Fruit trees from seed

karachigardener(11)March 29, 2013

Hi guys,
I need a fruit tree which I can grow from seeds. It needs to be a tree that grows fairly fast and will give fruit in maximum four years. It also must be a tree which does not need to be grafted when it grows up. (this is because i will not have access to the grafting branches). Also, the tree has to be able to grow in a very hot climate and it should not need cold climates to grow. (preferably a tropical fruit)Preferably the tree should have a good germination rate because I am goin to plant exactly 25 of them and I woul preferably like them all to getminate.

Which frut tree would fit these requirements?

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Wow...... Make it any harder will you (im kidding :D )

One thing that you need to know, is that many cultivated fruits are hybrids, and are very very unlikely to produce the parent tree (the tree which the fruit you got the seeds from). Apples, oranges, lemons and the like will not produce the parent tree.

Im not as well versed in tropical trees, but you may want to try some of the more "obscure" trees like Jackfruit, Durian, Tamarand, sourapple, I think you can get some tropical nut trees from seed as well (brazil nut, macadamia nut, cashew)

You can also try this sites list of fruit tree seeds -

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 6:59AM
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The only one I can think of is a jujube. Often fruits second year from seeds. Make sure that the kernels come from a good variety. They need to be split open to remove the seeds for uniform germination.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 7:29AM
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dmtaylor(5a (WI))

How about the stone fruits? I have heard of people planting peach pits and so forth and that they give fruit similar, if not identical, to the fruit the pit came from. Not sure how many years it takes one to fruit but I imagine it can be quick, given how vigorous I know a peach can be. Just some thoughts to consider. I have no idea what the seedling rate might be for each peach pit -- my guess is low, so perhaps this is not a good option based on that.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 8:25AM
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Yes Taylor Ive read that as well. At least for peaches and plums. I think peaches are 3-5 years to fruit from seed? The odds are something like 1 in a million youll get the parent tree, but ive read in the case of peaches (at least), youll get something edible and close to the parents.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 8:49AM
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Mango and papaya?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 9:29AM
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The only two species that have done what you're asking in my garden have been papaya (fruit in 1.5 years) and guava (fruit in 3 years). Both have come true from seed for me - meaning the fruit I harvested was the same as the fruit I got the seed from.

You will need to start the seeds in small pot and take really good care of them for the first 6 months. You will need to sow more than 25. Sow 100 seeds and keep the best 25 and throw away the rest (or give them to someone else to plant).

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 9:50AM
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Canadian, regarding fruits coming to true to seed, you seem to be suggesting that there's something unnatural about common tree fruit varieties being "hybrid." (I put "hybrid" in quotes, because I don't think it makes any straightforward sense to use the term in this way.) In any case, with many/most tree fruits self-incompatibility is the norm (this is true of any species for which you would see recommendations to plant two trees for cross-pollination including unimproved and wild populations of fruits like pawpaws for just one example, but apples being the classic example), which guarantees outcrossing, which guarantees the seed will produce something different from the parent. Quoting from wikipedia's entry on self-incompatibility (which isn't specific to trees or tree fruits), you'll see that outcrossing (what you seem to be calling hybridization) is at least as natural as inbreeding: "Approximately one half of angiosperm species are SI, the remainder being self-compatible (SC). Mutations that break down SI (resulting in SC) may become common or entirely dominate in natural populations...human-mediated artificial selection through selective breeding may be responsible for the commonly observed SC in cultivated plants. SC enables more efficient breeding techniques to be employed for crop improvement." In other words, human manipulation only tends to breed away from, not toward self-incompatibility, although I think this applies more to vegetable crops and doesn't apply so much to tree fruits at all, which are generally propagated by grafting anyways. The same article also says, "SI is one of the most important means to prevent selfing and promote the generation of new genotypes in plants, and it is considered as one of the causes for the spread and success of the angiosperms on the earth."

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 10:20AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I like this thread. Just got a packet of flying dragon citrus root-stock seeds, and am going to see what pops from them. I will grow them for a year or two, then graft on my desired varieties from existing citrus. I just need an entire row of dwarf citrus, and flying dragon is dwarf. I only need 21 trees, so I think seedlings are the way to go.

Would love guava along another fence. I might get some guava seeds too!

Karichigardener mentioned heat, but did not mention chill hours. Some stone fruits have low chill hour requirements, but many don't. Be sure you check chill hour requirements against the historical high's and lows for your area to insure successful growing!

Nobody mentioned Pomegranate. That might be a good one for you, or persimmon.

Another thought is that many trees can be grown by cuttings, and if you have local friends, many will share cuttings with you.


