Thanks for the link & the reference, that’s gold!
I absolutely agree with everyone that grafting is my best chance of success… But it’s not really an immediate option for me (no trees near me, no rootstocks, no actual budget).
I had intended to take on this project further down the road when I was better prepared, but I went ahead with it now because I saw the Scions on GRIN and I saw several videos on rooting apple cuttings on YouTube (with one of them showing progress). But I guess the process is not as easy as I thought it was.
Should I cancel the apple portion of my GRIN order, or should I go ahead and experiment with it anyway? Since there’s several cuttings per variety, I could trial several different techniques, to see if there’s a more reliable way to root cuttings. I could document the failures (or, God willing, the successes) here, in detail, for others inquiring on the subject. Or I could sow seeds from a store-bought apple and hope they’ll be big enough to graft onto before the scions arrive (the seeds seem like a winning strategy, but they’d probably be ready for scions next year instead of now). I could put off the project for another year. I’ll look into the dwarfing rootstocks, that 8-year plan is much more appealing than waiting 20 years (not to mention further waiting for subsequent generations). ¿Could I get similar timeframes for random seed-grown rootstocks?
I’m very glad to hear high-chill apples can grow and bear in the tropics (this opens up my options considerably). Maybe I should forgo named varieties altogether and just sow store-bought seeds? I wasn’t really intending to improve upon the apple for a commercial setting, I just wanted to make a casual, diverse landrace that could handle the tropics with minimal care. Something that could bring out the diversity of flavor in the apple, without having them all turn out as sour crabs. I don’t mind small apples (unless the core is an issue at that size), but they should be tasty.
I also wanted to try for some intergeneric hybrids with Tejocote and other Hawthorns, Medlar, and Quince. This was actually my main goal, though the landrace should be an easier project. A cross with Serviceberries might yield some interestingly-flavored hybrids, but the ploidy level for that genus is all over the place.