Control apple pollination

After watching @SkillCult on youtube I knew I had to give controlled pollination a try. I only had a couple of options remaining so I decided to just see if I could do it without being concerned about the quality of the seedling. I just wanted to do a test run. I chose Jonagold to receive the pollen from two different sources. One Jonagold cluster of blooms got Big Red June and the other cluster got a large unknown crab apple. The picture below is from the unknown crab. Several apples in the cluster appear to be growing. Time will tell if they work. I wasn’t sure if I needed to remove the pollen tags from the Jonagold but I did. Just to be on the safe side I kept both the Jonagold and pollen supplier bagged to make sure a bee didn’t mess up my project. Looking forward to seeing the results even if there is a low probability of it resulting in a great apple. Sometimes the trip is better than your destination. Bill

Pic 001

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Yay, another convert! or is it sucker :wink: I’ve been meaning to test the idea that the flowers do or don’t need to be covered after deflowering. It would be easy enough to test, just remove the petals and anthers from a bunch of buds in balloon stage and see if any produce seeds… I"m not sure why I haven’t done it yet. Careful, plant breeding is addictive. Pretty soon you’ll have a whole list of potential parents and the next best apple ever is just around the corner! i’m planting my seedlings out today. I have over 125 this year! Thats the most I’ve ever done and I made a lot of pollinations this year. I’m going to sell some of the seeds on my website this winter because I can’t plant them all. I could have made a lot more interesting crosses than I actually got around to. I also put some pollen in the store so people who want access to interesting varietal pollen to pollinate whatever they like can get some of the interesting genetics that I use. I plan to have more variety of pollen available earlier next year. I’m also thinking of making a mixed pollen that would have a bunch of interesting varieties all mixed so you don’t know what you’re getting. it would be like kittens and puppies where the different seeds in the apple could be pollinated by different parents. That just sounds fun.

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When I pollinate a small apple cluster should I thin the resulting apples to get one large one? or should I let all of them grow out. By small I mean three or four buds.

Loved your videos by the way, they are very interesting

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I see no reason not to just let them all grow as long as the branch/twig/spur can support them. If any are deformed, those may have fewer seeds, so pick those off if you are going to pick any off, but I will usually leave all or most of them.

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This was my first attempt and I only thinned the ones that looked like they were going to fall off. One of my fruit clusters has four apples and the other has five. My goal is to get seed not a large apple so I figure the more apples I have equates to more seed (I think so anyway).

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Thanks, that is good news, I would find it hard to remove a possibly good seed, especially when I could not guarantee that all the others would survive till harvest. Many things can happen to a young apple.
SkillCut your videos gave me a boost, I was disappointed with all the talk that I could never get a good apple from a seedling and I do want to try and get one for my zone that is a good apple, not necessarily a marketable one, just a tasty new one I can share with the grandkids.

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I have fruit set on a few crosses. I used Trailman as one of the pollen receptors. I did this for a few reasons. I cannot grow the pollinator in my zone, I love the taste of Trailman , it is very hardy here and I have never had winter dieback or lack of production due to late frosts on either the blossoms or fruit. I chose Peasgood Nonsuch simply because it was the pollen my sister in BC could send, and her friend is the granddaughter of the lady who created this cultivar back in the UK.

Here’s to hoping for a new larger apple that is as hardy as the Trailman and tasty as well

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Ursula, How did your apple do? Taste? Healthy? Still alive? Sue

Four of my seedling crosses survived on their own roots in my cold zone 2 the last 2 winters. This spring I took some scions and I am grafting them back onto the Trailman crab and a few other well established trees to hopefully speed up the fruiting process. On one of them the leaves look less like a crab leaf and more like an apple, we will see what comes.

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I have a total of three controlled pollinated trees. One apple and two pears. The apple seedling was Jonagold with Big Red June pollen. Two trees of it are growing but haven’t fruited yet. My other two are pears. These two seedling was from Moonglow and pollinated with Korean Giant. I grafted small scions and they are growing well but haven’t fruited yet. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the pears look and taste like but looks like I still have to wait awhile. One of the pears has an unusual leaf. About every third leaf has a split section.

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