Propagation: Can sugar maple scions be grafted to silver maple rootstock?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by sgbotsford, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. sgbotsford

    sgbotsford Active Member

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    A quick search found little about this.

    Silver maple generally does better in wetter areas than does sugar maple. It also is more tolerant to alkali soils.

    Anyone tried this? Tips on what time of graft, time of year, etc?
     
  2. emery

    emery Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Apparently possible, it's an interesting idea that it would help saccharum survive in wetter spots. It's indeed difficult to establish where it's feet get wet.

    According to MOW, grafting on saccharinum (Silver Maple): "Results are often rather poor when grafting is done on A. saccharinum". Not quantitatively useful, anyway.

    Dirr only mentions the usual practice of grafting Sugar Maple cultivars on Sugar Maple understock. I've never heard of anyone doing it commercially.

    Anyway I think you should try a batch and let us know how it works out! :)

    -E
     
  3. sgbotsford

    sgbotsford Active Member

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    Ok. I've got a hundred silver maple coming in this spring, and I have about 10 "Lord Selkirk" maples for scion wood. (LS is actually a seed run sugar maple.)
     
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  4. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    If I recall rightly, there are lots of grafting incompatibilities among maples; Silver and Sugar are not particularly closely related within the genus, so this may well apply here.
     
  5. sgbotsford

    sgbotsford Active Member

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    Crap. After much groveling I found an approximate cladistics map for acer. Have to go back almost to the root to get a common ancester. Actually you'd have to work to find much more dissimilar ones.

    That said, intergenus grafts sometimes work. Pear and lilac, pear and mountain ash. Pear and cotoneaster.

    On oaks commercially red oaks for the prairies are grafted onto bur oak, a white oak.-- It has much better tolerance for high pH soils.

    What determines if interspecies/intergenus grafts work?
     
  6. emery

    emery Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I think the answer is "experience." When I quoted MOW (Maples of the World), I was quoting D.M. van Gelderen, who was perhaps the preeminent propagator of maples on the planet. If he says it works sometimes on saccharinum, we should probably believe him. It would have been nice to have some stats, but I guess he never bothered to compile them.

    As for "what determines" whether interspecies grafting will work, the usual rule is that you can graft within the series, or maybe the section. This is not always true, and there are exceptions. Perhaps genome analysis will add some clarity to the current classification(s). Anyway saccharinum is in section rubra which is logical since it hybridizes freely with rubrum. But apparently you can, with at least some success, use saccharinum understock for saccharum, which is section acer series saccharodendron. As Michael mentioned, they are not closely related.

    You also might try grafting saccharum on to pseudoplatanus; which is at least in the same section. Pseudoplatanus is also referred to as "universal maple understock." I believe I've seen this done but am pressed to come up with an example. But pseudoplatanus stock wouldn't help you grow sugar maples in swampy ground, or not as much as on silver maple.

    As far as grafting maples onto another genus, no one has ever done it successfully that I've heard of.

    -E
     
  7. sgbotsford

    sgbotsford Active Member

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    "experience" hmm. I hate empirical rules. So poor at forecasting results. Guess I'll have to try. Ah: I kill them wholesale so my customers don't have to kill them retail...

    Hmm. Thoughts.

    * structural issues.

    Pear on cotoneaster is an odd one: You have to leave some of the cotoneaster on it, otherwise the roots starve. So the plumbing may align correctly for upward transport, but not for downward.

    Some really fast growing tops on slow roots develop a size mismatch. A few years down the line, the union breaks. This is not universal, otherwise we wouldn't have seriously dwarfing root stocks.

    * Signals.

    Presumably there are a bunch of auxins running around telling different parts to grow. Given that some auxins span many species, there are subtleties that escape us. Timing? Homeobox genes?
     

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