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Propogating Quality Fruit Trees From SEED.

 
Brandon Karhu
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I want to grow tree's from seed and do the no prune method. Just keep it very simple. I am aware that a seed from a fruit will not make the same tasting fruit. This deters some people, but i actually want to make my own types of fruit trees. I Think it would be really cool. Does anyone have experience with something like this? How do i get started? Should i just go around and collect a shit ton of seeds?
 
Cris Bessette
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Pros:

Free trees, as many as you want or can handle.
Chance of obtaining a new variety that is desirable.
Some trees in some situations are better grown from seed.
Ability to grow trees that might otherwise be unobtainable.


Cons:

much longer to get to fruiting age.
Chance of obtaining a more or less useless variety or worse than parent plant.
Some trees do better if grafted


Thats some pros/cons I thought of, having said that, I've grown 50-60 trees from seed- citrus varieties, American persimmon, cypress,etc.




 
Judith Browning
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I grow Cherokee peach (or Blood peach) from seed. My two oldest trees had a wonderful crop this year. They are true to type and I have heard that most peaches are. I have several of those at different ages and two other kinds...a yellow and a white peach that grow here locally that should fruit this year also grown from pits that I planted. I plant the fresh pit in a pot and leave it outdoors over the winter...usually they will sprout early spring. I transplant to a bigger pot and plant out the next winter or sometimes later. I sometimes plant the pit where I want the tree but then the deer here eat it or I forget where I planted it.
 
Jordan Lowery
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From my experience

Peach from seed is good, all of the ones I've grown and seedlings I've found in the wild.

Pears are iffy, seems to me you get a real good one or a crappy one no middle

Almond from seed is good

Apple is ok, Lots of variation but not as much as people say

Nuts grow well from seed but take a while to produce

Cherry grow good from seed

Berries do well

Really I find a lot of the talk is regurgitation of what other people say. It's like sepp holzer says you never know until you try it.
 
Brandon Karhu
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Thanks for for the reply's. This is the sort of information i am seeking. Much appreciated!
 
Brandon Karhu
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The cool thing is I'm 20 years old, so i have a while to mess around with stuff like this.
 
S Bengi
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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Instead of waiting 10 years to have enough money to buy live trees it makes more sense to grow from seed and in 5-10 yrs cut down the ones that are not good enough.
You could also plant 1/2 seed and 1/2 live trees that way you would be guaranteed at least 50% good harvest and instead of waiting te years you would only have to wait 3 years to harvest.
Plus alot of named cultivar is only good for 13yrs.
Alot of names cultivars are not even bred for sweetness or nutrition but instead for color(red) and for toughness (handling and shipping)
 
Rick Larson
Posts: 210
Location: Manitowoc WI USA Zone 5
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Brandon Karhu wrote:The cool thing is I'm 20 years old, so i have a while to mess around with stuff like this.


Plant 100 seeds a year all your life! Wow.
 
leila hamaya
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yeah totally, just go for it !

i'm into this idea too, though i am just getting started with it, so my experience is limited as far as results.
but i have been reading about this and starting a bunch of different trees from seed, or at least trying =)

i really believe that it is incorrect to say you arent likely to get good seed from fruit and that you have to buy named cultivars and nursery stock.
commercial fruit production uses all sorts of odd ways, and hybrids, grafting....so its like thats the issue- these methods -not that you cant get good fruit from seeds. maybe i am wrong, but i am sticking with this idea for now until it proves itself right or wrong, cause it seems right to me.

if you know something is an "heirloom" or closer to the wild original type, it will likely make good fruit (imo).

its only certain varieties- cherry and apple are two that they say you wont get very good fruit from random seeds. apples mostly because they use crabapple in commercial growing as a pollinator.
supposedly red delicious, and golden delicious are old school heirloom types, or ones that might be better for starting, but unfortunately if they come from a large commercial grower they might be crossed with something undesirable. but if you can get some apples that grew in someones backyard with a couple of good varieties, seems chances are better it will be something good.

