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Propagating Quality Fruit Trees From Seed.

 
Posts: 187
Location: Denia, Alicante, Spain. Zone 10. 22m height
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Hello to everybody

Instead of opening a new thread, I think this is the good one for my purpose.

I am a lot in the theory of direct seeding. I want in my property those that are ideal for the place. So I have to play my cards and think in bets.

We planted 480 trees a month ago. 80 were fruit trees, 400 support trees (green manure, nitrogen fixers, dynamic acumulator to help the fruit trees thrive). That, in 2000 sq meters.

That was the first phase, but next step is to plant 30.000 tree seeds.

25% are seeds from fruit trees that we already have. Backup plan. It is impossible (in Spain) to find seeds from avocado, mango and some citrus, so with those we will have to eat more and plant.

25% , support tree seeds, some are the same I planted, some new

25%, other fruit trees, some for similar climate, some just to see what happens

25% berries and edible herbs. I played this card to have a low strata item

The goal is backup for what we have and research of what might work here.

Directly seeding is the only affordable way for it.

And of course, besides this, every seed from whatever we eat, goes to the ground
 
Antonio Hache
Posts: 187
Location: Denia, Alicante, Spain. Zone 10. 22m height
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I sowed 30.000 seeds a month ago in different nests. I start to see green stuff sprouting, hard to identify yet.

But before that I sowed other things, and I can see growing Walnut,, Peach and Physallis Peruviana (this one not a tree, but I added it to the cocktail)

Every seed that I find, I will bury it in my property.
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pollinator
Posts: 158
Location: Southern Utah
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I am glad I found this thread on apple seeds.  A few years ago the kids started apple seeds and they were doing good until a storm blew them over, and now I have learned they lacked nutrition and that stunted their growth and killed them.

A few weeks ago they placed a dozen seeds in wet paper towel and they are all sprouting and doing well.  I will transplant them soon and, hopefully, properly care for them this time.  I will probably keep them in the green house for the first couple years, and definitely place deer fencing around all the apple trees until they are tall enough to survive on their own.

I have a 5-in-1 I bought about 4 years ago I am hoping does well this year, not that I know it needs way more TLC than I have provided in past years.

This is the best 'old' thread I have found in a long time.
 
Posts: 13
Location: Scott Valley California
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Mike Castleman wrote:

Judith Browning wrote:I grow Cherokee peach (or Blood peach) from seed.  My two oldest trees had a wonderful crop this year.  They are true to type and I have heard that most peaches are.  I have several of those at different ages  and two other kinds...a yellow and a white peach  that grow here locally that  should fruit this year also grown from pits that I planted.  I plant the fresh pit in a pot and leave it outdoors over the winter...usually they will sprout early spring.  I transplant to a bigger pot and plant out the next winter or sometimes later.  I sometimes plant the pit where I want the tree but then the deer here eat it or I forget where I planted it.


Hey Judith,
What zone are you? I’ve been looking for Cherokee Red that would handle zone 5. I’ve heard of a black boy peach which grows in the Swiss Alps that would work for my
zone but have not been able to obtain here in the States.

Hey not sure if you are still looking or of your location but Fruitwood nursery in northern California has scions of black boy.
 
Michael Fundaro
pollinator
Posts: 158
Location: Southern Utah
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The kids started apple seeds in a wet paper towel about a month ago.  We planted 3 sprouted seeds in pots today.  Next time we buy apples we will try to sprout some more.  I read where they sprout better if you start them in mashed apple flesh.  We will give that a try next time.

Still hoping to hear back about the progress from the OP.
 
Posts: 20
Location: Zone 4, MT
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What is the virtue of the “no prune” method? I wasn’t even aware that was a thing. It seems to me that might work ok with bush cherries or juneberries but with larger fruit you could be wasting your time and space. At least training branches more towards horizontal changes hormones and can improve fruiting.

I have a dozen apples that I planted from seed - they’re forming a hedge - lots of vigor, no fruit yet.
 
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I think that is wonderful that you are growing from seeds.  You can't lose because if the fruit isn't good you still have great rootstock and you can graft good varieties onto it.  You will also possibly have new fantastic varieties and you can name them and share them with the world. I say go for it❤
 
Antonio Hache
Posts: 187
Location: Denia, Alicante, Spain. Zone 10. 22m height
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Update on my “Trees from seed” project.

I finally sowed 39.000 seeds of shrubs and trees (first 30k plus 9k extra... and all the fruit that we eat, we sow it there). The biggest sowing day was November 27, so 3 months and a half since I planted it.

So far, I can see growing lots of Almond Trees and Apricot (this are the winners). But also Peach, Plum, Cherry, Walnut and Chestnut.

On a lower strata, I have blackberry,  fennel, dill and sage growing from seed.

We are not in spring yet, so I guess (and hope) that on the next two months we should have an explosion of things sprouting.

