeded to start making copies of them with the branches I was going to prune anyways to get their initial training underway. I went nuts on FigBid a few months ago too and am trying to root out some more figs. Figo Preto, Galicia Negra, Col de Dame Blanc, Col de Dame Gris, Italian 258, JH Adriatic, Smith, Genovese Nero AF, Alma, Violette de Sollies, and Rhonde de Bordeaux. Figo Preto was a "Surprise" bonus fig in one of the bids I won and thus far is the first one not to make it (though I am holding out a little while longer before pulling it). Add in the other types I am rooting out and duplicates of the ones above... and that is why I have about 30 containers sitting around the garden and house. lol Future abundance!!!

Yes. I very much look forward to giving copies of these trees to friends and selling the rest to make a little extra to support my endeavors. I think it is AMAZING that you can prune a small tree in the Fall... and next Spring... plant an orchard that will eventually feed dozens of families.

The only college I have taken thus far on this subject is the college of life... and surfing the depths of the WWW for the knowledge of the world. Mostly here, YouTube, and podcasts.

I have a few farmer friends and family here in coastal NC and also back in Georgia. One of my co-workers started off very skeptical of my comments until he realized I could maintain a conversation with him. He was managing 80AC of corn and soy when I first met him (as a side job for him). Last year he was doing 3AC of plants to make CBD oil. He said he made a lot of money but didn't do it this year because the market got flooded by famers. His mind is open now to a lot of my ideas. lol He keeps giving me crap now to get some acreage (I am living in an HOA neighborhood). He seemed excited that I was getting 8 Acres just up the road from him. He keeps trying to get me to buy a tractor now. lol I am not going to though and it will drive him nuts.

I hope you are right about how everything back when the SR plum was created was full sized! That would be awesome. I would prefer a stronger plant here on the coast where hurricanes come through at times. However, I did purposefully find my new farm with a forest surround... to cut back on the super heavy winds during storms.

You are right about the nursery operation taking up minimal space. Even in just one of my Aquaponics grow beds I can root out HUNDREDS of trees a few times a year. I have two of them. The LED lights are mild and gentle on the new starts as well... and I was keeping it in the garage where temps are stable. Just have to keep the air circulating and crack open the big door a little once a day to keep humidity down/or get a dehumidifier. I only spend about $150 a year on power and fish feed for it as well. However, if you put it out in a greenhouse... that falls to $23 per year to run the water pump, air pump (backup for fish), and fish feed. Not to mention the free fertilizer, and super charged compost tea it is. I use my AP water on potted new plants all the time and it is a supercharger for them.



 
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Paul Eusey wrote:

Plums are the easiest stone fruit to root from cuttings.



Interesting. My experience has been just the opposite. I have rooted peaches, nectarines, apples, pears, apricots (most of which died from my own neglect afterward) but the plums have never rooted.
 
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Many decades ago I became interested in own roots trees.  At the time there was only one person I could find in the world doing research and experimentation - he was in the U.K.  He has since died and the organization was not interested in continuing the work.  In my humble opinion, grafted trees are not very healthy and not as long lived as an own root tree. They also have a lot of disease problems.  At the time I decided to cut down my whole orchard of grafted trees and try something different.  Due to several factors, where I farm, large trees are not something that will work here. So I started buying standard non grafted stone fruit and nut trees. They are either espaliered or kept as bushes. I've kept kept them under 7' in large air pruned pots.  They are highly productive and I have had zero problems with disease or pests. On the other hand, the few grafted ones I kept, produce about half the fruit and are water thirsty.

Back to cutting down the orchard.  I cut everything down to the ground.  To my surprise they grew back as bushes despite not watering them which is great for the desert. If I don't keep them pruned they will get to 10' and they are prodigious in the fruit department. Again, I have no problems with pests or disease and they thrive in the high desert here with very little water.  I always used to have trouble with wilting with the grafted trees....something that never happens with the own roots.

I am gradually getting rid of the grafted trees in favor of standard non grafted; dwarfed by pruning only.  My feeling is that fruit trees were originally bushes. Not certain why there was a move to trees. They are harder to take care of in so many ways: harvesting, water usage, protecting from birds, etc.  I live on a mesa where the winds are pretty high every day - the bushes have been a tremendous success compared to the trees. I have 63 own roots now and my method has resulted in a 76% water saving. The fruit is smaller and tastes nothing like the grafted varieties but I like them better. They also seem to keep longer on the tree.

Oikos has been very proactive with their own root/bush program.  I have a lot of their stuff including peach plums.  H.L. Hudson also has a wealth of seeds that are heirloom type fruit trees that can be grown as bushes.  

