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apple root stock from seed

 
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Hello, I'm kind of new to tree propagation. I have a really beautiful old apple tree I'd like to graft to root stock to sell on our farm stand and elsewhere.
I understand that I can order various kinds of apple tree root stock to graph to, but I'm wondering If anybody knows a source for disease resistant semi dwarf root stock seed.
Is root stock often grown from seed? Or is it usually cloned from a tree with a known good root stock?
I want seed, because I figure it's cheaper to grow lots of trees for root stock from seed than it would be to order the stock that is already grown out.
Any thoughts?
Thanks in advance!
 
gardener
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Location: Western Washington
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Usually it's cloned.


You might consider taking seeds from it or a hardy, local apple and grafting those. The result will be a standard sized tree, but it will be more resilient and drought tolerant,  though it will take longer to bear. You can also order antonovka seeds and graft onto them or even sell the seedling as is. Antonovka breeds true. Etsy might have seeds.
 
patrick mort
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James Landreth wrote:Usually it's cloned.


You might consider taking seeds from it or a hardy, local apple and grafting those. The result will be a standard sized tree, but it will be more resilient and drought tolerant,  though it will take longer to bear. You can also order antonovka seeds and graft onto them or even sell the seedling as is. Antonovka breeds true. Etsy might have seeds.




Interesting! Thank you.
If you graft a cutting from an old apple tree onto young root stock, do you know if the clone would regain its youthful vigor? This tree is massive and old. We think it might be as old as the house which was built in 1925.
I'm worried that if we clone it the new plants won't live as long as a young tree.
 
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Location: SW PA USA zone 6a altitude 1188ft
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There is  an apple rootstock that can be grown from seed. It's called Antonovka. I have seed I bought and am having trouble getting to sprout.
Another possibility is to buy a rootstock and Stool it to reproduce it.
Fedco sells Antonovka, but is out of it. Cummins Nursery still has rootstocks for sale on the web. Probably because their store was closed? But if they sell that one I can't find it.
Antonovka is a rootstock from Russia and will produce a near full size tree. Another apple that can be grown from seed and reproduce accurately is Fameuse. That one is not used as a rootstock, maybe because it's an edible apple.
 
James Landreth
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patrick mort wrote:

James Landreth wrote:Usually it's cloned.


You might consider taking seeds from it or a hardy, local apple and grafting those. The result will be a standard sized tree, but it will be more resilient and drought tolerant,  though it will take longer to bear. You can also order antonovka seeds and graft onto them or even sell the seedling as is. Antonovka breeds true. Etsy might have seeds.




Interesting! Thank you.
If you graft a cutting from an old apple tree onto young root stock, do you know if the clone would regain its youthful vigor? This tree is massive and old. We think it might be as old as the house which was built in 1925.
I'm worried that if we clone it the new plants won't live as long as a young tree.




It will be youthful again, yes. No worries there. I once got some gnarly looking apple cuttings to root and the new growth is vigorous
 
pollinator
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For more reliable semi-dwarfing, you can try double grafting with a dwarf interstem.  Basically graft the dwarf onto any full size rootstock you like, even a random seedling or crabapple.  Graft a dwarf like M27 or Bud 9 (if your grow a few of these common rootstocks, you can just take cuttings for the interstem that are 6" or so long)
Then graft your tree on top of that interstem.  It's a lot more work, but should be reliable to semi-dwarf it..
 
Mother Tree
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In Portugal it seems that apples are usually cloned onto quince, which is much more drought tolerant and with a very strong root system than apple.
 
James Landreth
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I know that around here we graft pears and medlar onto quince rootstock for that reason.  And it yields a manageable semi dwarf that way!
 
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