How to grow an apple tree from seed
If you want to grow an apple tree from seed, you have to be aware of some facts. First of all, apple trees grown from seeds (and will not get grafted in the future) will most likely not produce fruits for the first 7-10 years of their life. Some of them may not produce fruits for the whole of their lifetime. Secondly, if you gather 10 apple seeds of a known variety and you plant them, you will end up having 10 different trees that will produce different apples. Thirdly, the apple trees grown from seed are much more susceptible to diseases than the trees propagated by grafting. These are the 3 reasons why nearly all commercial apple growers choose the method of grafted seedlings. Trees propagated by grafting come into fruition much sooner, produce apples of a uniform variety (shape, size, colour etc.) and the rootstocks have been selected to develop resistance to certain diseases. Finally, most apple trees are not self-pollinating. This means that if there isn’t any other apple tree close (about 80 feet or 25 m) to your backyard, you will likely have to plant at least 2 trees of different varieties in order to harvest fruits.
However, the joy of raising your own tree from seed is unparalleled, so let’s get started. The first thing we have to do is collect 5-10 mature apples, preferably from 2-3 different varieties. We cut the apples in the middle and we collect the seeds. We need to have at least 3 dozens of apple seeds, because on average, only 1 out of 4 seeds will germinate and will manage to develop into a young tree finally. We first let the seeds dry and then we carefully wrap every 2-3 seeds into a wet towel. We put the wet towels in a plastic bag sealed properly. We then put the bag in the fridge for about 60-80 days. We carefully check if the towel is wet and if any sprouts have developed every 20 days. 60-80 days after we placed the bag in the fridge, we open the bag carefully and we select only the seeds that have developed a sprout. We plant them in individual small pots containing special soil mix (soil with river sand and compost etc.). We have to plant the seeds superficially, at a depth of 1,2 inches (3 cm) and cover lightly with soil. Then, we place the pots at a room temperature, close to a wide window, so that the seedlings will have access to plenty of sunlight. The most important thing from now on is to keep the pots moist but not soggy. When the seedlings have reached a height of 20 inches (50 cm), we select the 2-3 more vigorous and we transplant them at a sunny part of our backyard. The planting distance shall be at least 25-30 feet (7,5-9 m). Keep in mind that the apple trees grown from seed may finally reach a height of 30 feet (9 meters).
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2. Growing Apple Trees from Seed
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