other commercial grocery store fruit seems more likely to be from hybrids/ grafted and then less likely to make great fruit, especially the common stuff cause its been messed with for so long.
or at least this is the logic, but i really sense that even with some hybrids, its easier and more possible than i hear people repeat.

i look them up one by one when i am wanting to try to start the seeds. but get some conflicting reports, and mostly people are stuck to the you cant get good fruit from seedlings theory, which i dont think is true.

a lot of the "weird" stuff, fruit that isnt as commonly commercially produced, has viable good seed that will produce.

also the stone fruits, peaches, nectarines, apricots, some (most?) plums, berries of course, a lot of tropical fruits, lemon and other citrus - these will produce something very similar to the parent= "true to type". theres probably more, but thats what i know about that has a better chance of getting good fruit, even people who subscribe to the idea that fruit seedlings dont make great fruit, say these are a better bet.

especially citrus, its highly likely to be able to produce good fruit very similar to the fruit you ate. theres some orange types and a few other cultivars that isnt true for (cultivars that have been bred and messed with, grafted), but most citrus will be good from any citrus fruit. even if it came from a grafted tree(??)
however they say that they grow extremely tall (doesnt sounds bad to me) and get more thorny, as well as take a long time to produce fruit.

i have a lot of young yellow guava, papaya, passionflower and passionfruit (pushing my climate a bit with these)
wild grapes and cultivated grapes, plum, cherry and other stuff that i am just now starting, and
lemons from our lemon tree started from seed.
with these i discovered citrus likes to be soaked IMMEDIATELY after being taken from the fruit, never dried out at all.
i did that and now have 30 or so young lemon trees. =)

except for the grapes and passionflowers, i got these all from out of fruit itself, which to me seems way better- fruit seeds dont store well.
i also think adding a little of the fruit pulp, as in not cleaning the seed off that well straight from the fruit and just right away planting it (or in fridge), helps. i think the seedlings like the sugars from their own pulp (my random opinion/intuition).

i've purchased a lot of seeds for different fruit trees and havent gotten a lot of them germinate, but i keep trying.
well i have gotten a few to start, but like only a couple of a whole packet or something.
just about anything where i had the fruit itself and started immediately worked out way better.
and i ve got a bunch that are wintering now, either outside or in my friends fridge, so hoping for the best with those.

got a good feeling about the ones i just ordered, some date plum =) mulberry , and a lot of other stuff, excited!
we will see if i can get some of those going. plus whenever i eat a good fruit i tend to save the seeds...but sometimes i forget to start them quick.
but over all i have had less success starting fruit seeds from seed companies, and really excellent success starting the seeds right from the fruit. the papaya and guava came from some fruit my friend in hawaii sent me, so nice and fresh =) they sprouted quickly but are generally easier to sprout than other fruit.

it can take a LONG time to get fruit to sprout, and most need significant cold time in fridge or outside.
well thats my 4 cents =)
best of luck
 
John Polk
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My attitude towards fruit trees is variable.

If you have a small yard, you may not want to waste space/time on trees that won't produce for you.
Can you afford to wait 4-5 years to find out? And then start over again?

With ample land, it is entirely different. So what if you don't like the fruit?
The hogs and chickens will gladly feed on them. Free food/treats.
Most cider is made from apples considered inedible for humans.

At the very least, 'bad' fruits make 'good' compost, or worm feed.
If/When you decide to chop them down, many fruit trees are highly desirable for smoking meats.
Their good hardwood will provide more BTUs than will conifers.

I don't think there is such a thing as a 'useless tree', but with limited time/space you need to be more selective.
 
Brandon Karhu
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I am very eager although not impatient, and as for land use. I have access to acres. I will try to start getting seeds from tree's grown locally, and germinating them. Does anyone have links to resources on how to do this correctly?
 
