• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Dave Burton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Ash Jackson
  • Kate Downham

How to make fruit trees grown from seed bear faster?

 
Posts: 39
Location: Murrieta, CA, Zone 9b/10a
2
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Most sources say that seed grown fruit trees take longer to bear. Is there any way to make them bear faster?
 
gardener
Posts: 1943
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
736
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here's a list of a few things I'm trying and experimenting with. These are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

1) pulling the limbs down to or below horizontal supposedly encourages fruit bud formation

2) limiting high nitrogen mulch or nutrients since high nitrogen may encourage vigorous shoots instead of fruiting

3) creating nutrient rich and nutrient diverse soil needed for healthy fruit formation

4) planting in soil that is high in organic matter and also well draining which can maximize the health of the tree and help it grow quicker and healthier overall and as a result be of a size big enough to hold a good crop of fruit sooner

I have a one year old peach tree that grew to over 6 feet in its first year. I'm hoping it produces fruit next year by year 3, which should be pretty comparable to a purchased tree.

One advantage of a fruit tree from seed that gives them a little advantage over purchased transplanted trees, is that there is no root disturbance or transplant shock, so the tree can grow faster starting off, if it is in an ideal location.

Here's a link to a thread of weekly video updates of my food forest that will hopefully show weekly updates of my peach tree grown from seed and hopefully lots of new peach seedlings sprouting soon this year!

https://permies.com/t/135072/Weekly-Food-Forest-Tours-create#1059173

 
pollinator
Posts: 775
165
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One of the interesting things that Dr Dan Carlson noticed in the research that lead to the creation of the sonic bloom system was that it seemed to induce fruiting earlier. Basically, the system is a sort of bird song sound code played at dawn and accompanied by a foliar spray that was primarily seaweed and clay based.

The obvious answer though is to plant seeds from fruit trees that produced fruit quickly :)
 
pollinator
Posts: 3113
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
316
forest garden solar
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Graft a named cultivar to half of the tree that way you can get a harvest now, while you wait for the seedling to bear.

You could choose parent materials, that are dwarf and early fruiting. It will not guarantee early bearing but it increases the odds.
 
gardener
Posts: 3054
Location: Central Texas zone 8a
708
cattle chicken bee sheep
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My plan is a hybrid. Plant trees, then start planting seeds. In my climate a seed would likely not survive the summers. Planting after trees are planted may give shading to help it survive. The soil will also be better from mulching, cover crops, and other stuff done for the planted trees.  Over the generations the seeded trees should take over and outlive the planted trees. It's a good compromise.

On steves peach tree, i saw a video from David the Good where a seeded peach tree produced fruit on the third year.
 
pollinator
Posts: 335
Location: New Zealand
17
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My main experience with fruit trees from seed has been with peaches. They pretty reliably fruit in their 3rd year. I've also planted quite a few dozen chestnuts over several years. So far just one has fruited/nutted and it did it 18mths from planting the seed! I have some plum and apricot seedlings that are 2-3 years old but none have fruited yet.
The peaches have been smaller than the parent fruit but they're good flavour and freestone so easy to use for bottling/canning.
 
pollinator
Posts: 467
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
127
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Sue Rine wrote:My main experience with fruit trees from seed has been with peaches. They pretty reliably fruit in their 3rd year. I've also planted quite a few dozen chestnuts over several years. So far just one has fruited/nutted and it did it 18mths from planting the seed! I have some plum and apricot seedlings that are 2-3 years old but none have fruited yet.
The peaches have been smaller than the parent fruit but they're good flavour and freestone so easy to use for bottling/canning.




Yeah, I'm sure some will be OK to start from seed. As a matter of fact, I've planted mulberries from seeds and they are starting to fruit. 4 of the 26 started last year and they have regular fruit.. Perhaps it is because mulberries don't have an ancestry of having their genes combined and re-combined. My experience is with apples. Not so good.
Which zone are you in? Here, I'm in zone 4, so perhaps "reliance" or "contender" might make it?
 
Posts: 13
Location: Sukhbaatar,Selenge, Mongolia
3
forest garden trees greening the desert
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have grown lots of stone fruit trees (plums, chums, bush cherries, peaches and apricots)  from seed and they typically will start blooming in the 3rd year. Apples on the other hand are slower. The only one that has bloomed before 5 years is the Siberian crabapple.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 467
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
127
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Robert Baerg wrote:I have grown lots of stone fruit trees (plums, chums, bush cherries, peaches and apricots)  from seed and they typically will start blooming in the 3rd year. Apples on the other hand are slower. The only one that has bloomed before 5 years is the Siberian crabapple.



