By Bob Boyer
Garfield Shults, an earnest experimental grafter from Homedale, Idaho, says that cherry plums will double or triple in size if budded on apricot rootstock.
He also says that when grafted, trees will grow much faster and produce earlier if fertilized with “Rico Verde”, a product of Agronics. 701 Madison NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110, phone (505) 298-1748. Incidentally, Agronics is owned by Colonel Leland Taylor, who spent some time in Alaska in the early days-Wally Hickel worked for him at one time. The only problem with the fertilizer is that it is a little spendy; the least expensive way to ship it is by mail-and it’s heavy.
I read an article written by Garfield Shults in the winter 1992 issue of Pomona and called to order scionwood from him (apples, cherry plum, walnut and a peach). He was a delight to talk with and he gave me one more tip to pass along: when grafting onto Nanking cherry (Prunus tomentosa), leave a branch about eight inches (8”) long on one shoot of the tree, while grafting onto another shoot cut any remaining shoots off. Let the eight-inch stem leaf out. This will allow any excess sap to flow to this additional stem and keep the graft from drowning in its own sap.
I really enjoy reading Pomona, and everyone I’ve corresponded with or called has been very, nice and helpful.