Cris Bessette
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Jordan Lowery wrote:

Really I find a lot of the talk is regurgitation of what other people say. It's like sepp holzer says you never know until you try it.




great point. There is not much to loose especially in this case- growing trees from seed.
 
leila hamaya
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Brandon Karhu wrote:I am very eager although not impatient, and as for land use. I have access to acres. I will try to start getting seeds from tree's grown locally, and germinating them. Does anyone have links to resources on how to do this correctly?


yeah theres lots of ways to get seeds, and lots of ways to start them. i've been into seed trading, and got a lot of good stuff that way. i sometimes gather seeds and cuttings from wild plants too, or local plants that others are growing, its a good way.

its a pretty huge topic, cause different plants are different. so you need to figure out the best ways with each plant.
correctly would probably depend on who you ask, theres a lot of ways to do this correctly, the ways that work.
some people have complicated methods that they swear by, others just throw the seeds in a pot. both of these can work out.
i've never made seedballs, but i think its a great idea.

by default, planting seed in a prepared area in the garden and watering,
or planting some seeds shallow in some starting medium in a pot and watering it- works, the simple way. at least for a lot of veggies and such.

but then theres some some seeds that like warmth, some that need cold, some that have to be germinated with light.
so you gotta figure out which ones like what and figure it out as you go along.
for germinating with light you can start the seed on a plate covered with saran wrap in water.
i usually soak seeds for a while before planting them and use a little hydrogen peroxide.

theres also the plastic baggie method, with a wet paper towel wrapping the seeds and then put it in the baggie to sprout.
stuff that needs to be chilled can be started in a plastic baggie in a fridge, or outside if its cold enough.
if you experiment you should find a way that works for you.

some common mistakes- too deeply planted seed, not knowing a seed needs light to germinate, too wet - moist is better than soggy, and too hot. people think that all seeds like to be hot, and true for many seeds warmth is good. other seeds need cool temps and baby seedlings often prefer cooler rather than hot. but then you have pepper who love it to be super hot.

most seeds and seedlings like warm but not hot, some like cool. fruit and trees often like extended cold periods, cold stratification.

here something from my book marks, theres lots of references online.

http://www.backyardgardener.com/tm.html

i like that this one says which ones need light.
since i figured that out, how to start those better and which specific ones, i can get certain kinds of seeds to start that i couldnt get going before.

 
leila hamaya
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oooo and this site is good one.

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/exseed/

theres tons of info and seed swaps.
sometimes people offer free seeds, if you post something like *young gardener wants seeds* you will probably get some generous traders to get you started.
for a self addressed stamped envelope, a SASE, some of those folks will send you seeds. or get some seeds gathered and then list what you have to trade and swap.

theres other online swap places too...thats one i have done a lot of seed trading on and gotten some excellent stuff.
 
Matt Smith
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Location: Central Ohio, Zone 6A - High water table, heavy clay.
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I'm into this somewhat but I don't mess with pears. Peaches grow so well from seed it's almost silly not to. Had kind of a mixed bag with apples in terms of results, but even crap apple (crapple?) trees are good for cider/wood/fodder, so I figure if you've got the land, it's worth it.

My understanding is that pear trees grown from seed have an extremely long, thorny and frustrating "juvenile" period before they bear fruit.

Supposedly that's where the phrase "plant pears for your heirs" comes from, cause you're likely not going to live long enough to enjoy them.

A logical midway point is to grow rootstock from seed and then graft cultivated scion wood onto them. I'm on a scion exchange email list where people swap them for free, and there's loads of quality-fruit bearing trees you can find that could always use a little "tactical winter pruning" if you get my drift. Nicking scion wood from found trees is still experimental enough to be fun but you'll likely get better results with less tries than going off seeds. I've got eyes on a whole bunch of choice neglected apples in abandoned yards and parks around here and I'd be trying that this coming year if the damn rabbits hadn't completely decimated every rootstock in my stooling bed.

