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Fruit Trees from Seed  RSS feed

 
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I remember reading an article years ago, about growing apples in Ecuador. They were grown at a suitable elevation, so it was not a tropical environment. But neither was there any real seasonal changes. So they were stripping the leaves off the trees to simulate winter dormancy. I wonder if you know anything about this experiment, Robert? I think maybe they did some other things as well, but I can't remember all the details.
 
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David L. Green wrote:I remember reading an article years ago, about growing apples in Ecuador. They were grown at a suitable elevation, so it was not a tropical environment. But neither was there any real seasonal changes. So they were stripping the leaves off the trees to simulate winter dormancy. I wonder if you know anything about this experiment, Robert? I think maybe they did some other things as well, but I can't remember all the details.



Hmmm... don't know about that experiment, but would not be surprised if it were true. There is at least one variety of apple grown here at higher elevations. Don't know the name, but flavor and crunchiness is pretty good. Not sure how they work the chilling and 'summer' temp req's. Maybe this variety is adapted to the local conditions pretty well.

Living here in the Andes in Ecuador is really trippy from the permie POV. So many dramatically different microclimates all over the place here at 1600m elevation. Just a few days ago went up to around 3000m elevation to have a look around. Nearly perpetual drizzly rain with dwarf trees (I think they call them 'elfin' trees), and a crazy assortment of mosses, lichens, tiny oddball plants that look like sponges with beautiful little red berries on them. Also some sort of micro frog or cricket, with hundreds of them happily chirping away, looking for the love of their life. Dropped down to about 2600m into virgin forest that was stunning and vibrant. Yet just below that, thousands of hectares stripped for cows and pine tree monoculture. Gets me a little worked up, and thinking about secret vigilante operations...
 
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I'm so glad to see this thread! I am growing some lemon trees, a few avocado, and maybe ginger...onions and potatoes, just from setting the seeds, or leftover pieces, in good soil...but I just set aside apple seeds from apples from my local farm, and then googled directions that said to cool the seeds in damp peat in the fridge from November to Jan or so! Really? I guess I knew about apples needing a chill time, but these apples were so good, made good applesauce! Any hope? Thank you! ♡b
 
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beth Cromwell wrote:[...] then googled directions that said to cool the seeds in damp peat in the fridge from November to Jan or so! Really? [...] Any hope?



The Internet is full of rumors and myths that get repeated so often that they seem like the truth. I don't know if this is one of those cases, but if it were me, I'd go ahead and plant some seeds now, and chill some seeds for a while before planting, and see what happens... If it works, you are a growing season ahead on getting your own varieties of apple trees.
 
steward
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My source for apple seeds states that they require between 60-90 days cold treatment, depending on variety. As Joseph says, I would try some now, but plan on doing a cold treatment for next spring for the bulk of them.

 
pollinator
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i am growing many types of fruit trees, vines and nut trees from seed. i have been working on this for the last 4-5 years, so thats the age of some of the oldest seed grown trees that i have, getting very close now to start to see what will come of them.
my landmates have been at it considerably longer, and so we have a number of mature fruit trees here that were grown from seed. theres several seed grown cherries, and seed grown plums here that are very excellent =)

the thing with grocery store fruit is you just dont know if it was isolated or not. not being isolated is a whole different issue though, and if you like to experiment i say its worth it to try. i do plant grocery store seeds myself all the time, but its the best if you can get them from the tree, or from a person with a tree growing them in isolation, or with good genetics around to share pollen with.

with apples, that are already very genetically variable, the practice of pollinating the apples with crabapples is reported to be a common one. if this is as common as reported i dont know. one thing i dont like about this discussion, in general not here now...but just in general...when discussing fruit from seeds, people always want to bring in apples, which is the worst one as far as not being reliable from seed. the implication being other fruit will be as unreliable as apples, and that is not the case. except for the antanovka apple, i recently started some seeds that i manage to get of this rare "true to type" apple, give me 4-8 years and i will tell you what my little sprouts grow up to be =)

in my research these are the ones that are better bets from seed, and the ones that arent

