Weirdest grafts possible

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How distant of relatives can be grafted? Lets say I want to graft a hops vine onto a hackberry, to utilize an already established root system. Would a graft take? They are both Cannabaceae. I assume a thread graft with a seedling would be easiest.
 
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It depends on how you see relatives. The classification of plant families has been based on similarities in physical structures. Only pretty recently genetics came into play, screwing over large parts of past classifications.

The closer they are, the better they'll hold. But grafting herbs to woody plants seems like a long shot. There have been numerous attempts to graft cannabis onto hops because "they're the same family" but it never worked because even those two are too far apart.

It's hard to express in words 'how distant' relatives are. Even in numbers! We share a large percentage of DNA with chimpanzees, 97% or so, but grafting a chimpanzee liver into a human will most likely not work. In plants, sometimes we can graft a few branches of the phylogenetic tree, sometimes the entire tree, sometimes we can't even use different cultivars from the same branch.

I think your question is harder to answer than you'd suspect.
 

Shibui

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Mostly we graft with the same species - apples on apples but in some cases different species in the same genus are compatible - almond, peach and apricot are all compatible and, in bonsai, most of the juniper species can be grafted together and some pines are grafted onto rootstock of other species (white pine on black pine roots).
Occasionally plants from different genera are compatible. Some pears are able to be grafted onto quince rootstock which confers dwarfness on the resulting trees. Here in Aus many of the desert dwelling eremophila (emu bushes) can be grafted onto Myoporum species (both members of the myoporacea family) rootstock which confers cold and wet hardiness so we can grow more of these wonderful plants in to cooler, wetter areas where the original species usually just don't survive.
Some grafts show delayed incompatibility - they grow Ok for a few years but eventually die. I've read that apple/pear grafts do this but have not tried so can't confirm.

I have not heard of any successful grafts of more distantly related plants but who knows?
As AJL says, never any harm trying. You may find some unknown combinations that work.
 

AlainK

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I met a retired professional, now a member of a grafters' association, who told me that lilac can be grafted on to privet : he did this to prevent the suckers from invading the nearby plantations. If someone else had told me that, I wouldn't have believed it.

The Roman Palladius also mentions some inter-genera grafts, like Cherry on Willow, according to a grafters' forum. But before trying this, I think it's better to have a very good technique on grafting between closely related plants...
 

Bonsai Nut

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One thing to be concerned about with grafts - just because they don't fail immediately doesn't mean they won't fail eventually. I have even had grafted landscape trees with 6" trunks where the graft has failed - killing the entire tree.

Graft incompatability
 

AlainK

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One thing to be concerned about with grafts - just because they don't fail immediately doesn't mean they won't fail eventually.
Quite true, even if they seem to survive : on the same forum I mentioned, there was a comment about such grafts - I mean inter-genera grafts - being very weak most of the time and dying after a couple of years.
 

AlainK

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I was looking for info on Crataegus (Hawthorn) and read this on the French version of Wikipedia (not mentioned in the English version) :

"... c'est aussi un porte-greffe du Néflier et des Poiriers."

"... it's also a rootstock for medlar (Mespilus germanica) and pear-trees."
 
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I've seen a privet melded to a chinese elm, so it can happen in the wild for sure. My ultimate goal is to graft a cannabis plant to a mature root stock. Now that 420 is legal in california, I want to try an old theory of mine. One day ill figure it out. I might need to use a 3rd species as a carrier, to facilitate a good bond. Cannabis' stocks thicken up pretty quick, so version 1.0 will be thread grafts, and or an approach graft. The more I think about it, an approach graft would allow for better vascular contact.
 

AlainK

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My ultimate goal is to graft a cannabis plant to a mature root stock.
Ho ho ho ! :D

If you can produce CBD strains in large, cheap quantities, you're welcome : there are plenty other natural plants to get stoned (heh, heh...), but none have the beneficial effects of Cannabis. And anyway, what's the use of spending billions to try to eradicate such a nice plant that has been used for centuries to cure manny ailments, whereas people still use it as a recreational herb.

Prohibition is a waste of money and resources that can be used to fight real criminals.


I'll roll me one one to take my glaucoma at bay and soothe my ailing limbs...
 

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