Apple Tree from seed

bobcat115(6b)November 4, 2004

Hello knowlegeable people! I have some trees started from my dwarf apple seeds. Folks say you can't do that, they won't be apple trees!!Now!!That whole concept confuses me. What grew from the seed Johnny Appleseed planted? Is this info just because the tree has been polinated from another tree and will have the qualities of both parent trees. Does this mean my dwarf apple tree seeds might produce a full size apple tree or maybe even...crab apples! I hope someone can help fill me in on this information. Thanks!

Your friend in horticulture

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georgez5il(z5 IL)

"Dwarf apples trees are propagated by using one special root stock & grafting the desired apple (etc) to the root stock The fruit is still the normal size its the tree that is dwarf
When you plant a seed it is the result of pollenating the ovum & results in a plant that is geneticall close but not the same as the parent,,,,, This may result in a larger or smaller APPLE, sweeter or more bitter taist. color change / etc.
Johnny apple seed planted his seed's but was not concerned that all the trees be jonathin, winesap, red delicious or some other comercial variety.
By the way if the apple is smaller than 2 inches its a "crab apple"

    Bookmark   November 4, 2004 at 7:42PM
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It is kind of you to offer a quick informative response to my questions. Now I'm hoping you might fill me in on some more related questions. My apple trees are actually not dwarf but are called "colonade apples" or "malus pumila obelisk". I thought by memory they were also called "pole apples". I could find no info when I searched for info on pole apples tho. I don't think they are a grafted apple. They are only 6' tall and produce apples close as a foot from the soil on short branches from a central trunk. There doesn't seem to be a bud union area. They are growing in a row along a wall. There are some "sucker" plants coming from inbetween the trees. They look very similar to the parents so far. Can they actually be the same trees? Also the trees I started from their seed look very similar so far. People always comment on them when they visit and I'd like to start more. They sell for $27.00 plus shipping from Stark Bros so it would be wonderful to grow my own. I believe they are registered and illigal to propagate but that wouldn't matter if I wasn't selling them...right?
Thank You Again

    Bookmark   November 5, 2004 at 9:39AM
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georgez5il(z5 IL)

I also am not familiar with this apple, But will try to answer. (1) If the trees are not grafted then the suckers will be the same as the parent plant. (2)Looks of plant is not helpful you need to see & tast the fruit. (3)Yes you may propagate a regestered plant for your use & may not sell. (4) Check the stark catalogue etc that may have more info on (if the seed does not produce a tree with "good" fruit may use it as root stock (5) may also propagate the plant using cuttings.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2004 at 5:17PM
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joefalco(z8 MB SC)

I planted a washington state apple seed when I was around 10 years old. I am now 31.

The TREE is HUGE now but the apples are small and nothing like the originals.

I know this is the same info you already got but I wanted to provide my personal experience.

The tree is still growing Strong in my grandma's yard.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2004 at 8:52AM
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Thanks so much you all for your input. This is my first experience with the web forum and it has been very enjoyable and informative. Do one of you know how to ad pics to these links? I've wasted a lot of time trying to figure it out on my own! Thank you so much for your help.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2004 at 9:46AM
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Millie_36(Z6b MO)

OTOH, there are genetic dwarfs in some fruits that do come true from seed. I had a genetic dwarf peach that would come true from seed even though we had full size peaches on the place. The Arkansas Black apple was found growing in someones pasture where it had come from seed. You may not know what you will get, but that does not mean it isn't possible to get a good apple from seed.

You can get very good peaches from seed as long as the peach came from a named variety. Seed from a seedling will produce peaches, but they are most often very small...barely a seed with skin.

The North Star cherry is a genetic dwarf. I am sure that the seed would need stratification...they never come up around the tree.

Not sure how the colonade apples were made/bred, or whatever. I doubt that they will come true from seed, just too unusual.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2004 at 8:06AM
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The colonnade or 'pole' apples are indeed grafted onto a dwarfing rootstock. Any seedlings you grow from them are likely to become a 'standard', full-size tree, though the upright, columnar habit *might* be exhibited in some seedlings. I've never seen any rave reviews on fruit quality for any of the 'pole' types.

Fruit quality of your seedling will be a total crapshoot, as apples do not 'come true' from seed - it will have genetic contributions from both the 'mother'(your colonnade type) and 'father' - whatever the pollen source was(another colonnade, an ornamental crab in your neighbor's yard, etc.).
While most seedling apples will eventually(you may have to wait 10-20 years) produce edible apples, the likelihood of the fruit quality being worthy of continuing to propagate this selection is, at best, 1 in 10,000.
A 'standard' tree is far too large for most residential properties.