My only advice is that when they are started in a hydroponic system, they often will not transfer to the ground and survive.  I found this to be true here which is one of the reasons I started transferring them to air prune pots (coir,perlite,vermiculite). I use Urban Farm Fertilizers. I've gone thru about 20 different types of fertilizer brands and Urban Farms Fertilizers are easy to use, you can use all methods of fertilization, and highly economical.
 
Purity Lopez
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Paul Eusey wrote:

Luther Burbank (the guy who developed the Santa Rosa plum and 800+ other plants/trees) died in 1926 and I don’t think dwarfing was in vogue during his reign as king of horticulture. So if your roots are good, then you should get a full sized tree. You could graft it onto a dwarf rootstock if you want to make sure you get a dwarf (or onto disease resistance rootstock if you find it’s getting hit by something in its new home. You could grow your own rootstock by planting a plum and grafting a scion from your Santa Rosa onto it. Once you get into propagation and grafting, getting new plants and trees are practically free (and can become an additional revenue stream for many farmers). So it’s a hobby that can pay for itself and potentially help others. It also takes up a fraction of the space as evident by any nursery you visit.



Paul....you should read Luther's books. Amazing stuff.  For instance when he developed the spineless cactus, he went through over 100,000 permutations before arriving at a successful conclusion he was happy with. He was a man of infinite patience. He rails a lot over the stupidity of the way most people view and practice agriculture.  And yes, he didn't dwarf. The crying shame is that there are no true Luther Burbank trees any more - they have all been mutated by grafting.  
 
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yeah plums are one of the easiest to root out from cuttings. others you mention - fig and elderberry, are 2 other extra easy to root, IME. other stone fruits as well - cherry, peach, nectarine, also have re rooting ability.

one of the cool things about the prunus species (stone fruits)is the way they grow, making them naturally adapted to ground layering themselves and forming thickets. fig and others too, you can use these hedge laying, as the main "posts" for a living fence, or just to make a wall a bushes.
if a plum tree falls down, it just re roots horizontally and keeps growing...now turning itself into a natural plum wall. you can emphasize this quality by pushing them down, ground layering, treating them as a coppice tree, and making plum fedges.

some people even sculpt with them, i have always wanted to try my hand at this...making plum tree sculptures...but its a time consuming task, for sure. the closest i get is just using them a lot for fedges / hedges/ tall layers in food forest...and planting them horizontally so that they come up as lots of thick plum trees side by side.

cherry and plum also send out suckers a lot, obviously own root, as they come from the root. i am definitely into growing something on own root, and if you have the patience for it, from seed. plum and other stone fruits are generally good for seed, maybe smaller than the over inflated size of grocery store fruit, but still generally good from seed. citrus is another i have experimented with growing on own roots...taken cuttings from primo nursery trees for $$ and gotten lots of free cuttings to try out on own root...

 
Purity Lopez
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One of my stone fruit own roots.  It is about 8x8'
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Cool post marty.I would not have thought to use hydroponic for cloning.I used to work at a nursery.We used shadehouses full of sand.There was a little device that would mist the roots when dry.
 
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Actually, yes.  I have had success with such cuttings/rootings. The size will be "standard" if you let them just grow.  That means you can expect a tree which can be up to 20 feet tall, and about 15 feet wide.  Don't despair !   By pruning and training, your trees can be maintained at a "pickable" height.  Summer (June 21st) time pruning will help keep them shorter, whereas Winter (dormant) time pruning will encourage growth.  Both can be used, but be cautious with Summer pruning, just enough to limit the height and before the tree starts to store food in roots for Winter. I keep them at about 8-10 feet in height, mostly because I can reach the fruit, and what I don't get the birds can have.  Enjoy!
 
Marty Mitchell
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What a massively large group of quality posts from everyone. Thank you!

I am starting to get a little excited with the possibilities now!!!

I am glad to see that I am not the only one out there doing it... and that this is a well-beaten path I am going down. It makes me more confident that I am not wasting my time.

Attached are some pics of my Improved Meyer Lemons I did a few years ago in the AP system. They made some fruit last year... but this year it looks like they are flowering out a LOT more... I bet the fruit will be as big as the mother tree this time as well. I did make more but sold them already.

These girls spent almost all Winter outdoors and are starting to green back up/put out new growth/and flower now. They turned a little yellow. I only brought them indoors when the temps were headed towards 20F. They are on the South side of the house... and protected from West/NW winds during the Winter time. A little micro climate for me in zone 8A here.

