Probably, everyone in childhood asked a naive question: "Will a real apple tree grow from a bone?" And the most inquisitive children even tried to bury the bone in the ground and see how it turns into a tree with delicious apples. Of course, children's expectations in most cases could not be crowned with success, because experienced gardeners know how much work it takes to achieve good fruiting from an apple tree.
So after all, how to grow an apple tree from a seed, and is the result worth the effort?
Growing apples from seeds is risky because it is impossible to predict in advance what taste they will have.
In fact, experimenting with getting a strong seedling out of a small seed is like buying a pig in a poke:
Growing apples from seeds is risky in that it is impossible to predict in advance what flavoring qualities they will have and whether they will be edible at all. But you will be able to taste the experimental fruits only after a few years. In addition, seed apple trees are very tall and inconvenient to maintain, as they were not originally grafted onto a dwarf stock like many cultivated apple trees.
Video about growing an apple tree from a seed
If the unpredictable outcome and years of hard work do not scare you, and you are still interested in how to grow an apple tree from seeds, follow the recommendations below. After all, grown annuals can be used as a rootstock, to which you then graft a varietal apple tree. Who knows - what if you manage to grow unusually tasty large apples!
Unlike seeds of cucumbers or tomatoes, apple seeds germinate with great difficulty without special preparation. You will have to put in some effort to achieve successful germination. First, rinse mature brown seeds from the apple well in running water to remove the substance that prevents them from germinating. Soak the seeds in water for three days, changing the water daily. On the last day, you can add an additional Epin stimulant to the water.
Soak the seeds in water for three days, changing the water daily
Further, the seeds are exposed stratification - hardening in the refrigerator. Fill a container with sawdust or wet sand, place the seeds there and put them on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator for a couple of months. Do not forget to check from time to time to see if the sand is moldy and dry, and if the seeds have hatched.
You can use another proven method, which was successfully used by the monks of the Valaam Monastery when cultivating an apple orchard. The washed seeds, removed from the apple, were immediately planted in the ground at the end of summer. By winter, the seeds had time to swell and during the winter they went through all the hardening stages, releasing green shoots by the spring.
When apple seeds germinate in the refrigerator, they should be planted in boxes, where drainage is poured on the bottom, and nutritious soil mixture is on top. The boxes are placed on the windowsill of a well-lit window. Since it takes from 60 to 90 days to prepare seeds for domestic apple trees, start stratification in the first decade of January. Transplant the grown seedlings into open ground and water in hot weather.
Boxes are placed on the windowsill of a well-lit window
You can recognize the wild game at an early stage by the bright green color of the leaves and the presence of thin spines on short shoots. It is better to remove such seedlings immediately so as not to waste time on leaving. Young plants, from which a good apple tree will subsequently turn out, will be distinguished by the absence of thorns, a symmetrical arrangement of buds, a thick stem and large leaves.
Video about the rules for growing an apple tree from a seed
Growing apple trees will be more successful if you dig up young seedlings closer to winter and transplant them into tall boxes or pots to give the central root of the young apple trees enough room to grow. A year later (in autumn), the grown trees are planted again under the open sky on a new bed, tucking the main root at an angle of 90 degrees.
Plant several seeds at once so that during the growing process you can safely reject weak plants and leave the strongest
Now you know how to grow an apple tree from a seed, you just have to be patient and not be upset in case of failure. Plant several seeds at once so that during the growing process you can safely reject the weak plants and leave the strongest ones. Perhaps one apple tree will bear small sour fruits, but the other will delight you with delicious homemade apples, and the tree itself will be frost-hardy and durable.
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The apple tree is the most common fruit tree in temperate climates. There are more than 10,000 varieties of these delicious fruits. It is a deciduous tree from the Rose family, the Apple genus. It is used not only as a fruit, but also as a beautiful ornamental plant. It is a tree with a spreading crown. Its height can be from 2 to 15 meters. The wood is strong, dense. Can be used to make furniture and small crafts. The branches are shortened or fertile. Read about growing and caring for Shokoladnitsa cherries here.
