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Picture of Growing Apple trees from seed.
 Hello.
I am going to tell you how to grow apple trees from seed. This is a lot more complicated than just throwing a few seeds in the ground, but with my help I can show you how.

Step 1: Materials needed

 You will need:
An apple
Compost
Pots
Paper towel
plastic bag
Knife
Later On:
Grafting tape or Cling film
Grafting Wax or Masking tape



 
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Geoff151 month ago

I like an apple tree down the road. I have lemon, pomegranate, almond, and crab apple trees established. What time of year and area of the tree do I take the cutting from of the tree I like ? Do you soak the cuttings in something like B-1 transplanting liquid? Also can I graft on any of the trees I mentioned. Or all of them?

JoseT8 Geoff152 days ago

you could graft onto the crab apple tree.

Scion wood is best harvested before the tree leafs out in Spring. We usually harvest out scion wood around MLK Day (mid Jan.). Take cuttings about the thickness of a pencil, and then store in a ziplock gallon baggie in the fridge (spritz a little water into the bag first). Now wait until the buds on the trees start swelling and are about to leaf and flower out. This shows that the sap is running in the trees and it's about to experience an explosion in growth. Then make your grafts. Cut sections of your scion wood with only one or two buds, to graft on. The whip and tongue method shown above is a good method. I soak the cuttings overnight in room temp water before grafting. You could use growth hormones, but I just use my own saliva on the cut as a growth hormone (learned this from the Dirt Doctor www.dirtdoctor.com)

Andi19854 months ago

I moved to Greece and had a Pink Lady apple with the seeds already germinating inside. I have planted hem and have 5 healthy little shoots. I don't understand grafting! I have tow olive trees on my land that I have cropped back to the trunk and 3 stump branches, can I graft the Pink Lady trees onto the olive trees, or do I have to grow a different variety from seed and then graft the Pink Lady onto them?

The seeds that you have plant will not be pink lady apple even if they came from it. it will be a random apple most likely bad in taste. So you let those seedling grow a little bit and then you take a small branch of an apple tree that you know that produce good fruit and connect it with the seedlings that you have. of course you must cut a part of each seedling in order for your branch to connect. Try plant nectarine peach apricot or cherries most likely they produce good fruit sometimes little worst from what they came from sometimes even better. Personally i have great success with apricots the taste is 100% better than the mother plant but they are so easy to break and must handle very careful.

Many thanks for your reply, I live on the island of Kefalonia and we have very few garden centres, unfortunately friends that have bought apple trees have ended up with fruit that is very Woolley and not crisp or sweet. The trees are also expensive here as they have to be shipped in. Can you recommend a good variety that is crisp and sweet that I could perhaps order on line.

Order benchgrafted bare root trees. They are very small (about a foot long), and easy to mail. When you get them, soak them in a bucket of tepid water for a few hours before planting.

I really love apple tree, I grow some apple trees from seed, and I know it will take a long time to bear fruit and the taste is not like mother plant. So I want to buy some benchgrafted bare root tree. I live in Viet Nam. Can I buy them online? And how to plant and take care of them? Please give me some advice

Here is the same reply I gave below to another:

You might order an already grafted apple
tree from Kuffel Creek Nursery. Also I highly recommend you order their
e-book "Apple Trees for Hot Climates and the Tropics". (I have no
financial interest in this company - I'm just a local Master Gardener,
and we know that Kevin Hauser of Kuffel Creek knows his stuff).

http://www.kuffelcreek.com/

But the Nursery need import permit from Ministry of Agriculture. It is not easy for me to have this. Do you have an other way? Please tell me!!!

You need to graft onto an apple tree. Or maybe a cherry or plum. But not an olive. It must be closely related. This article discusses what types of trees can be grafted onto which types of rootstock.

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/compatible-fruit-tree-grafting-62200.html

also fruit trees in Greece are very very cheap you can find most bare root fruit trees like fugi apple for 2,50 euros and if in a pot for 5 euros.

fretted21 days ago

I dont know about grafting but i have seeds from granny smith and red delicious apples and ive grown trees from both that bear excellent fruit the need for grafting i understand is to change the flavor of the fruit i don't understand why you would do that as long as you grow 2 trees for pollinations you should never have a problem with an apple tree or any other fruit tree from blooming and bearing fruit ... but to each his own !