What is awesome is that my entire porch smells of lemon flowers right now. Just in time to sell the home. lol

~Marty





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Purity Lopez
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Marty Mitchell wrote:What a massively large group of quality posts from everyone. Thank you!

I am starting to get a little excited with the possibilities now!!!

~Marty



I just wanted to mention in case you hadn't thought of this.  Using a scion to reproduce another tree brings along with it any original problems/weaknesses that the grafted tree had. You are still getting a DNA mix of graft/scion. That may not be an issue with you, it's a huge issue for me. I see it as another attempt to change Nature according to our desires without considering what their own intent is.  I have not witnessed that grafting makes the tree stronger, healthier or more long lived.  Grafted trees rarely live 1/3 of the life span of a own rooted tree.  There is a man in the South, Tom Brown.....he has been on a mission to bring back the original apple trees.  I think he has over a 100 now.  A lot of the stock he ran across were 100+ year old apple trees.  So that speaks to me in a big way.  If I am going to do all this work, I want it to be as perfect, as close to what Nature intended, as can be.

The quest in the agricultural world in the development of fruit/nut trees has mainly been done so that produce is more ship-worthy.  Anyone who has tasted a grocery store tomato knows how that worked out.  Nurseries want to sell you trees over and over, they are not interested in selling you a tree that will last your lifetime and your children's lifetime.
 
Marty Mitchell
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Purity Lopez wrote:
I have not witnessed that grafting makes the tree stronger, healthier or more long lived.  Grafted trees rarely live 1/3 of the life span of a own rooted tree.  

There is a man in the South, Tom Brown.....he has been on a mission to bring back the original apple trees.  I think he has over a 100 now.  A lot of the stock he ran across were 100+ year old apple trees.  So that speaks to me in a big way.  If I am going to do all this work, I want it to be as perfect, as close to what Nature intended, as can be.

The quest in the agricultural world in the development of fruit/nut trees has mainly been done so that produce is more ship-worthy.  Anyone who has tasted a grocery store tomato knows how that worked out.  Nurseries want to sell you trees over and over, they are not interested in selling you a tree that will last your lifetime and your children's lifetime.



That makes sense to me actually. I have planted many grafted trees over the years and they always seem to be irritated at the grafting point. They almost always have some damage there as well. If you are correct, then that is definitely something that may not be "The Way" for permaculture. (Yes I just tied Star Wars and Permaculture together!!! That just happened. lol)

I have a feeling that... thanks to the knowledge I have gained from the interwebs.... I will be able to make some amazing soil. Which, when combined with a good plant, will create something resilient and long-lasting. As well as lower maintenance if done right.

Longer lasting and lower maintenance are two key areas I focus on with my gardening. They appeal greatly to my lazy ways. lol

I will work more than 4x the time to set something up if it will net me 10x the savings in time and effort down the road.

~Marty
 
Lauren Ritz
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Most of my seed grown trees have taken a bush shape. That's fine, since I'd prefer to have the fruit down where I can reach it, and in the case of my peach tree hedge it's exactly what I need. Single stem "bushes" can be trained into a tree shape if that's what you want. The bush shape seems to come from the seedling freezing down to the ground and putting out multiple branches from ground level.

As for grafting--imagine that you were cut in half at the waist and another body put on. No matter the medical expertise that allowed you to survive the procedure, I imagine it would be a shocking and even debilitating event. It would likely shorten your life, and depending on the compatibility of the "scion" there might be a real risk of rejection.

So you end up with grafted trees that reject the graft, some that out-grow the graft, some where the top is stronger than the roots and the rootstock dies. You end up with rootstock that is perfect for the area, and a scion that isn't, or vice versa. Those that have a perfect scion-rootstock match might live longer than standard trees, but in my experience that is rare. I have one in my yard, a Stanley plum that is well over 40 years old. Most of my grafted trees haven't lived longer than 20 years, and when they die they're replaced by seedlings.
 
Paul Eusey
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Marty Mitchell wrote:


He keeps trying to get me to buy a tractor now. lol I am not going to though and it will drive him nuts.



This gave me a huge laugh!!! You are absolutely right not to own a tractor. You are much better renting one for the very few times you might want one.

The exception is if you find a smallish old tractor for dirt cheep and want to tinker with converting it from diesel to run on vegetable oil (like a hobby that can serve a purpose). Most tractors are just a waste of storage space the majority of the time (granted they can do a lot of work when used, but it’s almost always cheaper and better to just rent one if you are not going to use it often).

