Growing Apple Trees From Seed.

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Introduction: 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



Step 2: Getting the Seeds

 Now, Carefully cut down the middle of an apple and take out the seeds. You may need a few apples always remember on average only 30% of your seeds will germinate.

Step 3: Getting the Seeds to Germinate

 Now we need to get our or paper towel and wrap our seeds in them. Wet the paper towel and put it in the plastic bag. Make sure the plastic bag is sealed tight, and put it in the fridge. Your seeds should take about a month to germinate but check every few weeks and wet again if dry. Your seeds will start to have little white sprouts coming out of them soon enough thats when you know there ready for planting.

Step 4: Planting Seeds

 Once the seeds have germinated just drop them into any pots about 1 - 2" deep and cover in good compost. Then just watch them grow.

Step 5: The Most Important Step: Grafting

 This step is vital or you apple trees will not produce any apples.
First wait until your apple trees are about 30-60 cm high.(Like in picture)  
Now there are many different methods of grafting apple trees but the one I use and find most helpful is the "Whip and Tongue" graft.

Use pictures to help with the graft. Pictures used on random pieces of wood for an example.
Firstly you get a piece of wood (Scion wood) from the variety of apple you want.
Then you cut down at an angle on wood.
Now make an identical cut on the apple tree.
Then cut downwards on the sliced wood. Do this on both tree and scion wood.
Then push together and wrap with cling film and then masking tape.
Done.

Step 6: Watch for Results Some Will Be Unsuccessful.

 Watch closely for results if you graft is growing leaves then it is successful if it isn't it probably isn't successful, After 1-3 months take off the grafting tape.

Step 7: Watch Your Lovely Apple Tree Grow.

Thanks for reading my instructable.

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198 Discussions

1
skillcult
skillcult

4 years ago

There are a lot of misconceptions and errors in this thread, and some good stuff too. The article is really about growing apple root stock from seeds in order to graft on a variety that you like, such as pink lady, Wickson, etc...... Nothing wrong with that. People used to do this all the time. If these seeds were allowed to grow out and produce fruit instead of grafting them to another variety, each one would produce a unique new variety of apple, which may or may not be good and may or may not resemble the original parent.

Most of what you read or hear about growing new varieties from seed is very negative. Michael Pollan in particular has done a great disservice by blugeoning home the message in his book Botany of Desire that it is almost impossible to grow really good apples from seed . The experience of many people disproves that notion though. For instance, my friend Freddy Menge has been growing seedlings and says that more of the apples he grows from seed are worth eating than not... and he's a picky apple collector. My very first open pollinated apple seedling to fruit is quite promising and I happily ate all of them. I named it BITE ME! for all the people that say it can't be done. I have over 100 intentionally cross pollinated seedlings growing and more coming this year. If you want to know more about growing apples from seed intentionally to produce new varieties, I'm producing a youtube video series that follows my efforts and shows how I do everything. I hope to start getting fruit from those this year.

In short, I think more people should be growing fruit from seed and a little intention in selection of parents can probably go a long way toward skewing results in our favor.

Apple Breeding video playlist:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL60FnyEY-eJ...

Bite me!


0
NicoStultz
NicoStultz

Reply 4 months ago

Awesome!! awesome advice, I will definitely be following your YouTube channel! I have a three month old Apple tree sitting in my window, I sprouted the seeds early April.

0
bronwyn.jardine
bronwyn.jardine

Reply 5 months ago

Thankyou for this excellent resource! I am a horticulturist with very little apple experience, but keen to breed from seed selectively to suit my climate just because its a challenge and because i have never done it. My climate is tropical to sub tropical but I reckon if I move far enough in land I will get lower night time temperatures.

0
normfarris4
normfarris4

Reply 5 months ago

Agree. The worst that would happen is that inferior apples could be made into cider (preferably hard).

0
JessicaR233
JessicaR233

Reply 2 years ago

Thanks 4 the positive vibes n video efforts. I'll check it out later :-) Americans r raised 2 go 2 the store & buy a bag of apples. Unfortunately, it's not in r vocabulary 2 "grow your own trees from seed. " I only started that journey recently as my mom has a little orchard in her backyard. I want 2 leave an even bigger orchard 4 r next generation (my daughter & nephews) plus teach the kids in r family 2 b self reliant in the process. Part of the problem is that we're raised in such a commercialized atmosphere that we don't know anything other than pre-packaged foods...which is ruining r overall health & quality of life. We CAN grow r own trees, but the pioneers of r time r being totally discouraged online. Only the serious rebels don't care what others r saying & r going 4 it anyway. I'm 1 of those ppl....bound & determined 2 do it anyway because my daughter deserves 2 learn how 2 really feed herself & her future family. Doing nothing is not an option. We gotta try. R great grandparents didn't bring r ancestors into this world going 2 a store n buying a bag of apples. We need 2 take this "do it anyway despite what u hear" approach in more avenues of r lives. Thanks 4 the encouragement! Keep it up please!

0
skillcult
skillcult

Reply 2 years ago

Yay! :)

0
Growingisfun
Growingisfun

Reply 4 years ago

I think you should read or perhaps reread Michael Pollans' book Botany of Desire he actually credits John Chapman or people like him with spreading and nurturing apple seeds which have led to most known American varieties.Every garden/Hort/herbal/plant book that I have read that talks about planting seeds mentions 1in 50000 apple seeds will produce an apple as good as either parent. Pollan does not walk that line in his book.As a side note it I have spent a lot of time looking for someone that has actually run the experiment. Gathering 50,000 apple seeds grown and collected under the same growing conditions then planted and germinated under the same conditions and then waited the 3-15 years for the trees to fruit etc,etc. Does anyone actually have that much time, money and land to perform this experiment? I would love to see the results.

