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quick seed fertility question

 
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Hi everyone,

I have a question about autosterile trees.
I now know that an apple tree can't pollinate itself. Neither can 2 apple trees grafted from the same source.

But if I plant 2 seeds from the same apples, making 2 new apple trees. Do those 2 apple trees be able to pollinate each other?

It may be obvious to many, but I'm looking for a definite answer.
 
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If you're planting 2 seeds, even if they're from the same physical apple, you will get two very different trees.  Each seed in a tree is unique.  My experience growing from seed.  Each seed will vary from disease resistance, apple taste, skin thickness, growth speed, root depth, water tolerance/desire, and about 100 other things.  The key is each seed is different so you might get one that doesn't flower at all...then it can't pollinate anything.  However, base the assumption that you'll get two trees, each that produce fruit...yes they would be able to pollinate each other.
 
fred bleuzet
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great info! Thanks Johnathan
 
Jonathan Ward
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No problem.  4 kids that love apples so i've had loads of questions about how they work and lots of "can we plant these" questions.  I've got 3 from seed in my yard right now with about 5 more seeds that hopefully should break ground this year.
 
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Hi Fred, welcome to permies.

Plant autosterility is related to genetics. When a seed is formed, the "egg" is in the female flower and if it only allows an unrelated apple tree to pollinate it, then the pollen ("sperm" equivalent) must have come from another tree. All the seeds in a single apple will have the same "mother", but there's no guarantee that they will all have received pollen from the same "father", but since apples tend to be bee pollinated, it's likely. That said, there's a reason my spouse refers to it as a "gene splicing experiment". There are two sides (they teach about the "double helix" in biology classes and that's where it gets involved) and different seeds can get  different sides when the division is happening. So considering how long it takes an apple to grow, I would be inclined to grow more than just two seeds for two reasons: one to be *sure* that you weren't unlucky enough to get exactly "side 1 + side 1" in both seeds, and two because although permies *really* encourage people to raise plants directly from seeds, apples are known for doing what is called "not breeding true". That means that you will get an interaction of characteristics from both parent trees and the results may be an apple that tastes wonderful or not, be good for some purposes or not, be softer or harder, ripen earlier or later or any other characteristics that humans look for in domesticated plants. Having more than two trees to choose the best ones to keep with less successful ones being used for building soil, firewood, feeding animals etc, may be the best strategy if you can manage it.

The short form is - statistically, the two offspring should be capable of pollinating each other, but if you're only planting two trees from a single fruit, there is no guarantee.
 
fred bleuzet
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oh, that's the mechanism behind the autosterilty. That makes total sense.

I ate 2 good apples, I got their seeds. I have some room in the backyard, so I though about planting those dozen seeds and see what happens. Then the seeds from the same fruit question popped in my head and I got worried that doing it that way was useless.
 
Jonathan Ward
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Not sure where you live, but keep in mind apples need cold stratification to grow.
 
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It's interesting to me that some apple trees are self pollinating, like Grimes Golden, and Golden Delicious, which is thought to be descended from Grimes Golden, which also seems to show that self pollination can be passed as an inherited trait from the parent apple.

I'm planting seeds from some Golden Delicious apples to try to get their self pollinating trait into some of the offspring.

Here's a video on some of the apples I chose for planting seeds from and why I chose these specific varieties.



Happy planting and hope you get some good apple trees from your apple seeds!
 
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