Apple tree from seed?

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So one day my 4 yr old is eating an apple and asks my wife about seeds & such. So they decide to do a little expirement and plant the seed. Low and behold a seedling sprouts up and they cherish it and nuture it, etc, etc. 5 months later and the thing is only about 5 inches tall, but has a bunch of leaves on it. They've got it in a little container(we live in Ohio).
Thing is, they both think they are going to plant it outside next spring and my wife seems to think that in a few years we'll have an apple tree. And of course she is telling my son this. Meanwhile, I'm skeptical of the whole thing. First of all, we don't know what kind of apple it was, we don't know if it'll survive in Ohio and we certainly don't know if it will bear fruit. Doesn't their have to be some cross pollination or something for a tree to bare fruit?
What's the fture of this 5inch apple tree?
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I'd purchase an Heirloom variety of your choice. This as backup. BUT I'd also plant the seeds of a few different apples you have eaten. May have to expose them to cold temps I don't know the particulars. But, given an inquisitive for year old I'd go for it.
Johnny Appleseed !
Bill
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K. Kly wrote:

I would plant it outside *now* and give it a little bit of protection this winter. The dormancy should be good for it.
The fruit will be edible, but probably not very good. But you can always graft a good variety (or 2 or 3) onto your tree *after* you know that it's awful. ;-) It also might be a good cider or jelly apple even if it's not good for eating.
It may take 10 years to get any fruit. You'll start getting fruit in 2 or 3 years if you buy a 1 year old semi-dwarf tree.
Good luck!
-Bob
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It is my understanding that all apples grown for eating come from grafted trees. The apples do no pass on a clone of their own genes and the apples that come from seeds are inferior. "Johnny Appleseed" apparently planted trees to bear fruit intended for the production of hard cider. You may have a tree from the seed, but it could be one that is prone to disease and produce inferior fruit.
-------------- http://www.pollinator.com/appleseeds_faq.htm
Apples From Seeds FAQ
In a message dated 10/6/00 2:55:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time, <name withheld> writes: << can anyone tell me about planting apple seeds? I saved seeds from especially good apples this year, that were growing nearby. Do I need to chill the seeds, or do anything before planting them? Should I pot them this year, or wait till spring? If I should wait, how should I store the seeds till then?

Before going on with this, I want you to first ask you to make a choice: 1. Do I want to spend many years of my life looking for that "needle in a haystack," trying to develop new and worthwhile apple varieties? OR 2. Do I want to do something educational for the kids, but don't care about the end results (in terms of fruit) OR 3. Do I want to raise fruit in my backyard? Your saving from "especially good apples" makes me think that this is your real desire.
If your answer is 1: Plan on planting large quantities of seeds (and having the place to grow them). Apples that are grown from seed bear little resemblance to the parent (the fruit that you ate), they are crossed between varieties and the tendency is for them to revert to apple types that are not so good for our purposes. Consider that the "daddy" for your apple may well be a crab apple, as these are widely planted in orchards for pollenizers. Chances are that your apple, after all the years and the work of growing it will be only suitable for food for wildlife, or maybe to add to the mix for cider to give it some zing. You may get one in a thousand seedlings that is a really good apple, and one in a million that is worth propagating as a new variety. If you are interested in developing new apple varieties, then consider joining the North American Fruit Explorers.
If your answer is 2: Chill your apple seeds for at least six weeks in a baggie of damp peat in the fridge. Then plant them on a sunny windowsill, in paper cups for the kids to watch, or outside in the spring. Throw them away when done.
If your answer is 3: Buy good nursery stock on dwarf or semidwarf stock from a good nursery like Cummins Nursery: It is well worth the investment.
If you grow from seeds, you will wait 6-10 years to get a serious crop of apples that you may well find to be worthless. If you grow from good stock, properly cared for and pollinated, you should have a decent crop of quality apples in three to four years. I have planted apples on full dwarf stock and had a few apples the year I planted them. Cummins Nursery will also help you come up with compatible pollenizer pairs (never plant lone apple trees, unless you have lots of blooming crab apples in the neighborhood).
Seedlings and grafts on seedlings have a major disadvantage of being huge trees. Consider yourself at age 60 or 70 trying to climb a 20 foot ladder with a picking bag, and you will see the wisdom of trees that do not need a ladder. Take a delightful look at "Gene's Backyard Orchard" to see what can be done.
Finally, you can find a WEALTH of info on fruit growing thru The Pollination Home Page. Check on home horticulture for a lot of links, even how to grow fruit organically....
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wrote:

It may be inferior, or it may not. The tree I have, Dorset Golden, is listed as a chance seedling found in Bermuda. Good apples and very low chilling requirements.
The tree will probably be inferior, but it may be superior, no way to tell without trying.
fun to grow your own, as long as you have reasonable expectations.
I'd say, if you have the space to spare, go for it.
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Charles wrote:

That's the fun part about gardening--the experiments!
Rob http://www.hammerandsaw.com
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net says...

