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  1. #1
    52fish is offline Germinator
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    Default Apple trees from apple pips

    This probably sounds really daft, but my daughter planted a seed from an apple over the summer and its grown really well - she clearly hopes it will become an apple tree in time and grow apples. She has since collected additional pips from russett apples with the intent of setting up a mini orchard

    Then a friend kindly put the dampeners on her plans by advising that an apple tree grown from an apple pip rarely bares fruit, because trees are normally grafted on to root stock.

    We now have a disheartened daughter and would be grateful if someone could confirm the above or tell us otherwise. Clearly if fruit will not come forth, we'll be heading to the local nursery so as not to discourage the interest in growing your own fruit.

    Thanks in advance for advice / guidance!

    Jaedon

  2. #2
    zazen999 is offline Funky Cold Ribena
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    Welcome to the Vine.

    Here's a thread on this from a previous query. Apple Pips

    Perhaps leave them to grow, and as well, get her a tree from the nursery to enjoy whilst it grows.


  3. #3
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    FB.
    FB. is offline Early Fruiter
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    The pips will bear fruit eventually, but......

    1.
    apples grown from a pip will not necessarily be similar to their "mother", since they will also have genes contributed from an unknown "father" when the flower was pollinated.
    You may get cookers, eaters, ciders, crabs....who knows?
    You may also find that the fruit is much inferior to its parent.
    Some commercial orchards use crab apples as pollinators (i.e. as the father; crabs produce a lot of fertile pollen), which would seriously spoil the quality of an eating apple crossed with it as the fruit may well be small and bitter.

    2.
    Seedlings can sometimes take many years before bearing fruit. This is very variable, depending on the genes inherited from their parents.

    3.
    Apple trees from pips grow to a random size, depending on the genes they got from their parents. Generally speaking, seedlings are quite vigorous and need a lot of space.

    4.
    Disease resistance, pest resistance, or tolerance to your soil and climate are unknown.
    Generally speaking, commercially grown apples (e.g. Cox, Gala) need lots of chemicals to keep them healthy, while their offspring grown from pips are often troubled by pests or diseases.

    So...to summarise.

    Yes, they will grow into apples trees (as long as pests, diseases, climate or soil conditions don't kill them first).
    Yes, one day they will fruit, but the fruit is unlikely to be anything special.

    Don't set your hopes too high.

    No, it is not a good idea to plant an orchard of seedlings, unless you plan to graft-over the seedling roots with a proven variety. Even then, the seedling trees will be very variable (large, small, upright, spreading, spur-bearing, tip bearing etc), although the variability would be less if the seedlings were all from the same parent.

    -----------------

    If you decide not to pursue seedlings (having a few might be fun, especially if you learn to prune them properly to make them fruit earlier, and grow them as cordons, which don't take up much space if the fruit turns out to be unpleasant).

    If you go to a nursery, don't buy the shop-type apples because they are intended for growing with a full chemical spray routine (definitely not healthy near children). Besides: why grow a Bramley, Gala, Golden Delicious or Cox when you can buy them almost all year round in the shops at reasonable prices?
    Choose more unusual varieties, where there are fewer pests and diseases that attack them. Also consider how large or small you want them to get, and how the rootstock they're grown on will perform in your soil and climate.

    There's an apple tree size estimator > here
    and the site has other apple-related information.

  4. #4
    Mell is offline Banned
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    Please don't let her be put off. Almost every heritage apple we know now & did in the past came from somebody planting a pip.

    A dear fruit breeding friend of mine used to encourage people to do this as you never know where the next Bramley or special apple will come from.

    BUT it will take a long time. and space. This might not be a problem for you. I don't know. But there are ways to find out if the fruit will be any good sooner and these are methods commercial breeders use. Firstly you can graft onto another apple tree either a mature one or a quick fruiting rootstock like M27 (in a pot) or you can tie the verticals to horizontal to speed up fruiting.

    If the trees turn out to be no good they are not wasted as they can be grafted over to cultivars that you do want or like.

    You don't say how old your daughter is, but my daughters both graft sucessfuly & have for several years.

    If she is really keen she might like to try pollinating herself between apples she likes, this will increase the chances over random pollination.

    were the pips from shop bought or trees you know or own ?

    Cultivate her interest, but try & present other options too in order that she maintains an interest and does not get disheartened, tree growing is a long term venture

  5. #5
    Mell is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by zazen999 View Post
    Here's a thread on this from a previous query. Apple Pips
    I wouldn't take too much notice of that thread. They can & will almost certainly bear fruit & unless you have a dearth of apple trees in your area there will be a suitable pollinator nearby.

    Bramley was from a pip, it isn't anything amazing that Granny smith was, apart from the occasional sport ALL apple trees came from pips !

    Sorry but there is a great deal of negative posts about planting pips, not just here in many places, which do not address the really positive cultivars that can come from chance seedlings. Of many planting chances are only a very few will be great, but your daughter's chances are as good as anyones, if she can stand the wait and you have the space.

    Real soap box stuff for me ! Too often we hear only experts can graft or find new cultivars but it is rarely true.

  6. #6
    52fish is offline Germinator
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    Thanks all for the helpful comments.

    At only 4 years old, my daughter has time to see things grow but also the impatience of youth. On that basis, I think we'll plant a couple more pips, but alos invest in a couple of young trees on M27 root stock so as to be within her grasp for picking.

    Thanks again!

  7. #7
    zazen999 is offline Funky Cold Ribena
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mell View Post
    I wouldn't take too much notice of that thread. They can & will almost certainly bear fruit & unless you have a dearth of apple trees in your area there will be a suitable pollinator nearby.

    Bramley was from a pip, it isn't anything amazing that Granny smith was, apart from the occasional sport ALL apple trees came from pips !

    Sorry but there is a great deal of negative posts about planting pips, not just here in many places, which do not address the really positive cultivars that can come from chance seedlings. Of many planting chances are only a very few will be great, but your daughter's chances are as good as anyones, if she can stand the wait and you have the space.

    Real soap box stuff for me ! Too often we hear only experts can graft or find new cultivars but it is rarely true.
    I thought that thread was positive about apples from pips!


  8. #8
    Mell is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by 52fish View Post
    Thanks all for the helpful comments.

    At only 4 years old, my daughter has time to see things grow but also the impatience of youth. On that basis, I think we'll plant a couple more pips, but alos invest in a couple of young trees on M27 root stock so as to be within her grasp for picking.

    Thanks again!
    Even a bit too young for grafting for me

    M27 need very good conditions, pot grown will be best, in nice compost, weed free staked etc.

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