More great info on fruit trees! : LUSENET : ACountryPlace : One Thread

I put this in a se[arate thread from the info below because I feel that the information I will be presenting here is just phenomenal. This info was sent to me by a member of an heirloom list I am on. His name is Walter. I hope you all enjoy it. I will follow this original with some continuing info from the same list.

This is a subject dear to my heart, Dee Ann. I have grown fruit trees from seeds. I did assume you didn't include melons, etc. in your question. But fruit trees are generally concidered greatly inferior to grafted trees. They often are just as good. Indian Blood Cling peach is one that does come pretty true from seed. So is Elberta peach. One fruit breeding book I have read repeatedly says 90% of Elberta seedlings are as good as the Elberta of the trade. In other words, 90% of Elberta sedlings are as good as you would get if you bought an Elberta tree from a store or mail-order. Other peach varieties range from nearly true from seed to variable but pretty good. J. H. Hale peach is unusual in being just female. All of its seedlings will be vigorous hybrids, and generally very good quality. But some its seedlings will also be female only. J. H. Hale peach is the only common (and becoming less common) peach variety that needs a pollinator. Apricots are also generally pretty good from seed, with some varieties being true from seed. If you use seeds from store-bought fruit, you may have a problem. California peach and apricot varieties generally aren't hardy in the north and mid-west. Colorado peach and apricot vrieties may require more winter than California has. Same for the deep south. European plums, the Stanley, Italian Prune, Green Gage and that group of plums grow nearly true from seeds. These are concidered best for the northeast. OK throughout much of the USA. Damson plum is pretty true from seed. Pure Japanese plums are fairly true from seed. At least the average seedling is good, if not like its mother. But pure Japanese plums don't do well except in milder parts of California, usually. The hardier Japanese-American plums are recent hybrids of Japanese (for quality) and native American species (for hardiness). The seedlings will be extremely variable. The average will be good for jam, at least. Some will lose the hardiness, others will be hardy but bloom so early they never set fruit. Some will lose the quality. This is the least promicing of any plum type from seeds, but its like the lotteery. Some are outstanding, better than any others. But not the way to bet if you are short on space. The bush plum (also called bush cherries, but botanicly plums) varieties Nanking and Hanson's are almost always grown from seed. Nanking is a very nice sour cherry tasting small cherry size, fruit on a very hardy bush. Hanson's is a dark fruit chery-size but more nearly plum flavored, on a very hardy bush. Wild plums do come nearly true from seed, of course. Exceptions are like in Kansas, there at least 4 species that are native. The species do intercross, and the hybrids are fertile. So this mixture is interesting, but not true to type from seeds. The true cherries, sweet and sour, both come nearly true from seed. Though diffeerent species, they do cross, so if seeds are saved where sweet and sour cherries both grow, some may be hybrids called Duke cherries. Duke cherries are hardier than the sweet cherry, but sweeter than the sour cherry. Duke cherries need either a sweet or a sour cherry to pollinate them. There are now many varieties of Duke cherries, but they are becoming rarer. Apple varieties differ a lot on how good their sedlings are. Those like Stayman's Winesap, that do not produce pollen, usually do not produce good seeds. Seedlings are mostly runts that die early. This is because most apples that don't produce pollen are triploiids. That means they have 3 sets of chromosomes, not 2 sets like most apples. So the chromosomes can't pair up for sexual reproductions. Nuff said about why. If you get very poor seedlings from apple seeds, discard that bunch. Don't even use them for grafting stock. At the other extreme, there is the russian apple variety Antanovka, which is seed-propagated. It may not be the very finest apple, but it is good. It is generally grown in the USA fro grafting other varieties on. But it is a good enough apple. Then there is Johnathan x Yellow Delicious. Seeds from orchards with these varities used to be grown for applesauce, and it was found that this cross made prety good seedlings. When I was younger, there used to be mail-order nurseries that ould offer nameless apple trees. Usually they were seedlings from this cross. And usually the customer ws saticfied with the tree. I don't know that this is still done. The seedlings were actually being produced fro grafting onto. This was before Antanovka was used for this. a friend of mine who used to grow seedling apples of many varieties used to plant seeds and graft heirloom varieties onto them. But sometimes he wouldn't get around to grafting, or the bud died. Then he would keep the seedlings. He said that he never had a seedling that didn't make good cider. He knew his cider. One year he brought cider to a seed-savers meeting. One jug of cider was made from apples picked from the south side of a tree. Another jug was made from teh apples picked from the north side of the same tree. We could all tell the difference. And he would bring cider seperately from apples of several different varieties for us to compare. Pears are like apples, in that some crosses give good seedlings. Bartlett x Buerr d'Anjou gives pear trees that were sold nameless like the Johnathan x yellow Delicious apples. Again, the practice is out of favor, but he customers used to like the result well enough. Not quite as good as named trees, but cheap, and pretty good. Strawberries, raspberries, are self-sterile in nature, and the self-fertile domestic ones haven't yet adapted to selfing. The results of saving seeds will likely be inbreds with little vigor. Those that accidentally cross will give good seedlings, but since we tend ot grow them in groups that are all the same variety, they will mostly cross withion the variety, which will be the same as selfing in this case. You will likely be disappointed. Grapes in America east of the Rocky mountain are almost allhybrids between the European grapes and American grapes. They need resistance to native diseases they only get from American species. So the seedlings will be extremely variable. Some of the grapes from California are pure European orgion. Those American diseases aren't native there. Seedlings from these grapes will be high quality, but adapted only west of the Rockies, due to diseases east of the Rockies. Muscadine grapes, where they can be grown, are pretty true from seed. Advantages of growing seedling fruits include: The tree has an intact taproot. This can ancor the tree better than trnsplanted trees, and the taproot can go down for water better. There is genetic variation that can give new types, though most of the new types will be poorer quality. But I have the land and the interest. They are really cheap.. Disadvantages include: The seedlings will generally be variable, more or less depending on the source. Seeds from store-bought fruit may be adapted to much different areas from where they are sold. Many fruit species go through a juvenial period, when they do not produce. This can be overcome sometimes by notching below a bud in early spring. This stops the sugar made in the leaves straight above that bud from going down to the roots, and the bud then becomes a flower bud for the next year instead of a leaf bud. Sure you have to do this to several buds, but then once started, the fruiting continues. I haven't mentioned every kind of fruit. Pawpaws, persimmins, maypops, are all in the early stges of domestication, so the fruits are much like the wild anyway. Citrus seeds are often made without sex and the seedlings are clones of their mothers. But they do have the juvenial period, which grafted trees don't generally have. Walter

Little Bit Farm

-- Little Bit Farm (, September 24, 2003


Indian Blood Peach seeds can be found at the site below. This is the freestone version. There is also a wild peach seed here.

Indian Blood Peach

-- Little Bit Farm (, September 25, 2003.

WOW! Thanks Little Bit. That was a lot of information. I would like to try the elberta or blood cling peach trees. I have a few peach trees, but don't know what they are. Does anyone have these types of trees? Would you be willing to sell or trade some seeds? I am anxious to try some of these plants listed. Joanie

-- Joanie (, September 25, 2003.

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