Gardening Express
Gardening Express

Grow Your Own Magazine

Navbar button growfruitandveg.co.uk Logo
Forum Navigation

+ Reply to Thread
Page 3 of 10 FirstFirst 12345 ... LastLast
Results 17 to 24 of 75
Like Tree39Likes

Thread: Where are all the amateur apple breeders?

  1. #17
    StephenH is offline Tuber
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Hemel Hempstead, Herts
    Posts
    659
    Blog Entries
    32

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Paulieb View Post
    With regards to creating new varieties, would I be right in thinking that you could just sow any random apple pips and that would give you a new variety, as by default it most likely would have been cross pollinated.
    Yes, but a self-fertilised pip from a self-fertile apple variety would also give a new variety, because domestic apples are hybrids, and don't come true from seed.

  2. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Aberystwyth
    Posts
    386

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by orangepippin View Post
    I believe Hugh Ermen often used a variety called Doud, which I think is a tetraploid Golden Delicious.
    Interesting. I don't have any tetraploid varieties. However, I have tried using triploid varieties (Bramley's and Ashmead's Kernel) as female parents, but so far they've only produced one 'runtish' seedling each.
    What I'm doing is on a very small scale, in that for each cross I do, I only pollinate a single cluster of three flowers, so would only ever expect to harvest a maximium of thirty pips per cross. In reality, many of the crosses fail at some point along the production line. So, for example, I have just finished making this year's crosses today. Out of the 82 I've made, probably half will be lost from a combination of failure to set any fruit, June drop, bird and pest damage etc. On average, two apples remain from each cross that makes it to harvest. In terms of normally developed pips per apple, the average for me is around 6, with some failing to develop properly, particularly in triploid parental fruit. Mould during cold storage and subsequent failure to germinate account for up to half the remaining pips. So, at the end of the day, so to speak, one isn't talking about that many seedlings. That's why I can't bring myself to follow FB's sensible advice regarding the subsequent growth of these valiant survivors i.e. treat them so meanly that the rest of them die!

  3. #19
    FB.'s Avatar
    FB.
    FB. is offline Early Fruiter
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Cambridgeshire, UK
    Posts
    4,473

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by boundtothesoil View Post
    I have tried using triploid varieties (Bramley's and Ashmead's Kernel) as female parents, but so far they've only produced one 'runtish' seedling each.
    The problem with triploids is that they have an odd number of chromosomes (3x17=51 compared to 2x17=34 in a diploid).
    A diploid usually divides its chromosomes into two lots of 17 for reproduction (the other half being contributed by the other diploid parent). Unfortunately, a triploid can't divide its chromosomes into two in the normal way; resulting in most pollen and seed from triploids having abnormal chromosome numbers and therefore not very viable pollen or seeds.
    So for the same reason that triploids are usually poor pollinators, they are usually poor producers of good quality seeds.

    You can try to select for triploid seedlings as follows:

    Put the pips from each of your trees into piles on a table. Do not mix the piles of seeds from different parents because the size of seeds from two different trees may vary due to growing conditions or other factors.
    Pick out the few largest pips from each pile - only selecting the largest tenth of each type.

    Grow the seeds as normal and pay particular attention to seedlings which have at least two of the following features:

    Large leaves.
    Thick, tough leaves.
    Dark coloured leaves.
    Leaves which are rather rounded in shape.
    Quite "stocky"; thick stems but not necessarily long stems.
    Unusual growth habit - such as not much branching or large distances between branch junctions (known as large internode length).
    Last edited by FB.; 28-05-2013 at 08:37 PM.
    .

  4. #20
    FB.'s Avatar
    FB.
    FB. is offline Early Fruiter
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Cambridgeshire, UK
    Posts
    4,473

    Default

    The all-too-common fate of seedlings from common varieties: death by powdery mildew only several weeks after germination:






    Last edited by FB.; 28-05-2013 at 08:43 PM.
    .

  5. #21
    FB.'s Avatar
    FB.
    FB. is offline Early Fruiter
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Cambridgeshire, UK
    Posts
    4,473

    Default

    Then the woolly aphids attack, causing the survivors to suffer loss of vigour and severe splitting and lumpy growths of their stems (note the black split exactly in the middle of the first picture, just near where the leaf joins the stem) (note the lumpiness of the stem in the second picture) (note the white fluff in the third and fourth pictures):







    Last edited by FB.; 28-05-2013 at 08:53 PM.
    .

  6. #22
    FB.'s Avatar
    FB.
    FB. is offline Early Fruiter
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Cambridgeshire, UK
    Posts
    4,473

    Default

    Oh, yes - how could I forget the common green or rosy aphids which suck the sap, distort the leaves, distort the stems and generally de-vigorate or even cripple small trees:

    Last edited by FB.; 28-05-2013 at 08:52 PM.
    .

  7. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Aberystwyth
    Posts
    386

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FB. View Post
    You can try to select for triploid seedlings as follows:.
    Thanks for this advice. I'll give it a go this Autumn, depending on whether I get 10 seeds from any of my crosses! On the tripoid variety front, Bramley's (female) x Annie Elizabeth is one of the crosses that interests me. Bramley's suffer from scab and codling moth where I live, whilst Annie Elizabeth is disease/pest free.
    Last edited by boundtothesoil; 30-05-2013 at 11:14 PM.

  8. #24
    FB.'s Avatar
    FB.
    FB. is offline Early Fruiter
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Cambridgeshire, UK
    Posts
    4,473

    Default

    Bramley is triploid - the chance of good pips (or pollen) from a Bramley is quite small. You'll probably need a couple of dozen Bramley apples to find one good pip.

    Although listed as diploid, Annie Elizabeth is reputed to have been bred from the triploid "Blenheim Orange". This alone raises concerns over Annie's chromosome count.
    Additionally, Annie's thick, dark, glossy leaves and large attractive blossoms, the generally good disease resistance and the long life of the original mother tree lend weight to Annie being triploid or aneploid too.
    However, from personal experience, Annie does produce pips in reasonable quantities in most of her fruits, but in my experience they are peculiarly pale brown, small and quite rounded - very unusual and possibly another sign of a genetic abnormality.

    Although listed as "part-self-fertile", my analysis of century-old books and nursery catalogues seems to list all the old triploids in that class - including Bramley!
    Modern studies have shown that triploids tend to have greater self-fertility and often do set a modest crop without a pollinator.

    So I think you will need to be very patient with Bramley x Annie. I'm not saying give up, but I am saying don't get too excited!
    Last edited by FB.; 30-05-2013 at 10:51 AM.
    boundtothesoil likes this.
    .

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts