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Planting fruit trees from seeds and the results

 
Ken W Wilson
Posts: 339
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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What kinds of fruit trees have you planted from seeds and how did it go?

I have some Red Haven peach pits I want to plant. I read on a MI university site that early maturing peach pits don't germinate well. It didn't say why. Does anyone know? I haven't noticed that any have come up under the tree, but maybe the tree pruduces some chemical that prevents that?

I have some plum pits that were supposed to be green gage. They don't have a lot of flavor, but I haven't had a great crop yet. I would only plant them if I thought they wouldn't be exactly the same as the parent unless they turn out better in a good year. Maybe good rootstock? These germinate in the wood chips unde the tree but can't grow because of the plastic mulch under that.

Do Montmorency cherry seeds produce a similar tree? I hope so because they are great. I think I can find some prestratified seeds under the tree. They haven't been coming up under the tree either.

What kinds of apples have you tried? Did they turn out similar to the parent tree? I have some seeds from a tasty but unknown variety.
 
D. Klaer
Posts: 44
Location: Queensland Australia
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My climate is a bit different to yours so sorry I can't help with your question but so far here (in case others find the thread).

Avocado - Reed seedling. Big tree that looks and fruits like Reed.
- Hass seedlings. Yet to flower but growing fine
Mango - Kensington Pride which has polyembryonic seeds and so is a clone.
Macadamia - Growing well, yet to flower
Jakfruit - Growing well, yet to flower
Yellow sapote - Growing well, yet to flower
Black sapote - Growing well, yet to flower
Papaya - Good but they are done this way standard.
 
Sue Rine
pollinator
Posts: 285
Location: New Zealand
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I'm just starting with this. Last Winter, July 2015, I planted out about a dozen peach trees that I had germinated in root trainers and then potted on for a year. They took months to germinate and I had let the root trainers get weedy because I thought nothing was happening and it was only when I was about to throw them out that I discovered that some had germinated. Encouraged by this, last Summer, Feb 2015, I planted more seeds in root trainers. A few were from peach pits from the seedsavers group but most were just from peach, nectarine and plums from the super market. As of now, Dec 2015, about 6 have germinated so I'm hopeful that more will follow.
The dozen trees I planted out have all survived and are growing well. Two have access to extra water but the rest have been mulched around and get by on rainwater. They're just going into their first Summer after planting out so it will be interesting to see how they go.
 
Ken W Wilson
Posts: 339
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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D, mostly I like it that we have winter here, but I'm jealous of that list. I haven't even tasted Jakfruit or Sapote.

Sue, it sounds like you're off a great start!
 
John Elliott
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I've always had good luck sprouting citrus trees from seed, but due to their variable heredity, you have to realize that sometimes you get a winner, and sometimes you get a loser. I tried sprouting lemon trees when I was a child, and had one that turned out strong and prolific, but the odd, warty fruits were quite a bit on the bitter side -- like Schwepp's Bitter Lemon, without even having the quinine in it. After 15 years, it was big as a house, but since the fruits were borderline inedible, we ended up cutting it down. Another tree I sprouted at the same time turned out to have nice, tasty lemons, and it is producing to this day.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1969
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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I've had some good success with peaches. My favorite was a tree, I am not making this up, that had both white and yellow peaches on it.
 
Kirsten Simmons
Posts: 32
Location: Atlanta, GA
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I can't speak to cherries, peaches or plums, but I've been researching apples lately and since they mostly require a pollinator you're not guaranteed to get anything like the parent fruit. It's the equivalent of sexual reproduction in humans - sometimes the kid looks like the parents, and sometimes you wonder whether there's been a hospital mix up.

From a genetic diversity standpoint, this is great, and we need people to plant apple seeds to hedge our bets against monolithic agriculture and the red 'delicious'. Apparently at one point in the US there were over 14,000 varieties of apple, helped along by Johnny Appleseed (who planted actual seeds, not grafts on rootstock). That said, for the permie who's working with a small space, planting a seed and waiting 5 years to find out that it's a dud really sucks. To guarantee eating quality, I'd suggest learning how to graft and creating your own custom tree with as many fruit varieties as you want.
 
