Apple tree seedling or weed?


This may sound like a dumb question, but I planted a bunch of apple seeds from a tree we love, but is dying. I tried growing one from a new branch cutting several times with no luck. I also got some seeds to germinate, but never grew. So finally I just stuck a bunch of seeds into a container with soil and left it outside. This was over a year ago, but now something is growing. I have taken photos – is this an apple tree?



looks like an apple to me.
I did quite a few seeding from apple, pear, peach and apricots. All are growing fine. Did you try cold germination first?


Looks like it…needs a bigger pot or into the ground.


If this is an apple then my name is Tom Hanks.
No, it is not an apple.



Tom, it kind of looks like an apple seedling for me. I’d let it grow for a bit longer and get some more up close and detailed shots.


Agree with Borer…it could be, won’t hurt to leave it and let it grow, will it?
There are lots of variations in apples.
The fourth of 5th leaf would usually have serrations, which I don’t see in the biggest leaf in the photo–and I have a whole flat of seedlings this year which do not look like picture. But your variety may be unique in that.

Only one survived from sitting in a little flat over the winter of last year’s seedlings. But I have some Fuji seedlings from 2018 that will probably be used as rootstocks next spring, or I may try budding again, as my percentages were not good in the past.


If it would’ve been asked if Acer triflorum, I’d say, “maybe.”

That doesn’t look nothing like apple. Too leathery and everything else.



If the tree you love is dying then you should graft a limb of it onto a rootstock and you would have an exact clone of the tree you love. Rootstocks are cheap or can be grown for free, grafting is easy, and there’s nothing to lose in trying.

If you grow seeds out they will not be an exact clone of the tree they came from. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plant some, just that grafting is the best way to keep an old favorite around.


Doesn’t completely match the shape of apple leaves I know. But maybe some apple hybrids have leaves like this. It doesn’t hurt to let it grow a little big to see what it is.


Like has been said , it can’t hurt to let it grow, but that doesn’t look like an apple to me. Apples(and most fruit trees) don’t reproduce true from seed, meaning you’ll likely get a cross of your apple tree and another pollen donator nearby. Your new tree could be even better or it could be a sour crab apple. The only way to know would be to let it mature and bear fruit, which will take several years. By grafting a known variety onto a rootstock we can skip ahead a few years and the fruit will be what we expect, because the grafted scion is genetically mature and technically as old as the first tree of that variety. In fact most of the time it’s desirable to not let them fruit for a few years in order to let the rootstock catch up.
There is lots of good information on this forum and plenty of good grafting videos on YouTube. One of my favorites is a guy named Stephen Hayes, he made a pile of good videos and I watched his and many others when I was first starting. Also, the only tools required are a good grafting knife and some parafilm tape, a few pots and some good potting mix. Some would even argue the necessity of the parafilm so opinions abound. A grafting knife can be acquired for $20 or less especially to start out. Rootstocks are easy to come by but you will probably want to order early.
If your tree is still hanging on this winter I’d suggest learning which wood to take for scionwood and get it while it’s dormant and graft several in the spring. It’s a fun and addictive hobby. If you already knew all of that I apologize and mean no disrespect.


Maybe Tom cruise


I definitely did not know any of that :grinning:
Perhaps I’ll give it a try. Thank you.