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Ancient Apricot Tree Question  RSS feed

 
Cathy Alcorn
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I am a new Permies member. I searched the forums and could not find the answer to this specific issue.

Five years ago we bought property in NE KS and inherited a coulee of ancient fruit trees. One is an Asian Pear, the other a 35' tall and wide Apricot likely part of the original homestead which was patented in the 1870s. We are on the original homestead homesite. The tree though having shade tree proportions bears good, tasty fruit, sometimes a lot of fruit if late frosts don't come to do their damage. A few years ago we chilled and planted seed pits of this tree and have several young trees planted elsewhere on the property. Given that the old tree is almost 100% likely an heirloom varietal and because there are no other apricots that I'm aware of in the vicinity to cross-pollinate, will the progeny grow to be the same/very similar to our parent tree? Thanks in advance.
 
r ranson
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Hello and welcome.

will the progeny grow to be the same/very similar to our parent tree?


Possibly.  You're starting with good genetics, so the result is likely to be delicious.

What I usually do when growing fruit trees from seed is to grow them until the first harvest.  If it is delicious, keep it as is.  If it's not delicious, I'll graft or bud on something that is. 
 
Galen Young
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Everytime that pollen and seed mix the genes have the option to revert to some earlier variety. I have an apple orchard, apples are notorious for reverting to crabapples. Which is why apples are normally grafted.

I agree with the previous poster, let these young trees grow, and see what they produce.
 
Ken W Wilson
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Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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I'd sure like to buy or trade for some pits if you have extras. I can make some Hardy Chicago fig, white mulberry, or IL Everbearing mulberry. Not sure when the best time to cut them is.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Bees will travel up to 3 miles from their hive, this means that if there is just one apricot tree other than yours in that 3 mile range then there is the possibility of cross pollination.
If you want to be certain that the seeds are carrying only the genetics of the "mother" tree then you need to hand pollenate, mark the fruits that you did this to and then harvest those fruits for the seeds.
You can also air layer branches from the mother tree and then plant those once the root system is well established in the sphagnum moss.

The odds seem to be with you but the only way to be certain is to grow some seedlings to fruiting age (7 years normally) and see how those fruits taste compared to the mother tree.

Redhawk
 
Cathy Alcorn
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Thanks folks! To further clarify, we live on a rural parcel 8 miles as the crow flies from the nearest town and our tree is the only one that we see in bloom at the time that it blooms in our area but we understand that we might not see small apricot trees near buildings. Apricots are not generally planted here because we are so prone to late frosts and for fruit production, they are not reliable from year to year. Our new trees are in their 3rd year and this year they are really taking off, adding height and girth. Next spring we will possibly have pits from the mother tree. This year the fruit was almost nearly wiped out by a late freeze that lasted for three days. I think we got maybe a dozen this year.
 
Galen Young
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Your nearest gardening club might be able to help. Our club has an annual Scion Exchange that I attend. From my Spring pruning I bring donations of scion wood. If anyone wants one of my varieties they can take those scions home and graft onto their trees.

If you want cross-pollination you could graft one limb from another variety onto an established tree, via your gardening club.
 
Marco Banks
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Apricots sprout so easily.  Perhaps you could collect a bunch of pits and start a small orchard of seedlings, let them fruit out, and then cut down those trees that aren't up to snuff. 

If the tree has been there for that long, I'm surprised that there aren't volunteer seedlings all over the place.  If there are, dig them up, pot them, and see how they do.  Then you can transplant the best of them into your orchard later.
 
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