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Using fruit tree suckers and rootstocks

Posts: 220
Location: Gulf Islands BC (zone 8)
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I have a cherry tree and a yellow plum that both appear to be on their own roots, not grafted. They are both excellent trees. Normally I cut off any root suckers but this year I let some grow. I am going to try to cut them with a sharp shovel and try to get at least one rooted sucker per tree that I can pot up. I haven't done this before but it seems like it should work. I think I should probably wait until the trees are dormant although I am not certain of that part.

These are pretty huge old trees so in this case I am not worried about sapping energy from the tree by allowing a one-time experiment with sucker growth. The suckers are all in the six inch to a foot height range and about as thick as a pencil or my finger.

Curious to know if others have had success doing this? These two trees are not grafted but it seems to me this could be a way to get rootstock if they had been.

Also curious to know if anyone has found a way to make use of water sprouts? They seem to be so vigorous it seems to me they could make good grafting material. I need to learn to graft so that may be an experiment for another day :)
Posts: 1961
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
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I've done something similar with blueberries and it's worked great!

Sounds like a great plan to me.

Thats really neat if you've got some trees on their own roots!
Diego Footer on Permaculture Based Homesteads - from the Eat Your Dirt Summit
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