apple trees from seed

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I found a couple of old apple trees that produced the best apples I had since a child. I have always wanted to try planting apple seeds and now with these two wonderful apple seeds, I did just that.
I have two apple trees (same tree) that grew almost 3 ft in one year! I'm ready to plant them in the ground as soon as the weather cools.
The other apple seeds that I planted, are just now popping up in my make-shift hot box.
My question....will these trees produce anything near to their mother plant? I have other dwarf apple trees and I'm not worried about pollination. But I don't know what if any type of apples these trees will produce.
Is a seed a seed and will it keep growing and be like the mother seed from which it came? :)
Donna in WA
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http://www.gardeningtipsnideas.com/2007/10/seed_germination_how_to_grow_an_apple_tree_from_seeds.html
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Thank you! the link was very informative and have it saved. My seeds grew so fast at first I thought them weeds or sunflowers. But they're apple. Six years is a long time but it'll be worth the wait.
Donna in WA
wrote:

http://www.gardeningtipsnideas.com/2007/10/seed_germination_how_to_grow_an_apple_tree_from_seeds.html
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Six years is way too long on a maybe. Go to a local nursery and buy some fruit trees (they don't cost much), you'll have apples by the second year.
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My semi-dwarf apple trees were bought by a local nursery as were my semi-dwarf cherries trees. I'm hoping to have some fruit next year on both.
The seeds I planted and actually grew (not a natural green thumber) were all from decades old trees....at least 50 years old or older. They just don't make em like this any more and I'm old enough :( to know that....so since they're growing anyway, I'll just wait and see what happens.
Who knows....maybe nothing. But it's worth the try.
Donna in WA
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Maybe you should market those seeds, or seedlings?
Karen
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wrote:

Maybe you should market those seeds, or seedlings?
Karen
Not a bad idea. Was in touch with a company that wanted a branch from an old 75+ year King apple tree. Oh how I loved those apples as a child.
I'll think about your idea....who knows!
Donna in WA
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Actually it's not worth the try, it's a very poor investment, in a large block of wasted time and the wasted growing space, plus your hopeful expectations will ultimately be dashed... when you could have planted grafted true to form sapplings that would be productive in 2 years for like $15 each... Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, etc. sell potted fruit trees in season for cheap, the exact same trees sold at fancy schmancy nurserys for trice the price. And fruit trees require a lot of maintenence, not worth it for throw back fruit. I can see planting fruit pips from a tree you're sentimental about, for potted foliage if all you have is like one or two apartment windows, but odds of pips producing true to form fruit are slim to zero. If you live on rural acreage plant your seedlings at the edge of the woods where they can produce critter food, and probably beautiful blossoms. I wouldn't destroy them, planting trees is always a good deed, and will gift the planet same as any tree, but if it's apples you want then it's true to form grafted apple trees you need to plant.
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wrote:

and how do you think new apples come into being? by grafting trees? nope. you have to start by planting seeds. some are ok, some are really really good. you won't get bad fruit from seed, and you might get something great. for old fogies like you, maybe planting fruit seeds takes too long, but (thankfully) we aren't all like you, willing to buy trash trees at WalMart. lee
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enigma wrote:

You might get something great, but it's a long shot. Most apple orchards plant crabapples for pollinators because they produce a *lot* of pollen over a long blooming season.
Even an apple that is worthless for eating might be really good for making cider or jelly.
If (when) your apple tree eventually fruits and they are nasty little disease-ridden crabapples, you can still graft a named variety (or two) onto the tree and convert it over in a couple of years to a grafted tree without totally losing all those years you waited. Or just enjoy your unique crabapple tree for what it is.
Bob
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great is actually a relative term, as well. i like hard, sour apples. my ex liked mealy, mild apples. obviously he wouldn't think an apple that i think is great was worth bothering with :) i happen to like eating crabapples... ;)

exactly.

