European hybrid fruit: Sharafuga, peach x plum x apricot hybrid

Justin, I was using “advanced crosses” to note the cultivars and clones that were results of many generations of improved crossed with improved. One of my own worst batch of plants was a very modern apricot just released in late 90’s, don’t remember the name. They all grew crooked, irregular, thorny, unhappy in my climate- piss poor fruit. Several of the nicest was apricots from an unknown tree on an old farmstead and peaches from an old, probably stable type. None of these had been near any wild pollen, possibly even self-pollinated.

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I literally laughed out loud. Thanks @Jose-Albacete

There are so many videos of folks growing out fruit from supermarket seeds. Yes they grow. No you won’t get what you started with. Just like we humans aren’t all born clones. Or close enough to the same idea.

Some don’t fully believe the numbers that are written about by folks like Zaiger Genetics, but I have no problem believing them. So keep in mind they selectively hand pollinate specific trees together. It is not open pollinated like most of our gardens and store produce. I can’t imagine how many seedlings would need to be grown out from open pollination to yield marketable ones. Probably orders of magnitude more than the meet his they use. .

Of course, as has been discussed elsewhere on this forum, there certainly are many varieties produced that were discarded for reasons other than just taste. Looks, size, disease and pest resistance, shipping and storage ability, ripening times, etc.

Several videos online by Dave Wilson on the Zaiger method

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Hi Phil.
I am very excited about my new project of obtaining fruit trees by sowing their seeds.
I am going to prepare half a hectare of land for the new project.
I’ll start with the apirene grapes, I like varieties like Cotton Candy, Sweet Saphire (Moon Drop), Autumn Crisp, Sweet Sunshine, Arra Mystic Bloom, and many more of these types of grapes.
I will buy these varieties of grapes at the supermarket and plant their seeds, to obtain excellent vines.

Wow, that’s too bad, I forgot that these grapes don’t have seeds.

My grape orchard has already been screwed.

Regards
Jose

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@Jose-Albacete

Hehehehhe.

José do you sleep? Isn’t it some ungodly hour in the morning in Spain?

Speaking of grapes… ordered 7 Errante Noir grape vines this week for next year.

Some of the latest Pierce’s Disease resistant varieties for wine. I can’t grow any grape variety where I live that is not highly PD resistant.

The variety is 50% sylvaner and 12.5% each of cabernet, sauvignon, carignane and chardonnay.

This red wine grape is 97% V. vinifera

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I’m not sure how to take that. I have written sincerely, attempting to learn from the experience of people here, posing questions and asking for people to share their experience on matters I do not have knowledge on. So I do not understand why you write in the manner apparently ridiculing me and implying I have said things which I have most certainly not said. Your comment is in no way helpful to me, and seems quite unfriendly.

I still admire and respect your knowledge. But find your response rather offensive.

Thanks for explaining the meaning, and sharing your experience! That’s very interesting. And that also sounds quite understandable, that specifically the old farmstead one was nice from seed, and fits with my above hypothesising. According to your experience or knowledge, would you say that would be a rather common result from growing old varieties from seed? And, do you think the modern one with the bad result might have been due to recent breeding with a wild type, perhaps for disease resistance or some other traits such as cold resistance etc.?

Cool, thanks, I will search for those when I have time!

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@Justin
He’s just being cheeky. He’s a jolly kind of guy from reading his posts.

This is how I look at growing out fruit seed. The analogy is a good one.

Say a married couple had 100 children. Not a single child will be a clone of the mother, which is what some people expect when they grow out a seed from a store bought fruit… At least for stone and pome fruit. That’s the example of controlled pollination between two different variety trees.

It’s actually even worse genetically than that. It’s not the one couple having 100 children, it’s the mother and the whole neighborhood producing the genetics for the children. That’s open pollination.

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I wonder if this is the case all around the world, or not. For example I have seen apricots grown as an important crop in Ladakh in the Himalayas, and in the Hunza Valley in Pakistan. I would guess they might have been growing them there for at least 1,000 years. I wonder if they have been grafting, or planting from seed, in their orchards. If anyone knows I would be most interested to know.

Well, I just decided to look that up, and I see in ‘Apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) in TransHimalayan Ladakh, India: Current Status and Future Directions’:

There is a growing interest in the vegetative propagation of apricots primarily
due to an increasing commercial demand for the plant.

That implies to me that they might have been usually growing them from seed? Though I don’t know for sure, it doesn’t seem to mention specifically.

