Win a copy of The Ethical Meat Handbook this week in the Food Choices forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources rattlesnake pit projects digital market permies.com private forums code ranch all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • James Freyr
  • Jocelyn Campbell
stewards:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • paul wheaton
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Jay Angler
  • Carla Burke
  • thomas rubino

Fruit Trees from Seed

 
greenhorn
Posts: 91
5
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I grew 3 starfruit trees from seed that was bought at a store. All trees were planted together in one spot. Didn't have the heart to kill any of them. Long story short they fruited in 4 years and every tree had fruit as good if not better than the original fruit.
 
greenhorn
Posts: 39
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi, Black Walnut most assuredly does not breed true if you are defining that by measurable qualities of the nut. I have hundreds of these lovely trees and the variations are incredible. Although one tree usually has all nuts the same size, between trees on nut size alone the variation is from marble-sized to two inches across. The trees themselves do look very much alike.
 
rancher
Posts: 182
27
cattle forest garden trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Baker creek has pawpaw seeds for sale now.  Rare seeds.com

Not an advertisement, I’m a loyal customer.
 
rancher
Posts: 713
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
85
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well, I can't seem to stop apple seedlings emerging from my vermicompost every spring. The first year I pulled them out and potted them but the voles ate them all the following winter. This winter I brought them into the garage where they remain frozen (we live in zone 3) and safe from critters.

I'm simply curious to see what becomes of them. If they turn out to be unfit for eating, cooking, or cider then they can be used to feed the wildlife. The bears around here love apples and I doubt they're picky.
 
greenhorn
Posts: 30
Location: Portugal, Zone 10A
forest garden solar homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

r ranson wrote:This is what I do.

Plant seed.
Move tree from time to time, so that it ends up in the right spot.  
At about year three, it makes fruit (sometimes as late as year 5, but normally before).
If fruit yummy, leave tree alone to make yummy fruit.
If fruit not yummy, graft or bud tree, get yummy fruit next year.

Either way, it takes about the same amount of time as a nursery fruit tree (three to five years) to get a yummy harvest, only far less expensive and a tree that is far more resilient to my conditions.



Fabulous!! I love this way of farming! It's really refreshing and grounding to read this and be reminded of the simple ways of doing things 'right'. Thank you
 
greenhorn
Posts: 245
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
22
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Terry Paul Calhoun wrote:Hi, Black Walnut most assuredly does not breed true if you are defining that by measurable qualities of the nut. I have hundreds of these lovely trees and the variations are incredible. Although one tree usually has all nuts the same size, between trees on nut size alone the variation is from marble-sized to two inches across. The trees themselves do look very much alike.


Mature black walnut next door ... from how it's mixed with assorted other trees and crammed up against a building, it's probably a volunteer, tho it's the only one I know of within a couple miles, so no idea where it could have come from. (Have found a couple of its offspring growing in undesirable squirrel-buried spots, but they didn't survive transplanting. What's with that weird swollen taproot?)

Last fall I harvested a bunch of fallen nuts, peeled and dried them, and...

They're slightly smaller than commercial walnuts, and are thin-shelled and crack easily with vise-grips. I thought you had to use a sledge-hammer on these things.

The meat is bitter. I thought black walnuts were supposed to be especially good, but these ain't.

Well, there's a fail...
 
greenhorn
Posts: 359
Location: SW PA USA zone 6a altitude 1188ft
5
trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
r Ranson said:

"They produce fruit in 2 to 5 years (so about 3 years old and up) depending on how enthusiastic the tree feels."

It's interesting to me that someone who actually plants seeds would disprove the generally accepted lie about seed grown trees taking 10 years to produce fruit. Or produce produce!! Your findings agree with the study by C. C. Vincent titled A Study of the results of crossing varieties of apples. In the study by ten years there were almost zero trees that produced their first fruit. The largest numbers were in the fourth, fifth and sixth years. To me this would indicate that it takes about the same time to produce fruit from a cloned graft as from seed, assuming you take into count the age of the seedling and the age of the rootstock it's grafted to.

