sammus
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Growing apple trees from seed

Hi everyone,

Over the last few months I tried to grow an apple tree from seed. It reached about 3" in height before getting sun burnt and eventually died before the Easter period.

Realising the looming fate of the shoot however, I set about germinating several more seeds and finished planting three seeds into peat propagating disks. These were then transfered into peat pots filled with an organic soil to provide plenty of nutrients. I also cut open the bottom of the propagating disks so that the roots could continue to grow without hinderance.

I thought I would keep track of the seeds as they grew and so far have two photos:
16/04/2010
[img]https://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn296/bleblo1/2010.jpg[/img]

23/04/2010
[img]https://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn296/bleblo1/2010-1.jpg[/img]

They now measure upto 2" in height and look to be growing nicely.

I was wondering however, if anyone had any tips on caring for the young shoots / how to help them grow stronger / when they will need to be moved into a larger pot / etc.

Regards,

Sam

carindewet
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Helpful tips for growing apple trees

Hi Sam!
I am impressed by your efforts and resilience in growing your apple trees! May I suggest to you to keep the trees in a pot until they are about 1.3-2ft tall (40-60cm). Carefully transplant without cutting off any of the roots. Best time to plant would be during spring time, once the threat of hard frost has passed. The planting hole should be much wider than the roots to allow them to grow easily. Water the tree in well to eliminate air pockets. Spread mulch of hay or wooden chips a few inches thick around the trees. Wait a month or two before considering adding a slow release nitrogen- source. You should not have to be watering it any more after the first year.Prune as little as possable the first few years so you don't delay fruit bearing. Remember that apples do not produce true from seed, so your seedling tree is an experiment! The fruit is unlikely to resemble the apple the seed came from! Hope that helps you in some way! Good luck!!javascript:emoticon(':)')
/Users/carinambrosini/Pictures/iPhoto Library/2008/08/14/IMGP0846.JPG

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applestar
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Good advice!

I just want to add that you'll want to give your little apple trees plenty of depth for the roots to grow. I believe at the very least, a 7" soil depth would be needed. You can use a standard 8" deep nursery pot, which would be about 7" wide (you'll need a lot of soil mix but the trees will grow stronger) or use a 1/2 gallon milk or OJ cartons or a 2L or 3L soda bottles with the tops cut off .

PLENTY OF DRAINAGE HOLES. Think 8 all around the rim + 4 more in the middle. Well-draining soil mix with 1/3 sand or perlite. Transplant them soon so they can settle into their new containers with no more root disturbance.

sammus
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Hey guys,

Thanks very much for the tips. I am hoping that I will be able to minimise root disturbance as the seedlings are in peat pots so when I put them into the next size up they should get moist and allow the roots to break through the pot.

Two of the seedlings are reaching around 9cm in height now and are looking to be growing very well so far!

Here is the latest picture of the plants though taken on 30/04/2010:
[img]https://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn296/bleblo1/2010-2.jpg[/img]

Applestar, one thing I was wondering is what are these nursery pots? At what point should I be transferring them into a larger pot? Their currently shorter than the pots still and wont be able to transplant them for a few more weeks still until I get back home. Do you think that this would be ok though?

Any more tips would be greatly appreciated :D And hopefullt the plants will continue to grow!

Regards,

Sam

sammus
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Hey everyone,

So here is the latest picture of the three apple seeds...
07/05/2010
[img]https://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn296/bleblo1/2010-3.jpg[/img]

They are growing really well and I'm keeping them nicely watered so that they don't dry out.

I have just put in some supports so that they grow nice and straight - they were bending alot towards the light and with it being abit windy, I don't want them to bend too far over and snap! Is this the right thing to have done?

I'm also hoping that I haven't damaged the root system in putting in the supports. I've tied them with a thing piece of sting too so it's not burdening on the plant at all with some slack so that they can still move.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Regards,

Sam

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I'd love to know how your little apple trees are doing... can you give us an update?