Ah now I see in another paper, THE APRICOT WEALTH OF LADAKH by Mohammed Saleem Mir:

Crossa-Reynaud & Audergon (1987) believe that most apricots
in the Indus valley in Ladakh are of seedling origin. Until recently,
apricots were raised mainly from stones. Often pits falling on the
ground would germinate into new plants, which the farmer would then
transplant. Apricots of Central Asian origin are considered to be
mostly cross-pollinated, and the practice of sexual propagation has
given rise to new types, which differ in their morphological,
phenological, qualitative and quantitative characteristics

I thought of those places since they are among the very few orchards I have visited. So perhaps this is not an isolated case, perhaps there are many cultures around the world which do (or did until recent influence from the West or from capitalist pressures) grow such fruit trees from seed?

That’s interesting you should mention that since I am quite biased against doing so, favouring no-dig and more of a permaculture approach. I would say that also represents a position or style that far lessens the nature:human duality. And I would suggest (species-rich polycultures and no-dig) might lead to more healthy soil with a healthier microbiome, and potentially more healthy endophytes within the plants themselves, which can have numerous benefits also. It’s fascinating for example that so many crops can actually be nitrogen fixing that are never usually considered to be, if they have the right endophytes. Disease resistance can also be greatly improved.

Yes, indeed. Although this is often including dependent relationships with animals. Although yes, humans are rather unusual animals and do exert some unique pressures, of course.

Ah yes, indeed, urban areas are quite unusual, in that respect! That does make sense.

Well, perhaps we would get on in person. But I did find it quite rude and offensive. Especially because he severely misportrayed what I was saying and took the attitude of ridicule rather than sharing knowledge or experience.

Yes, I do understand that, I never had any doubt about that. However to follow your analogy, if a tall black man and a tall Swedish woman have a child, the child will most likely be tall. And in your extended analogy, if both those people come from tall enthoi, similarly their child will most likely be tall. So this does not explain Jose’s theoretical explanation that offspring from a cross derived from 2 large fruited parents from large fruited species would give 100% small fruited offspring, for example. Now if that has actually been demonstrated to be the case, I would of course believe it. But there has been no mention of that being based on experience, whether his or anyone else’s. Hence that seems unresolved to me.

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Well obviously the genetics of different organisms are not all the same.

I’d say you can’t just use tall as an example of fruit characteristics between two trees since the fruit is not analogous to the human body but only a very small part of it, namely the ovary and the surrounding soft flesh of the fruit. To use that analogy we wouldn’t be talking about the size of the fruit but instead the size and shape of the tree.

Also the genetic diversity of humans is much smaller than a given fruit tree, so my comparison is only loosely demonstrative.

A simple search yields articles like this on apples

#bioPGH Blog: Apples – The Origin Story | Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens | Pittsburgh PA.

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Yeah, that’s why my original example was interspecific tomato fruit size. Which can include SI species. So my first expectation would be that it might work similar to that. But if someone has experience (their own or reported from someone) to confirm or refute Jose’s statement, I would be interested to hear it! I hope I’m not offending anyone with my bias on evidence-based information.

And, regarding the link you provided, yes what it says is the same as for tomato hybrids also.

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I’ve actually had good luck with a high % of peaches turning out nice. The older cultivars of peach and apricot I’m GUESSING were probably a landrace or 1 generation removed. But very modern apricot/plumcot/and plums seem to revert to rubbish. I don’t know why. Jose is correct in what I’ve personally observed and have had related to me; nice large-fruited plum types pollinated by similar quality seem to produce mostly small fruited, trashy growth habit, worthless trees. I would use seedlings for free rootstock but leave 1 branch to see the seedling’s fruit. If it was useless I would prune it off.

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Randy, this is what we try to explain to Justin, over and over again, sice the prunus (especially plums) have a tremendous loss of genetic load, resulting in trees with very poor quality fruit.
But there is still more.
Even when born from seed, rootstocks of a certain quality are not obtained, and I give you a very simple example that has been proven by me.
I use the Mirabolan 29-C selection as a rootstock for plum trees.
Why this one and not another?
Because it tolerates the high pH of the soil quite well, and is very resistant to drought.

There have been years when I have delayed buying rootstock, and Mirabolan-29 C was not available, and Mirabolan born from seed was available.
What has happened?
Well, the logical and normal thing , that these rootstocks are a disaster, generating tremendously vigorous trees, with an enormous size, that have an excessive water requirement and poor adaptability to the terrain.
Do you think that for 1 euro, which is the price in Spain of a clonal rootstock, it is worth it to go around sowing seeds and then obtaining bad rootstocks?
This goes against the very nature of fruit growing, where more attention is paid to the rootstock than to the variety to be grafted.
But even though we told Justin over and over again, he believes he is in possession of reason, when experience is always the mother of science.
I give up trying to convince this boy that it is not the right path.

