Hybridizing stone fruits


How long has the tree been in that pot?Containers tend to keep plants smaller. Brady


Three years.

I’m planning to hybridize it with a dwarf peach.


Nothing in such a small container can grow very well, I feel it tells you nothing about it being dwarf or not. Not meaning to be disagreeable, just my opinion. I put my seedlings in a 3 gallon pot, and they will be transferred to 30 gallon pots, now if it was in a 30 gallon pot and grew 2.5 feet, yes you may have a dwarf.
Even in 30 gallon pots, root room is severely restricted.
I know fruitnut uses small pots too, but no doubt the trees are dwarfed from lack of root room. He’s good with that, easy to move, he’s not a young man, etc. I will do the same thing in 10 years. Right now though I know I can get bigger fruit, and more of it in the largest possible pot I can find. I can move 30 gallon pots, nothing much bigger though. I discovered that I probably can leave trees out all winter in fabric containers, and may switch to 50 gallon fabric bags, and just leave it!


I took all my seedlings outside the past 2 days…they are going back out now. I repotted a bunch of pear seedlings. This is a tray of Flavor King.


You might have some winners there! My problem is room! I have three Indian Free seedlings, I’m pretty sure they are Arctic Glo x Indian Free. I just moved them up to 2 gallon root pouches. I will transfer in April into permanent home.

I have other seeds, and want to check for any possible inter-specific crosses, otherwise they will probably be destroyed. Some are planted in the ground, some are still in the fridge in shells.


For backyard growers like myself…the only way i can see is to bud them all 2 one ( a few) trees and get them fruit asap and cull them if they are junk. I had one seedling that fruited last year for the first time and it was so so…nothing special so i got rid of it.

When it comes down to it the cost is next to nothing to do this stuff…so no harm if you have to toss a bunch of seedlings.

The tray of pears i have is going to my brother’s land for his deer plots. His problem will be protecting the trees themselves against the deer.


Both parents are outstanding. It has to be a cross too, as Indian Free is not self fertile. Rare for peaches not to be self fertile, makes a good candidate for hybridizing though. I’m looking for a peach that ripens between them. AG ripens here August 8th, and IF October 8th, so hoping these seedlings ripen in between. A very good chance they do. So an earlier red fleshed peach. We do have some that Scott, has, but I don’t have them, so I made my own.

I’m also hoping the larger size of Arctic Glo dominates. I do as you do too, have to grow them out. I may also try grafting, but not anytime soon. When I shape them I will keep scion. Anybody know where to get Lovell rootstock? I want it to graft any winners I happen to make.


Arctic Glo should fruit for me this year. I have Glo, Star, and Rose all loaded with flower buds so i should be good to try them.

I’m a fan of the red fleshed.

How are you keeping track? It looks like i’ve losted a few tags from the summer/fall…ugh. I used masking tape and a black sharpie…fail.


Well I only have three right now! I’m the wrong person to ask. I have 5 unknown fig trees, from losing track! Yikes! What happened is I had some cuttings that failed, and I just threw them back in some moss, unmarked, and sure enough they grew.I was not expecting that!


My proprietary SunRose Peacharine is in bloom. It’s a cross between Elberta Peach, seed parent, x LeGrand Nectarine, pollen parent.

Now, here’s its half sibling, a full peach, for comparassion. Both have the same seed parent.


I have a question to all of you hybridizers: how can you be sure in the parentage of your hybrids? Most of the stone fruits are self-pollinating plus there are pollinators flying all around. To be sure in the right pollinator variety you need: 1) remove stamens on the unopened flowers and protect these flowers from pollinators; 2) protect your pollen source flowers from pollinators because they can “contaminate” them with the pollen of any other trees; 3) Finally after all pollination is done you need to protect them again. I think if you just use the regular brush and hope that you get lucky the results might be very inconsistent.


I gave this method a try last year. It takes a little extra time but there is satisfaction when it works out. My first two seedlings are emerging from this method Jonagold (triploid) and Big Red June apple.


That’s what I always do, I remove the petals and pollen from unopened flowers, then I pollinate them with the desired pollen. After that, I cover the fertilized flowers with newspaper for three days.


Yes. me too. Sure still a chance of an error, I would add I like working with dry pollen, so I dry it out. I feel I can handle it easier and such. For just plain pollination for fruit I still like drying it.
I consulted with one professional breeder for help. I find stone fruits rather straight forward. It’s much harder with some other fruits. Like brambles. I want to try blueberries, but never worked with those bell flowers,or blueberries, so it may take me a year or two.
I’m excited as I will be getting fruit off a raspberry hybrid of mine this year. I’m almost positive the cross was good from various observations.

For me it’s a hobby within a hobby. Just playing having fun. Although this hybrid raspberry looks to be special, the jury is still out, but the impressive growth is very encouraging. I have a few other ideas in crosses for brambles, some for blueberries, and stone fruit. I can see a good possibility I will keep some raspberry hybrids and some peach hybrids, in other words. i expect a few winners, as my goals are not hard, and should be easy to accomplish. Like I like Indian Free and Arctic Glo, so I should like a cross, and maybe it will ripen closer to glo, that is all i want, is an earlier ripening time of a red fleshed peach. Not to trade, patent, or anything like that, just for my backyard…I got three crosses that look like it is Indian Free x Arctic Glo. I didn’t do a controlled cross, as any cross is cool with me. Indian Free is not self fertile, so all for sure are crosses. And the seedlings look like it’s Arctic Glo, but could be Lucky13 or Spice Zee, but that’s fine too! It’s a win-win.
With brambles I have done the controlled cross, emasculation, bagging of ovaries, collection and drying of pollen. But with stone fruit no, as I don’t really care that much what the crosses are, only for me anyway. Unless it’s awesome and I will share scion if anybody happened to want some.
If both parents don’t bloom at the same time you can store pollen frozen, as long as it is dry before freezing. So the next year you’ll have it on time.


I use organza bags, I like them. But newspaper would work too!


Thank you for replies , it is nice to know that it works. I may try to pollinate cherry with plum or pluot pollen if I have a time for it.


How do you dry the pollen for storage? Is it as simple as bringing it inside for a few day?


Yes, I just store in a jar for a few days and it drys really well. Becomes a powder, and stops clumping.




It still catches well on brushes, and seems easier to use. I can see it better too. My eyesight is not the best!