I suspect that a significant percentage of the seedling trees grown by John Chapman and other pioneers, were used primarily for cider production, so fruit quality and disease resistance were not a significant consideration.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2004 at 11:53AM
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kcassidy(7 Maryland)

Fruit quality may be a crap shoot, but look at the time it requires for a seedling to get to the reporductive age, at least 4-5 years. That's a long wait for an apple which will likely be inferior to what you expected.
There is very little if any 'breeding' of apples, most of the diversity we have in apples is results of mutations, which are preserved asexually, ie. grafting.
Apple morphology and the reproductive process was a a three hour lecture in my plant propagaton class in college. Incidenly, it was very fasinating.

Mike Cassidy

    Bookmark   November 23, 2004 at 1:36AM
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undercover_owl(8 Pac.NW)

OTOH: does that mean "on the other hand"? took me a while to figure that one out.

I admire Joefalco for his 21 year project...
So, the apples aren't quite as dazzling as fruit-stand-quality apples. But, he witnessed his seedling progress into a large tree, which, I'm sure is attractive in its own right, and is appreciated by birds and other animals.
I think that's really cool.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2004 at 3:23AM
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    Bookmark   November 26, 2004 at 5:30PM
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I have propagated several apple trees from seed. I do realize they will not grow true to the parent, & the fruit may be different. It does allow one to try different varieties in which only the seed is available, however.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2005 at 10:30PM
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opabinia51(SW Canada)

Yes. You will get apple trees from the seeds but, the fruit will not be the same as the fruit on your dwarf tree(s). The dwarf tree(s) are dwarf because they were grafted on to dwarf Root stock.
However, growing apple trees from seeds will give you apples that are genetically different from any other apple. As far as from the point of apples as a species, it is good for the trees as genetic variance gives the species (malus is the genus)genetic variation to cope with disease, drought and so on.
As far as the fruit is concerned; who knows what you will get. As some have stated above, you may get fruit that does not taste very good, or have a different texture. Of course, the new fruit could be quite wonderful as well! You never know.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2005 at 3:34PM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

About 20 years ago, an apple seed sprouted in our compost pile. We just let it grow and about 15 years ago, we went "on the road" with a different job, only coming home for a couple of weeks in April and Oct. Now we're home for good and that tree blooms and produces fruit every year. DS keeps it pruned. The apples are VERY good tasting, but are not so pretty. We need to get some kind of organic spray program so they won't have the insect problems. Also during this time, several apple trees "sprang up" in our back meadow which we also left. The variety is fascinating!! Our neighbor up the creek had an apple orchard when I was a child and many of the old trees still produce. I assume the seeds came from his orchard. But in our meadow, we have yellow, red, and striped apples. One tastes like a sassy Golden Delicious. One tastes like bananas. some ripen in summer. Some we store in the cellar and they ripen in late fall/early winter. There are only a couple that really aren't worth eating.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2005 at 2:16PM
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patioplanter(SoCal z9/z10)

What a timely thread! I just planted some pink lady apple seeds last week that were sprouting inside the apple. I have at least 5 little sprouts that look really healthy. I'm a little dissapointed that I won't get the true pink lady apple but it'll be fun to watch them grow and see what I get. I haven't been able to find any info on how large the tree might get to use as a base of reference. Anyone know where I could get that information?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2005 at 5:22PM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

We keep our compost apple tree and most of the others pruned to about 18 ft. There are a couple including the sassy Golden that are about 30 ft tall. These two taller ones are older, probably 25 years old. They were here growing on the creek bank during the time we lived here and before.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2005 at 8:26PM
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KannD86(11554 NY)

Hi. I just ate a Pink Lady apple and found some sprouting seeds inside. I planted them in a little pot hoping they'll grow. I was wondering if there are specific instructions for growing this type of apple tree. What climate do they usually grow in? I live in NY. What kind of sunlight do they need? Should I have planted them outside? How deep should I bury the seeds? Thanks to anyone with any information. :)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 4:47PM
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patsy_b(z8 Tx)

I just potted up 20 apple seedlings that I got from planting sprouting seed from apples. We live in a rural area and my plan is to grow them until they are 18 inches or taller in pots and them plant them along a creek that runs thru our property. If they make apples good enough to eat it will be great but if they are not good eating quality I feel the animals will enjoy the fruit and I will enjoy the blooms. I am also doing this with other fruits and berries.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 5:23AM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

I'm sure you'll have at least some that are good enough to eat and the wildlife will love them. Good luck with your project! Here in VA we have to protect baby trees with rabbit wire or something for several years. Either the rabbits or the deer will eat them back to little nubs and they don't survive it.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 9:18AM
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Good Morning! I sure have enjoyed all the followups to my question about growing apple trees from seed. I had just thought to warn folks that deer and rabbits will love to eat the tender trees! That's what vegangirl just wrote. How true! I had set my trees I'd started out of my crowded greenhouse in their pots. Their caliper was as big around as my finger and they were a foot or so tall. I found them all chopped down to exactly 4 inches in height! Nothing else I had set out was bothered. Young fruit trees must be especially tasty to deer. Maybe they will survive their "pruning"!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 9:35AM
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UncleJerry(Z8 MS)

I too am a sucker for a sprouted apple seed. Right now I have about 18 blushing gold, 6 ginger gold, 4 cameo and one pink lady seedling. The pink lady is two years old and about six feet tall.
Have any of you tried the "bud 9" dwarfing rootstock? I have some young trees grafted to it, but they aren't old enough to bear. I like the "m 111" better, I think, even though it isn't dwarf.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2005 at 10:33PM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

Just found this again. How are everyone's seedlings doing? I haven't tried grafting.

Bobcat, did your tree seedlings survive their "pruning"?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2005 at 3:58PM
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Colonnade apple trees are a form of columnar tree. According to this quote from a research paper the columnar form is a dominant mutation, labelled Co. Approximately 50% of the seedlings from a columnar tree (Co/co) crossed with a non-columnar tree would be columnar. If the columnar trees were self-pollinated or cross-pollinated by another columnar tree then approximately 75% of the seedlings would be columnar.

"Studies of columnar habit inheritance by Lapins showed that it is controlled by the dominant Co gene, possibly together with modifying genes, as the columnar trait is inherited close to 1:1, but not exactly. Further research reviewed by Kelsey and Brown, as well as the recent study by de Wit et. al. showed that the gene works through apical dominance regulated by growth hormones, but the tree habit in hybrid progeny is influenced by both parents."

Here is a link that might be useful: PDF file breeding columnar trees - Latvia

1 Like    Bookmark   October 16, 2005 at 5:25PM
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Hi, Great! I checked the above link and it was very informative and interesting to me because I couldn't really find any information on colonade trees before. They really are relatively new aren't they. I've noticed my 7 year old trees don't look "columnar" as they used to. They actually are looking more like dwarf trees. Interesting that the article states not all of them will keep the columnar form after 7 years. I did find my original tags one day and read on there where side brances should be kept pruned to 2 feet. Maybe later when they go dormant I should cut them back now? My second year baby trees are still thriving. The sucker is about 36" whip now looking like the original trees did when I first got them. Deer didn't eat it where it is growing by the parent trees they don't even bother eating those apples either. Must be the concrete wall? The seedlings are still in their 3 gal pots. Deer cut them back to nubs early last spring. They grew back with multiple branches and about 2 feet tall. Don't know if I should cut all off but one main branch or just let them do their own thing. Probably will experiment and do a little of both. I did move them, pot and all by their parents where the deer don't seem to come. That way any pruning can be done by me! I got to make some good pies from the apples but had a lot of competition with ants and bees boring right into them on the tree. Hate to spray them with stuff that can soak into the fruit. Guess they ate less than the deer would have!
Thanks for replying everyone~Elkie

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 1:41PM
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drasaid(zone 8)

from an apple he liked back in the sixties.
Oddly enough they grew to be two small trees with nearly identical pippen fruit (very good by the way.) Anyone near there wanting cuttings let me know!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2005 at 11:59AM
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This is my first time ever planting apple seeds and I was wondering, can I plant the seed right after it comes out of the apple or do I have to let it dry out first????

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 1:17PM
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Hi, It's od that I was just telling someone about this today. My friend was asking how long it took to grow those trees from seed? Must take a long time??? It's been 4 years now and the trees I started from the colonade apple seeds are now 4 foot at least and 3/4" caliper but haven't bloomed yet. They have different forms but some look like the parent trees with pole form and short side branches and some have red crab apple leaves. Pot luck! It will be nice if they bloom red like the crab apples! In answer to your question...I took seeds from a real ripe apple in the fall and put in glass jar with rain moist moss in it and screw cap and put it in the fridge. Sometime the following spring there were seedlings which I potted up. Mine have grown about a foot a year it seems in pots on the deck but I'm sure they would have done better in the ground. If you like growing things it's worth know!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 2:59PM
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So by the randomness of genetics, all this is true. But I would not be categorically pessimistic about your fruit. The same story is told about avocados --i.e. don't plant from a seed, it won't bear fruit or if it does it will be a frankenstein fruit etc. My avocado is 13 years old now and its fruit is superior in quality and taste to the Haas seed it came from. So I would try it; there might be a better tree born because of it.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 3:21AM
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Where can I get apple seeds that will give frut. all I can fined is young trees. My kids want to grow from seeds.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 6:03PM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

