This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Mr. Townsend thinks the advantage of cultivating the cherry tree upon Mahaleb stock is that its wood becomes more dense and hardy. The growth of the tree is more vigorous, and not as subject to burst the bark. In some varieties cracking and bleeding are prevented, and the trees grow more rapidly, with the wood not as succulent; not as pithy as on Mazzard. Has trees ten or twelve years old on Mahaleb, and they are producing good crops.
Mr. Ellwanger would add, that particularly upon a clayey soil the Mahaleb stock is better than the Mazzard. Trees upon Mahaleb are less subject to bursting. Some kinds, as, for instance, the Black Tartarian cherry, must be worked exclusively upon Mahaleb; and others, such as Burr's Seedling, Black Hawk, Cleveland Bigarreau, May Bigarreau, etc., are much better so.
As to the growth of the tree, etc., if worked low upon Mahaleb stock, the bud will not outgrrow the stock; and if the trees be trained as "low standards," it is all the better. Let the branches come out low, and never prune the tree at all after the branches attain the size of one's thumb. Prune your trees while young, and get them into the right shape; in fact, all trees should be shaped while young. Cherries worked upon Mahaleb grow more vigorously while young, and yet they do not make as large trees.
Charles Downing has seen cherry trees upon Mahaleb stock which are eighteen inches in diameter; and thinks them better for northern and western parts of our country than Mazzards.