grafting onto black cherry

I have wild black cherry tree about 30 feet tall ... I don't want to cut it down, is it possible to graft some sweet cherries onto it, a couple of varieties that will cross-pollinate? I'm thinking the lower branches could be sweet cherries. where would one get cuttings to graft on? I'm a complete novice to grafting.
thanks Laura
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Laura,
Without researching it, I would guess that wild black cherry was in the same genetic family as sweet cherry. That is something you have to first check out. I know that crab apples will pollinate regular apple trees, but the analogy could break down, in this case.
As for grafting, there are places that sell scion wood, including the sweet cherry varieties. It may be too late in the season to do a standard 'whip and tongue', but the summer time would be ok to do some bud grafting. There is lot's of material on the web on this kind of grafting. Just google for 'bud grafting'.
Sherwin D.
Lacustral wrote:

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Laura,
Found the time to check further. Both sweet cherries and wild black cherry are both prunus, so grafting should be possible.
Sherwin D.
sherwindu wrote:

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Unfortunately, being in the same genus doesn't indicate that grafting will be a success. Sometimes being in the same species isn't enough, either, e.g. graft incompatibilities between pear varieties.
On the other hand, some Prunus species are graft compatible, so it's certainly worth a try. The black cherry (probably P.serotina, a North American native) will almost certainly not pollinate the sweet cherry (P.avium, IIRC), however.
Laura, the best place to get fresh scion wood for bud grafting is from local trees. Look around your neighbourhood and ask your friends so you'll know who to approach later this summer. Do lots of bud grafts and select which ones to let grow next year, after you see how many, if any, take. Don't be surprised if some take, then die over the next few years, since graft incompatibility can be delayed.
The technique of cleft grafting is usually used to convert trees from one variety to another. You can try that early next spring.
Good luck with your experiments and share the results with us here. Even if the grafts fail, you'll have acquired some skill which you can use to add varieties to a sweet cherry tree you may buy. Sweet cherries are large trees, but there are some genetic dwarfs -- Lapin and Compact Stella, IIRC. The black cherry tree may attract birds away from the sweet cherries, so don't cut it down.

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sherwindu wrote:

Whoa! Don't go too far too fast. Prunus is a large genus and off the top of my head I recall that cherries and plums and apricots and peaches and nectarines and sloes and almonds (of all things) are all members. I'm pretty sure that the requirements for successful grafting are much stricter than mere membership in the same genus otherwise you'd surely seem some serious franken-fruit trees for sale at every nursery.
--
John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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John McGaw ( snipped-for-privacy@nowh.ere) wrote:
I'm

There are "fruit cocktail" trees, you know :) I don't think the fruit cocktail includes cherries thought. I *think* one kind of cherry ought to graft on another.
Laura
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John McGaw wrote:

Now, mixing genes to produce new kinds of fruit is a different matter. We are talking about grafting two species together. The way they sell trees at most nurseries, you wouldn't know if your cherry was sitting on top of a plum or peach rootstock.
My original thought was not to totally rule out the possibility of a graft union between most members of Prunus. I would say that fruits in the Prunus species would be a requirement for compatible grafting, not a done deal. You can graft cherries onto certain plum rootstocks, etc. There is a lot of latitude for mixing species here.
I found a reference to some people in Nafex who grafted sweet cherries on capulin (Prunus salicifolia) with limited short term success, but they eventually all died out. Capulin very similar to black cherry, is used as a rootstock for European sweet cherries in Guatemala. The whole idea of grafting sweet cherries onto a wild black cherry seems risky, at best. I have to defer to our Toronto friend on this one. There are plenty of genetic differences at the species level to make this kind of graft difficult, if not impossible.
Sherwin D.

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