Homescale Apple Breeding: Labeling the Seedlings and Amazing Red Fall Colors

Below is todays video, the latest installment in the now year and a half long homescale apple breeding project.  We started at pollinating some blossoms in Spring of 2015, and now the trees are waiting another couple of months to be grafted out.  Labeling is important because it is what allows me to keep track of each tree and to take notes on the apples as they begin to grow and fruit.  The identifier code also tells me what the parents are and what year the pollination was made.

The fall colors on some of these seedlings is remarkable.  All of the extremely red leaved seedlings have maypole as one parent.  It is the most red fleshed apple I've used, but it also has very red leaves, flowers, bark and even some red in the wood.  The downside is that, it is a very primitive apple with a lot of puckery tannins.  The flavor is excellent, but it is pretty rough around the edges, and low in sugar on top of it.

imagine these all grafted onto one tree for fall color effect.

One neat thing about Maypole is that it is a columnar style tree.  That means it grows very upright and narrow.  Not a single stem, but it has a very small footprint.  It is also dwarfed, so it will never grow very tall.  If I recall correctly, I think the columnar trait is dominant.  So that will be interesting to watch for as these guys grow out.

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One of the apples I crossed Maypole with is Wickson, which can get up to 25% sugar, the most I've ever heard of for an apple, so hopefully one of those 14 crosses might yield something sweeter.  If nothing really eminently edible comes of those, they might still make good puckery cider apples if the sugar is raised, or something to use in further breeding.  Because, remember, each new seedling is a product of both of it's parents, and carries a large compliment of Genes hiding within.  If the high sugar trait does not express in the first generation, it may in a second generation, especially if it is back crossed to Wickson, or another Wickson seedling.  Stay tuned for 5 or 6 years to find out!

and here is the entire series on this project...