I have and area on the edge of my property which is like a run off ditch for water between my property and the field behind our our house and I planted a ton of apple seed and cherry pits out there. I realize it'll be a few years before I'll be able to see if they grew or not as there is mostly grass and misc weeds in there that never get mowed. So I'll live vicariously through your experiment and hope mine are doing as well as yours are.
I couldn't survive without the pleasure my garden brings to me.

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applestar
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Re: the run-off ditch
Have you considered some of the ideas in [url=https://fungi.com/mycotech/permaculture.html]this article[/url]?

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I am not sure if the correct article came up from that link... Mushrooms? It is open to full sun all day long - at least until my apple & cherry trees grow -LOL. Not sure that would work so well there - the only time it is really damp is early spring with snow melt or heavy rain storms.

Did I get to correct article? Or was it just you were thinking I should try some Permaculture Gardening there?
I couldn't survive without the pleasure my garden brings to me.

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applestar
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The King Stropharia bit was the one I was thinking of. It grows in the sun. In a shady location, you could also grow Oyster mushrooms in strawbales soaking in the water. But from what you just said, it doesn't sound like it stays wet all the time, which was I'd assumed. Oh well. :wink:

But I *do* think Permaculture is generally a good concept to get ideas from. :D

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Its funny but before I joined this site yesterday (Which I am now totally addicted to) I had never heard of Permaculture and I had been seriously debating about trying it out on a section of the ditch because I stupidly planted that "Pampass Grass" there and its taking over everything. I saw a link to a video explaining Permaculture on another thread and thought that would be the perfect spot - chop down that grass (use it for my mulch) and get rid of that patch and be able to plant something else yet all in one job. What more could someone ask for? To late for a small patch of potatoes there this year?
I couldn't survive without the pleasure my garden brings to me.

sammus
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So its been a while since I posted the progress of my apple saplings so here they are:
[img]https://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn296/bleblo1/2010-4.jpg[/img]
The tallest plants are now around 22inches!

One thing I was concerned about however, is that on all of the saplings, the leaves at the bottom of the plants appear to be turning brown, and eventually falling off. They are in brand new soil, watered regularly (though it has been raining alot so laid off the watering) and get plenty of light throughout the day outside. The browning seems to be happening the most on the middle of the three saplings. Closer up pictures of the leaves are below:
[img]https://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn296/bleblo1/2010-5.jpg[/img]
And
[img]https://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn296/bleblo1/2010-6.jpg[/img]

Does anyone know what may be causing these leaves to change colour seen as its not cold enough to cause them to think its time to drop their leaves?

Also, how should I go about training them / getting them to develop into a nice set of trees?

Many thanks,

Sam

JONA878
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I shouldn't worry too much about those few bottom leaves Sam. It could well be a minor loss of Magnesium ,but not enough to worry about.Buds that low are not required by the tree in the future so protection of them is not needed.
If you are worried try a spray of Epsom Salts.
As to training.
I guess that you do not intend to graft your seedlings onto rootstocks so you are going to grow your trees on their own roots.
So the first question you need to ask yourself is what sort of shape are you hopeing for in your full grow tree.
That desciision will decide were you make your first cut on your trees.
To have a normal bowl shaped tree you need to cut just below a bud at around knee hight. ( Once the trees are dormant )
This will force the buds below that cut to break into growth and give you the shoots that will eventually become the trees main branches.

If you want your trees to be centre leaders then you would cut much higher up the stem to just encourage the shoot leader to grow away strongly.
Again do not prune until the trees are fully dormant in the winter months.
To do it before then would force the buds to break prematurely and could ruin your trees shape in the future.

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rainbowgardener
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I hadn't seen this thread before. Back on your May 1st post you said

I am hoping that I will be able to minimise root disturbance as the seedlings are in peat pots so when I put them into the next size up they should get moist and allow the roots to break through the pot.