yeah, the big issue with seed grown apples might be disease resistance... i got the feeling that the seeds the OP had were from an old family tree, so there may be less possibility of cross pollenation with other types of apples. but, yes, if the seedlings aren't true to the apples she wants, she can use them to graft branches from the old trees she wants to save. not everyone cares for dwarf trees, either, and height can be controled by pruning. lee
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I'm not so sure of that. Each year we taste test apples that grow on trees that have grown from seed and there are many very good tasting apples from these trees.
The apple trees all grow along a very quiet country road that has very limited maintenance done on it. The trees are obviously the product of discarded apple cores flung from passing cars. Most of the apples are very edible and a few trees always have superb apples.
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I really want to break out in song, "Johhhhhnny Appleseed, Appleseed Johnny!"
you never know!
Karen
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I'm jumping in late to this thread .. sorry. Can anyone say whether-or-not directly planting "branch-clones" of old fruit trees will produce the same fruit of the original tree ? "branch clones" being the result of girding & rooting a branch _ON_ a fruit tree - then cutting and re-planting it. .. or does this rooty-branch need to be grafted to a strong root stock ? later on. The property where I grew up has some ancient fruit trees - 3 or 4 apple and 1 winter pear - that might be worth preserving. John T
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hubops wrote:

A simple Google search will lead you to numerous articles on just this question. You can also contact your state agricultural extension service for answers. Try this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit_tree_propagation
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hubops wrote:

It should work. If you want to search for information, the technical term is "air layering". I air layered a magnolia limb when i was a kid just to see if i could. The resulting magnolia tree in my parents' yard is pretty big now.
You could also harvest some "bud wood" or "scion wood" and graft it to another apple tree to keep the old variety going.
HTH, bob
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On 9/18/2009 2:31 PM, hubops wrote:

Your rooted branches will bear the same type of fruit as the parent. However, the resulting non-grafted tree MIGHT not be as vigorous or long-lived. On the other hand, the resulting tree MIGHT be even more vigorous than the parent.
Grafting is supposed to provide healthy, vigorous roots. However, the graft point is often a weak point that can inhibit the growth of the scion above it.
An "own root" tree (one that is not grafted to a root stock) will not send up root suckers that must be removed. Any suckers from an "own root" tree will be more of the same variety as the tree's parent; they should be removed only if you want a tree and not a shrub. On a grafted tree, root suckers can eventually dominate the entire plant and cause the scion above the graft to die; thus, such suckers must always be removed.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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DEM wrote:

There are two reasons why you might not get a tree that you like.
One is that if the original was grafted (and the seedling obviously isn't) the different root stock may change the nature of the tree and its hardiness, although it shouldn't have much direct effect on the fruit. The second is that when grown from seed there is a degree of genetic variation due to random recombination of genes from the parents, this is more marked if the pollinator is another variety.
You mention dwarf trees, dwarfing is done by grafting good fruiting wood on to dwarf rootstock. Your seedlings will not be dwarfs unless from dwarf fruiting wood which is probably not the case.
Commercially raised apple trees are grafted. The rootstock is a hardy one (eg resistant to root disease) and/or a dwarf one and the scion is cut from of a known good fruiting performer, you probably won't get either of these benefits but you might still get a nice apple tree, it's a matter of chance.
David
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David Hare-Scott wrote:

I would add that the odds of getting a decent apple from a planted seed are almost too small to make it worthwhile. I have seen figures of one in ten thousand will work.
There are some good varieties called 'chance seedlings', where a tree dropped an apple and the seeds produced something worthwhile. The number of these chance seedlings is very small, perhaps less than a few dozen. When you consider the millions of such trees grown by chance like this, the odds do not seem to favor good results from planting a tree from a seed. It is a genetic thing as the seed can carry recessive genes for several generations back. This soup of various genes almost always comes out badly, as the seed grows.
If you want to propagate an old tree, cut a twig of new growth from the tree in early spring while the tree is dormant. Graft that onto some compatible apple rootstock ( I would recommend a dwarfing rootstock ). The advantages are that you will get an EXACT copy of your original tree. The dwarfs are easier to maintain and will yield fruit sooner than a seedling, sometimes in the season after the graft is done. Grafting is not difficult. Just get a sharp knife, some tape to wrap it, and a rubber band to hold it together. There are many web sites that describe the process in detail. You can also send the twig (scion wood) to various nurseries that will make the tree for you.
I should mention there is no problem grafting this twig onto an existing tree, if it is done correctly.
I would discourage people from buying fruit trees from Home Depot, Walmart, etc., unless price is the first consideration. These trees are often mislabeled, as I found out myself a few years ago. Go to a reliable nursery, or order a tree from one of the better nurseries, like Raintree in California.
Sherwin

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sherwin dubren wrote:

That's interesting can you recall where you saw that?
David
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