Just save the seeds from any apple that you eat.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 4:52AM
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Hello All,

I'm trying to grow some seedlings and any and all info that can be offered on the matter would be greatly appreciated. I tried this once before and consulted with greenhouses before planting my seedling but all went downhill once I put it in dirt. I now have two two inch seedlings with 5 leaves each that I pulled from a granny smith apple I was eating. I grew them by putting them between two cotton balls which I wet everyday. But I am completely clueless about how to proceed from here. I really want these seedlings to survive. Can anyone advise me please? What kind of dirt and do I need to add anything? When should I take them out of the cotton and should I transfer them to water or dirt? If the former, when should I transfer to dirt? I know nothing so anything would be helpful. Thank you!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 1:02PM
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For growinggrannies, if your getting plants to form leaves and have them in cotton balls they probably have a root system embedded in the cotton balls.
In noting that, it would be best to just plant the cotton ball so it was covered with dirt so it would not dry out.

As for dirt, I have had everything from hard concrete to duff in stores, so for transplants I have just been using dirt I have local which is sort of a clay loam that will retain moisture a bit easier.
The plant should not die in transplanting providing you put them into plastic pots (like pint sized flower pots you get from buying flowers to transplant in the garden) and just water from the bottom. As long as there is drainage, I believe one can not soak tranplants too much.

The main problems is heat or wind, so I sit mine in a cool room around 60 degrees by a window allowing roots to start forming. I place mine outside on cloudy days to harden them off and in shade.

As the plants root and grow you can move them to bigger pots. I would not though transplant them outside this year if you were zone 5 and below as the cold might kill them as Granny Smiths are not tolerant to cold.
So a garage where they were 30 degrees and above would be for winter storage and the leaves do tend to drop, just keep them watered as I lost a bay this past winter.
Next year you should be able to transplant in the spring, protect them from rabbits, water them and watch the show.

PS: If you have a manure tea or fish emulsion it would benefit any of these potted plants.

Hope that helps.

To add some more information in a late post:

Part of the joy of having seedlings is the adventure of it all. I know the book on it is the apple "will not be true", but that can be wonderful!
I happened to get some of the last apples off of a tree before my Grandfather died and the treed died shortly thereafter. He actually survived on apples in the dirty 30's as he was so poor.
By God's grace, the discarded cores produced a tree which was out of a parentage of McIntosh Wealthy cross. The apple is like the old apples with a green stripe and a red blush, but the tree is hardy past zone 3, the fruit is crisp and wonderfully "fruity". It delights me very much.
Right now I have a chance seedling again I transplanted. When I go for walks I always eat an apple picked off my trees and toss it in a peony bed and one sprouted. I have no idea what it will do, but it is 6 feet now, a sort of bush and tough as nails for taking the elements.
I will not add to sprouting apple seeds, but I did have a dwarf North Star Cherry whose seeds I planted in a raised bed, wetted it and covered with clear plastic. I had a large number of seedlings from that when other methods failed.
The little trees are coming along fine even if the rabbits nipped one last winter.
There is a great source of accomplishment in propagating things from seeds and discovering what will be. For the record, all of the apples which have endured are ones of natural selection and found by people.
I hopefully will have several Esopus Spitzenburg seeds this fall to germinate, but then I ordered my original tree from Raintree Nursery in Oregon as a dwarf closeout. My tree is now 15 feet tall, crowding the house and while they are supposed to be like Spy's in biannual this one is producing for the 3rd year in a row.
It is always nice when apples don't behave like the experts figure they will. It makes it all a wonderful adventure.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 9:15PM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

Starflakes, good information that you've shared! That's a wonderful story about your grandfather. I'm glad you got a tree from his tree. Interesting about the cherries. Here "black heart" and "red heart" cherries grow wild around and we've been planting 100's of seeds all over the edges of our property. We picked 15 gallons at our neighbor's and planted every seed. I hope at least some of them sprout and grow.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 7:14AM
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I have a nice apple tree in my garden that is about 7 years old.. it has been moved from a neighbour who gave up on it as it doesn't produce fruit, and has been properly pruned well back since then and recovered nicely over a couple of years... my question is... why does this tree not flower!!!! what on earth could be wrong with it... do you think it was maybe grown from seed? If not that, what else could be so wrong that it does not flower? It gets plenty of leaf buds, and thats it. any ideas most welcome.... PS- other apple trees in the area do well.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 7:24AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

taggertytramp it takes a long time from seed for an apple to bloom. You have waited this long hang on for another year or two. Al