good bets from seed --
stone fruit = peaches, plums, apricots, cherries, although cherries are the exception in that group due to that self fertile thing discussed earlier.
citrus, theres only a few types that dont produce true to type, or very close to type, depending on isolation
species grapes (not hybrids)
loquats
many of the unusual, or tropical, not messed with types that are rarely seen in market

not as good bet--

pear
apple
many nuts, unless you arent as concerned with nut size
olives, i have read many times it is hard to get a good olive from seed grown trees
fig


even though i put all those in the not as good category, i am trying most of these anyway. its pretty tricky to get olive seeds, and then even trickier to get them to sprout, but i have one very young olive i am trying, a couple of figs i am trying from seed, some pears and some golden apples that i got inspired to try. i am also growing out many nuts i have started. i suppose i have a high tolerance for potential failure...if it works great,excellent, if it doesnt - o well.

another thing is that "true to type" does not necessarily equate with good, and not being true to type doesnt mean bad. it will just mean reliable and the same, or rather very similar...where if its not true to type you are playing the genetic lottery. with not isolated trees, its the same, could be great, could be so so, theres a random element.

i am ok with random, and surprise. especially with personal taste, some people may even like the changes better. theres no real universal line on whats "good" or "bad"...so people have different preferences too...most of the time i suppose if something is small people think thats not as good...why you see so much oversized fruit in the stores....but to me it seems rather irrelevant.

and yet another thing to bring up is that seed grown trees are quite different than grafted nursery stock, not only because of the genetic lottery, not being isolated, or having variations. but the trees will be most likely much taller (no dwarfing rootstock) thornier (citrus from seed is thorny) and much stronger/resilient/hardier (IMO and experience anyway). these are things commercial farmers will not want, at least being extremely tall or thorny, as well they often take longer than a cloned or grafted variety on rootstock. i am more ok with this, more so than someone whos doing it commercially...
 
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Here is another thread I started on this subject. http://permies.com/t/51489/trees/List-tree-species-grow-true
 
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I'll keep sub'd up to this thread Ave maybe someday I'll contribute a good answer comment or suggestion, maybe I'll just watch...
 
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In my climate any peach pit that is thrown out has a good chance on growing into a tree, so most of the peach trees on my property are self-sown, some even being 2nd generation self-sown. Practically all of the self-sown peaches are smaller than the cultivars, most being around apricot size. Some of them have had problems, with all of the fruit splitting along the crease, being highly susceptible to brown rot, or dropping off while still green, so were removed. But most produce decent fruit, and I have one that blooms much later than the others and will set a crop on years with late frosts that kill out the fruit on the other peach trees.
 
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Anybody have any experience with pomegranite tree growing from seed? i have a property in greece and i would like to start a pomegranite tree form seed.
 
pollinator
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Liela
Here in Anjou there are whole orchards where about 1 in three trees in a wall of trees ( that's what they call the latest intensive technique here ) is topped by grafting on a crab apple .

David
 
pollinator
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I wonder why they use crab apple? It seems like they'd use a useful variety for a pollinator.
 
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They say crabapple produces a lot of pollen. I agree with you, though.
 
John Polk
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Ken W Wilson wrote:I wonder why they use crab apple? It seems like they'd use a useful variety for a pollinator.


Crab apples are in flower much longer than regular apples.  Therefore, if the main crop species comes into blossom extra early, or late, the crab apple would still be a viable pollinator.  Also, crabs usually have many more blossoms.  More than enough to pollinate several regular apples.  Using regular apples, you would need a roughly 50:50 mix, and still not be assured of good pollination.

Also, if multiple varieties are grown, any quirk in the weather could keep them from pollinating each other.  The crab apple solves this problem.  Crab apples also have their commercial value.  Not as high as table apples, but enough to warrant it as a 'insurance policy'.

Crab apples provide the bulk of apple cider, as well as pectin for preserving other fruits.
Worse case scenario: fatten up the hogs.

 
David Livingston
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I dont think they harvest the' crab apple ( I have never seen them ) they are too high for the machines .
 