Yup, six years ago I stuck some seeds from a citrus I was eating in a pot of soil. People said they probably wouldn't germanate.
Two came up. People here < locally > said the sprouts probably wouldn't last long. One has survived, transplanted into a 22 inch pot.
Then people said it probably would never bloom and even if it did it would more 'n likely be sterile and not produce any fruit. This year it finally bloomed for the first time and has about 2 dozen citrus on it up to an inch and a half across. Now I'm getting " The fruit will probably taste like crap " from them. We'll see, so far the nay sayers are batting zero. :)
You may be wondering why I keep saying citrus. To tell the truth, I plumb forgot what type of citrus it was I was eating when I stuck the seeds in the ground. I do remember thinking it was a most excellent fruit, which is why I stuck the seeds in an unused pot. Now I've had months of expectation anticipating how they're going to taste.
You just can't buy entertainment like this. Some friends even have a lottery going as to what it's going to be.
Who said gardening is boring?
        Bill < who was privledged to see a most excellent rainbow this evening while enjoying the fragrances wafting off his Sweet Autumn Clematis and Angels Trumpet, living la vida loca.> < Waves Hi to Maddy >
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Citrus ain't Apples, so why lead the poor guy astray. If you really want a good tasting apple, growing from seed is not the way to go.
Sherwin D.
Bill wrote:

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says...

Never said it was. The point was nothing ventured, nothing gained.

And your 100% certain of that?

Bill
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This whole thread seems much ado about nothing. EVERY seedling apple tree produces edible fruit - the problem is that most seedlings will produce fruit that is too sour for most people's taste. A lot of sugar will turn those apples into delicious apple pies, apple sauce, apple butter, or can be mixed with other types of apples to make a great cider. There's a wild park area in my town. There are quite a few seedling apple trees there. Russian families go there in the fall and gather the fruit for something. (Homemade vodka?) Having tasted a lot of those apples, I can tell you definitively, they are not choice varieties......LOL Now, if most apple seedlings produced poisonous fruit, with only a few select kinds being non-poisonous, that would be a different situation entirely. However, if a person has a small yard, a questionable apple tree seems a waste of space. Apples are not my personal favorites as trees OR as fruit, but to each his own - and every tree has beautiful fragrant flowers for 2 weeks or so in the spring, so that counts as something.
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says...

Absolutely. And if the experiment is a bust, you have apple wood for smoking meat and fish.
        Bill
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Bill wrote:

Citrus often *does* grow true from seed. Sometimes citrus seeds will grow 2 plants instead of one, and I've read that one of those will be a clone of the mother plant. I don't know if it's the larger or the smaller sprout, but if you only keep seedlings from seeds that grow 2 shoots, and you seperate and keep both seedlings, at least 50% should be good.
Apples never grow true from seed, and seldom are very good, but at least an apple tree that you grew from a seed will be *unique* :-)
Best regards, Bob
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Yup, the worse that could happen is the tree dies. The best, he gets a good tasting apple. Most likely, he gets a shade tree, but the kid gets to, mayby, develop an interest in growing things and that's the important part.
        Bill
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If the kids are typical, they will have forgotten about the tree in about 3 minutes. Meanwhile you will be stuck with a tree that is almost guaranteed to be worthless in terms of fruit production and which is likely to grow quite large. If the kids are 7 now, they will be about 17 when the tree first produces apples. You know how excited a 17 year old can get about a tree producing inedible apples -- I'd say about as excited as making sauerkraut or doing the ironing. Meanwhile you will be picking up the rotting fruit that attracts yellow jackets and other wildlife. Furthermore, the typical family moves about every 5 years, so the chances of even being around when the tree produces is quite slim. I see people make really poor plant choices in my neighborhood and then move. The problem is ultimately passed along to someone else. That innocent experiment or impulse purchase turns into someone else's expensive tree removal.
There are lots of plants you can grow from seed besides apples. If you want to teach a science lesson then by all means do it. If you want fruit grown on a manageable tree, then buy one. There is no need for both "experiments" to be linked. I see parents project their own interests onto children. It is surprising how little Megan becomes interested in making ice-cream when it just happens that mom is interested in making ice-cream. Therefore, mom justifies her purchase of the $400 ice-cream freezer based on her 6 year old's sudden interest. This is a scenario that actually happened in my family.
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Vox Humana wrote:

But if one really wants a full-sized apple tree anyway, a seedling is not a bad way to start. You can graft it or bud it later. Full-sized (a.k.a. standard) is the key here, and a standard apple is a poor choice for most people because they are so large and because they take so long to begin fruiting.

We've all done that. ;-)
Best regards, Bob
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Snip
I've been here for 50 years. Mistakes aplenty, but still OK. I'm inclined to encourage many mistakes yet at the same time I wonder what I culled may have harbored a mistake or loss of beauty. We name trees that got our attention and sometimes however the Linnea tree is of no value except to burn during the holidays over time. Typical child is a misnomer. Let them make mistakes and maybe they will learn by them. Hope so! Won't have much to market only memories that possess a physical manifestation.
58 Year old child Bill who smiled when a four year old wanted to garden.
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wrote:

It seems the lesson here is that you can manipulate your parents into tending a worthless tree for several decades. Now, if you follow through and make the 15 year old cut the tree down and dig out the stump instead of going to Disney World, then indeed there might be a lesson.
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Vox Humana wrote:

Why are you so angry today?
Best regards, Bob
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wrote:

I'm not angry. I'm just have a different take on the situation.
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Parents are manipulated . Get with the program. Look at baby Jays and how they run their parents about. I see no difference as if on the chance that in the next generation it is easier. No guarantees as like garden foibles all can be reflected in life foibles. Worthless in the eye of the perceiver. Some bird or woodpecker may differ. Don't worry about work expended its what we do and hope for no wars or car accidents.
Your option sit and rock or go for it.
Bill
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