Naming Your Seedling Trees

How/what do you name your seedling or unknown source fruit trees? I’ve been updating my orchard notes and realized I now have a good number of not-commercial trees and grafts. We’re blessed with a number of good wild apple trees that I prune and manage, and various grafts from not-named trees. For note taking I started out using location names (such as Front Yard) or numbers (a7, a13) but as i added trees that got cumbersome. I went to “naming” them. Many are named after cats we’ve had or have – Cali, Lilli, Bulero, MrC, etc. (Though that’s a little difficult when a tree dies or has to be cut down!) Others have names from something nearby – Splitter, Cowgate, Sweet Cow. Those I’ve grafted from unknown variety trees have source family or location names – Hoholik, L’Anse, Emma’s, Post Office. Those from planted seeds just get one parent names for now – Dudley Seedling, Emma’s Crab Seedling. Maybe when they fruit I’ll come up with something more interesting!

My naming certainly isn’t formal, but it’s fun and I find easier to remember each tree. Sue (still winter here).



Yes, I sometimes name seedling trees. My granddaughter and I hand pollinate a Jonagold with a Big Red June apple. It’s about seven feet high and hasn’t bloomed yet. My grand name is Abigail so the seedling’s name is AbiGold.



(ps. bright idea… you might move the other trees to the front yard and get bigger apples!)


Last year or the year before, Fedco offered a tree they called “Tater House” after the location the seedling was found. I thought that was such a fun name – might have to grow it if/when they offer it again.

I don’t have any seedlings, but I think good names have stories.

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Fedco offered scionwood of that variety for spring 2022.

Hah! Too bad that “Front Yard” is in the lowest, coldest spot on our property! It’s a trooper though. Apple is a bit on the tart side though. While the smallest of the group, MrC and Bulero, are the tastiest. Such is apple life.

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I agree! I love the stories. And I have a graft of Tater House growing, too. Can’t wait to taste it but it’s still small. Sue


Ah… well, that’s true. Long story, but I moved house and am starting over with espaliers. I don’t have anything to graft onto yet, so I skipped the scion lists this year. At some point I’ll probably get a scion if they keep offering it.

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