I’m assuming you want a large quantity of trees http://www.willamettenurseries.com/fruit_tree_seedlings. I would not pay much over $1 each. Think about how your going to avoid diseases which typically means dealing with a single great source or two. I can’t help with the fruits of those because I’ve not personally grown them but they say they are ok for wildlife and even pie. Think $100 or so would get you well on your way to a large wild tree orchard. Graft them if you feel like it later. I think Malus antonovka is a great choice of rootstock and I have some myself.
If anyone has seeds from interesting apples (or other fruit) they would be willing to share, please let me know.
I’m experimenting with growing seedling fruit trees and am interested in trying out a fairly wide range of fruit types.
While most anything would be appreciated, seeds from parents that have some amount of disease resistance or other especially positive qualities is particular interest.
Location is Northern Virginia, Zone 7a.
How do they taste?
I have a couple unknown seedlings that may fruit next year possibly…but at about 4 years, seedlings may take longer. (But I see spur growth).
Have some tiny seedlings of Fuji and CrimsonCrisp. But, am with you…I intend to try and make some crosses where I know both parents. Who knows,…but it beats sitting around watching the boob tube.
My seedling crosses have a good flavor but they have not all been disease resistant. Wish I could say it’s all skill and partially it is but mostly in my case it’s luck because these are chance seedlings. My apples are intentionally infected with fire blight to breed resistance but sometimes they are highly susceptible to something else
If you want to go the cheapest route, you would save every seed from every apple and plant it, then graft later on. You will not know the disease resistance of those seeds as each one will be unique.
You could buy Antanovka apple seeds, cheaper than rootstock and grow them out, it wouldn’t take long if you had a raised bed and great soil + amendments for a first year nursery bed. Antanovka is fairly disease resistant, or about as disease resistant as you are going to get without moving up into the specifically bred rootstock like Geneva and Malling.
Growing in a nursery bed for the first year is recommended so the seedlings won’t have to compete with weeds but you could also start the seeds in their permanent place if you were willing to lose some through natural selection.
If you’re asking me (I’m not sure who you were responding to), then the answer is that I don’t know.
I just started the experiment this year, so all my seedlings are small.
Hopefully I’ll be able to give a report on my first fruit in another three or four years.
Even if some of them have a modest to moderate amount of disease resistance combined with good taste, that’s a good start.
Would you have any interest in sending me some seeds from your apples?
I’d like to use seeds from a variety of sources so my seedlings have a lot of genetic variability. Cross-pollination between the trees will then really mix things up and I can use a “survival of the fittest” approach to weed out the more disease-susceptible ones.
If growing seedlings for disease resistance, wouldn’t it make sense to include seeds from some of the Kazakh apples?
Yes, you are quite right.
While I have not yet gotten around to it (quite busy at the moment), my plan is to contact a fellow there at the USDA Geneva, NY facility and request seeds from the Kazakh apples. I’ve read online that due to public interest they will provide packets of seeds from their apples to people who request them. My intent is to obtain some soon and let them thermally stratify this winter so they’ll germinate in the spring.
My understanding is that Malus sieversii trees often have pretty good disease resistance. I figure I’ll grow them along with domestic apple seedlings and hopefully seedlings from some of best crabapples. When they get to bearing age, I can just let them all cross-pollinate and plant more seeds from that. Of course that’s years away and I may or may not get to that point, depending on whatever else happens in my life. In my meantime, if I get some good seedlings from this first round I can name them after my wife and kids (they’ll get a kick out of that, I hope) and share scionwood with those who are interested.
This year there was not an apple crop to speak of but will gladly send you some next summer.
That would be great. Thank you!
Did your crop get wiped out by a late freeze or by all the rain this year?
Severe drought and late freeze.
I don’t mind sending you some seeds…but you’ll have to wait until next year. I ate my last Fuji and my last Braeburn several weeks ago, and the varmints got most of my others this year. Ask me in a few months if you think of it…or PM me.
Thanks very much! I appreciate it.