First I planted hundreds of trees, but bit by bit I want to focus to 90% seeds.

My goal is to sow minimum one hundred sees of every known tree and shrub. On the tree side, edible or not. Shrubs, only edibles. I want to see what thrives and specially I want to see how it evolves as the soil improves
 
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Seems like a great project you have going. It seems like you have a lot of acres to work with in order to see what grows best.
 
pollinator
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Location: Chilean Patagonia
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Thanks to the fine and intelligent people who have shared lots of useful information on this thread, I am now buying seasonal peaches and nectarines like a crazy woman, and spent a good part of my afternoon hucking fleshy fruit pits into the thickest areas of our gorse patches (in hopes that the prickly stuff creates a natural fence to protect the seedlings, and that the seedlings will eventually shade out the gorse while taking advantage of all of that beautiful nitrogen provided by the gorse). My daughter was quite entertained by mommy's latest wacky idea. Here's to run-on sentences, entertained children, and healthy sprouts. Thanks, permies!
 
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I wanted to add my inputs on seed starting from the perspective of different fruits that may be of interest, as well as a few resources available online.

Regarding apples, I've found on other forums (and was briefly touched on in this thread) that commercial orchards usually use crabapples as pollinators. This is great for high fruit production but not necessarily for seedling fruit quality breeding. If other high quality cultivars are used for pollination, there is a greater possibility of producing higher quality seedlings closer to the desired mother tree.

This type of genetic lottery is typical of many other fruit trees such as pawpaw, persimmon, and pear.

I believe certain citrus and possibly also some stone fruits (peach, plum, nectarine, cherry etc) are capable of producing either clones via seed or close to "true to type" offspring.

I am not an expert, I've just done some homework on the subject. If you have seedlings and want to graft them to known cultivars, there are some good websites out there such as www.scion-exchange.com and www.growingfruit.org for references.
 
Posts: 57
Location: PA, USA Zone 7a
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Ryan Mahony wrote:I wanted to add my inputs on seed starting from the perspective of different fruits that may be of interest, as well as a few resources available online.

Regarding apples, I've found on other forums (and was briefly touched on in this thread) that commercial orchards usually use crabapples as pollinators. This is great for high fruit production but not necessarily for seedling fruit quality breeding. If other high quality cultivars are used for pollination, there is a greater possibility of producing higher quality seedlings closer to the desired mother tree.



Ryan makes a good point about variable pollination with apples--I have been reading that some cultivars are also triploid and have three sets of chromosomes instead of two. This makes their pollen sterile so they can't pollinate other cultivars, and they also require compatible cultivars to pollinate them. This makes them seem a little picky, but they are supposedly very long-lived and fairly disease-resistant on their own. Just something to think about when experimenting.
 
Antonio Hache
Posts: 187
Location: Denia, Alicante, Spain. Zone 10. 22m height
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James Taylor wrote:Seems like a great project you have going. It seems like you have a lot of acres to work with in order to see what grows best.



Not a lot of acres, just half an acre. I am planting super dense ☺️
 
Ryan Mahony
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Erin Vaganos wrote:

Ryan Mahony wrote:I wanted to add my inputs on seed starting from the perspective of different fruits that may be of interest, as well as a few resources available online.

Regarding apples, I've found on other forums (and was briefly touched on in this thread) that commercial orchards usually use crabapples as pollinators. This is great for high fruit production but not necessarily for seedling fruit quality breeding. If other high quality cultivars are used for pollination, there is a greater possibility of producing higher quality seedlings closer to the desired mother tree.



Ryan makes a good point about variable pollination with apples--I have been reading that some cultivars are also triploid and have three sets of chromosomes instead of two. This makes their pollen sterile so they can't pollinate other cultivars, and they also require compatible cultivars to pollinate them. This makes them seem a little picky, but they are supposedly very long-lived and fairly disease-resistant on their own. Just something to think about when experimenting.



Erin, some of the best "old" disease resistant apples are certainly triploid. Disease resistance is another great point, because down the road you never know what a seedling is going to do for you and what you may have to battle to get fruit.. To be clear, I'm not saying people should not propagate seed, I believe quite the opposite. I'm just saying that educating on the merits of grafting vs seedlings is a wise move. I have around 30 pawpaw seeds on heat right now that will likely all end up being grafted in a year or two depending on their vigor.
 
Ryan Mahony
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Antonio Hache wrote:

James Taylor wrote:Seems like a great project you have going. It seems like you have a lot of acres to work with in order to see what grows best.



Not a lot of acres, just half an acre. I am planting super dense ☺️



Antonio, be wary of planting too densely down the road once your trees reach bearing age. Make sure you get on a good pruning regimen and allow lots of sunlight to your leaves to prevent mildew and other diseases. I've seen countless stories of people regretting close planting and then thinning out later to pick a few good trees. Good luck!
 
pollinator
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Ryan Mahony wrote:Antonio, be wary of planting too densely down the road once your trees reach bearing age. Make sure you get on a good pruning regimen and allow lots of sunlight to your leaves to prevent mildew and other diseases. I've seen countless stories of people regretting close planting and then thinning out later to pick a few good trees. Good luck!