That is interesting: So apples are the odd one out, then? Do you think it is because they produce pips? We have wild cherries here, and they do multiply like weeds. I've never checked how quickly they start producing, but ... faster than apples, and these, yes, they do reproduce true to seed, perhaps because their genes have not been altered by hybridization? Some of these cherries are pretty good and we make jellies and jams out of them.
I'm presently keeping some plum stones in my refrigerator and I'd like to plant them in the forest come spring.
One thing is would stone fruit bear true to seed if they were bought at a supermarket?
We are looking at 2 things that may explain what's happening: One is hybridization and the other is being a stone fruit... Interesting. The mulberries are not a stone fruit, and they do reproduce true to seed. The ones I got seeds for were in a yard, so, I don't know if they were hybrids.
Thanks for your post
 
Robert Baerg
Posts: 13
Location: Sukhbaatar,Selenge, Mongolia
3
forest garden trees greening the desert
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Genetics are an amazing thing. I took 6 seeds from a yellow Russian plum and germinated them. After 3 years one of trees started producing dark red plums. upon closer observation of all 6 of the trees it was quite clear that all of them had unique feature: tree form, branching structure, leaf size and shape, blooming time, flower structure (single vs clusters on a bud). Upon returning to the mother tree location I observed that there were several sandcherry bushes within pollination range of the yellow plum. So it now appears that I have 6 different varieties of CHUM (cherry/plum cross). All of them have reached blooming stage although only one has set fruit. I currently have about 30 varieties of Chum and plum and I have 19 sandcherry bushes in my yard that are pollinating my plums. I am collecting all the seed from the fruit and am planting them on our project land. My goal is to develop indigenized fruit that will like to live where we are. So if you have sandcherries anywhere near your plums you will get hybridization and new varieties from the seeds. I am having a lot of fun with this, spring is always a bit like Christmas, where you don't know what will come up.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 467
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
127
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Robert Baerg wrote:Genetics are an amazing thing. I took 6 seeds from a yellow Russian plum and germinated them. After 3 years one of trees started producing dark red plums. upon closer observation of all 6 of the trees it was quite clear that all of them had unique feature: tree form, branching structure, leaf size and shape, blooming time, flower structure (single vs clusters on a bud). Upon returning to the mother tree location I observed that there were several sandcherry bushes within pollination range of the yellow plum. So it now appears that I have 6 different varieties of CHUM (cherry/plum cross). All of them have reached blooming stage although only one has set fruit. I currently have about 30 varieties of Chum and plum and I have 19 sandcherry bushes in my yard that are pollinating my plums. I am collecting all the seed from the fruit and am planting them on our project land. My goal is to develop indigenized fruit that will like to live where we are. So if you have sandcherries anywhere near your plums you will get hybridization and new varieties from the seeds. I am having a lot of fun with this, spring is always a bit like Christmas, where you don't know what will come up.



That is fascinating I knew that cherries and plums shared the genus "prunus" but I looked it up when you added the sand cherries. I always thought of them a different: Bush, with a different looking leaf... Maybe that is why I have a type of sour cherry that is actually quite sweet: I have Nanking cherries and sand cherries within 80 ft.. I do not recall that cherry being there until after I planted sand cherries here. I may well have a wild "prunus avium": The cherry is small but nearly black and juicy and the leaves match the picture: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_avium#Cultivation_and_uses
Since they share the same genus, it stands to reason that crosses happen more easily. I wonder if that follows through for grafts? The wild cherries we have here definitively are hardy. If I could use a hardy scion of some other cherry, I might really have something there! Have a look at the Wiki:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus
 
Robert Baerg
Posts: 13
Location: Sukhbaatar,Selenge, Mongolia
3
forest garden trees greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes the Prunus genus is quite fluid. Nankings and sandcherries will cross with plums and with each other. There are dark Nanking varieties. Research out of the Univ of Saskatchewan found that the Salicina, native North American plums and the cherry-plums hybrids do better on their own roots. So growing these from seed makes a lot of sense. Nature will naturally take out the weak genetics. If you do want to clonally reproduce certain varieties you can graft them onto sandcherry seedlings as a "nurse rootstock". Once it is clear the graft has taken the seedling is planted so that the graft is below ground and roots will begin to develop above the graft.
 
Posts: 787
23
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
it usually takes three years or more if planting 1 year old seedlings, and many recommend picking off all the fruit on the first year of a tree fruiting to ensure vigorous tree growth. this has been my experience anyway.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 467
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
127
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

bruce Fine wrote:it usually takes three years or more if planting 1 year old seedlings, and many recommend picking off all the fruit on the first year of a tree fruiting to ensure vigorous tree growth. this has been my experience anyway.



That is with drupes only, I suppose. [You are not talking apples and pears, right?]
 
Posts: 11
Location: South Ala 30' Latitude zone 8b
4
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have 2 persian lime trees that that grew from a seed. One had two limes last summer, the other has not bloomed yet. These trees a 3 or 4 years old now. the fertile one is in a pot and is loaded with blooms, the other in the ground and no flowers yet. Both are 3-4 feet tall. Maybe limes are easy to bear. My brother has a grapefruit tree from seed and it took over 20 years to bear. I really don't know anyway to make the bear early and it is supposed to be a very stressful thing on young plants.
DSCN2889.JPG
[Thumbnail for DSCN2889.JPG]
DSCN2892.JPG
[Thumbnail for DSCN2892.JPG]
 
pollinator
Posts: 321
114
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I vaguely-halfway recall something about how, if you take a scion from a young tree and graft it onto one that's old enough to bear fruit, the branch that grows from that scion will bear fruit within 1-2 years.

I can't find anything to confirm or deny that.

If it works, it might provide a way to taste-test the fruit of a seed-grown tree a little earlier, which will let you decide if it's worth letting it grow the rest of the way, or if you want to remove and replace it with something else. If you're breeding new varieties, that could be very handy.

Can anyone tell me if I'm remembering that factoid wrong?
 
pollinator
Posts: 1445
Location: northern northern california
207
forest garden foraging trees fiber arts building medical herbs
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Ellendra Nauriel wrote:I vaguely-halfway recall something about how, if you take a scion from a young tree and graft it onto one that's old enough to bear fruit, the branch that grows from that scion will bear fruit within 1-2 years.

I can't find anything to confirm or deny that.

If it works, it might provide a way to taste-test the fruit of a seed-grown tree a little earlier, which will let you decide if it's worth letting it grow the rest of the way, or if you want to remove and replace it with something else. If you're breeding new varieties, that could be very handy.

Can anyone tell me if I'm remembering that factoid wrong?



yeah that sounds right to me too, i have read that too. it's the age and development of the roots that matters.

in regards to the OP, the main thing is the soil and nutrients, and as stated above. ^^ by other posters... FPJ and other foliar sprays, and starting in excellent soil of course makes it grow faster and better.
 
Sue Rine
pollinator
Posts: 335
Location: New Zealand
17
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I thought grafting went the other way. ie you take scion wood from a tree that is already bearing and graft in onto a rootstock. That wood that is grafted on is already "programmed" for bearing fruit. That's why grafted plants will bear early.
 
Robert Baerg
Posts: 13
Location: Sukhbaatar,Selenge, Mongolia
3
forest garden trees greening the desert
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Sue Rine wrote:I thought grafting went the other way. ie you take scion wood from a tree that is already bearing and graft in onto a rootstock. That wood that is grafted on is already "programmed" for bearing fruit. That's why grafted plants will bear early.



This is correct. I grafted mature Chum hybrids onto a 1 year old sandcherry rootstock and they started blooming the following year. I have now also grafted buds from 2 year old seed grown plums onto 1 year old sandcherry rootstocks to see if in fact they will also bloom earlier.
 
Posts: 2
1
forest garden trees urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you're not a afraid of going medieval on your trees, you could try bark inversion or looping. Both techniques induce earlier fruiting, dwarf the tree, and are supposed to make the fruit somewhat sweeter.

https://books.google.com/books?id=cuEDAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA318&dq=popular%20mechanics%20budding%20%20apple&pg=PA113#v=onepage&q&f=true

A step-by-step guide on bark inversion:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/FruitTribe/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2092314641089142
 
Sue Rine
pollinator
Posts: 335
Location: New Zealand
17
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That's brilliant!
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 467
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
127
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Allen Ayers wrote:If you're not a afraid of going medieval on your trees, you could try bark inversion or looping. Both techniques induce earlier fruiting, dwarf the tree, and are supposed to make the fruit somewhat sweeter.

https://books.google.com/books?id=cuEDAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA318&dq=popular%20mechanics%20budding%20%20apple&pg=PA113#v=onepage&q&f=true

A step-by-step guide on bark inversion:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/FruitTribe/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2092314641089142




I had no idea you could do that. I have many wild cherry trees but they give a fruit that is small, even though it is sweet. It is still not a *sweet cherry*, like a lapin, but it is sweet enough to pass. Also, they grow too large to be picked easily. At slip bark time, I'll try a few and see how that works. The stone is tiny. There just is not a lot of flesh around it. This bark looping trick is the best thing I have heard of if I can make it work. They never die even though our winters can be pretty harsh. The flowering time would not be altered either, so win-win!
 
A tiny monkey bit me and I got tiny ads:
Greenhouse of the Future ebook - now free for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/greenhouse
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic