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- 28-05-2013, 12:52 PM #17Tuber
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- 28-05-2013, 07:53 PM #18
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!
- 28-05-2013, 08:35 PM #19
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:
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..
- 28-05-2013, 08:42 PM #20
- 28-05-2013, 08:47 PM #21
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..
- 28-05-2013, 08:51 PM #22
- 29-05-2013, 10:05 PM #23
Last edited by boundtothesoil; 30-05-2013 at 11:14 PM.
- 30-05-2013, 10:50 AM #24
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..