What to Expect from Apricot and Peach Seedlings?

A friend sent me some seeds from China, apricot, peach, Chinese chestnut, Chinese hawthorn. I’ve planted the hawthorn and the chestnut. But not sure about the apricot and peach. I know the seedlings probably do not come to the true varieties.

Of course I can grow them for root stocks. But still not sure if they are better than the other common type of root stocks we normally use. It still takes a lot of time to start the seeds. Take longer to see the fruits…

There was an article in Mother Earth News some time back regarding growing peaches and apricots from seed (you can Google that). It stated that the seedlings for these particular stone fruits were “close” to being true to the parents–closer than many other examples. Whether that can be scientifically demonstrated, I don’t know. My personal experience of one case (a “Last Chance” peach) suggests that it is so and it only took 3-4 years to get the first fruit. A local grower has told me that he gets seedling apricots coming up all the time from fallen/bird-sampled fruit that produce Blenheim-like fruit, so there’s more anecdotal material.

I’d say if you have something unusual like the seeds from China–assuming they were supposed to be from good fruit–it’s worth a try.

Great, I’ll just toss them in a containers and put them in the shade. I think this is better than planting then in ground since I may just forget about them…

As an FYI, China is positive for plum pox (Sharka virus). Some sharka strains endemic in the wood only, other strains infect seeds.

I’m not trying to be the seed police, but the consequences of importing a disease can be disastrous. Citrus greening has cost the Florida citrus industry millions because someone brought in contaminated wood.

Plum pox is probably not quite as bad as citrus greening, but still very bad. The U.S. spent millions eradicating this disease a few years ago. I personally spoke with one grower who had to cut down all his stone fruit trees. Boyer nursery had to move their whole growing operation to Delaware because they were in the “quarantine zone”. No stone fruits could be grown in the quarantine zone (homeowners or commercial growers). Something to think about when receiving plants and seeds from friends overseas.

I once read a case where a foreign man was caught and prosecuted for bringing in diseased plant material in the U.S. He was a hobbyist who unknowingly brought in material with a disease which was not present in the U.S. at that time.

Seeds and plants can be received from overseas. However, depending on the plant material, it can be a lengthy process through Aphis. But doing so can save a lot of potential heartache.


Thanks for pointing this out. Really important, and needed.

Olpea,since you answered my post, I just want to make a few things clear:

  1. Seeds from overseas can be readily obtained. Visit any ethnic markets, Chinese, Indian, Korean, Turkish, etc. Seeds are sold as grains, beans, spices, dried fruits and in many other forms. They may be imported as food or spices, but they can be planted as seeds.

  2. Seeds are sold at eBay, Amazon and other places and shipped from overseas. To me, if that is someone’s normal business and allowed, then the practice is legal.

  3. It is over-react to someone’s planting a few seeds for hobby. The seeds may not grow at all.

  4. And do not single out China as the source for many kinds of diseases. A lot of diseases are home brew. A couple of years ago, some garlic farmers had some kinds of soil diseases and wiped out the entire crop. Something like that has nothing to do with China.

I respect your opinion. But I do not like to see what you just stated, particularly about that Chinese man. It has nothing to do with this thread. I have no interest in politics.

I’m only interested in knowing what to expect from stone fruit seedlings…

Red Sun, don’t think Olpea mentioned politics at all in his post? Not sure how politics is entering into this message thread. What Olpea posted is very sage advice. So, my comments to your points:

  1. Many of the products you find in ethnic markets are grown here, and some abroad, but all are inspected and treated. Does that mean the seeds are virus/disease-free? Not always, but you will have a better chance of having a disease-free seed than from other sources. Your source was illegally shipped to you, and you have zero idea if those seeds are disease-free.

  2. Seeds sold on Ebay, Amazon, Etsy, Craigslist, etc. that come from overseas and shipped into the USA are done so illegally. To you, if that is someone’s “normal business”, that doesn’t mean the seller is abiding by our USDA laws regarding the shipping of seeds from foreign countries into the USA. So, by you purchasing illegally imported seeds, you can be fined. The USDA has no problems whatsoever, knocking of folks’ doors, hunting down illegally purchased plant materials. They did this with some insistence and determination a few years back, when folks in Florida and other quarantined areas of the USA decided to ship citrus outside of the state. Those shippers are now in jail, and the purchasers had their trees and plant materials confiscated and some faced some hefty fines.

  3. We are not over-reacting at all. There are some terrible diseases out there in the fruit world. Just because you see yourself as a “hobbyist” doesn’t mean you can shrug the responsibility of being a good steward as well as following the laws laid out regarding the illegal transportation of plant materials from abroad to the USA. And, if there is a chance that some unusual fruits purchased at an Asian market might have infected seeds, you should consider the possible damage you could do to your yard, someone else’s yard, and even possibly the commercial fruit growing industry in your area. This is the same attitude a fellow had up in Hacienda Heights a couple of years ago, when he did his neighbor a “favor”, and grafted an Asian pummelo scion to their grapefruit tree. That scion was brought over from China by this man, and was infected with HLB. We here in California are all still collectively holding our breath on that one. He was just a “hobbyist”. His one selfish act may have cost California their multi-billion dollar citrus industry. We are all still waiting to see.

  4. China (and much of Asia) is the “birthplace” of many terrible plant (and human) diseases. Not going to going to go into the epidemiology of that, as that would take an entirely separate thread, but you can Google why that is. Lots of info on that.