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 9:57AM
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I had a really juicy Johnathan apple early this Summer and found a seed had sprouted inside. I took the seed and planted in a pot. To my amazement it has grown to be about 3 feet tall with nice leaves all the way up to the top. I really have no idea about growing fruit trees but my husband says it will never produce. This tree is very healthy but does look alittle funny without the branches. Will this cutie grow branches on its own or will I have to prune it? If so how do I do this? Will it ever produce apples or am I barking up the wrong tree? haha...

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 8:00AM
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Do apple seeds require being cold for a period of time before they will sprout?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 8:17PM
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I planted several apple trees that I started from seeds last December.

They are about 4 feet tall but do not have any side branches. They look pretty healthy except for the fact that each is only one "stalk" and I had to tie to stakes for support.

Should I prune the top to encourage side branching?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 7:05PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Legacy77, you have what is called a whip, and it needs to be trained into the apple tree you would like. Starting from a seed it is not likely to be the same as the apple from which it came. It is almost certain to grow into a standard size apple from 20 to 30 feet. Your tree should not need to be staked as a whip has no canopy to resist the wind. This year I would not do any pruning, just let it establish until when dormant a year from now, when you can prune to establish the tree shape desired. Al

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 9:34AM
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Thanks for your reply. I'll take your advice and wait until next year to prune.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 5:58PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

One other thing to think about, a seedling grown on its own root will be slow to flower and fruit. With a grafted tree, mature wood is used used for the scion and so flowering and fruiting is much sooner. To help your seedling get through the juvenile growth as soon as possible, give it the best possible growing conditions. Keep the area free of competition and compaction. This is best done by keeping the area mulched with organic mulch, keeping it an inch or two from the trunk. Al

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 10:29AM
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So let's say one planted two trees from the same apple. If one kept cross pollinating those two trees, would they eventually produce a worthwhile apple?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 6:54PM
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Hi takadi, I have attempted what you are asking, but in a slightly different manner. I planted 2 self pollinated dolgo crabapple seeds and one is sprouted and growing. People actually purchase crabapple trees but when you compare a crabapple to a honeycrisp in taste there is no comparison. I guess in 7-10 years I will see if it's been worthwhile. I could attempt it with 1000 more seeds but that would definitely not be worthwhile.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 11:05PM
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johnebook(z5 IN)

Virtually all of the wonderful heirloom apples we have were random crosses. Apple trees are more genetically variable than humans. If you wish to plant apple seeds you may want to look into controlled crosses. That is, learning how to hand pollinate. It isn't difficult and it adds another dimension to apple seed growing. If you are only interested in providing yourself with apples, learn to graft. Johnny Appleseed probably sold many of his young apple trees as rootstock for the scion wood that the pioneers brought from home. If you bud graft your seedling stock to dwarf or semi-dwarf rootstock you can speed up the whole process of seed to apple and take up less room.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 6:18PM
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my friend has a full size apple grown up from discard pile at his folks original homestead. i would think the original seed came from standard type apple but not sure. apples off existing tree are large size and very good to eat. will seeds from apples be true to tree now growing out of the discard pile or would branches need to be grafted to rootstock in order to be true to tree growing in the discard pile? if new trees need to be grafted to rootstock in order to be true to parent tree , does this mean that if parent tree dies the qualities of the parent are basically lost and cannot be furthured with seeds alone?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 11:43PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

If you wish to continue the apple you like it would be wise to take scions from that tree and graft them to an appropriate root stock. Your chances of starting a new tree from the seed of the apple you like, and getting a comparable apple, is not good. Plus it will take you up to 10 years to find out. Some of us do not expect to be here in ten years. Al

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 9:08AM
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I sprouted an apple tree seed and I think it's been 3-5 years. When can it flower? I don't know what kind it is because I ate an apple and grew it's seed. I think it might be Fiji or red delicious, probably fuji, but all I know is that the apple I ate was red.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 5:28PM
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These is how I understand apple trees work. Most apples are sour and not tasty at all. The apples we enjoy come from trees that have been propagated by grafting a part of a tree that produces good fruit to root stock of another tree.