Does that mean you planted your seedlings in the bigger size pot, peat pot and all? I know the peat pot company will tell you you can do that, but it is a lie. The peat pots take for ever to break down and in the meantime are strangling the roots. If you did that, I would dig down and see how much of the peat pot is still there. If it looks pretty intact, tear as many pieces of it off as you can. That could be causing your problem and could eventually kill your seedlings if the peat pot still doesn't break down.
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sammus
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Rainbowgardener:
Yeah I planted them into the larger pots without taking them out of the peat pots. Roots were beginning to come through them just before I transfered them when the pear pots were damp, but I shall dig down and check that they are letting the roots come through. If not shll I just tear the pots open so that I don't disturb any roots that have got through?

Jona878:
I think I want them to become a typical tree shape - if there is such a thing! Like a nice tall trunk with a canopy at the top, rather than train it to have branches coming off at 90 degrees al the way up it, as I have seen some apple trees be trained to.

When you say cut below the bud, what do you mean by this? Also, with the little apple shoots becoming quite tall now they are starting to become a bit windy, rather than being straight up. If I put in a taller cane should this correct it?

Little leaves are developing at the base of some of the bigger leaves so hope these may be the beginnings of brances developing. Also, I try to water them with miricle grow once a month or so to try and ensure good nutrients in the soil for them - is this of any benefit?

Many thanks,

Sam

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Hi Sam,
If you want your trees to grow so that you can sit under them then you will have to try to encourage them to grow as straight and as strong as possable before they develope too many side shoots.

It would help them a great deal if you could support them with a cane at first and later with a stake. Always keep the ties fairly loose so that there is room for growth.

If you suffer from rabbits you will need to guard the growing trunks. I would suggest wire rather than plastic as you can then still see what's going on.

As regards pruning. This winter I would suggest that you only just tip them just three or four buds down from the top.
Cut the shoot just above a dormant bud, as close to the bud as possable without damaging it.

Keep watering and feeding as you are doing until the autumn.

The one problem you will have is that as you are growing them on their own roots and not on a root-stock you will no be able to predict what hight your trees are going to grow to.

Good luck.

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Branches trained to near horizontal results in altered hormones and stimulates earlier and more prolific fruiting. Yours will fruit later but will have established a stronger foundation and can expect greater longevity.

You don't want to fertilize (especially not high N) after a certain point because the tree will continue to produce tender shoots that can be winter damaged or killed while denying the maturation to the earlier growth that will help them to survive the weather. JONA could tell you the the best cut-off timing in the season.

My trees will be getting supplemental aged compost and hay mulch to get through the hot, dry August and fatten up the green apples. :wink:

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Sam
The one thing that you have to remember when you are growing seedlings is that you are going to be one year ahead of any nursery produced trees as you are not grafting them on to a stock.

Normaly your seedling would in the winter be lifted , a scion....a six inch section.....would be cut from it and this would then be grafted onto the rootstock.
This would then be grown on for a further year and then be sold as a one year old maiden.
( Although the scion is in fact two years old.)

If you wanted a high branched tree then up to year two...your third year.....you would not allow any side branches to grow as these would finish too low for the type of tree you wanted to finish with. Just the tip would be grown on up.
Think of growing a standard rose....all shoots are removed until it nearly reaches the height you want it.

I think it would perhaps be of interset to you if you experimented with some of your seedlings and tried cutting the leaders at various heights to see the results.
As I have said before though you must accept that trees on their own roots are an unknown quantity as regards growth strength and height anyway.

sammus
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This was one reason that I grew three apple seedlings (I actually have a forth but am not letting it grow particularly tall at the moment) so that I could experiment with trying to take a cutting / get a different type of apple tree in there etc. And have at least one of the original seedlings untouched so that I can see the difference. Essentially I'm conducting a bit of an experiment outside of my front door!

One thing I was wondering is what is the ratio between roots / the tree itself? I have heard that however tall a tress is above ground, you can assume its roots reach to a similar depth. However, going around a garden centre last week and looking at their apple trees, I saw that they were a good 5ft in maybe a 10inch tall pot? Another thing, how tall should I expect the apple seedlings to reach by the beginning of winter assuming that they are now around 22inches tall and been growing since around the 10th April?

