Greenmantle Nursery

The agreement you sign with Greenmantle is not only as good as your word. It is legally binding.
If you violate someones trademark, you are subject to lawsuit.

Have you tried asking them about a propagation agreement? I got the feeling that if you were serious they might consider it. One-off agreements are out of the question, but if you wanted to put in a couple hundred trees, they might consider it.

I have a friend operating a small nursery who helps with my orchard. We called Ram 2 years ago about just that and he said absolutely not. If you want 100 trees, you can buy them from me he said.

Good to know. Thanks!

How does a trademark differ from a plant patent in the case of Greenmantle?

I understand what they intend, I also have no doubt that they would attempt to enforce the non-propagation agreement… eg. The trademarked name means little, but the non-propagation agreement is enforceable to the original purchaser.

To keep this simple, a trademark is a protection of identity while a patent is the protection of an asset or a process. For example, NBC has a trademark for its chimes and most large companies have their logo trademarked.

If Greenmantle has a trademark in the trees then it most likely has something to do with the branding or naming of the trees.

His varieties are commonly circulating already anyway, someone violated the agreement. Only the original person is in trouble, whomever that was. I am in a way happy they are circulating as nearly all new apples today are club apples with a similar questionable legal arrangement (an end-run around patent laws). For Ram I am not happy, he deserves the money. But pretty soon every new commercially bred apple will be a club apple and home growers are never going to get any new apples. Unless one volunteer steps forward.


I’m waiting for someone to volunteer for a SweetTango! LOL!

My wife KNOWS I’m crazy when I joke about sneaking around in an orchard in a Ninja suit looking for a stick.

Thats what I thought.

Hi Scott,
I’m not too worried about it. There are all KINDS of breeding programs going on. Some result in patents, some result in club apples, some are amateur breeders. Also, old apples are rediscovered. The patents eventually expire. Personally, I have little interest in growing the same apples as the big guys, or the clubs as I can buy those apples in the store. I only grow apples that are otherwise unavailable.

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I have this thought rattling around in my brain that since apples are still alive, and that if one can get some of the stem tissue in a not too dead state, you could maybe tissue culture one of the club varieties into existence. Some folks down the hall from me at work used to form callous balls of hybrid poplar in glass flasks. I gather it wasn’t too terribly hard. I think the hard part is transforming the callous back into differentiated tissue.

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If we want to get technical Kazakhstan could sue all of us. :slight_smile:

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Unfortunately more and more breeding programs are switching to making club apples. Many of the U breeding programs are there already. If they all switch to this it could be in 50 years nearly all the new apples of the last 25 years are “in the club”. So, I’m not worried about it today but it could be a big problem down the road.

So far, I have not found any of the club apples interesting enough to want to grow myself.


Would not it be a self-defeating model for them? There is only so much shelf space for apples in supermarkets, which means as the number of club apple varieties increases, some (actually most) will be pushed out.

Correct. See the section “What’s with the Trademarks and the Non-Propagation Contract?” on their Fruit FAQ page.