Planting a seed will grow a tree, and that tree will grow apples, but the fruit wont taste like the fruit of the parent tree.

It's my understanding the only way to predict the type of fruit you'll get is to take a cutting from a known producer and graft it onto another tree.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Weblog

1 Like    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 4:22AM
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george5il, I bought 2 Prime-Jim Blackberry plants from STARK two years ago. They looked like a two leaf seedling(tissue culture), they were full size by Fall.The plants came with a note saying no one can propagate this plant for they use or two sale. Anyone reporting some one doing this can receive a $2500.00 reward, if said person is convinced.
I have never heard of anyone growing apples from seeds, but pear are easy & true to the parent plant, if it is an older tree. We have a Pineapple pear that is over 50 years old.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 2:48AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I see that misinformation (that you can legally vegetatively propagate a patented plant as long as you don't sell it) on GardenWeb quite often. I don't know where people get that idea, but is without a doubt totally incorrect. It doesn't matter why you propagate the plant. It only matters that you don't have permission from the patent holder. It's like saying it's alright to run a stop sign as long as you didn't intend to hit a car coming across your path. It's still illegal.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 4:05AM
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I live in saskatchewan and i bought 2 apple trees of 2 different varieties.appaarently they were 2 years old.and i was told at the nursery that they should produce fruit in about 6 years.well,the trees are now about 12 years old and have never ever bloomed.a friend sugested that maybe the trees are both male trees.can anyone give me a suggestion;;;thanx

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 6:11PM
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I disagree with most eveyone about well it wont be a dwarf!! any tree can be dwarfed using proper Bonsai techniques. I have a green granny smith tree I started from seed 7 yrs ago it is now about 16 inches high and about2 inch diameter trunk. any tree can be trained to be small Duhh. apples are notoriosly easy tto start and grow. I say start any variety you like and make it an outdoor bonsai. repot every spring. good luck

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 6:17AM
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There is a fascinating discussion of this in relation to Johnny Appleseed in Michael Pollan's The Botany of Desire. Highly recommended to folks on this forum. Gary

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 11:44PM
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Well, I guess keeping an apple in the fridge and having a seed sprout in it counts for the first part of starting an apple tree. I planted my seed and it's been growing for about 3 years now - in the middle of Florida. It's been outside in the heat and sun, but I've moved it so it only gets sun part of the day. I was wondering if I needed to "top" it. It is just 1 tall tree shoot about 3 feet tall now. It's growing in a large pot. It has no side branches at all. Do I let it grow?

I have done well with avocado from seed. I have one tree that's about 10 years old that got hit by the frost 2 years running, but is still alive. I have another one on my lanai that is potted in a planter with wheels so I can wheel it under the enclosed roof when it freezes. These trees did not branch until I topped them. That's why I was wondering about apple trees. Lee

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 9:20AM
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Hello forum...I'm new here and have been searching all over for some simple, straightforward answers, and this looks like the place to find them. I'm in zone 3a, in northern/central Alberta...winter is from October through to May (we've been known to have snow in July). My neighbours around here have some of the loveliest crabapples I've ever seen, and the story is that seedlings were distributed sometime back in the '60's to encourage people to grow apples. I have four trees here that I have access to, that I would like to grow in my own yard. They're all crabapples, some red, some yellow, one is an ornamental, and I can take scionwood from all of them. However, from what I'm reading, in order to have an exact duplicate of that particular tree, i.e. a clone, the only sure way to do that is to take a cutting and root it. So here's my questions:
1) Do I just lop off a branch anywhere, or where's the best place, on the parent tree, to take a branch?
2) When is the best time to do the lopping off? It's late September here, frost is imminent, and our winters get down regularly to -35C. Instead of taking the branch off now and keeping it cool somewhere, doesn't it make more sense to leave it attached to its parent tree until springtime?
3) If I take it now, what do I do with it over the winter? I don't want to disturb any natural rhythym, so the plant should be dormant now for the next 5 months or so...I don't want to encourage it to root if it's going to screw anything up for its natural growth rhythym. Plus, being this far north, our daylight hours are minimal..
4) So if I decide to take this branch, apply some sort of rooting hormone, throw it in a pot and keep it in my garage for the winter, am I on the right track? Is it then transplantable outside come springtime, or does it have to be coddled for another year or so in a pot in my garage?

I ordered Antonovka rootstock 2 years ago and about 2/3 of them have died off, but the ones that survived are doing all right. I also put in a couple of older trees, and the rootstock survived, but the scionwood didn't, so I have leaves growing off the original rootstock. Is it okay to chop off the dead scionwood and leave that rootstock to continue growing on its own?