 
Dave Miller
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11 years ago I planted seeds from apples from the store that were very tasty. I don't remember what they were. The seeds produced three trees, all of which were browsed by deer. One tree never really recovered from the browsing (it never got more than 2' tall). Another was also pretty stunted and prone to disease, although in the last 2 years it has put out lots of disease-free growth so I am going to keep an eye on it. The third tree recovered from browsing right away and took off. I moved it to the edge of the yard and it continued to flourish. About 5 years ago it produced its first apples, which were surprisingly good. Last year it produced about 50 apples, nearly all of them were really good. See this thread on the Home Orchard Society forum: http://www.homeorchardsociety.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=5392

So if you have the space and time, I think it is definitely worth growing trees from seed. As others have said, if it turns out to be a dud, 15 minutes with a chainsaw and it is gone.

Here are some of the apples:


Here is the tree, with my daughter. I named the variety after her ("Miss Jessamine").
 
Guarren cito
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Brandon, Instead of cutting down the saplings that don't fruit you can graft "scion wood" (very cheap) onto the saplings or I think you can also take cuttings from a tree that you know produces good fruit and graft it onto your saplings.

I found this from sepp holzer's book. His technique is to use the mushy left overs from cider making as his seed supply. He says the fermentation helps to germinate the seed. That makes sense to me because in nature the animal's stomach ferments the seed before depositing it with natural fertilizer. Anyways, He says he just takes this slushy, fermented left over cider junk and throws it where he wants trees. He says that because the tree spent it's whole life in that place it doesnt have any shock from transplant.

Good luck and enjoy!
 
richard valley
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Location: Sierra Nevada mountain valley CA, & Nevada high desert
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Last year I moved trees, grown form seed, from the mountain ranch to a ranch in the high desert. The trees grew in one season more than in all the years in the mountains, because of the longer season and warmer clime.
Any tree you grow from seed can be used as root stock, if you decide, for sooner or different fruit, grafting is fun and opens new horizons of enjoyment. Trees love it, trees I have known personally have told me so. I regret not bring back a particular fruit seed, from Asia minor, that cannot be had here.

Plant all you can, you won't be sorry, unless you put off doing it.

I have trees in an upstairs window, destine for the lower ranch. We planted lots of fruit trees last year, not nearly enough apple trees yet.
 
Brandon Karhu
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Dave, your comment really inspired me. It's great to see apples from the tree you grew from seed. I put a bunch of apple seeds inside a mason jar between moss. It's in my refrigerator to re create the overwintering so i can germinate them. I am going to also try peaches from seed, I just need to start buying organic peaches from the store or something.

I was at work one day doing landscaping and a apple tree was hanging over the fence from the wetland behind the customers house. Lucky for me the apples where ripe and worthless to the home owner. About half of the harvest fell onto the grass and started to rot away. I filled up my huge hiking backpack with the rest, I probably got 100 apples. I made the best apple sauce I've ever eaten. The next day at work my boss cut the tree down!!! I was devastated! I looked at the wood and the stump. It appeared to be grown from seed, no graft union. This was one of the reasons i wanted to start growing trees from seed, but anyways... After the day's work i went behind the fence with a couple shovel fulls of sandy soil and buried the stump about 1 ft. deep. I going to go back in a couple weeks and collect the root stocks, if they are ready.
 
Brandon Karhu
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Your daughter is very pretty by the way.
 
Jason Pitzer
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Judith Browning if you are on here still do you know where I can get some of the Blood Peach seeds or would you have any to share?
 
Judith Browning
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Jason Pitzer wrote:Judith Browning if you are on here still do you know where I can get some of the Blood Peach seeds or would you have any to share?


Hi, Jason.....here is my thread about these peaches http://www.permies.com/t/23607/trees/Propagating-Blood-cling-Peaches This year the trees barely had peaches at all and I just planted any pits here on our land.
The year before though was a huge crop and I was able to share seed, although I am not sure how well they germinated......anyway I didn't have any seed to spare this year although if you look through that thread there was at least one other person with seed and I think it was a free stonerather than cling blood peach...I got a few seeds from them and am hoping to see them pop up this spring.
Good luck.......
 
Lance Kleckner
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Location: West Iowa
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I've done it a lot with peach seedlings, individual plants die so fast, i'm glad the fruit is good tasting by growing seedling plants, so I can have a lot more trees than I otherwise would have just with the bought grafted cultivars.
 
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