Following rainbowgardner's post, I came home and dug around the peat pots and no roots had managed to come through the pots. I pulled them apart the best that I could, and also took off the little fabric bags from the original propagating disks. Hopefully this will let the little trees grow much deeper root systems and become a bit more well grounded!

Jona, yes thats essentially what I want, to be able to sit underneath them. I had long cocktail sticks when they were a few inches tall to help them grow straight and shall be putting in some taller canes at the weekend. How often up the plant should you tie it to the cane? Maybe once every 10inches? In the past I have put the cane on the side away from the leaning plant, to help it come back to the centre.

While I was dismantling the peat pots this evening, I noticed quite a few tiny green flies sat at the top of one of the apple seedlings. I brushed them all off but is this bad?! I've not heard of greenflies being a good thing! They don't appear to be damaging the plant though, just sitting their having a perch!

So essentially on the cutting front, you only cut back in winter when the tree is dormant and you just snip the top few inches off? Surely that would stop it growing upwards would it not and cause it to develop outwards?

Many thanks!

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I have heard that however tall a tress is above ground, you can assume its roots reach to a similar depth.


This is clearly not true if you have ever seen a 200' tall redwood tree fallen!


I think the original saying was that the VOLUME of the tree below ground is similar to the volume of the tree above ground. Some trees and plants grow long deep taproots and some grow wide spreading shallow roots.

But even thinking about the volume of the tree, it really doesn't seem to hold true, at least for very large trees...

But the example of the tree in the pot isn't relevant, because that is not a natural situation. They are stunting the tree's growth by keeping it in the little pot (bonsai of course being the ultimate example of that!)
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Sam.
Apple tree roots are not very deep in their growth at all. They are more inclined to spread in a flat platform around the tree , roughly the same width as the trees canopy.

Aphids are indeed not welcome. Squash away with pleasure.

Tie to your canes around a foot apart until your trunk is straight and strong.

As to the pruning of the trees tip.
If you leave the tip un-pruned it will continue to grow next year but not so strongly and be inclined to be thinner in growth.
By tipping you encourage the tree to produce a stronger and thicker trunk.
Next spring you will find that the bud just below your cut will break and the second one lower down will also break as well.
The leader shoot wiil continue to grow upward but a little help with the ties will encourage its progress.
The second shoot may have to be removed as it is often nearly as strong as the leading shoot. You do not want competition for leader so if it is as strong...remove it.
If the tree is growing strongly several other buds may break as well.

You can leave these shoots for one year as sap pullers and feeders but remember that they will have to go eventually as they would be too low to be future branches.

By year three you should have your tree up to a height were you can leave these side shoots to develope into your branch systems.

sammus
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Thanks for the excellent advice guys! This is my first time growing anything so I'm finding everything to prove somewhat of a learning curve - and having gone in at the deep end growing trees, I haven't made it a gentle incline!

One thing I was wondering is what stage would you think my apple seedlings are at in their life cycle? That is are they now classed as young saplings, seedlings, shoots?! I don't have a clue what the correct term is!

Jona: I did note that around 95% of the aphids were on the shorter of the three apple seedlings, and the one that appears to be having the most trouble with its leaves turning brown! Apart from maintaining a vigilant squashing regime going, are there any sure fire ways to kill the little blighters, or at least prevent them from choosing my apple seedlings?!

Would it be this winter time, so they'd be around 3/4 of a year old, to begin pruning a little at the top?

Regards,

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Aphids are not hard to deal with. A strong water spray will knock a lot of them off or use a soapy water spray to kill them (use real soap not detergent, detergent can harm your plants; dishwashing liquid is detergent).
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Sam.
Fruit trees are normaly named by their year of growth..
One year old....maiden tree.
Two year old...etc.
so yours would be three year olds.