I'm thinking that this climate is too harsh for a lot of nursery store stock, but I can see that these 4 trees I have my eye on are naturally hardy and produce delicious fruit. My objective is to somewhow reproduce these trees. Any help and/or advice is really appreciated!! Thanks..Patty

Here is a link that might be useful: Eaglesham, AB

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 4:43PM
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So from reading this if you grew trees from the Arkansas Black seed or several then there is no way you would have the same tree / apple. Apples must be the strangest plant ever. How in the world could you ever be sure of the apple you would get. Even if you planted a grove of these how would you know the apple you got back would taste like the Arkansas Black you wanted? Even with grafts the apple would have been polinated by some other type of tree so how would you know what you would get even if you bought the tree instead of growing from seed?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 3:26PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

"Apples must be the strangest plant ever."

Nope, at least in this respect they are actually like MOST plants. Few cultivars come true from seed, especially with trees and shrubs.

"Even if you planted a grove of these how would you know the apple you got back would taste like the Arkansas Black you wanted?"

Most apple trees (and most fruit trees, for that matter) are grafted. The scion (the part grafted onto the rootstock) is virtually genetically-identical to all other apple trees of that cultivar.

"Even with grafts the apple would have been pol(l)inated by some other type of tree..."

Different pollenizers do not effect the fruit. A different parent would change the genetics of the seed, but not the taste/texture/size/etc of the apple.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 7:55PM
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Thanks for clearing that up. I would hate to buy a tree and not end up with the fruit I wanted as there really are only about 2 apples I like. Growing trees from seeds sounds intriguing though.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 6:14AM
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Awsomely cool. Wish I could say the same. We had apple trees in the neigbor's yard that produced wonderful apples. Its is probably still there.

I could have planted a apple tree but I never did. :(

This year I am doing crab apples from a crab apple bush we got on the property. We will see what happens!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2012 at 2:01PM
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I picked an apple from a tree, the seeds germinated and 2 months on it looks like the picture attached (isn't it gorgeous??!)

I am not concerned with apples, I just want the tree to grow and be healthy, ideally on my balcony which is North Facing and doesn't get lots of direct sun.

Right now I want to transplant the seedling into a bigger pot and take it outside when ready...advice on pot size, soil type and when to take it outside would be much appreciated.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 2:54PM
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I love that pic.your seedling is beautiful(Gstar). I have some seedlings I grew in the Caribbean. Saint Lucia to be exact. They are starting to grow vigorously. I hope it grows into a big tree.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 11:29AM
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I love that pic.your seedling is beautiful(Gstar). I have some seedlings I grew in the Caribbean. Saint Lucia to be exact. They are starting to grow vigorously. I hope it grows into a big tree.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 11:55AM
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ediej1209(5 N Central OH)

What a great thread - so much good info. I bought a couple of Pacific Rose apples at the grocery store last month and when I cut them open I could see that the seeds had started to sprout. Not knowing anything about growing apple trees from seed I immediately dropped a bunch of the seeds into a red plastic cup like I use for my veggies in Miracle Gro potting mix (not the water-retaining kind, just regular) and kept it moist and now I have 4 little trees with about 3 or 4 leaves each, the trees are about an inch or so tall. Should I repot them now into individual pots - if so, how big, and when should I start giving them a little bit of fresh air? I figure it will take about a month to properly harden them off to being outdoors fulltime, or should I just let them be houseplants this year and start thinking about letting them out next year?

Oh, and I know that the odds of getting something that even remotely resembles the original apples are not favorable, but that's OK. It'll still be fun. And if we don't like the apples, I'm sure the animals will!

Thanks in advance,

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 2:40PM
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    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 4:41AM
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tcamp30144(7B N.ATLANTA)

So cute don't care what fruit it does just nice to see grow.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 2:38PM
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tcamp30144(7B N.ATLANTA)

Same tree 5 days old now,wonder what kind of apple it will make one day. Came from gala apple I know I could get anything from house worm apple to fantastic new apple or in between. Its just fun to watch it grow :-)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 12:27PM
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tcamp30144(7B N.ATLANTA)

Same seedling a little over month old seems to be growing very fast.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 11:51PM
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This apple tree is really becoming something different.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 12:25AM
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hi, I've put some Apple pips out of a Apple put them into a air tight container with damp paper towel inside, they have germinated after 2 months, I've put them into a tray with compost and watered them everyday and I can't believe how quick they have grown after just a couple of weeks I'm chuffed to bits with myself lol. see photo. I was just wondering how often should I water them and what temp I should keep the room at and I cover them at night with a clear plastic bag is this ok to do ? look forward and would appreciate any tips on making them grow bigger and healthier, I would be so sad if they died now. thanx nak

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 11:42AM
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tcamp30144(7B N.ATLANTA)

Two Months old :-)

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 7:20PM
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There seems to be a lot of people wanting to know about growing apples from seeds and a lot of misinformation. I have grown a lot of apples from seeds, so I'll try to explain it here.

