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'true-ish' to seed apple cultivars, beyond Antonovka

 
Dillon Nichols
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Location: Victoria BC
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I think many of us have heard that 'Antonovka' is quite true to seed, and is often used as a rootstock.

I've run into mentions of various other cultivars that supposedly exhibit an unusual degree of true-to-seedfulness, mostly in the context of providing good rootstock for certain conditions.



The ones I've heard of:

Antonovka; the obvious culprit, pretty easy to find online. I've got some seedlings just coming up now. Whether they're actually Antonovka is another question, time may tell...

Beautiful Arcade seedlings; apparently commonly used as rootstock in the maritimes, but I haven't spotted any seeds sources yet. http://www.appleman.ca/korchard/rootstok.htm

Borowinka, another Russian cultivar, supposedly tart but edible and often used as hardy rootstock.
For sale here and there: http://www.seedman.com/fruit.htm, https://sheffields.com/seeds-for-sale/Malus/pumila////Borowinka///877//Borowinka-Common-Apple
Fedco Seeds states that 'Duchess of Oldenberg' seeds are called Borowinka and used as rootstock: http://www.fedcoseeds.com/trees/?item=123

Fameuse, AKA Snow, mentioned here: http://skillcult.com/blog/2013/04/03/apple-breeding-part-1-everyone-knows-you-cant-do-it-right
This one at least I do not need to look far for seeds, as we've got a Snow in my parents old orchard. Too soft as an eating apple IMO, but very sweet and a nice addition to juice/applesauce. I'll save some seeds this summer.


I'm interested in hearing about other varieties with this reputation, as well as more information about any of those listed, and sources for seeds. So, what do y'all know?
 
Eric Thompson
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Location: Bothell, WA - USA
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Dolgo crab are usually considered true to seed, and it's pretty easy to get seedlings. They are even a nicely productive apple!
 
Miguel Laroche
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I just started some crimps pink AKA pink lady ? I think they are descendant of lady williams and granny smith. The crimps pink I have been eating and saved the seeds from taste in a way similar to granny smith in that they are sweet and sour. Since it has been a couple generation of sweet and sour I think the seeds might be more likely to inherit that sweet and sour taste. I direct seeded them 2 weeks ago and they are all up! 5 of them for now.

Interesting fact about crimps pink and granny smith is that the seeds are often showing tap root or even growing in the apple if you buy them at this time of the year in a grocery store (might have heard that from skillcult)

I think your best bet is to go with the newest cultivars, since they have been selected over many generations for edibility, you are more likely to endup with edible apples, this is my theory for now because I think the only reason why apple tree do not grow true to seeds is that they have not been domesticated for long enough, the breeding of apple is such a long process, hasnt been done yet. \

Anyway, I prefer they dont grow exactly true to seed, I like diversity!!
 
David Joly
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I just found a book 1914 written by Father Leopold (he was teacher in an agriculture school in Oka, Québec).

He reports results obtained by M.W.T. Macoun at an experimental farm in Ottawa about apple seedlings:

Seedlings of Snow / Fameuse:
Relatively low proportion of good seedlings from Snow, but a high proportion of McIntosh (which is a Snow seedling) seedlings were good.

Seedlings of McIntosh:
5% of these seedlings gave small apples, 15% had below average size, 80% had a marketable size.
60% had a shape similar to McIntosh.
73% had a color pattern similar to McIntosh.
95% had a flesh texture similar to McIntosh.
50% gave fruits of good quality.

Seedlings of Golden Russet:
They did not gave fruits worthy of mention. However, out of 19 seedlings, no one gave russet-color apples. They were all yellow or green apples.

Seedlings of Wealthy:
They didn't know from which cultivar come the father pollen, but their Wealthy trees were growing close to Duchess of Oldenburg trees and they suspect that Wealthy could also self-pollinate. Almost 80% of Wealthy seedlings gave fruits of average or over average size (93% were big enough to sale); only 4 % of the fruits had a below average quality, 30% had an average quality and 66% were over the average quality. A good proportion of them were similar to Wealthy.

Voilà ! Hope that helps !

David
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Most times apple trees will cross pollinate only if two varieties flower around the same time.
Some varieties are listed as "best if cross pollinated" this is referring to quantity of fruits set, not quality of seed contained in that fruit.
It does no good to plant say an Arkansas black (early bloomer) with a variety ( examples; red delicious or Fuji) which are later bloomers.
By the time the cross pollinator flowers the Arkansas Black tree is done flowering

If you want "true to tree" seeds, you will need to pollinate each bloom yourself.
This involves covering the flower buds prior to their opening so you can prevent any pollinators doing their job before you get to that tree.
Once you have gathered the pollen and applied it to the pistils you will need to recover the flowers until they shrivel, then you can remove the covers and let the fruit develop.

Most root stock trees are chosen for some sort of advantage for the scion wood.
Usually this is disease resistance or dwarfing, but can also be for tap root in high wind prone areas, or combinations of advantages.

Many of the apple varieties can actually grow on their own roots as long as you do maintenance and upkeep, this means to get more trees you can simply root a branch you are pruning anyway and develop a whole new tree.
 
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