This post was edited by desertdance on Fri, Mar 29, 13 at 11:01

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 10:48AM
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Key Limes - They're polyembryonic, so they'll come true to seed. They'll love your zone11 climate, and they'll fruit as early as 2-3 years.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 2:44PM
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Papaya being a grass, it will fruit fast. No advice about temperate fruits, this is the tropics.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 4:12PM
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Personally, I would start with fruit that's commonly grown in your area....

And... I would try to get a division of an already productive, proven plant or go with something grafted...

One of the things you will run into is that things growing from seed can be inconsistent.... Sometimes, it grows and fruits quick - and the fruit tastes great... Sometimes, it grows and sits around for years and never fruits.... Sometimes it fruits quick and the fruit tastes bland/bitter/uninteresting....


    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 2:07PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

"Papaya being a grass ...." I don't think so.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 1:37PM
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My bad. It is not a tree though. I figured it would be a grass from seeing many seedlings, which I had generated by tossing them out the back door while living in Brazil, and the seedling is definitely grass-like. Herbaceous plant, like the banana, perhaps?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 2:17PM
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Mango, pomegranates, and carambola would be my suggestions. They grow from seed, the variation is not huge (so if you use seed from a great tasting fruit, you won't drop all the way to awful), and they fruit in a short period of time...

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 2:19PM
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Avocado101(9A Southern California)

Pomegranates doesn't come true from seeds.

Mango, you have to be selective. I think Manilla Mango comes true from seeds.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 2:34PM
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Cousinfloyd - I think youre making it more complicated then it needs to be (at least in this conversation). What you are talking about usually goes in a forest, or natural places, not an orchard (for the most part).

THe vast majority of fruit trees we grow are hybrids (that being 2 species being crossed or 2 var. ) I dont see where you picked up me saying hybrids are "unnatural", only that based on the fact that the fruit we eat arent pure species. That means the offspring wont be exactly like either parent.

A good portion of fruit trees need pollen from another type, It isnt like my maple trees are picking up pollen from the same specie of maple tree down the road....

Hybrids happen all the time in nature, but that doesnt mean that their offspring will be the same as that hybrids parents.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 7:27PM
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Canadian, the only fruits I've heard of that will come true to seed are citrus (but not all), and that's only because they produce seed asexually (nucellar embryony). Can you give some specific hybrid and non-hybrid examples of what you're talking about and also examples of what will and won't come true to seed to explain the contrasts you're making?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 9:31PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

"you'll see that outcrossing (what you seem to be calling hybridization)"

Can you explain the difference? Most definitions are the same? You lost me. So is it 6 of one? Or half a dozen of the other? So when is a outcross not a hybrid, and when is a hybrid not an outcross?

This post was edited by Drew51 on Mon, Apr 1, 13 at 0:01

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 11:53PM
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The distinction I was trying to point out (when I said outcrossing in the quote above) is the difference between self-pollinated, on the one hand, and not-self-pollinated on the other hand. (As far as it concerns the original question in this thread it's worth noting that even self-pollination doesn't mean the seed will produce true to the parent.) The difference I would draw between outcrossing and hybridization is one of degree of outcrossing. It might make sense, for instance, to call a calf a hybrid because the dam (cow) was a Jersey and the sire (bull) was a Holstein. That calf wouldn't be a cross between species (which is sometimes an option as with mules or pluots, for example), but it would be a cross between distinct breeds. It wouldn't make sense, however, to call a calf a "hybrid" merely because any dam was bred to (crossed with) any bull (which necessitates the "outcrossing" of two genetic lines, that of the cow and that of the bull), or because the calf wasn't identical to the cow, because all calves come from outcrossing in the sense of having two non-identical parents (as opposed to self-pollination or asexual reproduction.) In other words, the difference between a cross and anything I would call a hybrid is that a hybrid involves a degree of crossing not necessitated by the way that species naturally and normally reproduces. Just because there's a separate male and female parent (i.e. a cross) doesn't in and of itself make the offspring a hybrid in any meaningful sense. Unless there's a degree of crossing that isn't and hasn't always been the norm for how that species reproduces, I think it's just confusing to speak in terms of "hybridization." Yes, some hybrids occur in the wild (hicans, for example), but a pecan isn't meaningfully a "hybrid" merely because a normal pecan tree requires cross-pollination any more than a calf is a "hybrid" because the dam didn't produce the sperm to fertilize her own egg.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 8:05AM
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swvirginiadave(z6 VA)

Well stated, cousindfloyd. I agree completely. I think a large part of the confusion seems to be the misconception that fruit tree cultivars ("varieties") are the the same as breeds or strains. They are not; rather, the named tree cultivars (e.g., Golden delicious, Enterprize, etc.) are nothing more than individuals which are by necessity asexually reproduced (cloned) by grafting, cuttings, etc. There are indeed hybrid fruit trees (e.g., pluots, some pears) but to use the word "hybrid" to characterize the results of all crosses is to render the word meaningless.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 9:53AM
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thapranksta(Mid TN 7A)


I think I understand what you are trying to say...but you have a slightly complex way of explaining it. In essence, what he is saying is that he considers the term "hybrid" to refer to an unnatural cross between two living things in nature. The fact that fruit trees naturally need pollen from other varieties means they should not really be called "hybrids".