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One problem with produce from the grocery store is that the mother tree was likely pollinated with a tree chosen for its pollination abilities rather than the quality of its fruit. For example, I believe the Golden Hornet crab apple is used for pollination among large blocks of known eating cultivar. Since one parent lacks the traits that make a good eating apple the chances of the offspring a significantly decreased. To use an analogy, a couple has a much better chance of producing a child tall enough to play in the NBA if the mother is 6'8" and the father is 7'2" than a couple where the mother is 6'8" and the father is 5'6"."

that only holds true if you plant the seed of that tree. Being pollinated by the crab apple has nothing to do with the fruit on the pollinated tree.
 
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My seedling peach trees fruited within two years. And I have seen and tasted multiple wonderful citrus from seed.

Check these out:

http://www.thesurvivalgardener.com/growing-fruit-trees-from-seed-worth-proof/


I've also eaten seed-grown pomegranates. Great!

And as others have said, if you don't like what you get - cut back and graft it. There is no loss.
 
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That's another good point about growing from seed. Different fruiting times.

I can regularly get supplies to sprout from seed. Just got my first cherries up and going after cold stratifying them for 2_3 months. Citron and avocado also regularly germinate. Dragon fruit I haven't quite gotten to grow, but germinated in my jacket pocket. Almond also worked with cold stratification. Kiwiguava/fujoa also readily germinated. Haven't had much luck with much else yet. I get stuff from all over depending on price, flavor, other things that are personal preferences, and whether or not I have it. I'm okay buying a common variety I and my friends don't have, though I prefer non-grafted because then I know the entire plant is strong and good flavored (not just 50%).

I've also adopted a nursery bucket. It's starter soil and I just shove the ready to germinate seeds in it. It spends a few days in the bedroom (the warm place), when things start germinating it goes to the window. When all that was planning on getting up does, I transplant them and repeat the process. The soil is loose enough that little root damage occurs when transplanting and I waste very little soil. The only problem is knowing what is what, but then again, I won't really know what is what until I taste it, then it could be I just grew kindling.
 
David Livingston
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Nuts well Walnuts to be exact we have over ten trees here at La Ravardière , mummy tree age 50 plus ) produced about ten boxes each box about 5kg the babies each averaging about 15 to 20 years old produced 2 boxes between them . They are much smaller nuts with a thicker harder shell  , The babies were planted by the previous gardener ( mr  squirrel  )
David
 
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I'm very interested in this topic for a few reasons, but one being that I want plants that are not grafted.  Plants on their own rootstocks, for various reasons.  I think another option is cuttings.  I was surprised to learn, but many more plants can be started from cuttings than we think.  A friend of mine has experimented with a lot of fruit trees, and some standard orchard types grew.  I don't remember which, though!

Others are designed for it, like citrus.  I came upon this video on how to start a citrus tree from a cutting very easily by sticking it in a potato, with cinnamon on the tip of the cutting, and honey to seal the hole.

 
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Robert Sniadach wrote:Here in a semi-arid sub-tropical area of Ecuador, citrus of all kinds (but esp madarins) and avocados grow everywhere. Most of the locals have been planting and re-planting their huertas (small orchards around the house) for probably centuries. Literally everyone grows a lot of their own food, including abundant citrus and avos. As you might imagine, genetic drift, spontaneous mutations, newly introduced varieties and whatnot have all played their part to offer a crazy diversity of citrus and avos. As far as I can tell, all the old-timers just plant avo seeds as they want, and inevitably the result is good, or at least decent. You can find all sorts of variations at the market. There are lots of subtle variations of mandarins/tangerines, all grown from seed, up until about 20 years ago, when new grafted varieties began showing up. We've got several small orchards on our property, and there must be 20 different types of mandarins growing on very old trees, all from seed, and all of them ripening at slightly different times.



Ecuador is approved to send citrus seeds into the US, all ports. As long as you keep the number 12 or less, and declare it, it requires no further inspection. Just throwing that out there for y'all.
 
pollinator
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I need more trees.
We have an abundance of avocados and mangoes. The parent trees were planted by the "grands".  My observations are that the mangoes are smaller, uglier, but much sweeter than the parent. I prefer the taste of the second generation mangoes, although size and appearance probably make them less marketable.  Avocadoes seem to be a mixed bag. Some are great, some produce a watery, flavorless fruit.  Fifty-fifty.  

Are there any recommendations for tropical fruits from seed?  There are so few choices here, apart from mangoes and avos.  I wanted to try starting seeds from fruits at the market, or from some imported pits.  Red plums are on the market, and a pear of unknown variety. They grow macadamia nuts on the coast, but I haven't been able to get raw nuts or seedlings.  There are apples, but I think they might be imported.  Oranges are sour here, but edible.  And there are extremely seedy lemons.  I would love to experiment with some other stuff, that doesn't need cold dormancy... Any ideas?  Would almonds grow here? Peaches? Olives?
 
Amit Enventres
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Maureen,

I find tropical seed like starting warm and moist from the time you pull them out of the fruit to when they grow. Some wild oranges are sour, and some on purpose for juice. Supposedly I read tangerines are more true to seed so those might work better if you are looking for fresh eating quality. Check out kiwi guava aka fujoa. Those germinated easy for me. Also dragon fruit to climb your less productive trees. Citron are also true, but good for zesting and flavoring.
 
David Livingston
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Sour oranges are grown in Spain mostly for export to the UK for making marmalade so they have a value
Also dried limes are used in Persian cooking and are a source of seeds if you want to try limes .
As for growing stuff in Kenya have you thought of Cashew nuts ? Coffee?  Carob ? Dates ? Chocolate ? Cinnamon ? Bananas ? Star fruit ?  Grapes ? Tea ?  Just some ideas

David
 
Maureen Atsali
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Thanks!
I forgot to mention there is an abundance of pink guava that grows wild and is almost invasive.  I hardly ever get to taste a fruit though because the local kids strip the trees and eat the fruit while it is still green. Now I have to go google dragon fruit because I don't know it (at least not in English). I am going to try this idea that was mentioned here and start a nursery bucket.
 
J J DuBay
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Maureen Atsali wrote:I need more trees.
We have an abundance of avocados and mangoes. The parent trees were planted by the "grands".  My observations are that the mangoes are smaller, uglier, but much sweeter than the parent. I prefer the taste of the second generation mangoes, although size and appearance probably make them less marketable.  Avocadoes seem to be a mixed bag. Some are great, some produce a watery, flavorless fruit.  Fifty-fifty.  

Are there any recommendations for tropical fruits from seed?  There are so few choices here, apart from mangoes and avos.  I wanted to try starting seeds from fruits at the market, or from some imported pits.  Red plums are on the market, and a pear of unknown variety. They grow macadamia nuts on the coast, but I haven't been able to get raw nuts or seedlings.  There are apples, but I think they might be imported.  Oranges are sour here, but edible.  And there are extremely seedy lemons.  I would love to experiment with some other stuff, that doesn't need cold dormancy... Any ideas?  Would almonds grow here? Peaches? Olives?



What about black or white sapote, goji berry, carambola (star fruit), pawpaw, custard apple, loquats, lychee, logan, monsteria deliciosa, pomegranate, sapodilla, jujubee, peanut butter tree, etc.

Plant a miracle berry bush and it won't matter your oranges are sour, just eat a miracle berry first.
 
Maureen Atsali
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JJ, while I think most of the fruits you listed could grow here - for whatever reason they just aren't.  (Except the loquat, I believe that is what they call lisibibi here, and I bought a couple seedlings for that.). Biodiversity just isn't here. Maybe near Nairobi, but not way out here.  I'll have to look into importing seeds if I want more diversity.

And now I have to google miracle berry bush.  I learn something new every day.

I looked up dragon fruit.  Definitely never seen that here.
 
J J DuBay
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Maureen Atsali wrote:JJ, while I think most of the fruits you listed could grow here - for whatever reason they just aren't.  (Except the loquat, I believe that is what they call lisibibi here, and I bought a couple seedlings for that.). Biodiversity just isn't here. Maybe near Nairobi, but not way out here.  I'll have to look into importing seeds if I want more diversity.

And now I have to google miracle berry bush.  I learn something new every day.

I looked up dragon fruit.  Definitely never seen that here.



I'm from florida, nearly all of that can be grown here, too. It just isn't. It's been hard trying to find fruits to try. Do you guys have something akin to craigslist there? There aren't any big businesses selling these types of trees, but a google search has turned up a few names that are in your country. I'm not sure of your location and what the geography is like, but you could try to contact these people, perhaps.

http://www.nation.co.ke/business/seedsofgold/Makueni-fruit-farmer-custard-apples/2301238-3254176-n9fau2z/index.html

https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/article/2000106577/venture-in-rare-jackfruit-turns-farmer-s-fortunes-around

And apparently there's an Agricultural show in Mombasa every year. Perhaps you could have luck with that.

The only thing that's a real challenge is that you often can't get shipped and dried tropical fruit seeds to grow because there's no need for dormancy in tropical trees. Most need to be planted within a day or two of being outside the fruit.
 
Maureen Atsali
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David, we do have lots of bananas. I never mentioned them because they aren't really a tee and have no seeds.

Tea is grown as close as kakamega, but I am not really interested in starting a tea plantation. A couple bushes for fun and personal consumption might be nice!

Some things mentioned - Like cashews and macademias are only grown on the coast.  Does that mean they can't be adapted to grow in western Kenya, or that nobody has tried?  Hmm.

Jackfruit - my husband says it can be found in nurseries, so I do plan to add it... For fun and diversity.  I find the fruit kind of repulsive.  Like biting into a perfume bottle.

Thank you for posting the Kenyan links. That newspaper publication "seeds of gold" usually has a classified section, which I try to scan weekly (when I remember to buy a paper). Sometimes there are listings for unusual fruits, but mostly its the 'usual' mangoes and avos.

Point well taken that shipping seeds might not work.  Bummer.  

Thanks everyone for the feedback about tropical trees, so much appreciated.
 
J J DuBay
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Maureen Atsali wrote:David, we do have lots of bananas. I never mentioned them because they aren't really a tee and have no seeds.

Tea is grown as close as kakamega, but I am not really interested in starting a tea plantation. A couple bushes for fun and personal consumption might be nice!

Some things mentioned - Like cashews and macademias are only grown on the coast.  Does that mean they can't be adapted to grow in western Kenya, or that nobody has tried?  Hmm.

Jackfruit - my husband says it can be found in nurseries, so I do plan to add it... For fun and diversity.  I find the fruit kind of repulsive.  Like biting into a perfume bottle.

Thank you for posting the Kenyan links. That newspaper publication "seeds of gold" usually has a classified section, which I try to scan weekly (when I remember to buy a paper). Sometimes there are listings for unusual fruits, but mostly its the 'usual' mangoes and avos.

Point well taken that shipping seeds might not work.  Bummer.  

Thanks everyone for the feedback about tropical trees, so much appreciated.



I feel about mangos the way you feel about Jackfruit, lol. Have you tried it prepared as a meat alternative? I feel like that's the only way to truly have it. You BBQ it, and put it in a taco or something. The seeds can also be boiled and roasted, so that might be a good nut alternative if you can't grow them.

Additionally, apparently your Agri research center is working on Lychee, so that should be an option soon: http://blog.worldagroforestry.org/index.php/2013/04/24/litchi-a-new-yet-old-fruit-tree-for-kenya/
 
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:
Growing fruit trees from seed is indeed a long term investment since it will be a minimum of 7 years from sprouting to first fruiting and more likely 10 years to a decent harvest quantity.




Hi, I am new to this forum.

I just wanted to point out that some fruit tree species are really fast to set fruit... I grow 90 species or so, some of them could fruit in 1 and 1/2 year (arazá do campo, psidium guineense) or 2 years like the tamarillo (solanum betaceum)... some guavas (psidium guajava) does it at 2 years old too, and psidium cattleianum, and some eugenias... I grow mainly myrtaceae.


 
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We have many old, abandoned farm sites around here.  There are also many wild apple trees growing by the side of the road. These trees grow well, fruit regularly.  They get no water besides what falls from the sky, no pruning...these puppies are on their own. Our annual rainfall is 17 inches. In the last few years I've noted where they are and have gone back when the fruit was ripe to taste the fruit.  I only found 1 tree that was truly awful and I found at least 3 that I plan to propagate. 1 of those trees had outstanding fruit.  These trees are tough, they are growing on their own roots so they are well adapted to low watering levels, our winters can get to 20 below and still they grow.  I'll graft some, I'll plant some from seed and I'm going to take cuttings too.  Mother Nature has already spoken on the viability of these trees in harsh conditions. I'll try her picks.
 