Saplings are just another name for young trees that have yet to produce side shoots. Sometimes called whips.
Seedling or Pippin. when refering to an apple. is just stateing that the tree has grown from a pip with only one parent known. So you can name it what you like...it's you who are the grower.

I would prune the tops very lightly this winter to try to encourage your trees to grow stronger.

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I'm sorry to say but the smaller, middle apple seedling appears to be on its last legs now. It could be a combination of the peat pots preventing root growth or the aphid infestation on it that has finished it off, but all of its leaves are now hanging limp and are turning various shades of brown.

I'm going to dig it up, put in new soil and transplant my fourth apple seedling into there which has so far been doing very well. Hopefully it will have better success than its predecessor!

I'm going to spray the plants with the washing up liquid mix tonight too to protect against the aphids. How often do you have to do this to protect the plants? Do you just spray the infested areas or the entire plant? How much spray is too much? etc

Many thanks

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sammus wrote:I'm sorry to say but the smaller, middle apple seedling appears to be on its last legs now. It could be a combination of the peat pots preventing root growth or the aphid infestation on it that has finished it off, but all of its leaves are now hanging limp and are turning various shades of brown.

I'm going to dig it up, put in new soil and transplant my fourth apple seedling into there which has so far been doing very well. Hopefully it will have better success than its predecessor!

I'm going to spray the plants with the washing up liquid mix tonight too to protect against the aphids. How often do you have to do this to protect the plants? Do you just spray the infested areas or the entire plant? How much spray is too much? etc

Many thanks
Shamus.
The soap mix will not protect you plant against future attacks of aphids.
All it does is coat the little beggers in a film that blocks their breathing tubes so they suffocate.
If there are no aphids on the plant don't bother to spray.
Just a light sqirt of soap in the water is usually enough.

sammus
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Hey everyone,

First of all I hope that you've all had a merry christmas!

So my baby apple trees have now lost all of their leaves and now look like a stick pushed into a pot of soil - don't see the need of including a photo as their not much to look at currently! With it being a casual 0°C outside on average atm I think it is safe to assume that the trees are now dormant - I think it may be time to prune!

Jona878 said:
"As regards pruning. This winter I would suggest that you only just tip them just three or four buds down from the top.
Cut the shoot just above a dormant bud, as close to the bud as possable without damaging it."

I'm not entirely sure what you mean - is this that you do a cut where there used to be leaves attached to the branches? Really not feeling confident about this yet so thought I would seek some advice. Also, do you cut at an angle, or flat? Should I wait until it is slightly warmer before I cut? How much of the tree should I be taking off etc?

Sorry about my lack of knowledge on this! Just don't want to kill off the hardy little trees! Also, what is the effect of cutting them down in this way?

Many thanks,

Sam

JONA878
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Hi Sam...a Very Merry Christmas to you too.

As regards your little trees.
If they are only a foot or so tall I would not prune them at all.
Let them develope to a couple of feet and then start to think about tipping them.
the sole purpose of pruneing back on a young growing tree is to encourage strong growth and to induce side shoot production.
If you do want to tip them then you make a slightly slanting cut just above a bud, trying to get as near to the bud as possable without cutting it.
The very act of cutting your tree should induce the bud below the cut and also the one below that, to break. this is how side shoots are encouraged to grow.
I would not cut them while this very cold weather continues...leave it till it warms up slightly....end of Feb say.

By the way......with this very cold weather try to keep the pots the trees are in protected from freezing completely. Wraping of sacking /straw etc.
Frost usually does little damage to the tree above ground ..but can harm roots if they are not given some protection.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

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I haven't try growing apple tree from seeds but I'm thinking about it after seeing your post :). I did stock a white peach seeds on a regular potting soil laying around though. It took awhile to sprout- squirrel won't leave it alone keep digging it out but too hard to swallow I guess :D

When they were about 1 1/2 to 2 ft. high with few branches I planted them in the ground. They grow to small trees with fruits[img]https://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll110/barnercora/DSC01837.jpg[/img][img]https://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll110/barnercora/DSC02231.jpg[/img]

I have been cooking homemade peach pie every year.

sammus
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Hey guys,

Just been out wrapping up my apple tree pots in bubble wrap to try to protect the roots from any low temperatures - bit late considering such a cold winter we've had in England, but hopefully their OK!

