Thanks for sharing. This was really interesting to me. Have you ever read the Old Southern Apples book? I read it a while back now but I seem to recall a discussion of how people tend not to experiment with apple seeds due to the length of time from fruiting but that when southern farmers were homesteading they did fairly well just broadcasting seed and picking the winners. Trade a few with friends and neighbors and you can have an essentially free orchard. It’s encouraging to see you having good results, because it encourages me to put effort into crossing known good heirloom parents and just see what happens! Early Red King Carolinas sound good to me
Never have read it though it sounds like a great book.
I have never grown an apple from seed, but I plan to do some controlled crosses this year. I applaud the work of amateur breeders past and present. Lets remember that 99.9% of the thousands of apple varieties were bred by amateurs and 100% came from seedlings (whether controlled crosses or not).
How do you figure 100% of apple varieties came from seedlings? What about sports?
Touche. You got me there. Forgot about those darn mutants!
So cool, thanks for sharing your results! I’m super interested in your late small apple with high flavor. Two of my interests are very late hanging apples and small intensely flavored, very sweet apples. My approach has been very different. Except for my first few seedlings, the first of which fruited last year and is quite good, I’m making all specific crosses. So far I’ve grown almost all of them out, even the wimpy ones, because I’m so curious what the crosses will be like. Fortunately, my disease pressure is light here. I think I have around 125 trees in the ground now and just planted my latest crop of seeds in the greenhouse. The oldest trees are starting to flower this year, which I’m super excited about of course. Most have one red fleshed parent, another major interest. There are so many lines and possibilities to pursue. I know a lot of people I hear from about apple breeding have high disease pressure and are really in need of resistant varieties.
In reply to the pollination issue, I remove petals and emasculate. I haven’t really studied whether bees are visiting them or not, but I really doubt it is significant. It’s more work to bag them too and it doesn’t seem worth it to me. At worst I’d end up with a few seeds that are open pollinated with one known good parent that I’m obviously interested in using anyway. My guess is that even without emasculation it would be enough in most cases to simply remove the petals from the flower. That seems a very hard thing to study though
My youtube videos on my amateur apple breeding project have been very well received. This is a topic that really gets some people fired up. I’ve been surprised how many people have contacted me who were never really even interested in fruit growing, but now want to grow apples from seed. I think it would be great to see way more people growing fruit from seed and intentionally breeding up new varieties to regain some of our lost diversity, which seems originally to have been created by a sort of chaos of apple seed growing. There are so many ways people can participate between the extremes of literally throwing totally random seeds out where they can be left to grow, to controlled crosses and multi-generational breeding toward specific goals.
Thanks again for sharing your results with us. Keep us updated!
I’m a fan of your work with apples and have watched several of your youtube videos.
I had another seedling come into production this year and it appears to be another good one. Apples have not been a main crop for me but they are about my favorite hobby. This year I just picked 5 more 5 gallon buckets of various apples and I’m starting to think my hobby is starting to not just be a hobby anymore. Really love all the different apples I grow. This year I added wickson, Kingston black, wolf river, rubinette etc in the row with my seedlings. I’m looking to cross them again in another year or so with those new genetics. I kept one seedling apple and 2 pears from the hundreds I grew last year.
Clark, I’m going to topwork a Foxwhelp and Somerset Redstreak to edible apples. If you are interested in these 2 cider varieties as budwood drop me a PM.
Thank you Chikn that’s a very kind offer. Those are great cider apples. Have you decided to get out of cider all together or are you getting to many for your needs? My new seedling apples were stolen last night but the other seedling that is normally a green apple appears to now be a yellow with a nice flavor. If your growing one of my seedlings take note of the ripening color
My idea of a good cider is the Baldwin juice that I let ferment to the point of being quite sparkling and still sweet. I pulled apples of both of the trees the other afternoon and they were jarringly astringent and cottony dry. I know they don’t ripen till later but I can’t imagine a bitter apple like that tasting good in a mix when I prefer a sweet, very minimally alcoholic, almost apple juice, cider. So the offer…
Another seedling reached fruiting age this year. It produced a few ruby red crab apples. I have a couple more seedling apples left that are close enough that they will produce in the next year or two. Not sure how this one will taste yet.
The fruit looks good and the leaves look healthy. You might have a winner. Please give us a taste update when they are ready.
Taste was very nice! Very nice color inside and out. The seeds I used for my original planting came from an excellent gene pool of wild apples!
Thanks for the update. You can tell by looking at it that it would taste really well.
How did your Kazakhstan turn out this year? Curious what the growth, disease resistance etc. was like?
Neat, I get to taste a few seedlings this year too. Looking forward to your long term results.
One of my new apple seedlings set such a heavy crop of apples they are touching. It has heavy spur growth on it and looks like it might be a tip bearer. Keep you posted on how they taste.
What is its parentage?
It’s a 100% wild x 100% wild apple. The seeds were gathered in a very remote area from wild trees.