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I am an amateur at raising trees from seeds.  But I did try it twenty-five years ago, not knowing if I'd have any success.  I live in Washington, Pacific Northwest, Zone 7, at 1200 feet elevation.  We get lots of rain in winter and spring, but little precipitation in the summer months.

I planted several walnuts (in the shell) and got one walnut tree which now produces a few walnuts each year--chipmunks get them before I do.  

I planted many cherry pits and they have all produced (near as I can tell, according to the "store-bought" variety I started with).  Takes about 8-10 years and a tall ladder.

I've also transplanted many fir and pine and cedar seedlings and most have thrived. Those trees tend to self-seed in my front yard.

I've tried peach pits and apricot pits, but did not have any success.  I finally bought an apricot tree (two actually) and one has survived and is now bearing a few fruits on an every-other-year basis.  Could be my elevation...still plenty cold when it blossoms.

I've planted any number of pear seeds and have had success with ONLY two trees (every-other-year bearers) for my many attempts.  Only half of my four "store-bought" pear trees have survived, so it could also be my particular climate.

I've had several successes with varying varieties of plums.  I'm the only one in my family who eats them, so I won't be planting more, though "volunteers" arise every year.

One acorn (from upstate New York) that I planted yielded a young three-foot-tall oak which (unfortunately) later got burned in a grass fire--not sure if it would have grown to maturity as they aren't native to my area.

With apple trees from seed I have been "semi-" successful.  I would never say "all they are good for is firewood."  I have two Red Delicious trees from seed, but the fruits tend to be smaller than store-bought apples unless I vigorously thin them early in the season.  Another yummy apple tree from seed bore early and heavily, but the weight of the apples caused the main trunk to split and it has taken about 9 years for it to recover...unfortunately, it is now slowly uprooting itself (I suspect there's no taproot).  Another apple tree from seed bears delicious fruit; it's my favorite, but I have no clue what variety I started with.  Still other apples-from-seed turned out to be either a crabapple (glorious tree covered with blooms, and bees, every spring...prettiest tree around and it has one nice grafted branch from my "favorite" tree), OR "other" apple trees that the bugs and worms simply LOVE.  I figure the bugs gotta live too, so I leave them for "Mother Nature".  I don't spray, never have, never will.  I prune (somewhat regularly) to allow sunlight into the crowns.  I confess that I did buy one three-way apple tree (from a big-box store), but one of the varieties "took off" so that is what it primarily supplies (and I lost the tags, so I don't know/remember what they are).

I've also planted filbert nuts, but they tend to die back a lot and only the chipmunks have benefited from the trees (they're actually more like bushes--again, it could be because of my microclimate).

None of my trees are/were watered after their first year...I figured if they were meant to survive, they would because they're in the right location.

I'll also add: all my "early" tree seedlings (45-50) were started in gallon milk jugs (my five kids ensured I had a steady supply of milk jugs)...I just scissored off the top half opposite the handle--the handle being left on was handy for grabbing several containers at a time.  After a couple of years, though, the plastic tends to break down because of exposure to sunlight; but I haven't found anything cheaper that supplies a goodly soil volume for young seedlings.  Probably, my transplanting these seedlings after a couple of years  affects their taproot.

Like I said, I have limited experience, but planting from seeds does work, even for apples.  You just need a VERY long time-frame to see your successes.  I've used about half an acre for all my tree-from-seed plantings (they're generally about twenty feet apart).  I've recently started "planting" tree trimmings in a spot in my garden in the hopes of increasing my apple and apricot yields--time will tell if that works out.  I use my apple tree produce (anywhere from 200-600 pounds/year) primarily for making applesauce--no sugar needed.  I just core, slice, and cook 'em for about an hour and run them (skin and all) through a ricer.  The ones with bugs/worms in them are food for the local deer and the apple cores go into the garden for "composting-in-place".  The pears and cherries we eat fresh as they come into their own.

