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Discussion Starter #1
I have some wonderful old apple trees at my camp. I want to use some seeds from these apples to grow seedlings I can plant at my home. Do I need to dry the apple seeds first? I am pretty good with getting seedlings to grow, just need some help on the apple seed question. Help!
 

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I don't think he means drying the apples, just the seeds after they are removed.
 

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In that case dry till they do not stick together then store ,dry cool, till you are going to stratify , for spring planting or better yet remove seed and plant now. my book is at my nursery and if I think of it I will look apples up tomorrow/
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank You! When I was a kid I worked in a nursery for a summer and the old fella taught me how to mix a good potting soil and grow seeds and cuttings, but I never messed with apple seeds, I have potted and planted hundreds of oaks though!
 

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Joe,

You should know that apples do not "come true" from seed, i.e. the fruit from trees grown from seeds very likely will not be like the fruit you get the seeds from. You could use the seedlings as rootstock to graft twigs of desired varieties on top if you are truly interested and have the time for the trees to reach a size to bear fruit. Of course, if you are only interested in providing food for wildlife, the trees will still bear fruit and deer or bears won't care if the apples aren't Golden Delicious or Winesap or whatever the original apples were.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Maybe you would know, these apples are unidentified. My camp is a farm that was settled in the 1830's. Old German immigrants. When the place was purchased in the 1950's, many of the homesteaders apple trees, or their offspring, were doing well. The seller stated then the seeds were brought from the old country to start the orchards. We have about six of these trees left that are 20" or better trunks and still produce fruit. I am trying to plant some new ones from these seeds so they prosper long after I am gone. If I post a pic of the apples could you tell me what they are?
 

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Joe,
Sorry, I wish I could be of some help giving you an identification of your apples. You might try sending an inquiry and photos to some of the seed companies that still handle heritage varieties of seeds, plants and trees - or perhaps the ag department at a college/university like PSU.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thats what I was thinking, instead of messing with seeds just root some cuttings? Its been a long while, but I know how to do that. In fact, the old timer that taught me would take cuttings from someones ornamentals and root them and sell the trees the next spring! Zero investment and 100% profit!
 

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Good point and it would be a faster way to get new trees to preserve and multiply the old varieties. A rooting hormone powder is available at some garden stores.
 

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i agree as stated above, apples are funny. you can grow a seedling from seed however most the tiem the tree will not produce apples that are any good, however you might get lucky. i personally would cut a whip of new growth and root it with hormone, or send the cutting away to be grafted. this place is the best if you choose the grafting method.
http://www.bighorsecreekfarm.com/
 

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Grafting isn't all that hard to do.
 

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My Wife's Grandfather was a Horticultural Prof at PSU and had a small orchard of trees on his property. He grew many varieties and most were from grafting. He showed me once how to do it and he made it look easy, but he was a pro. I do remember that he covered the graft with some type of paste that he made from, I believe, a weeping willow tree before he put a bandage on it. Sure do miss his apples every Fall.
 

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Hey Joe:

You aroused my curosity when you said you are pretty good at getting seeds to grow. Near our cabin we have a few old apple trees that produce small yellow apples by the tons.
I've tried numerous times and have not had one seed germinate. Picked up some of the rotting apples in the spring and planted individual seeds, and also tried planting the whole apple. No luck. Do you have any advice?
Thanks, Chet.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The old fella that taught me could grow anything. Here is his mix. Peat Moss, potting soil, a handfull of hardwood mulch, a handfull of sand, and a handfull of gravel, all mixed together. He would pot his seedling and cutting in that, with a few squirts of rooting hormone, I have no idea what kind. He told me that mix allowed " Aeration", and the water to move inside the pot. According to him the worst thing you could do was pack a pot full of compressed soil. For just seeds he sprouted them in PEET POTS, which are little egg carton type gizmos made from peat moss and organics. You just keep them wet, and in a few days, you have sprouts. You can buy all this stuff at a good garden center. This man has been in the Biz since he came home from WWII, and he is still at it, so I guess he knows what he is doing !
 

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The old timers used willow water for use in getting cuttings to root. In the spring take tips of branches and soak them in wster. You can heat them for a short time but do not boil. Then strain and put the water in jars with sealed lids. This was used as a Christmas gift in years gone by. I tried it last year and it did work.
 

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do you mean cut willow tips, soak in water, and use it to water your cuttings? I'd like to hear more about this.
 

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Willow cuttings will root like nothing you've ever seen. It's possible that by soaking the cuttings the water would wind up with some of whatever plant hormone encourages root generation.

It could also just be old-timey hokum, but I'll not dismiss it without data.
 
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