Regards
Jose

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I never saw you once explain that it’s easy to get good fruit growing old varieties from seed. You did explain about ‘loss of genetic load’ but only once, and made no response to me when I asked you directly if I was understanding correctly what you had said about that - instead you insulted me with ridicule and ignored all of my questions on that.

But anyway @randyks thank you for sharing the details of your experience, I am glad to hear that growing good fruit trees from old varieties seems apparently quite easy. And it seems all reports given here indicate it’s only modern varieties that don’t work like that, which as I mentioned suggests to me that it might be due to modern breeders incorporating wild genetics from non-domesticated plants.

Are you asking me? My answer would be yes, depending on what your aim is. If your aim is to create a reliable landrace or stable variety for other people and potentially many generations to come, for example. This is the same with tomatoes. It more commonly applies to non-rootstock, but for example someone might want to breed a good plant for rootstock by crossing Solanum lycopersicum with Solanum habrochaites - the latter offers disease resistance and cold tolerance and is quite vigorous. They might end up with 2 parent lines that give a good F1 hybrid and then sell F1 seeds to people for growing for rootstock, which appeals to the capitalist model. Or they might be more community minded and want to make an open pollinated line so that people can save their own seeds, and I know many people who do in fact spend a lot of time working on open pollinated tomato lines precisely because they want people to be able to save their own seeds (there are even people on this very forum, for example, dehybridising F1 hybrids with good late blight resistance). So, such a person might indeed spend much time and energy and space growing hundreds or thousands of plants most of which would be ‘bad rootstock’ instead of spending a few dollars on entire packets of good rootstock, so that their labours might benefit the masses years down the line. Though for me personally this makes more sense for breeding a whole plant, not just rootstock. For example with tomatoes, we can get a lot of disease resistance by using rootstock, but since my aim is focused on making growing easier for people, I am trying to gain disease resistance, cold tolerance, and good root system, directly from wild species into delicious tomatoes with no use of rootstock.

Perhaps in your culture. But as I have shown above, apparently not in traditional Ladakhi culture, for example.

You see there you go again being rude. I am new to this forum. Why do you find it necessary to be so rude to me? I have not been rude to you. I have come with an open heart, asking sincere questions. My writing has also been logical and backed up with evidence-based examples, and yet you even go so far as to claim I have no capacity for reason? I am surprised how very hostile you are being towards me. Is this common for this forum?

We have already heard:

I wonder if he had been here on this forum, if you would have verbally abused him, calling him stupid and with no capacity for reason, telling him he should have just bought cuttings for 1 euro each?

It sounds to me that if I even ask about a method that is different from the method commonly used in modern Western culture which happens to me the method you use, you think I am deserving of slander and ridicule. And that you even double down on that, repeating your highly offensive attitude. That really disappoints me. And I did not see you even once give any report from yourself or others on any actual experience relating to what I asked - fruit quality derived from seed planted - this rootstock example, which was not what I was asking about, seems to be your first mention of anything experiencial, which makes your “he believes he is in possession of reason, when experience is always the mother of science.” remark seem quite curious. But I am so glad that others here have been kind enough to share from their knowledge and experience in a welcoming and civil manner. I appreciate that a lot.

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I can only speak to my experiences growing fruit trees in an area of the world that is considered temperate rain forest. In the past 60 years on my families property of 5 acres many natural plum trees have grown up from the seed of heritage European prune plum varieties that were planted by the original homesteaders a century ago. It has not been my experience that the naturally growing offspring of these heritage prune plums rarely produce edible fruit of quality close to the parent. Quite to the contrary, 75% of these trees produced fruit that was indestinguishable from the heritage plums they were descendents of.

As a matter of fact I would say several of the volunteer trees had some superior traits to the originals. Several of the naturally growing prune plums were far smaller trees that were easy to harvest from because they were only 6-8 feet tall, whereas the parents were at least 16 feet tall and required harvesting with ladders.

The fruit was of equal quality IMO and the trees sizes of these offspring were a much more manageable size than their parents. I would personally consider that an improvement over the originals. Yes, some of these naturally ocuring trees produced inferior quality fruit, but they were in the minority. The size of the trees with subpar fruit was again on the small side, so these trees were easily top worked to more desirable tasting varieties.

I am currently using root sucker volunteers from one of the smallest of the natural Euro prune plum trees as rootstock for grafting other varieties to.

From my experience with the prune plums growing on our property there is a greater chance of having natural offspring of equal or superior properties than inferior. The oft quoted 1 in 100 chance of producing a decent fruiting tree by seed has not been my experience at all. Nature has done a fine job of producing trees since time immemorial and man can still make improvements, but natural trees are not all inferior by any means IMO.

