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? :)
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.
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
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
Who knows....maybe nothing. But it's worth the try.
Maybe you should market those seeds, or seedlings?
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!
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.
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
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.
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... ;)
yeah, the big issue with seed grown apples might be disease
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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.
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.
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