Chief2683 months ago
is it possible to transport a scion from one country to a next? will it die? sorry if i sound like a novice but i am from the caribbean and on my island we dont have apple tress...so its a first time venture. i have seeds i got from some apples at the local supermarket but no other trees to obtain a scion from.

You might order an already grafted apple tree from Kuffel Creek Nursery. Also I highly recommend you order their e-book "Apple Trees for Hot Climates and the Tropics". (I have no financial interest in this company - I'm just a local Master Gardener, and we know that Kevin Hauser of Kuffel Creek knows his stuff).

http://www.kuffelcreek.com/

Hellhounds204 months ago

so what IS scion wood exactly? is it the small branch above the fruit? or is it the stem before it's dried out to sell? im really confused on that part. also is there a way to NOT graft the saplings? cause im thinking on Golden Del apples and Braeburn apples. maybe fuji.

See my comment to Geoff15 above for more, but basically, scion wood should be from the previous season's growth. Pencil thickness is best. Harvest before the buds start swelling (mid Jan is when we do it in Southern California). Store the scion wood in zip lock bags (cut to lengths to fit the bag, and later you'll cut into lengths of only one or two buds to make the grafts). Spritz a little water in the bag for moisture. Once the buds start swelling, a month or so later, make your grafts.

Apples do not grow true to seed. In other words, if you plant a Fuji apple seed, you will get a different apple. This is how many of the best apple varieties first started. Using scion wood and grafting means you will get the variety that the scion came from.
Hope that helped!
Views from someone who had an internship breeding apples:

1. There is fundamental misunderstanding, in this article, of how apples are bred and grown.
2. Red Delicious originated from one seed, Honeycrisp originated from one seed, all varieties of apples you find in the store, originate from one seed. They are then cloned through grafting. Planting a Honeycrisp seed will not produce a Honey Crisp apple. Only by grafting (cloning) a piece of a Honeycrisp tree, can you get another Honeycrisp apple tree. Planting apple seeds will produce new, random, and unique apple trees.*
3. A good reason to graft your apple tree would be to put it on dwarf root stock. These are specially bred trees, grown for their roots. These roots are hardy, will produce shorter trees, and produce fruit earlier. This root stock is available online if you are interested.
4. Grafting one apple seedling onto another apple seedling is pointless. All you are doing is swapping one mystery apple tree onto the roots of another mystery apple tree. The characteristic of apple that the tree will produce is determined by genetics of the top graft, which is determined at the time of pollination of the seed. The act of grafting doesn't change the grafts genetics.
5. While your understanding of this is incorrect, your skill in grafting is excellent. Apple root stock is cheap, and grafting material is usually free if you know someone who has a tree. This is a good way to plant an orchard for almost free.
* I spent an internship working at the UofMinnesota apple breeding center (the same one that produced Honeycrisp), we would start by making crosses, then plant over a thousand seeds, we would then let nature kill most (test for cold hardiness and disease), the survivors would be grafted onto root stock. We would go through the fruit that these seeds produced, most where discarded because of small fruit size, poor fruit quality, bad flavor, ect. But a very few would stand out and be the next big apple for the market.

oh no!

I already grew my apple seedlings into little saplings. I have no hope of getting a scion as I live in india - a land where apples dont grow. And even if they do grow apples way up north - I could never get my hands on a scion. What can I do?

I want nice apples so that I can make pies. I dont want to make a business out of my trees. please mr Bradley. give me your advice

Halima Sadia Sayed, you might order a grafted apple tree bred for hot climates from Kuffel Creek Nursery. They routinely send grafted apples to Africa (I know, because I was one of the volunteers to help graft 3000 trees). It is very remotely possible that one of your seedlings will becomes a decent tree. I've heard the odds are 1 in only 17,000 seedlings make good eating apples. Once your Kuffel Creek tree(s) arrive and grow a season or two (be sure to order his CD e-book on how to grow them), then you can obtain scion wood from these trees to graft onto your seedling trees to have more trees, or give them to friends.

ok then so does all the crossbreeding mess with the seeds germination rates, anyhow id very much like to know. im not into grafting but am into cuttings.

i don't know if anyone else noticed but i have noticed that alot of store bought
apples and stuff like that their seeds do not grow they grow well in the fruit in all
but are useless.
The apples aren't actually being crossbred per se. The word crossbred has several different definitions in botany, it can get confusing at times. All the apples are Malus domestica so all the breeding that is taking place is within the species, just as it would in nature. The reason for low germination is different.