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Justin, I think one nuance that is worth paying attention to is the ability of the rootstock and clonal propagation method to preserve and combine the absolute superlative genetics in a way that, while technically not impossible for controlled sexual reproduction or even full-blown open pollination, is mind-bogglingly unlikely. If I may make a messy and problematic analogy:

While those who have studied know it is John von Neumann, the popular notion is that Einstein was the smartest guy ever, so we’ll use Einstein in the example. The greatest athlete ever is probably more murky, but let’s settle for Michael Phelps, since he’s the most decorated Olympian ever. How often do those kinds of individuals show up in the general population? At best, we’re talking one in billions chance. And then, in the next generation, that magic combination of genes is gone. Sure, Einstein’s kids were pretty smart, and I suspect Phelps’ kids, I assume he has some, are healthy, but none of them are superlative like their parents.

This is the norm: the children of greats, while often pretty darn good, are almost never as great. Several of Bach’s children were good composers, but no one would put them into the top ten of all time, unlike Bach, who is the absolute, undisputed greatest of all time. He had like 20 children, yet none of them were as great as him. Even if you combine two greats, say Robert and Clara Schumann, it’s a crapshoot–they were two of the best musicians and composers of their generation, and yet none of their eight children were remarkable.

So, if you were in the business of cultivating geniuses and super-athletes, things would be pretty darn difficult for you. Unless, of course, there was a way of preserving Einstein, and not only preserving him, but multiplying him so that anyone who needs a genius can just hire an Einstein. Better yet, imagine we can combine the mind of Einstein with the body of Michael Phelps. Now we have a super-human who is the greatest athlete of all time AND the smartest person ever.

That’s why we clone cultivars and rootstocks and graft them together. Rootstocks varieties are the Michael Phelpses, with unmatched performance for the chosen sport (ie soil and climate), and fruiting varieties are the Einsteins, the absolute best (tasting, colored, textured, etc). You could try get the same level of greatness from a seed-grown plant, but think about how many humans have been both the greatest athlete of their generation AND the greatest minds. Edwin Hubble, the astronomer, was also a pro basketball player who won a national championship. And… that’s about the only good example.

So, you could wait around for centuries and make billions of crosses in the hopes of eventually getting one Edwin Hubble, a good pro athlete and a very good scientist. And then he’d die and you’d wait another few centuries. And you only ever had one Edwin Hubble.

Or, you could clone your Einsteins and Phelps, graft them, and make the Phelpsteins so common that anyone can just pick one up from a bigbox store.

That’s why we don’t grow fruit from seed.

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Forgot to mention:

When you graft the Einstein to the Phelps, it will be ready to do work in as little as a year, because the mind is already mature and it just needs the body to get enough size and strength built up to start being productive, which, with a Phelps body, doesn’t take very long.

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Using human analogies for fruit trees is just plain silly. My mom was 5 foot nothing and my dad was 5’9", I am 6’2". By general concensous women find taller men more attractive, so that might be easily be considered a genetic improvement. My IQ compared to either of my parents, would rate considerably higher. How did this possibly happen if the chances of naturally breeding human genetic improvements is so slight.

So again, what has this got to do with fruit trees. These types of analogies are meaningless.

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I think you missed my point.

That’s not what I was saying. I was saying, the chances of naturally breeding a human who is the absolute best in the world in two different, completely unrelated fields, is so slight. You’re taller than your parents and say you’re smarter than them too. Ok, that’s nice for you, but you’re not the tallest person in the world and also the smartest too, which is what we’d want to have in this analogy.

And you still took decades to become productive. Not one or two years.

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Yes, but what if the tallest and smartest person in the world was prone to cancer with a life expectancy of no more than 25? Human analogies to fruit trees does not equate, so why bother.

Natural fruit trees can live well over 100 years, many of your supposedly superior dwarf trees can die after 15-25 years.

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The purpose of analogies isn’t for all the details to line up, they’re for making a broad point clearer and more impactful.

The whole point is: it is incredibly difficult to just naturally breed trees that will perform as well as grafted clones that both preserve the best traits and combine them, and even if you do succeed, it’s only one plant, and it will take a much longer time to mature.

I bother because the analogy is useful and because it’s the same mechanism at play, genetics. The analogy really rams home the point that growing from seed is a crapshoot that takes forever.

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Not if you graft the progeny seedling to a mature tree. It produces fruit quickly that way so that the genetics of the new variety can be assessed for improvements rather quickly. This is what is often done in breeding programs.

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