A couple of things have me scratching my head concerning this subject.
First, my niece told me her class ate apples, put the seeds in a plastic bag with a few drops of water, taped them to a window and they sprouted.
Next, I bit into an unripened Granny Smith apple the other day and sat it aside. Several days later when a nice brown slime covered it, I fed the apple to the worms and kept the seeds. One seed in particular looked as if it were already sprouting so I stuck it in some dirt and took it outside. It opened and the first leaves were growing but it suddenly stopped. I was surprised it had gotten as far as it had. Maybe I should have kept my hands off!
So, someone with more experience with apples and sprouting than me, please explain why these apple seeds in both instances did not require stratification to sprout?
We've been finding a lot of sprouting seeds in store-bought apples recently. It seems likely that they've been refrigerated at some point in their journey from last season's harvest and our breakfast table today. This would constitute stratification, no?
“Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one.”
I agree with Michael - I've found apples with seeds that had already sprouted inside the apple, and I believe it's due to the refrigeration.
At the local grocery store here, the apples are kept on an open-air table, so if they are chilled during delivery and then sit at room temperature in the store, that sounds like the right conditions for germination minus the growing medium.
It's never too late to start gardening, and even the smallest project is worthwhile.
I have 400 varieties that every year collect seed from. The seed is put into tiny zip locks bare and put in a larger zip lock with damp towel. All labeled of ourselves as to the known mama(no known male yet). 2-3 months stratification is recommended. Sowing begins February. 4"pot with get upwards of 30 seeds ¼" deep. In 1-2 weeks they are up, 90%. This year I sowed 60 varieties. The male pollen will be some tree down the row as bees tend to fly along that way. After about 2 months I up-pot to a deep band pot, gallon or 2 gallon size. Chicken Manure applied. If you want to get fruit earlier than the typical 5-7 years than graft from these attaching scion to mini-dwarf rootstock like p2,m27 or p22. This should get fruit the 2nd or 3rd year. Every apple seed is a new variety!
I sell my grafted apple trees-all kinds. Gil Schieber, Skipley Farm