paul ogel
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There is a way for people to start own root apple trees. I live in a clay soil in zone 3 WI. I have taken a bear root grafted apple tree like you buy, and planted it sideways in a trench so i could cover the roots and the truck. The limbs were twisted so they were in the dirt with only the small twigs sticking out the soil about 1 ft. You need some part of the last seasons growth in the soil. Sometimes a rock or some turned over sod is needed in the soil and standing upright. Maybe some kind of mulch like wood chips would keep the weeds down. A shady moist area would help rooting. Next spring check for twigs that have grown a root and cut the twig below the root and plant as soon as the frost in the soil does not stop you. You may need two years if the rooting has not started the first year. Compacting the soil around the twigs might help also. You now have a variety on its own root. That root maybe slow to gain vigor. Winter trimming the top might help. Planting deeper and keeping the top very straight will help. Some varieties have poor root systems that allow the tree to tip. Some will grow very strong roots as that is there character to due so. Now any one can start a new tree from your own root tree from a root off your own root tree. You need a small root pencil size and up to about a foot long. A root from the main trunk and from as high up as you can find one helps. Store that root in a bag with plenty of dirt about 50 degrees for about 4 to 12 weeks or until it starts to grow a shoot. I store the root horizontal and keep the ground almost dry but not damp. I do not allow direct sunshine but indirect light on the root end sticking out of dirt some.Keep the bag sealed with a air space in it. Prevent dehydration and fungus. Plant out when sprouts start growing stems not roots. Plant upright if possible, keep watered and light shade, mulched, prevent weed competition. Any sprouted stems from the own root system can be started after frost is out of the ground, even if the sprout comes off the large roots without roots of its own. Cut the sprout stem as close to the main root as you can get, plant it about 9 inches deep keep cool and shaded and well watered most will then grow roots and grow strongly. THIS MAY NOT WORK IN ALL REGIONS OR MAY NEED TWEEKING.
 
Rebecca Norman
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We have lots of apples, apricots and pears from seeds, and they're almost all pretty good. We've got about 40 seedling apricots that have already started producing fruit. They are not as sweet as the named varieties that are grafted, and they don't have sweet edible seeds like those varieties, but they're very healthy and hardy and some are very productive. Most are decent eating, and very very flavorful for jam. Only two are kind of horrible eating and we're trying to graft onto them with the excellent varieties.

Apples we only have three trees producing fruit so far, and one is so good that I suspect it's a grafted one, but I don't remember us bringing grafted apples, so maybe we were just lucky with seedlings. The other two are perfectly good eating fresh, and we've got so many people that we don't have to store them. All three are very productive in their good years but are on (separate) alternate bearing habits.
 
Marilyn Paris
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Location: Hillsdale County, Michigan
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We've been eating peaches for three years planted from pits six years ago. These are Elberta peaches and the taste of the peaches is identical to the parent tree. Delicious! Encouraged by this I have planted 58 peach pits from the same trees this fall directly where I want them to grow on my two acre plot set aside for a food forest. I only moved to this 10 acre farm one year ago and am having a blast buying tree and shrub seeds and figuring out where everything should go. My refrigerator is full of seeds in cold moist stratification.

I read here on permies.com that a lot of the stone fruits will come true. So I am planting lots of cherries, apricots, and plums. I will know more about those in five years.

I heard Paul say that we have an 80% chance of apple trees grown from seed will be good, or good enough to keep, even though very unlikely the apples produced will be exactly like the mother tree. I have plans to plant hundreds of apple trees but am quickly running out of room on my 10 acres. I have a friend with 15 acres down the road from me and she is not sure what she will do with it. All she knows is that she doesn't want to look at a corn field. I am glad she decided not to rent is out to the local farmers. Enter Marilyn's suggestions. I told her of all the extra tree seedlings I expect to have and you know what she said? I can plant any and all extra trees at her place.

She has two apple trees over there that are at least 40 years old and never been sprayed for as long as she has owned the property (three years) and probably many years before that because the place was vacant for a long time. They were very tasty and made wonderful cider. I saved over a hundred seeds from the biggest most perfect apples from these trees. The beauty of it is that there isn't a crab apple tree or even another apple tree anywhere close. One would think this would up the odds of these seeds having a better than 80% chance of producing trees like the parent. Or am I misunderstanding something here?

I will know a lot more about the apples in 8 years.

For now I am pretty sure the peaches will be good. Wishing everyone the best year ever in 2016, Marilyn
 
paul ogel
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Marilyn, I would give it a try. About the worst would be you might get variation, like different ripening dates for some trees. Most apples come from hybrid crosses. But with botany there seems to be conflicting rules That seed tree probably is not too complex, because it fruits without a pollinator. I would expect a similar ripening time though with little to lots of variation in other traits, depending on the parents of you seed source tree. By all means try it. I only have experience with open pollinated trees in an area. I believe that those hybrids crosses can bring back old varieties, wild ancestry, as well as exciting new apples.
I dug up a red leafed seedling apple under a seed grown Transparent apple. The pollen parent was likely a flowering crab with pea sized apples. The result is a golf ball to tennis ball sized apple with pink flesh and almond extract flavor.
 