So naturally plums, peaches, apples, pears, and the majority of fruit (from what I understand) need this cross-pollination to set fruit and this means the resulting seeds are crosses between at least two different parents. If you have an orchard filled with lots of varieties of plum trees (for example) that bloom at the same time, it's hard to tell who the actual other parent is for any given seed produced from the fruit on any tree.

This is nature's design. To be totally honest though, I have no idea how the genetics of the seeds of self-fruiting trees goes. :-)

This post was edited by thapranksta on Mon, Apr 1, 13 at 10:18

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 10:13AM
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"Self fruitful" means that they can pollinate themselves and produce viable seed.... Peaches and Tomatoes are good examples...

"Self unfruitful" means that they can't pollinate themselves and produce viable seed.... Apples and pears are good examples...

As Floyd pointed out - neither of these makes it a "Hybrid" - which is a cross between 2 separate SPECIES... not 2 different but distinct varieties within the same species... His example of Cows is a good one here... A Granny Smith Apple x Golden Delicious apple isn't a "Hybrid" - it's just an apple....

So for example - Shipovas are bona-fide "Hybrids" - Pear x Mountain Ash....


    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 1:20PM
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I have a question about planting from seeds -do patents apply to seeds of fruit you buy at the store and eat and you want to grow from seed? My favorite apple is the Red Delicious I remember seeing these apples that were sooo huge they couldn't fit in your hand but couldn't find them.I asked produce clerks but they only had the tiny Red Delicious( I think they just fit in kids lunch pals better) for years I looked for this apple in my mind and then one day in a mom and pops store, there they were my jaw dropped they were all I remembered so I kept the seeds and planted them I want to grow a few trees of them.Check out this apple ,this is my hand its in I also bought some huge yellow delicious for the seeds too

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 10:30PM
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Here is a pic of the yellow

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 10:35PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I believe the answer is no, but i'm not a lawyer... seeds are fair game.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 10:57PM
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That sounds right, how can you patent a seed that you don't know what pollinated it in a orchard.I could understand if it was a clipping of the tree itself, but a seed may or may not turn out to be the same as the parent fruit it came from . I just wanted to ask and see what others thought
Thanks Franktank232

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 11:29PM
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Patents don't cover the seeds, but some licensing agreements do.
I've got some haskaps on trial and had to sign an agreement not to propagate them even from seed.

For Goldycots, the growing conditions and care of the tree makes a big difference in fruit size. Red Delicious is theoretically all one tree (all the same genes) but occasionally there are sports (genetic mutations on one branch) that are chosen because they are a bit different from the orginal in a way that is commercially more desireable.

So most of the commercial Red Delicious trees do create fruit quite a bit different from the original and there are a number of versions of Red Delicious available today.

But if you start from seed, what you get won't be any of them and probably won't even look like Red Delicious.

If you want to grow big Red Delicious fruit like in the picture you should order a tree of a sport that is known for large red and dark fruit.

If you want the fruit to be as big as possible you should keep the tree in plenty of water and nitrogen and thin off 95% or more of the fruit when the fruits are quite small. The remaining fruit will grow huge, bland and picturesque -- just what you are looking for.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 1:48AM
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yukkuri_kame(Sunset 19 / USDA 9)

Back to the original question, I don't think anybody mentioned Loquats. They produce an abundance of seeds, fruit relatively early and breed fairly true to seed. And do well in tropical or sub-tropical climates.

Mulberry will not necessarily breed true from seed, but fruit will generally be acceptable.

Chestnuts are not fruits, but can be grown reliably from seed and produce in 3 years. Not sure if they will do well in the tropics, but certainly mediterranean or subtropics is fine.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 5:36AM
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Thank You Murky,for the great information ,(Do you have a post on your Haskaps? I would love to read about them )im sorry everyone for cutting away from the original question.
for the question - My mom lives down south in Mississippi she has wild Persimmons and wild cherry plums that seem to be very fertile and bear fruit within your 4 year time frame - good luck and thanks everyone

This post was edited by Goldycots on Sat, Aug 17, 13 at 10:54

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 10:43AM
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