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!!
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.
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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