And you make a salient point - we have enough indigenous diseases to worry about, without having to bring in more from abroad, where we have absolutely zero natural predators to check their spread. Another indigenous disease, Pierce’s Disease, is spread by the sharpshooter. It has severely affected the grape industry in California. Why is it rearing its ugly head and causing so much devastation, when it’s been around for centuries? Because we have introduced a non-native sharpshooter (the vector) that can fly much further than our native sharpshooters, and techniques that were used to control this disease in the past now no longer work. Not only do we worry about our commercial grape and wine industry here, we are now watching the demise of every single Oleander plant in S. California due to the same disease, spread by the same non-native vector insect.

Olpea’s advice should be remembered. His advice was - think twice about planting a seed from a foreign source that came here illegally. It is wise advice. If you want to ask about what to expect from a seed from a tree you’re growing in your own yard, or, from a piece of fruit from the grocery store, you wouldn’t have gotten this piece of advice. I wouldn’t plant them unless you know they are virus-free. And you don’t. Think beyond your yard, and think about the possible effects of what you might do, and how it could affect others.


I do not want to discuss anything related to what Olpea said. So please do not continue with that path. If you do not have anything to say about “what to expect from the stone fruit tree seedling”, please stop.

This gets annoying. To see someone even brings this up. Say somewhere else, PLEASE… Just leave this thread to what it intends for…

hoosierquilt, I did not read your post and I do not intend to read it. Thx for your time. You spent quite some time to write that up. IMHO, it is just a waste of time.

Again, please stop. Or I’ll just ask the admin to delete this thread. It gets annoying and absurd, IMHO…

wow…just WOW. There are hard heads and then there are really hard heads.

What to expect: The stone fruits seedlings will most likely produce not true to seed fruit. For example, if the seeds were from a Frost peach, the seedlings’ parentage will be, Frost x unknown pollen, not 100% Frost genes.

I had an elberta peach seedling that produced peaches with big seeds and little flesh, then it died on its seventh year— it didn’t like the desert soil, and it was very sensitive to slightly dry soil.

What to expect: Part two: The seeds are probably vectors of a pathogen that will most likely kill your seedlings, your fruit trees, your neighbors’ trees, and posibly damage your state’s agriculture. Just saying…

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I do not understand why someone wants to continue to be a pest and do not respect others.

This is just nonsense…


I am sorry if I offended you by mentioning China. I mentioned China because that’s where you indicated you got your seeds, and China is positive for plum pox. It was not at all intended as a slight against China… If you had mentioned you received your seeds from Germany, I would have mentioned Germany because they are also positive for plum pox. I have edited my post to remove the reference about the Chinese man. I can see how someone might see it as blaming the Chinese people in general, which was not my intent.

Regarding fruits imported. Trade negotiations are a very complicated process, but part of what goes into it, is imported pest considerations.

As an example, U.S. apples destined for Japan must be treated to insure there are no codling moth larva in the fruit (as Japan does not currently have codling moth). The apples used to be treated with methyl bromide, I don’t know what they use to treat the apples now.

Likewise, the U.S. exports a lot of cherries. Because of this there is a zero tolerance for cherry fruit fly larva (i.e. cherry maggot) in the fruit because so many countries we export to, do not have that pest. If even one larva is found in one fruit the whole truckload is rejected. That’s why the EPA allowed cherry growers to continue to use Guthion through 2013 (because it was so effective at controlling cherry maggot) even though it was illegal to use on other stone fruits.

As I said, there is a lot of thought and consideration that goes into fruit imports/exports.

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As I requested so many times, please keep the discussion in focus. I did not ask for legal opinion or advise on disease.

If you have expertise with that regards, show it elsewhere…

I do not want to have anything to do with that.

Please just stop it…


Sorry, but this is the danger of living in and partaking in a vibrant and free thinking dynamic, society, association, group or forum.

All I have seen is people trying to accommodate and understand an apparent hypersensitivity to something or other but with not even with an attempt at any reciprocity.

A public request for information invites an answer as well as a reaction. That is the price we pay when asking.

If the price I pay for responding is an unpleasant negativity, in the future, I just don’t respond. Such a shunning would be a loss to both parties.

I don’t know… Just call me silly but that is how I feel about my “off topic” response.


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I do not appreciate any “off topics” discussion. Also the repeated the posts after all my requests to stop that.

What in the world folks just do not respect the OP’s request?

I do not want to be a police and I do not want to see anyone else policing my posts…

Can people just listen and stop the “off topics” posts?

To make everyone easy on this and no more “off topics” posts, I’m a researchers on agriculture, with license for seeds from overseas. Some colleague/friend sent me a package of seeds and say they may be of some use to me…

The point is that being the " OP" does not give one the option to throttle the responses.

I myself have learned something new from the “off topic” portions of the responses that I would not have thought to ask about.

There is no policing going on … Only reactions to attempted policing.


Just silly…

Just silly is right!

There have been some VERY thoughtful responses here, by some profoundly knowledgeable EXPERTS and you seem unwilling to even be a tad bit courteous in your replies.

I wonder if you go to a Doctor with a skin rash if you’d mind him or her pointing out that during the exam they detected a cancer. Or would you prefer they limit the in-office discussion to your rash and send you on your way?

But in the end I agree, you’re being silly to not accept great commentary for what it is.