Here they are now:
[img]https://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn296/bleblo1/P1010231.jpg[/img]
Height of trees from left to right:
2 feet
2 feet 7inches
1 foot 10 inches

I tidied them up, taking off any brown droopy leaves that hadn't fallen from them during Autumn but one of the trees (middle) still has green leaves on which took me by surprise?! It even appears to be growing two new leaves at the top?!

The three are currently north facing over the winter, to spare them from the strong winds I get where I live, but intending to put them back to a south facing position at the end of January.

Also intending to dock the tops off before I go back to university in a weeks time - or is this abit soon? Could always do it mid-Feb?

Sam

JONA878
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I would leave it till the later date Sam.
The nearer it is to the buds starting to swell the safer it will be against cold damage.

They sure look fine though.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

sammus
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Cheers Jona! I want them to start budding already! :D

Will they flower at all this next year (though not produce fruit) or will I have to wait a few more years before they will do this?

Also, just began looking at Cherry Trees because I love the blossom on them so they may be my next project to grow them from seed!

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I have doubts that they will flower for a couple of years Sam. They need to get some branch structure going first.
Anyway you would not want them to waste energy producing fruit until they have grown a bit more.
The other thing to remember is that as you only know one of the parents you cannot be sure if your apples will be trees that can fruit on one year old wood or not...or even if they are triploids.
Something to look forward to.

Good luck with the cherries.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

sammus
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Yeah its going to be interesting seeing how they develop! I'm going to try doing cuttings perhaps on two of them, so I have one original, then two other variations on the original root stocks and see what I get.

Only time will tell, and will be a few more years before I get some nice apple blossoms!

sammus
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Hi everyone,

I thought that it was about time that I posted an update of the apple trees.

I've just repotted them into larger pots, and re-caned them to give them extra support as its getting abit windy here! The first picture is pre-repotting and the second is post on the 20th August 2011:

[img]https://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn296/bleblo1/2011-1.jpg[/img]

and

[img]https://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn296/bleblo1/2011.jpg[/img]

The tallest tree stands at around 5ft now!

They have all began to bush out nicely, but also all seem to have the lead shoot stretching very high without many branches coming off it.

I have a few questions that I'm wondering if anyone can answer:

1) Are they due another prune to encourage them to bush out more? They've only been cut back once at the beginning of Easter this year before they began to bud properly. I want to encourage the trees to get nice and stocky so that they don't need to be supported - its not necessary at the moment but I just wanted to give them a helping hand for days when it is particularly windy.

2) How should I cane the trees? I currently have a cane on each side of them with the tree in the middle, but with each tie having some slackness to it so that they can move about in the wind and reduce stress to the trees.

3) Any other bits of advice?

Cheers guys![/img]

JONA878
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Posts: 1014
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:14 am
Location: SUSSEX

They look great Sammus.

The first ones leader could be cut back a few buds this winter to make it produce a few more side shoots and at the same time thicken up the leader.


The second one I would also just tip back a little but I think you may have to tie down that long branch that is starting to form on the left side as we look at it, as it may well start to compete with the leader in strength. Not a problem at the moment but one to keep an eye on.

The last one looks far more bushy in its growth and the leader needs just a slight shortening to try to get it to grow away a little more.


You say that you have just re-potted them....I still think that those pots they are in now are rather small. They will be producing a large amount of root from now on and it could be difficult to keep them sufficiantly watered unless they have plenty of soil around them.
I reckon a pot twice that size at least for the coming year.
Then if you are going to plant them in the garden they should be fine for the following season.