Flower buds are tied on them, which will later turn into fruits. The tips of the branches of wild apple trees are equipped with small thorns. The leaves are petiolate, dark green in color. Collected in bunches, have falling or remaining stipules. The flowers are small, ranging in color from pale pink to crimson. The apple tree is a good honey plant. After flowering, large, juicy fruits of a round shape are formed. They can be green, yellow and red, or striped. The size, depending on the variety, can be from 2 to 15 centimeters in diameter.
Apples are not only a delicious treat, but also a source of many nutrients. Among them:
Also apples are rich in trace elements such as iron and copper. It also contains many macronutrients: potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, sodium. They can be eaten fresh or used to prepare:
Dried apples are a source of easily digestible sugars, mineral salts and iodine.
With excellent nutritional qualities, apples have a low calorie content, only 52 Kcal per 100 grams of fruit.
If you follow the rules on how to grow an apple tree from a seed at home, you can get a fruiting tree. But the first harvest has to be expected for 5-10 years. It is important to select healthy apples. In underdeveloped fruits, the seeds do not differ in quality. Choose dense seeds with an even shape and brown color.
It is possible to grow an apple tree from a seed at home only from fresh seeds recently removed from a fruit that has not been stored. After removing the bones, immediately rinse them under running water at room temperature to rinse the inhibitor. He is an obstacle to growth. Place the seed in a bowl of warm water, stirring with a toothpick for 3 minutes. Place the seeds on the cheesecloth. Drain the water.
Important! Quality seeds are formed on apples, which grow on the edge of the crown, where the best illumination is noted.
After rinsing, place the selected seeds in a bowl of warm water. Place in a cool, dark place for 3 days. It is important to avoid stagnant water. Otherwise mold will develop. Rinse the bones every day, change the water. After 2 days, add a growth-promoting drug. It can be purchased at a gardening store and is recommended to be used exactly as instructed. Swelling of the seeds is noted every other day.
In order to induce seeds to grow, they require stratification. But first, the resulting seeds must be soaked in water for 3-4 days, since they contain substances that slow down or completely prevent germination.
Then stratification itself. It is better to carry it out at home, artificially, and not to trust the natural one and leave the bowls with seeds for the winter in the garden.
Soaked and washed seeds are placed in wet sawdust or sand and sent to the refrigerator, in the vegetable compartment for about 2 months. During this period, it is necessary to prevent the mixture from drying out, and also to check if the seeds have already grown.
If within 2 months the seeds have not grown, you can leave them in the refrigerator for another 3-4 weeks.
After the first shoots appear, the bowls are placed on the window.
If the first stage was successful, in the future you can count on getting a harvest or good rootstocks.
Throughout the season, it is necessary to carry out preventive treatments of apple trees against diseases and pests: it is imperative to spray trees with fungicides before budding and at the beginning of bud extension, and in the fall to whitewash the trunks and paint over the wounds on the trees with iron red lead.
On dry days, do not forget to water the apple trees abundantly, and after heavy rains, loosen the soil under the trees for better air flow to the roots. To do this, you can make punctures in the ground with a crowbar up to 40 cm deep at a distance of about half a meter from the apple tree trunk, or pierce the soil with a pitchfork without turning them to the sides. In hot weather, once a week in the evening, it is useful to water the trees by sprinkling, thereby clearing apple trees from pests and contributing to better crown development.
On dry days, do not forget to water the apple trees abundantly.
The first time the apple tree is fed at the end of April, scattering 500 g of urea or 10 buckets of manure around the tree. Then, at the beginning of the flowering of the apple tree, under the condition of hot dry weather, a liquid top dressing is introduced, including potassium sulfate, superphosphate and urea. Before and after feeding, it is advisable to water the soil under the apple tree for greater efficiency. During the period of pouring the apple fruits, they are fed with a solution of nitrophoska with the addition of dry sodium humate. In autumn, when the apples are all harvested, the last feeding is made with potassium sulfate and superphosphate. Depending on the weather, fertilizers are scattered on the ground or diluted in water and watered.
Do not miss the appropriate timing for pruning apple trees in the spring - it is important to have time to prune unnecessary branches before sap flow begins. In the spring, rejuvenating pruning of the apple tree is carried out, branches damaged by frost, weakly fruiting and broken are removed. In addition, shoots are cut in order to form a crown of the correct shape.