0
skillcult
skillcult

Reply 2 years ago

Yay! :)

0
skillcult
skillcult

Reply 2 years ago

I did re-read it and he states repeatedly that the odds are enormously against getting anything good to eat. The relevant quotes are here:

http://skillcult.com/blog/2015/11/9/bite-me

It is very overstated and the entire chapter is wrapped around the mistaken idea that almost all apples from seed are not worth growing for anything but cider. That was the message. He mistakenly picked up that idea and ran with it. his point was that almost all the apples from seed sucked and were good for only cider and it was only by sheer numbers that new varieties happened. He may not have understood at the time either just how many apples sprung from that chaos of seeding planting. It wasn't just seedlings planted to grow as seedlings, but seedlings were used as rootstocks then and often ended up overgrowing the top, or the top might die. Many good apples have also always come from hedgerows. I know people that hunt hedgerows for worthwhile apples The 1 in 1000's thing derives from the commercial breeding paradigm where the number of criteria an apple has to meet has become very high, so very few apples make the grade. As home growers we don't have so many criteria to meet.

Regarding an experiment, we can do the same experiment in small numbers. I know people with various numbers of seedling trees. All we need is for them to report what percentage are worth growing and eating. All results from anyone growing a number of seedlings has been pretty encouraging. It's a gamble for sure, but it's not the dismal odds we are often told.

Pollan is an intellectual and academic. He decided to write about something he didn't know anything about and ended up building a case on a fundamental error. That isn't that surprising given the prevalence of the misunderstood 1 in thousands thing, but it's unfortunate, because millions of people read that and they frequently cite him to make the case that it's a waste of time to grow apples from seed.

0
JessicaR233
JessicaR233

Reply 2 years ago

I have pics uploaded today on Facebook in my handi-woman photo album of my new lil seedlings. I'm such a proud seedling parent! Everything online leaned towards the impossibility of it & waste in efforts trying. With no experience & constant Internet discouragement I grew babies in the fridge. They really REALLY wanted 2 become trees lil buggers grew huge in the refrigerator & r taking off in soil less than 24hrs after planting :-)

0
Growingisfun
Growingisfun

Reply 4 years ago

I live in Calgary , Alberta I have 2 seedlings which if they come back this spring will have survived 3 winters 1 is putting on growth 1 which mostly dies back each year (both with protection) 2 more on their 2 winter , and 2 more on their first winter. Fun experiment.

0
kofford
kofford

3 years ago

I'm just wondering so when Johnny Appleseed started planting apple seeds across this Country I'm guessing he just planted it and left it. So how come a seed from a Macintosh wont make Macintosh apples or Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Ida Reds and so forth? Also I don't really understand the need for graphing. Why not just let Mother Nature do what she does best? Also by doing all this "complicated" things to the tree as it grows does it mean the scientists and the "lets see what this will do people" have ruined the natural evolution of the apple tree?

0
DIY Hacks and How Tos
DIY Hacks and How Tos

Reply 3 years ago

Apple saplings exhibit a trait known as extreme heterozygosity. This basically means that when you plant an apple tree from a seed, it most likely will look and taste very different from the parent tree. And most apple tree varieties taste terrible. When you find an apple tree that actually tastes good you have won the lottery. Johnny Apple seed grew apple trees from seed. But those were primarily for making cider.

0
hacknbuild
hacknbuild

Reply 4 months ago

I grew up in an area where there were many old farmhouses with apple trees scattered about on the property. We had a few such trees on our property. My dad called these wild apples. He grew up there, and I assume by wild he meant they were no specific variety. My grandfather was a hog farmer and I wouldn't be surprised if those trees were planted for feeding the pigs.

From my experience, many of these trees had tasty apples. Out of all the trees, there was maybe one that I wouldn't eat the apples from - that tree was a bit of a hike from the house so it's possible that the apples were actually good and I hadn't picked them when they were ripe. I've heard the statistic that maybe 20% of seedings would be ones you wouldn't want to eat.

0
Repfood
Repfood

Question 1 year ago on Step 3

Is it better to start the seeds pointy end up, or with the pointy end down? I can never remember, but it seems to me like the root should come straight out and go down into the soil directly. Or is it better to start the seeds with the pointy end up? Do tell.

0
normfarris4
normfarris4

Answer 5 months ago

Point should be down.

0
jh973722
jh973722

Question 5 months ago on Step 1

I just simply bought an apple, dried the seeds for 30 minutes in the sun on the windowsill and planted them. I have no idea what I'm doing but 5 out of 6 has grown into lovely little trees about 4 inches tall. I have repotted them into something more suitable and seem to be doing well. What do i do now?

0
RebeccaR145
RebeccaR145

Tip 11 months ago on Introduction

I started my tree from a seed out of are organic seed and it is 3year I think haven’t bloomed

0
New2gardening
New2gardening

1 year ago

Hi, I’m growing 100 apple trees from seed. They are about 3-4 inches tall. However, they are all turning brown and yellow. Please help!