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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys
I could use some direction on growing trees from seeds.

My neighbor has an apple tree (I think it is some kind of crab apple) in his backyard that produces year over year. It also holds fruit well into December.

I know there is a lot of information on this board about growing trees but I am most interested in knowing when I should be harvesting the seeds. Should I wait until the apples drop and then pull the seeds? I am really unsure of the timing aspect of this. I have found a lot of info on what to do once the seed is in the dirt but not a lot on taking seed from a live apple and getting it in the dirt.

Any information or experiences you guys can share would be appreciated.

Thanks a lot.
 

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I don't think many folks around here start apples from seeds. If you want that specific tree, maybe get some rootstock or sapplings, and try your hand at grafting.
 

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RGrizzzz is correct. If you want to get the same tree your neighbor has, you will need to graft that tree onto some other rootstock or existing tree. If you start from seed, you will get a combination of that tree and the tree that provided pollen to it for that apple.

I'm not sure if apple seeds need to go through a stratification period....you might need to store the seed in cold storage for the winter or plant the seed in the ground this fall and let Mother Nature do her thing.
 

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You can start them easily from seed. But as already stated, they will be a tree of undetermined origins. If you want a tree the same as the crabapple, graft a siphon off the saplings you start from seed. You do need to harden your seeds...I put some crabapples in the drawer in the fridge in the fall and pull the seeds in late April.
 

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I take the seeds out of the ripe apple, wash and pat dry with paper towel, then place in a ziploc bag with a slightly moist piece of paper towel. I've started indoors in pots. I start checking in January for them to show a radicle root. When they do, I put the seed in a pot under a fluorescent shop light. I change the paper towel if it starts growing colorful mold and throw out seeds that get moldy.

If you want to start outdoors in the spring, I'd do the same but wait to put in the slightly moist paper towel until Feb or so to slow stratification. Then sow the seeds in the spring.

Collect plenty seeds and try not to make it too complicated.
 

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One question on the tree you are talking about - How healthy do the leaves look? I see a lot of trees this year that look really poor from apple scab. So many leaves are affected by apple scab that leaves have dropped and you can see right through the tree. If this tree looks like that, I'd skip collecting seeds from it.

Also, If you learn to graft, you can graft all kinds of late holding crabs and apples and have fruit much sooner than with seedlings. Watch some videos on Youtube and you can get going easily with just a utility knife and some tape. Lots of nice folks willing to share the scionwood used to graft with to get new guys started. I've grafted nearly 300 apple trees in the last 3 years and some of my first grafts have apples on this year. You won't get apples in 3 years with seedlings.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The tree looks healthy based upon what I can tell. This is great info guys. I appreciate they help. I have some learning to do.
 
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