In the spring, the next year after planting a seedling, it is time to start forming a crown in it according to a certain type, chosen at your discretion. It takes five to six years to form the crown, but as a result you get a neat apple tree, which is more protected from diseases and pests, bears better fruit and gives better quality apples.Video about the formation of the apple tree crown
The timing of harvesting depends on what varieties of apple trees grow on your site. The removable maturity of apples can be determined by how easily the stalks are torn off the branches, by the brown color of the seeds and by the color of the skin of the fruit - when the herbaceous green color changes to the color characteristic of the variety, apples can be harvested.
Before the onset of frost, you need to have time to clear the bark of apple trees from lichens and moss, treat the affected areas with copper sulfate to destroy pests that have hidden under the bark for the winter, remove branches that are broken or damaged by diseases, process all cuts, cracks and wounds with garden pitch, and whiten the trunk. After the sanitary work, the land under the apple tree is cleared of plant debris, the soil is dug up and mulched with compost. Additionally, apple trees can be protected from frost by covering their trunks with tar paper or spruce branches.
An apple tree grown from seeds loses its maternal properties, there is no point in doing this, in my opinion. If only you need wilds for subsequent grafting. It's easier to find a wild apple tree in the forest and look for young plants under it.
Michurin was wrong !, an apple tree grown from a seed will be cultured, more frost-resistant and will bear fruit in the same way as a grafted tree. For example, I am growing an ungrafted seedling apple tree. And there are a bunch of such examples.
To grow an apple tree from seeds, you need to sow seeds (for a greater probability, sow not one, but several of them). After germination, you will get "wilds", or seedlings of a wild apple tree. The next year, in the spring, you must plant a stalk from the apple tree of the variety you need on the wild. There is no 100% guarantee that you will succeed. If it worked out, now you can safely wait 5 years. Then you will receive the fruits. I advise another option, or rather 2. buy a ready-made grafted stalk, preferably a three-year-old. It will take root better, this is an adult and the wait is not so long - a couple of years. If the apple tree of the desired variety is not on sale, and you have, say, a very old apple tree, negotiate with a specialist, he will cut off the stalk from your apple tree at the right time (late autumn) and plant it himself. We did just that. Although now there are almost all varieties of enthusiasts.
You can grow it, but there is no guarantee that the apple tree will grow, which will give exactly the same apples, from the seeds of which you want to grow. Now they make hybrids of 2 or more varieties. In principle, apple trees should be twisted onto dwarf rootstocks. Otherwise, they can grow up to 9 meters in height. And you also need to properly cultivate seeds. First, the seeds are placed in the refrigerator for at least 6 weeks for cooling, after mixing them in a bag with wet peat. Then they are planted in paper cups and placed on a well-lit windowsill. When the seedlings grow out of the cups, they are transplanted into the ground. Water abundantly in dry or hot weather.
Sowing apple seeds and growing seedlings is not very difficult. Even a novice gardener can try himself in the role of a breeder and grow a variety of apple trees on his site, characterized by winter hardiness and good yields.
Young trees need proper care for full development. At home, seedlings must be kept for at least 4 years. During this time, they will get stronger and will be ready for transplanting into open ground.If at home it is impossible to keep the plant for so long, then trees can be planted in a garden plot, provided that they are reliably protected from wind, cold and pests.
The volume of the container where the apple tree grows needs to be increased every year. Thus, the root system will develop correctly.
Also, it is important to take care of the correct feeding of the seedlings. It is strictly forbidden to use active organic matter (bird droppings, fresh manure). They can cause burns or cause bacterial infections.
In the first year, trees can be fertilized with infusion of humus. Every year at the end of August, potassium-phosphorus fertilizers are shown to apple trees (15-20 g and 30-40 g, respectively).
At the same time, the soil must be thoroughly loosened and watered.
Another important care item is watering. Until the root system is formed, it should be watered every 7-10 days. There should be no dry earth crust around the base of the trunk.
Most people are used to buying ready-made apple tree seedlings. But it is much more interesting to grow a tree from seeds. This is a very interesting process, although it takes a lot of time and patience. The main thing is to adhere to the above instructions. Then your garden will be decorated with apple trees that you have grown with your own hands. This is a real source of pride.