But the main reason for my post is a thought that ocured to me and the questions this raises. I started a thread earlier this spring about a Rome apple seedling that I planted and had it bloom in less than a month from planting this bare root dwarf seedling. My studies showed that some species of fruit will bear earlier when planting seedlings than other varieties of the same fruit. So my question:

If I have a seed of one of these varieties where both parents are of the same fruit variety, in my case the Rome apple, will the seedling grown from this seed also produce fruit at a noticeably earlier age. In the study I linked to above there were a small number of seedlings, 4 I think, with the parentage of Rome x Rome. Both parents are Rome apples. But these 4 seedlings are never referred to again.

I think it would be interesting to do a full blown scholarly study of the basics of growing fruit trees from seeds. Something that might confirm the truths and the lies about the commonly perceived ideas about growing fruit from seed. In this thread I get the impression that if you grow apples from seed where the parents are both edible apples the offspring will in most cases also be an edible apple.In the study linked to above he shows that some attributes of apples are carried to the offspring. For instance size and color. There's some interest in which parent carries which trait. But what about the attribute of early fruiting? In what percentage will the offspring be similar to the parents if both parents are the same? I should point out that the Rome apple is one that is considered "self Pollinating". But what percentage of the offspring of a Rome X Rome cross be the same, or similar to the parents. I'm sure that there has been studies done, but it would seem likely that they'd be buried by an industry that needs you to buy grafted clones, or is only interested in a new apple for the per tree fees that generates.

I thank those of you who've responded and those who hopefully respond in the future.

 
rancher
Posts: 1369
Location: northern northern california
163
forest garden foraging trees fiber arts building medical herbs
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
in my experience, and rather unscientific method, or at least scatterbrained method, of observing...
the fruit coming from plants grown from seed tend to be very similar to the mother.

course i havent been growing apples. i am talking about peaches, plums, etc...

apples are a lot more gentically diverse to begin with...so possibly they could be most similar to the grandparents...or far back ancestors, depending on if they are F2 or F3 or whatever else...hybrids...
 
sheriff
Posts: 30280
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
 
greenhorn
Posts: 81
Location: Zone 9A, 45S 168E, 329m Queenstown, NZ
44
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

David Livingston wrote:"Growing fruit trees from seed is indeed a long term investment since it will be a minimum of 7 years from sprouting to first fruiting and more likely 10 years to a decent harvest quantity."



Peaches and apricots that I’ve grown from pits only took 4 years to fruit and this year, year 6 will yield a very “decent” harvest if the blossoms are anything to go by - providing the wind, frosts, birds or possums don’t put pay to the fruit.
832BF4E3-09B1-4950-8C18-48A26B3D0203.jpeg
year 6 will yield a very “decent” harvest if the blossoms are anything to go by
year 6 will yield a very “decent” harvest if the blossoms are anything to go by
6CB6D679-E4FF-4A54-8395-F3CB12943DB2.jpeg
pretty blossoms
pretty blossoms
82CD61F4-1B3A-4C2E-BF0E-4D82FB0E1504.jpeg
tiny apricots
tiny apricots
A382E7CD-82D6-4701-9701-98D023913581.jpeg
trees coming up
trees coming up
 
Shari Bee
greenhorn
Posts: 30
Location: Portugal, Zone 10A
forest garden solar homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great thread! I'm currently planting pretty much everything I buy and eat from the grocery store. I'm only just starting so can only comment on 'germination'. In several years from now I might be able to come back with tastings and hardiness!

Apples - planted Royal Gala, Pink Lady, Jazz, all from store bought seeds. No stratification, simply eat the apple and picked out the seed and put straight into small pots of soil (I too use the cut in half milk cartons). All three varieties have sprouted and are looking really healthy. The containers are clear plastic so I can see the root system too which also looks very strong. These grow to about one inch high within a couple of weeks. I'll be repotting - very carefully - into larger pots and/or planting out in this next month. To be honest, I've had so much luck with apple seeds I'm going to have to stop planting the seeds!! When choosing I read a little about cultivars to try and narrow it down. I picked these varieties based on the parents of each being yummy too! For example: Jazz is a cross of Royal Gala and Braeburn, Pink Lady is a cross of Lady Williams and Golden Delicious, Royal Gala is a cross of Kidd's Orange Red and Golden Delicious. Not sure if this is a valid way to choose, but I'll be equally happy if the trees grow up and all I can harvest is apple wood to smoke my fish with!