Heather Davis
Posts: 37
Location: Southern California
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D. Klaer wrote:

Yellow sapote - Growing well, yet to flower


How did you sprout the sapote seeds? Are yellow sapotes the same as white sapotes? I have started Loquat, Cherimoyas and Papaya from seed by wrapping them in damp paper towels and putting them in a plastic bag "greenhouse" unit they sprouted, but the white sapote seeds kept molding and not germinating. I planted 6 white sapote seeds in planters next to other plants and hope they germinate, but nothing yet and it's been about 3 weeks. I collected some Carob pods and plan on making carob powder, trying to ferment the carob since it's very sweet and also planting the seeds. Moringa is on my list as well, although I'll harvest the leaves and keep them too short to fruit.

I have figs trees that I started from cuttings and am going to try air rooting my friend's passion fruit. Next season, I want to try sprouting guavas, too. I don't have any room to grow trees, but give them away or keep them in planters. My goal is no cost gardening / food forest, although I'll buy seeds. I borrow my friend's yards and community garden plots. If I had my own land, I think I'd be willing to spend some money, but I'm having fun learning how to be resourceful!
 
D. Klaer
Posts: 44
Location: Queensland Australia
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Heather Davis wrote:
D. Klaer wrote:

Yellow sapote - Growing well, yet to flower


How did you sprout the sapote seeds? Are yellow sapotes the same as white sapotes? I have started Loquat, Cherimoyas and Papaya from seed by wrapping them in damp paper towels and putting them in a plastic bag "greenhouse" unit they sprouted, but the white sapote seeds kept molding and not germinating. I planted 6 white sapote seeds in planters next to other plants and hope they germinate, but nothing yet and it's been about 3 weeks. I collected some Carob pods and plan on making carob powder, trying to ferment the carob since it's very sweet and also planting the seeds. Moringa is on my list as well, although I'll harvest the leaves and keep them too short to fruit.

I have figs trees that I started from cuttings and am going to try air rooting my friend's passion fruit. Next season, I want to try sprouting guavas, too. I don't have any room to grow trees, but give them away or keep them in planters. My goal is no cost gardening / food forest, although I'll buy seeds. I borrow my friend's yards and community garden plots. If I had my own land, I think I'd be willing to spend some money, but I'm having fun learning how to be resourceful!


Hi Heather
Yellow sapote are different to white. I just put in pots in my nursery area outside and watered. They took a while but grew. Black sapote were the same.

I also did moringa seeds this way which you also mention. Mega easy but they take a little while to take off once they have germinated. Consider just sticking cut limbs in the ground too, works well
 
Ken W Wilson
Posts: 339
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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I planted about 20 peach pits today. Pretty sure they're Red Haven. I only need one or two trees. They've been out in the weather stratifying naturally. They seem solid and healthy.

My cherry pits seem to be empty. Not sure how that happens. The were just under the tree from some of the top branches I didn't get harvested. I'll try a few more later.
 
Heather Davis
Posts: 37
Location: Southern California
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I soaked three white sapote seeds for about a week (forgot about them) and then wrapped them in damp paper towels and the have sprouted. I'm going to plant them into pots today. I'm still going that the seeds I planted straight in the dirt will come up, too!

I heard about a moringa tree nearby so I can get a cutting to stick in the ground. I also received some seeds I had ordered online.

 
Neil Layton
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My thought on this would be that much would depend on how much land you have.

If you only have a small plot, and can look after all of it at whatever level of intensity you have the time for, I would go for tried and tested grafted varieties. This would also be where you do your controlled breeding.

If you have a larger one, what I would so (and what I'm planning to do) is divide up the plot into two. The first would be an area of relatively intense care, where you expect to get most of your food. This would also be where you do your controlled breeding. There would be another where you neglect it, planting fruit stones and seeds, surplus seedlings, those odd seeds you don't have room for and so on, and see what comes up. Maybe water it, maybe not: if you don't, you know the survivors will be the tough little plants than can survive the local climate. Some of the trees you plant won't be much good. Others may be good for grafting. A few will produce a new, local variety.
 
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