So I hope you have lots and lots of fun messing with your friend regarding his desire for you to own a tractor. (You might even pretend to give into his persuasions from time to time, only to laugh at his momentary excitement... LOL!!! It’s evil, but it’s the fun kind).

I wish you the best Marty!!!
 
Paul Eusey
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Lauren Ritz wrote:Most of my seed grown trees have taken a bush shape.

The bush shape seems to come from the seedling freezing down to the ground and putting out multiple branches from ground level.

As for grafting--imagine that you were cut in half at the waist and another body put on. No matter the medical expertise that allowed you to survive the procedure, I imagine it would be a shocking and even debilitating event. It would likely shorten your life, and depending on the compatibility of the "scion" there might be a real risk of rejection.



Most trees that naturally grow from seed in nature have a natural tree shape. Mimic that and you will get the same result.

As for grafting, no, they don't “reject” each other. You are anthropomorphizing. Scions are grafted onto like rootstocks, apples onto apples, pears onto pears, walnut to walnut, etc. There is such a thing as a sloppy or poorly done graft (mis-sized, improperly aligned cambium layers, bad cuts, etc). But there is no risk of rejection. Yes, the trees don’t live as long, but it makes sense when you think about it. The scion already thinks it’s a very old tree at the time it is grafted (this means they start producing fruit within a year or two versus 4 to 10 for a seed grown tree).

The fruit that comes from a “bush” is usually smaller and different than if the tree not been damaged by frost and instead grown into a healthy tree. Sometimes that’s cool and works out great, sometimes it isn’t what you want or the fruit isn’t palatable.

I posted this link for Marty earlier, I highly recommend reading it as it will help you better understand propagation and grafting.

https://deepgreenpermaculture.com/2017/02/16/the-difference-between-seedling-grafted-and-cutting-grown-fruit-trees/amp/

Good Luck!
 
Paul Eusey
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leila hamaya wrote:

if a plum tree falls down, it just re roots horizontally and keeps growing...now turning itself into a natural plum wall. you can emphasize this quality by pushing them down, ground layering, treating them as a coppice tree, and making plum fedges.

some people even sculpt with them, i have always wanted to try my hand at this...making plum tree sculptures...but its a time consuming task, for sure. the closest i get is just using them a lot for fedges / hedges/ tall layers in food forest...and planting them horizontally so that they come up as lots of thick plum trees side by side.

cherry and plum also send out suckers a lot, obviously own root, as they come from the root. i am definitely into growing something on own root, and if you have the patience for it, from seed. plum and other stone fruits are generally good for seed, maybe smaller than the over inflated size of grocery store fruit, but still generally good from seed. citrus is another i have experimented with growing on own roots...taken cuttings from primo nursery trees for $$ and gotten lots of free cuttings to try out on own root...



Thank you for this post Leila!!! Really really good stuff!

I had a 100 year old apple trees that had fallen over and re-rooted and kept growing. It had issues with the old trunk rotting and no taproot, so it was much weaker than it preferred, but was still going and putting out apples the size of volleyballs (it was a 20 ounce pippin).

I love a good living fence (even though they require maintenance, they are still very cool). And I have done a lot of espaliers and tree sculptures and they are really really easy and don’t take a lot of time to do. A little pruning and wrapping and they pretty much take care of the rest (granted you need to keep them pruned, but that’s about 30 minutes max, once a year). Once I find and relocate to my next farm, I’ll be splicing tree sculptures all over the place. They are a great medium for art and nature is a very artistic collaborator. Who doesn’t want art that grows food?

And yes, stone fruits grow pretty close to their parents. I love seed grown trees and prefer them over grafts even if I might not get fruit as good as a popular cultivar. I always try to get away with natural roots if my soil and location will allow it. I love seeing what nature has to offer and teach me, and growing from seed is the best way I can observe that.

And yes, yes, yes... Once you get good at propagation techniques, the world is your plant store and most are almost free. And that is very cool! And almost free makes it much easier to add diversity and nature loves diversity. I want to get those local natives incorporated onto my land, but I don’t want to remove them from their home. Luckily I can just snip a little piece off and give that little piece a new place to grow. (Or I can air layer it in place, for the more difficult plants, and bring home an already rooted clone).

Good Luck!

 
Paul Eusey
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Purity Lopez wrote:

Using a scion to reproduce another tree brings along with it any original problems/weaknesses that the grafted tree had. You are still getting a DNA mix of graft/scion. That may not be an issue with you, it's a huge issue for me. I see it as another attempt to change Nature according to our desires without considering what their own intent is.  I have not witnessed that grafting makes the tree stronger, healthier or more long lived.  Grafted trees rarely live 1/3 of the life span of a own rooted tree.  

