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Can you grow apple trees from seed?

Can apple trees be grown from seed?


Planting the seed of a fruit tree may result in fruit that is quite different from the fruit of the parent tree. Peaches often resemble the parent enough so that the differences might not be objectionable, even though ripening dates and other characteristics might be different. Apples, however, have more chromosomes, and the new tree will probably be quite different from the parent.

This isn't all bad, of course. If you have time, space, and a sense of adventure, it's worth a try. (Johnny Appleseed did it, and reportedly provided fruit for hundreds of settlers who followed him.) You might come up with something terrific. If not, you'll have cheap apple trees for wildlife food.

However, it's also quite simple to grow an apple tree that will produce fruit just like that you already know and enjoy.

Start in late summer by planting any apple seeds 1-2 inches deep in fertile soil. They'll germinate and grow the following spring.

By fall, the new trees will be large enough to graft. By using a bud from an old tree with fruit of a known quality, the new tree will produce apples that will be identical.

Whichever method you choose, it's easy and fun to grow trees from seed, and for the frugal homesteader, filling fencerows and empty odd spots with fruit trees at no cost is an added bonus.
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Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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