Well that's the point, isn't it? Plant a lot, let nature thin the weakest, then thin to those with the traits you want?
 
Antonio Hache
Posts: 187
Location: Denia, Alicante, Spain. Zone 10. 22m height
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Lauren Ritz wrote:

Ryan Mahony wrote:Antonio, be wary of planting too densely down the road once your trees reach bearing age. Make sure you get on a good pruning regimen and allow lots of sunlight to your leaves to prevent mildew and other diseases. I've seen countless stories of people regretting close planting and then thinning out later to pick a few good trees. Good luck!



Well that's the point, isn't it? Plant a lot, let nature thin the weakest, then thin to those with the traits you want?



Yes, that's the point. First I planted toooo densely. Then every 6 months I will check and choose. For example, right now I've got a lot of fennel growing. So if in some cocktail I have fennel and some weird tree growing, I will cut the fennel and leave the tree. And that is the way to proceed
 
Ryan Mahony
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Antonio Hache wrote:

Lauren Ritz wrote:

Ryan Mahony wrote:Antonio, be wary of planting too densely down the road once your trees reach bearing age. Make sure you get on a good pruning regimen and allow lots of sunlight to your leaves to prevent mildew and other diseases. I've seen countless stories of people regretting close planting and then thinning out later to pick a few good trees. Good luck!



Well that's the point, isn't it? Plant a lot, let nature thin the weakest, then thin to those with the traits you want?



Yes, that's the point. First I planted toooo densely. Then every 6 months I will check and choose. For example, right now I've got a lot of fennel growing. So if in some cocktail I have fennel and some weird tree growing, I will cut the fennel and leave the tree. And that is the way to proceed



On paper, I would say you are probably right. But in practice, do you feel that massively over-planting may actually be hindering the growth of your potentially viable seedlings by encouraging resource competition, both in space for roots as well as wasting the nutrients in the soil growing a majority of plants you intend to cull? I think what it seems you are doing is very interesting, I just feel like it might be a "two steps forward, three steps back" kind of scenario for long term productivity.
 
gardener
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I agree. In a few years you might really regret planting trees too close together. You may not have the heart to cut out some good ones to make space for other good ones. And certain types of trees are very difficult to remove: Cutting them down will just cause them to make nice dense coppice, shading and crowding out your preferred tree.
 
Antonio Hache
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Rebecca Norman wrote:I agree. In a few years you might really regret planting trees too close together. You may not have the heart to cut out some good ones to make space for other good ones. And certain types of trees are very difficult to remove: Cutting them down will just cause them to make nice dense coppice, shading and crowding out your preferred tree.



Well, that’s the plan, that is why seed cocktails are meant for ☺️

Place a lot, see what grows, decide what stays. Dont have to wait years, when they are difficult to remove. In a year , when they are small, I can start to eliminate. For example, lots of almonds, not many carob trees... so some almonds go out, carob trees stay. But the carob tree that stays is one who has born here, on this soil, with this climate, is a terminator.

Another example, I had fennel seeds on the seed cocktails. And now I have a LOT of fennel growing, much more fennel than I need (or want). There are spots where I have only fennel growing, and spots where I have fennel and a tree. So, having lots of fennel, I can choose to take it out, and let the tree growing.

The whole idea is the management of the system, that is the syntropic way. This might sound crazy, but this is how the woodlands have been working since ever, with seeds falling all around, self regulating, too dense, and with survival of the fittest.


Anyway, I might be totally or partially wrong. If that happens, I will keep you updated, this is a work in progress 😉
 
Antonio Hache
Posts: 187
Location: Denia, Alicante, Spain. Zone 10. 22m height
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One update about "planting too dense" debate. The guys from Agroforestry Academy, wich are my mentors, published a video where they talk about planting trees from seed too densely

It is quite interesting and it is what I am using as a guide

 
gardener
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olin erickson wrote:What is the virtue of the “no prune” method? I wasn’t even aware that was a thing. It seems to me that might work ok with bush cherries or juneberries but with larger fruit you could be wasting your time and space. At least training branches more towards horizontal changes hormones and can improve fruiting.

I have a dozen apples that I planted from seed - they’re forming a hedge - lots of vigor, no fruit yet.



Stefan Sobkowiak says that if you train the branches to droop at or below horizontal it will trigger reproductive hormones. I believe he was taught this by some French orchardists. He was using heavy wire with the ends bent into hooks to pull the branch and hooked the other end on the trunk. I think he was leaving these in place for a few months, or longer if necessary.
This might give you some of the fruit you're looking for and a little less vigour.
 
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