Bowhunter666
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Best Way to Plant & Germinate Apple Tree Seeds?

So I have 10 apple tree seedlings about 24" inches tall, I would like to keep that home until they are bigger and stronger. And then bring the, to deer camp. So my question is

1. Can I plant them in a 5 gallon bucket with proper drainage holes drilled for the first season.
2. What's the best dirt to temporarily plant them?
3. What's the best way to germinate from seed?!?

Any help would be appreciated.

JONA
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Re: Apple tree seedling help?!?!?!?

Hi Bowhunter
Five gallon buckets should be fine.
Any good quality Loam is fine or potting compost with good drainage. There's no need for extra fertiliser for the first year.
To germinate Apple seeds ....wrap the seeds in a moist cloth and place in the fridge for anything up to eight or so weeks. Check periodically to make sure the cloth remains damp and the seeds have not started to sprout. Once they sprout they can be carefully potted on into seed compost.
Remember though that as your trees are on their own roots you cannot be sure how tall they will grow so container growing may become very difficult.
Also of course there is no telling what your apples will be like as you will only ever know one parent unless you hand pollinated the doner fruit.
.
John

AnnaIkona
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Re: Apple tree seedling help?!?!?!?

I agree with everything JONA said: a bucket with drainage holes would work fine.
And any soil is fine as long as it had lots of organic matter.

In nature, apples grow and fall off the tree in late fall. The seeds from the faller apples are then kept in the soil over the winter and then sprout in the spring.
So, to make the process similar to nature's, I pick the apple seeds and wrap them in moist cloth, put the cloth with the seeds in a ziplock bag, and place 'em in the fridge until they sprout.
Zone 8b, Canada

Taiji
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Re: Apple tree seedling help?!?!?!?

Do the seeds actually sprout in the fridge? Seems like they would need a warm up as they would get in nature in spring.

I rec'd 3 bare root crabapple trees last fall, only about a foot high. I put them in their own 5 gallon planting pots with a mixture of garden soil, some potting soil, a little sand, mulched on top. I didn't do anything special for them. I have been keeping them watered. I'll probably leave them in there for this whole season, then transplant them next midwinter, or early spring. I think they'll be ok. The variety is Transcendent. They are leafing out now. They're supposed to have a fairly large yellow fruit. Should be nice, I hope. :)

AnnaIkona
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Re: Apple tree seedling help?!?!?!?

Yes, Taiji, they sprout in the fridge. And best of luck on your crabapple trees! :)
Zone 8b, Canada

Taiji
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Re: Apple tree seedling help?!?!?!?

Well, I wonder what ever happened with Bowhunter's trees? :)

These are my 3 Transcendent crabapples after a few months in the 5 gal. buckets. About 3 feet high each with a couple of branches. Now my question is, can I leave them in these buckets for yet another year if I add some fertilizer? I mean, instead of planting them out this winter or next spring, can I wait til the following year? That would give me more time to find the right place for them!

Or is that pushing things too much?
crab.JPG

JONA
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Re: Apple tree seedling help?!?!?!?

Providing you feed and water them well they should go for another year ok.
But....when you do plant them out you may well find that the roots have formed a tight circle around the inside of the containers.
These will have to be teased out when you plant your trees or they may stay that way and affect your trees natural growth in future years.
John

Taiji
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Re: Apple tree seedling help?!?!?!?

Thanks for your info John. Sounds good. Now that I think of it, I've seen lots of trees for sale at nurseries in containers that size that are much bigger than my trees.

I think I should reword my other post though to read: "that would give me more time to procrastinate before setting the trees out!" Might as well call a spade a spade! :lol:

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