There is a man in the South, Tom Brown.....he has been on a mission to bring back the original apple trees.  I think he has over a 100 now.  A lot of the stock he ran across were 100+ year old apple trees.  So that speaks to me in a big way.  If I am going to do all this work, I want it to be as perfect, as close to what Nature intended, as can be.

The quest in the agricultural world in the development of fruit/nut trees has mainly been done so that produce is more ship-worthy.



No, grafted trees do not mix DNA with their rootstocks and it is nature that makes grafting possible. The only time nature mixes DNA is when she is creating a seed. Male pollen meets female flower and the resulting seed that is born is a blend of both parents DNA... Which is why you can’t grow the same variety of fruit from the seeds.

Every named variety of apple sold and eaten was made by a grafted tree. The whole reason that humans have come up with GMOs is because nature will not mix DNA the way greedy intelligence-challenged people want them made (hence the genetic engineering).

When anyone does grafting we take the parts nature already made and assemble them in a way that still has to respect nature’s laws. We cut, splice, wrap, and nature heals it all together (provided we did it within the restrictions she demands). I can’t graft an apple tree onto a walnut rootstock because nature doesn’t allow it, I have to graft it onto another apple rootstock if I want it to work, aka live. I have no control over the healing just as I have no control over the growing. I have to stay within the laws set by nature.

Yes, grafted trees do not tend to live as long, but they start producing fruit much faster. The top part of the tree is much older than the rootstock. So there are pros and cons, but it is the only way to propagate a specific variety of fruit for others to grow and enjoy. All fruit species that we know and enjoy are just happy accidents that were recognized and grafted. (Picking fruit early so it will survive the trip to market has little to do with it, granted some varietals are elevated based on how well they keep).

Your boy Tom Brown is on a mission to save old varietals before they vanish. All of those varietals he is rushing to save we’re developed the same way and shared via grafted cuttings. He goes out and collects clippings from old trees and grafts them onto new rootstocks...

https://appvoices.org/2019/08/07/a-tale-of-orchards-past/

The Enterprise Apple was the result of a joint breeding program between Purdue, Rutgers, and University of Illinois... The first letter of each university make the initials PRI, which is where the name Enter-PRI-se came from. University of Washington took that Enterprise Apple and crossed it with a Honeycrisp and came up with WA-38 aka the Cosmic Crisp Apple. The Lady Alice Apple was discovered in an orchard near Gleed, Washington in 1979. It was a tree that sprouted from a seed. The tree grew and the apple was delicious and had great characteristics, so it was cultivated into the market. If you have eaten any of these apples, (all of which were a result of pollen meeting a flower and making a seed that grew into a tree), then you enjoyed a fruit that was grown on a grafted tree and wouldn’t be able to buy it without grafting.

As long as we are not talking about Genetic Engineering aka GMOs, and only referring to crossing and hybridizations and what not. We are talking about giving nature little nudges in a hopeful direction and hoping for the best. It’s all within the laws set by nature and nature is the only one that mixes the DNA from the parents and only when creating a seed. It’s all 100% natural and nothing is an aberration of nature (unlike GMOs).

Good Luck!
 
Marty Mitchell
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Paul Eusey wrote:
This gave me a huge laugh!!! You are absolutely right not to own a tractor. You are much better renting one for the very few times you might want one.

The exception is if you find a smallish old tractor for dirt cheep and want to tinker with converting it from diesel to run on vegetable oil (like a hobby that can serve a purpose). Most tractors are just a waste of storage space the majority of the time (granted they can do a lot of work when used, but it’s almost always cheaper and better to just rent one if you are not going to use it often).

So I hope you have lots and lots of fun messing with your friend regarding his desire for you to own a tractor. (You might even pretend to give into his persuasions from time to time, only to laugh at his momentary excitement... LOL!!! It’s evil, but it’s the fun kind).

I wish you the best Marty!!!



Better believe I will keep messing with him. lol

I remember my grandfather's tractor at his old place. That thing would work hard in my younger years watching him use it to work a 14 acre property. Later on though, it was literally only used to mow... and occasionally drag a box blade on his long driveway once in a while.

I am planning on doing just as you stated. I will get a high quality mower that will mow faster with more comfort. Then when I need a tractor I will either borrow one or rent one. All 8AC are already fenced. The rest can be done with my truck and a mower for the most part except ditch and driveway work.

Glad I gave you a laugh!

~Marty
 
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