The first time I planted apple seeds, they never came up. I did some research and found out that they need a cold and wet period before they will sprout. Those of you who found seeds sprouting inside the apple was because the apple was in cold storage.

I saved the apple seeds I wanted to plant and dried them on a paper towel at room temperature. They will stay viable for several years after drying.

I put the seeds in a moist paper towel and then put them in the refrigerator two or three months before planting time. Put them in a container to keep them from drying out. I like to use a pill bottle set on the end because the seeds usually sprout in the frig and the the roots grow straight down in the pill bottle and are easy to plant. Check the seeds after a couple of months to make sure the roots don't get too long. I'm not sure of the amount of time needed in the cold but plant the seeds after three months rather they have sprouted or not.

Your seedling will not be the same as the apple it came from, although some will be similar.

It takes about 10 years or more for your seedling to bloom and set fruit. Most apple trees need another apple tree for pollination. The more apple trees you have near your seedling the better chance of it being pollinated and producing fruit.

Your apple seedling will grow to be a very large tree. If you want a smaller tree that will set fruit after a few years, buy some dwarf rootstock and graft a cutting from your seedling on it.

If you want to grow your apple tree, or any other fruit tree, in a pot, you need to know that if the roots freeze the tree will die. The roots are not nearly as cold hardy as the top.

Someone was asking if they could take a cutting from an apple tree, put some rooting hormone on it, stick it in the ground and get it to grow. The answer is no.

If you plant a seed from a triploid apple, your seedling will probably be deformed, although a few of them will be healthy. I have a list of triploid apples on my website.


    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 6:44PM
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I started about 20 seeds,one lived! so now it is about 3 inches tall and seems healthy. I've got it in my window seal, it hss 12 leafs and more coming..I'm wondering if I should pinch any of the leafs off or just let it go?? I love my little Apple tree:)

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 11:23AM
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I started about 20 seeds,one lived! so now it is about 3 inches tall and seems healthy. I've got it in my window seal, it hss 12 leafs and more coming..I'm wondering if I should pinch any of the leafs off or just let it go?? I love my little Apple tree:)

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 11:28AM
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tcamp30144(7B N.ATLANTA)

How is everyones tree

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 2:00AM
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tcamp30144(7B N.ATLANTA)

Update on tree almost year old.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 1:05AM
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Nice tree there tcamp
Here's mine
Came out from a Fuji
Its 4month old now

    Bookmark   September 6, 2014 at 9:48AM
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tcamp30144(7B N.ATLANTA)

Thank u your tree is nice to mine has grew another 6 inches since pictures

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 2:07AM
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I have read several postings about how to grow from seeds.
Then I read all the complicated postings about grafting and budding. Then I read that you can't grow apples from the seeds you get out of the apples.
People, where do you thing the original apple trees came from, SEEDS. there was no grafting and budding back then it wasn't even never heard of.
But because of all the grafting they have been doing we won't know what the original apples (doesn't matter what kind) will taste and look like if you don't grow them from their own seeds. I can't grow them where I live now, which is Saskatchewan, Canada. But next year I am moving to Vancouver Island Canada which has a 8-9 for a growing area. I am going to start them this winter, hopefully they will grow for me, and I will be planting a Mac Apple tree in my new garden. Have a great night, remember gardeners
Spring is just around the corner.
Thanks for reading

    Bookmark   December 27, 2014 at 2:54AM
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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

Grafting has been around for a long, long time. Yes, the original tree of a certain apple variety was most likely started from seed (or it could have been a sport branch) but they have been perpetuated via grafting.

Nobody has said you can't grow an apple tree from seed. What was said is that you won't know what kind of fruit a seed will eventually produce. The fruit might be vastly inferior to the apple it came from, it could be similar, or it could be different but excellent. It's impossible to know.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2015 at 10:58PM
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Nickajack apples come true to seed or very close to it. One of only a handful to do so. A Cherokee apple. Trees still sold by southern nurseries Big Horse Farm, Urban Homestead.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2015 at 8:48PM
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