A larger pot would allow you to use a stronger cane too.

Congrats though....they look great.
Be good to see what sort of fruit they produce in the end.

:)
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

sammus
Full Member
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:10 pm
Location: England

Thanks for the advice.

Should I be pruning them now while their still growing? I heard something about avoiding pruning them this time of year because of various diseases they can catch - that its better to do it just as their beginning to rebud? I want them to grow well and know that when I prune them they'll begin to develop more branches, but just whether its worth giving them a trim this side of Winter before they begin to lose their leaves?

The new pots are the black ones not the orange ones - do you still think that these are too small? They have a volume about three times greater than the orange ones that they've been in. The size they reached was in the orange ones, and these new black ones were meant to give them the extra room that they need . The roots had really filled out the older pots and needed a new pot!

Also, with all of these apple trees being grown from seed, I was thinking of trying to graft a different variation on at some point. Their about 16months old now so when would be the time to try and give this a go?

My other thought is that some of them have a lot of leaves towards the base of the tree - should i take these leaves off to try and encourage growth further up or leave them for now? They don't seem to be causing any harm though at the moment.

Thanks

JONA878
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Posts: 1014
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:14 am
Location: SUSSEX

Hi Sammus.

Sorry...should have said. Leave the pruning until the winter months when the trees are fuly dormant.

Those new pots sound fine.

As to grafting onto your new trees.
If you are going to graft onto side branches to create a sort of ' family ' tree then you will need the branches to be about pencil thickness to be able to get a good 'take '.
So as soon as they are that size then you could start to graft.
Remember though that you have to cut the scions off the doner tree when it is full dormant and do the actual grafting once your own tree has started get a good sap run going in the spring.

Normal method of forcing higher break of branches is to actually remove the low growth conpletely. At the same time though you must leave plenty of leaf on the tree to get good photosythesis for the tree.....so don't get too heavy handed. just take your time over two or three years.

:)
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

Theclowndog
Full Member
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:11 am

Re: Growing apple trees from seed

Sammus, It's been a few years. Any update as to wether your Apple seedlings are fruiting or ho big they are?

sammus
Full Member
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:10 pm
Location: England

Re: Growing apple trees from seed

Hi ClownDog,

It really has been a few years.

I can happily report they are still going strong, particularly in this early spell of warm weather.

They are currently around 5ft 6", having been pruned about six weeks ago. I am trying to strengthen them rather than get a lot of new weaker growth. It's quite exposed where they are planted and we get really strong wind through the winter so this should set them up nicely. That said, I want them to just grow naturally and not train them heavily at all. A prune here and there, but let nature shape them. Here are a few pictures below:

Image

Image

Image

Looking at the above, they look a bit spindly at the top so I will probably cut them back alot next spring, perhaps down to 4ft to really get them to bulk out. They began to bud a few weeks ago, but the leaves have really exploded out over the last week.

Image

Image

They are now approaching six years old at the end of summer. They've not had any blossom yet, and I haven't grafted them onto an alternative root stock. If anyone has any advice that would be great!

Cheers

Sammus

tomc
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Posts: 2661
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Re: Growing apple trees from seed

First (if they were my trees) I would clean out around their feet. Oh out six feet or so from the trunk. Then I would apply bark mulch about six inches away from trunk out to or past the drip line.

As far as grafting goes, you won't be grafting new roots to this tree. Instead while both the twig you plan to use and the parent tree should be dormant in the spring. Your going to probably start with a simple cleft graft (there are many you-tube series on this) and mate the size of the twig you are adding to the branch you have nipped short. and wrap it tightly with tape (other than duct tape). Electrician's tape is stretchy, masking tape is whiter. Either will work inna pinch.

I might also start cutting off vertacle branches. Think of this as water-shoot training. Jona may over-ride me here, but thats what I'd do.

You might be entertained by a fellow who blogs by the name of "Skill Cult". His front page is: https://skillcult.com/ Have fun...
Think like a tree
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