Peaches, plums, nectarines and apricots - I havent cold stratified any of these either. I simply crack GENTLY with a hammer to open the hard shell and get at the kernels. The kernels I then soak in water over night, sometimes for a couple of days, and then plant in pots again. These havent been as vigorous as the apple seeds, but some have started to poke their heads up.

I started caper from seeds ordered online, these took a while but have popped up.

Chestnuts, hazelnuts - having no luck with these yet, but have a bunch in compost.

Started Mango and Avocado from store bought seed. When choosing fruits at the store I read a little about the cultivars again and also tried to choose fruits that were grown in 'more relevant' locations. For example, on the Mango choice, I went for a Kiett mango that was grown in Israel, rather than a Palmer mango that was grown in Brazil. My thinking is that the Israel climate is more appropriate to my (Portugal) climate than the Brazilian climate. Anyhow, the Mango is doing really well - about 8 inches high at the moment, the Avocado (Hass from Morocco) is also doing really well - about 10 inches high. Both will be planted out (under temporary greenhouse cover this month). Again, if they fruit, then WONDERFUL, but I'm equally happy just to experiment and if the trees only produce wood, mango wood has a beautiful grain!

I have red grape seeds in that I plucked from a garden while out walking and they tasted lovely. One has poked its head up. I have bought Dragonfruit seed and Black Goji Berry seed that I will try also. I 'aquired' some Sumac seed which is in potting soil, but no joy yet...would really like the Sumac to take, lets see what happens!

I'm just about to try lime, orange, grapefruit and lemon after reading the success of citrus from seeds in this thread! Thank you all for the great info and insights.



 
sheriff
Posts: 5006
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
1772
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In the spring, I transplanted 1 year old apricot seedlings into my field. They were from 3 different mothers. A few days ago, we had a hard freeze. Today while weeding, I noticed that the leaves on the progeny of two of the varieties were killed by frost. The other variety was not harmed. I don't know that resistance to fall frosts is of any use in an apricot breeding project, but it was interesting to observe that there are differences between varieties.

My family has been engaged in a walnut breeding project for many decades. Today I harvested the first of the seeds that will be the beginning of the 4th generation.

 
rancher
Posts: 606
Location: Redwood Country, Zone 9-10, 60" rain/yr,
107
hugelkultur dog duck
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have not read all the replies to this post, but not seeing Sepp Holzer's approach mentioned yet at the end of the first page I'll toss it in:

Take some must (seeds and other biproducts of juice/cider/wine/brandy production) from your intended species, and plant them in your native soil en masse. Select heartlessly for vigor and like you would over seeded carrots and thin to the strongest (or otherwise physically preferable) individuals as the trees grow. If in 7yrs or so you do not like the fruit, you still have proven rootstock that you can graft over to a preferred variety. I cannot think of a faster or cheaper way to grow trees from seed with a virtually guaranteed return of some sort for your time and effort.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
sheriff
Posts: 5006
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
1772
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:In the spring, I transplanted 1 year old apricot seedlings into my field. They were from 3 different mothers. A few days ago, we had a hard freeze. Today while weeding, I noticed that the leaves on the progeny of two of the varieties were killed by frost. The other variety was not harmed. I don't know that resistance to fall frosts is of any use in an apricot breeding project, but it was interesting to observe that there are differences between varieties.  



I planted about 30 seedlings from 3 different mothers.They are currently in their 3rd growing season. The seedlings from one of the mothers were not reliably winter hardy. I yanked up about half of that sibling group this spring. I might yank up more. The sibling group that showed good frost tolerance last fall were reliably winter hardy. I lost one tree overwinter from the other sibling group that was more sensitive to frost last fall.

The trees didn't flower this spring. After they leafed out, I pruned them as if they are production trees.   The nearby research station minimizes pruning of seedlings, so that they can observe the natural shape of the trees. I'm not, because I'm intending the trees for fruit production. I planted them 3 feet apart.  I suppose that they will grow like a hedge. That allows me to trial a lot of trees in a small space. Close spacing was great for selecting for winter hardiness.

Someone sent me apricot seeds during the winter. Two of them have germinated already. I'm intending to plant them into the empty spots in the row.