The author was kind of on the right track with germinating the seeds in the fridge. Certain plants, apples included, greatly benefit from a process called cold stratification: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratification_(botany) . That is, they undergo winter like conditions for sometimes months before germination. That should greatly increase seed germination.

Botany of Desire, by Michael Pollan does a pretty good job of explaining the issue of breeding apples. FYI.

I grew many little apple trees from seed. I live in India. There is no possibility for me to get a scion from any apple tree around where I live. Can I get a good produce if i graft the apple saplings using cuttings from other ones I grew? Will that help?

Help

when I read this, they said to have scion wood from apple what I want,
is it possible to grow 2 kind different apples from seed and grafting between them?

SaraR103 months ago
KarlB11 months ago

Have I misunderstood... I propagate my seeds - they grow - and then I lop the top off and simply use the root-stock from my dearly beloved seed?! In which case I'd be better off using a fast-growing root-stock from some other species and grafting my desired apple variety to that? Won't my seedling eventually blossom and then fruit left alone? If not can you tell me why please? Thanks!

You've not misunderstood. The benefit you get from doing it this way is that you get a larger tree, which may or may not be desirable. The other "fast" growing rootstocks, aren't fast growing, they reach fruit bearing age earlier. If you want a full sized tree, I would suggest buying Antonovka seeds as they are true to seed and produce an edible apple if you don't want to graft them, but they can still be grafted.

Also, you can buy apples in late spring such as Fuji that have seeds that are likely already germinated. That's what I did last year as well as the antonovka.

lindadash4 months ago
lindadash4 months ago
bcolvan5 months ago
fresnojimmy6 months ago

Trying to remain positive and constructive: There are so many wrong pieces of information on this thread that no one has corrected. First of all,

1. A "honeycrisp" apple seed does not grow a tree that will produce "honeycrisp" apples. Apple seeds do not grow true to their cultivars, which are usually propagated by live tissue. Therefore, it would be unnecessary to grow a "honeycrisp" from seed to graft it onto any other rootstock. Secondly, there is a PATENT on honeycrisp apples, and most other recently commercially developed, that makes it illegal to use them as scion wood!

2. This means that the seeds from the prized 51 year old Macintosh may grow seedlings that revert back to any combination of its ancestors that were cross-bred to produce a "Macintosh" apple. It's fine as rootstock, but no reason to use it as scion wood.

3. "Lets get one thing straight, the procedure of grafting is used to stunt the growth of the scion?"

Grafting is not done to "stunt the growth" or "dwarf" the resulting tree, unless you are grafting onto specially-bred rootstock for this purpose that you have to buy. Grafting any apple onto a seedling-grown rootstock will produce a full size (think 20 feet mature) tree.

I am doing this with seeds from my Dad's 51 year old Macintosh. It took 5 months for the seeds to germinate. They are now growing in small grow pots with potting soil. This is where I have lost 4. My question is: is this rootstock or can it be the scions? Sorry 2 questions. Can my rootstock be the same type of tree as my scion? It sounds like you have made your seedlings the rootstock. Thanks for the info. Cindy
jones.tonie7 months ago

These are granny smith apple seeds that have been in the fridge since October 15 2014. When should I plant them in dirt? I live in Virginia zone 7. I have been asking this question for awhile and no response.

granny smith.jpg

Those seeds are definitely ready to be planted. I can't tell you when they should be planted outdoors, but I would get them into some small pots to start them out in and keep them in a place with full sun. Be careful not to put them into too large of pots. If you do it can actually be worse for the seed than starting them in a small pot. Normally when I plant mine I just put them into little dixie cups until they are ready to be transplanted. Good luck with your trees!

JainilS8 months ago

If I didn't mind what type of apple I wanted, would I still have to graft it? Also, if I am growing my first tree, where can I get scions?

JainilS JainilS8 months ago

**Edit** I want an edible apple, though.

JoeS59 months ago
Okay so I started the germination process on two different types of seeds one set were from a red delicious, that I don't like too much but theyre already sprouting and at the same time I started the process on seeds from honey crisp they have not yet started to sprout, but when the time has come where can I get scion from honey crisp? There are no Apple trees in my Area that I know of

quick question...I have a crab apple tree in my yard about 10' tall...if per say I wanted to grow honeycrisp and or granny smith would I start with those seeds and then graft a branch from the crab apple tree? or would I grow those seeds and then chop off the tops and graft to the crab apple tree?

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