As for problems: mice girdling young trees is a problem if the snow persists too long.  Did have a problem with a porcupine eating the skins off the apples while on the tree and that heavy bugger broke smaller branches as well.  Porky also girdled a pair of cherry trees just beginning to produce.  I found the porky in my wood pile and dispatched it...later my dog ran off its mate and that event cost me $165 to get all the quills removed at the vet.  No "special" problems with critters, except deer sometimes rub their antlers and partially debark trees.
 
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Elizabeth Basden wrote:I once  worked with a woman who had a bounty of oranges from a 10 year old tree. One family picnic, grandpa ate his store-bought orange, scooped some dirt into a styrofoam cup, put the seed in. Ten years later the tree was higher than the garage and produced more oranges than the family could ever eat. She brought baskets of oranges for quite a while. They tasted great. In my experience, it works.



Someone planted a random lemon seed at our club in Los Angeles, which promptly took over the courtyard. The thing was like a weed; it got hacked back hard every couple years just to get it out of the way (it grew branches that were more like heavy whips 10 feet long, rather than normal branches), and still there were more lemons than we could carry off (~100 people once a week, so you can imagine how many lemons), and it had them most of the year. They were good lemons, but a little odd, big and round and a different flavor (not like Meyers either) -- I always wondered if one parent of our tree might have been a grapefruit.
 
Rez Zircon
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So having found my seed stash from where it wandered to after the Great Migration...

I've got some seeds (pits) from my wonderful desert apricot. It was self-fertile (only fruit tree for miles around) and was bearing by 3 or 4 years old. The seeds are now several years old but feel "heavy", so I can hope that they're still good. Any thoughts on how to best encourage 'em?

Also found seeds from my pomegranate! they're about twice the size of seeds from storebought fruit. Stuck a couple in pots, so we'll see.
 
Amit Enventres
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Hi Rez! That apricot sounds awesome! It's a prunus, so in lacking better guidance, I'd try getting a mix similar to the soil the parent grew in, but sterile and giving it a go at approximately 70 degrees, maybe 75. General rule fir seeds is plant it 2x as deep as the seed is big. You might try soaking them over night if they are a little dry. This can sometimes kick-start germination. The reason I say "sterile" is because certain diseases like taking out seedlings and if you only have a few seeds that might be weak to start, you are going to want to avoid that. The disease can sometimes be managed by watering just right, but your talking a desert plant, which might be more prone to rot. One more thing: if the climate they grew in had a dormant winter, you might need to cold stratify them before they will germinate. As for my experience (so you know the quality of advice you are getting here), I have grown a few prunus fruit from store-bought seed. I cold-stratified them for a month or more in the fridge and then planted it them in a typical seed starting mix. Many die, but with the pit seed, I find that typical. Partly because I'm neglectful and partly because I don't get excellent quality seed: I get pits or nuts from grocery stores. Good luck!
 
Rez Zircon
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Had no luck with either just stuck in pots. I think I may just try in the ground and see if natural winter helps. I have about a hundred apricot pits, so not too worried about the odd sacrifice. After harvesting the pits spent several years in the freezer (in the desert you learn not to leave seeds out -- if they don't desiccate to death, something will bore into and eat them)... may try cracking a few and see if being freed of their rather sturdy shell lets them get going (it certainly helps to peel old flower seeds). The parent tree would have liked to get more water than it did, so I doubt its children will complain about eastern Montana being too wet.

 
Amit Enventres
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Yeah, getting just the nut out sounds like a good idea. Since they've say in the freezer and I know when I've ordered saved tree seeds they suggested this: try a soak. The most I've soaked was like two weeks, and it worked! Also I just want to make sure we are clear on this: cold stratification is when the seed has been thoroughly moistened and then put in the fridge for the "winter", vs. just stored dry in the cold. Good luck!
 
Rez Zircon
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Thanks for the reminder -- yeah, just being deep-frozen alone isn't real useful  The shell is so strong on these, it would probably take a good two weeks of soaking for the first drop of moisture to soak through! tho might make them easier to crack without damaging the seed.

Some advice I've seen about apple seeds: plant immediately. They aren't real good at surviving being dried out. Same with citrus.

 
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