The seed grown pistachio and hazel survived the winter.

 
leila hamaya
rancher
Posts: 1369
Location: northern northern california
163
forest garden foraging trees fiber arts building medical herbs
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i have been rather scattered, travelling around a lot, splitting my time in between different places, and i still cant help but plant any fruit seeds i get my hands on!
who knows what the fate of these will be...but recently sprouted some plum seeds...and some lemon, mandarins...and then even was pleasantly surprised to find 4 seeds in a nice minneola tangelo i ate.

this is pretty rare, that particular variety is usually seedless...and according to my reading for the seedless varieties of tangerines and mandarins if there is actual seeds in them they are sure to be crosses...in that these will only produce seeds when hybridized.
while its still true that citrus generally produces "true to type" seeds... like always, thats dependent on isolation...

anywho i just think it's interesting...that it's a hybrid because only hybrids of normally "seedless" types will actually produce seeds when another type of pollen is introduced...and it's already a hybrid to begin with (minneola tangelo is a hybrid between tangerine and pomelo or grapefruit)...

yeah thats about as far from true to type as can be, a total mystery...and instead of this being a discouragement - it makes these newly sprouted trees more interesting to me...

maybe i will get to see years from now what they will produce...

min.jpg
newly sprouted trees
newly sprouted trees
min2.jpg
4 newly sprouted trees
4 newly sprouted trees
citrus.jpg
lemon and mandarin
lemon and mandarin
citrus3.jpg
lemon and mandarin
lemon and mandarin
lemon.jpg
lemon seedling
lemon seedling
lemon2.jpg
future trees
future trees
 
Rez Zircon
greenhorn
Posts: 245
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
22
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:In the spring, I transplanted 1 year old apricot seedlings into my field. They were from 3 different mothers. A few days ago, we had a hard freeze. Today while weeding, I noticed that the leaves on the progeny of two of the varieties were killed by frost. The other variety was not harmed. I don't know that resistance to fall frosts is of any use in an apricot breeding project, but it was interesting to observe that there are differences between varieties.



Many years ago there was an apricot tree in Bozeman, MT (sorta zone 3 in that part of town, despite whatever USDA says) grown from a random pit. It was a small bushy tree (maybe 10' per the newspaper photo) and would get LOADED with fruit, and the fruit were on the large side. I wish I knew more about it.

My apricot in the SoCal desert (grafted, and started bearing at about 4 feet tall; know nothing else about its history) was a good producer and had no problem with temp swings from -10F to +122F. I still have some pits, tho no idea if they'd keep this many years. Had no luck sprouting 'em so far.
 
greenhorn
Posts: 4
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There is much variation between fruits in regards to being able to propagate trees from seed and being either the same as the parent tree, or different yet acceptable vs unacceptable

1. All fruit trees grown from seed will need to pass trough a period of juvenility  before transitioning into the mature fruiting stage.

2. Some fruits have a percentage of seeds that are clones of the parent tree, (some mangoes and many types of Citrus). These plants still need to pass through the juvenile phase before flowering and fruiting. The fruit will eventually be identical to the parent tree's fruit.

3. The juvenile period varies tremendously between different types of fruit. Peaches have a very short juvenile period, Some apples can be as long as 13 years before fruiting.

4. Many fruits have been selected for large size above the mean for the type of fruit. Seedlings often produce smaller fruit than their parents (closer to the mean size for the type of fruit).

5. If the desire is to select a new, superior cultivar, hundreds to thousands of seedlings may need to be trialed to find a superior selection. Unless the new selection offers a unique quality (ripening time, size, flavor, hardiness, or disease resistance, there is little point in introducing it.

6. Most fruit tree seedlings will eventually bear fruit, and it may be unique.
 
Rez Zircon
greenhorn
Posts: 245
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This outfit in the U.K. sells fruit tree seeds, including an interesting red apricot:

https://www.plant-world-seeds.com/

[I just tripped over 'em the other day, know nothing else about 'em]
 
paul wheaton
sheriff
Posts: 30280
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A little mulch for an apple tree grown from seed.

 
There's no place like 127.0.0.1. But I'll always remember this tiny ad:
All about the Daily-ish Email!
https://permies.com/wiki/135969/Daily-ish-Email
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!