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Photo #1 from Cheney, United States by papa-pepper made on 2018-12-19 16:11 for Sola

PLANTING A VERY SPECIAL TREE ON OUR PROPERTY - This still blows my mind! Can you imagine taking a small branch off of a tree that bears a type of fruit that you enjoy, moving it 750 miles away, sticking it into a wild tree, waiting three years, and then moving it to your new home?

Photo #2 from Cheney, United States by papa-pepper made on 2018-12-19 16:11 for Sola

That's exactly what happened here. Back in Wisconsin we had a delicious plum tree in our yard. When we sold our house, we weren't about to uproot the tree and bring it with us, but we were able to take some dormant cuttings from the tree. Upon arriving in the Ozarks, I learned how to graft and successfully grafted the scions into the wild plum trees found here.

Photo #3 from Cheney, United States by papa-pepper made on 2018-12-19 16:11 for Sola

Since I couldn't just keep a "stick" alive for years until we moved onto our land, grafting it into a small native tree here allowed me to only keep it alive, but to allow it to increase in size and attach itself to some hardy root-stock. Now, three years later, we were able to move this tree onto our land, and soon we can enjoy the same plums that we left in Wisconsin. It's a simple process but so incredible! This little tree next to my daughters is one that I grafted into with the hopes of eventually transplanting the entire tree down to our property. Yesterday, that dream came true. Since the plum tree was now dormant, or "asleep" for a plant, we decided to move it to our land so it could wake up there in the spring.

Photo #4 from Cheney, United States by papa-pepper made on 2018-12-19 16:11 for Sola

What we did not realize was how long the root system was. Rather than digging deep into the hard Ozark soil, it had spread across beneath the surface for more than twenty feet. It went on so long that I just broke the ends off rather than continuing to follow the maze of hidden roots.

Photo #5 from Cheney, United States by papa-pepper made on 2018-12-19 16:11 for Sola

Not only were the roots long and spread out, but they were also sending up new seedlings. The yellow circle above shows the tree that I planned on moving, and all of the little red circles are other baby wild plum trees. Because of the way that this root system was growing, I had to change my plans about where to place this tree on my property, since I couldn't just have the tree popping up everywhere. Also, I reduced the root system and kept the other little trees for future grafting and use.

Photo #6 from Cheney, United States by papa-pepper made on 2018-12-19 16:11 for Sola

We changed the plan to plant the tree in our Muscovy duck pen. This will give it a more controlled area to monitor the spreading roots in, and also the Nitrogen from the duck manure should help feed the tree. With my oldest son helping me as usual, we got the job done and the tree was planted.

Photo #7 from Cheney, United States by papa-pepper made on 2018-12-19 16:11 for Sola

Here is a look at the final placement of the tree. Hopefully, it'll wake up happy in the spring be producing fruit for us within a few years. It's been quite the journey and adventure, and we are looking forward to the eventual fruit. Enjoy the video!

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