Apple Seeds, Various Open Pollinated
Apple Seeds, Various Open Pollinated
Prices are per seed. All of these apple seeds are open pollinated, meaning that the pollen parent is unknown. Any of them had some interesting apples growing nearby, but also some not so interesting ones, so the quality of the second parent is unknown. I'm making these available, because people have requested them. While I think growing apples from seed is a good idea in context, it is important to note that the more you can control the genetics, the more results can be steered in a certain direction. Every seed in here is from a parent that I see in some way as worth breeding or selecting from, but having a second parent as a wildcard is not ideal to my way of thinking and I recommend making intentional crosses if possible. Open Pollinated seed does introduce a certain exciting element of possibility, where some cross that I might not normally think of could happen, but I personally don't grow apple seedling of unknown parentage. I started a few when I first began working with apples, but haven't since. Intentional cross pollinations are easy enough to make, and that gives me the next level of creativity and control that makes for plant breeding, instead of just selection. I may be able to provide intentionally cross pollinated seed in the future, but for now, this is what I have. Considering the investment in time required to get an apple from seed to fruit, it is worth considering making your own pollinations. I may be able to offer pollen in the future as well, but no promises.
Growing an apple from seed is a long term, risky proposition. Depending on the parents, there can be a huge amount of variability in style and quality. They will very often show traits of their parents, but sometimes not. Like breeding anything else, the better the parents, the better chance of good offspring. It can take 4 or more years to get an apple seedling to fruit. I would count on 5 years from seed or more, and if it happens sooner, you'll be pleasantly surprised! Some will not be worth keeping, the odds of anyone growing random apples from seed getting a true classic that could become popularized and stand the test of time is probably not so great. Most of the amateur breeders and selectors I've talked to seem to agree that the average apple from good seed is edible enough and good or very good apples are not that uncommon. But, keep your expectations low. Citizen apple breeding is not common and we are all explorers. I'll describe the apples and any good and bad traits I know of. The mixed seeds contain at least these varieties, My Jewel, Newtown Pippin, Pink Lady, Katherine, Old Nonpareil, Grenadine and Gold Rush, what I think may be Northern Spy and probably others. All very good to excellent apples in some way or another.
The seeds, except for some of the Wickson, are fresh and already refrigerated long enough to plant immediately. They will be shipped with a little damp sawdust to keep them moist, but even if refrigerated will eventually begin to sprout. That is okay, but when they start to sprout, plant them. They will stand light freezes, or can be started in pots indoors, or in an unheated greenhouse. The dried seeds should be soaked overnight in cold water. They may need to be vernalized, (aka stratified or chilled) further by holding them in some soil in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 weeks before planting. Do not keep them soggy or wrapped in paper or plastic. shallowly buried in damp potting soil or sand should do fine.
The seedlings can be grown on their own roots, or grafted out after the first year of growth. They can be grafted onto dwarfing stock to save space, or grafted onto an existing tree until they fruit. For more on the whole process that I use and what you might be getting yourself into, see my Apple Breeding Video Playlist.
I'm willing to send seeds out of the U.S. because I'm stupid and I know people want them. Please check your customs regulations to see if seeds are allowed. I will list seeds on the customs form. No guarantees they will make it through, and we may never see them again if customs seizes them. I will contact you after ordering with additional shipping charges.
GOLD RUSH: Enthusiastically endorsed by growers for good cultural traits, disease resistance (pretty much seems scab immune), flavor and storage. My friend Tim Springston says his neighbor claims that the blossoms are also frost resistant. It is a Northern selection, so it is quite hardy as well. Yellow fruit, tending to red speckles. Harvest in fall and store. Retains both flavor and very good texture in storage, often into spring. It does not hang on the tree into the winter, or at least it doing so will reduce it's quality. The flavor is very good, with a balanced acidity when ripe, some spiciness and some mild banana flavor. Seems like a great apple to breed with and an excellent apple for home growers. Video review
GRENADINE: A red fleshed apple from Albert Etter, early 20th century apple breeder. Grenadine has issues with texture, but the flavor is amazing and unique. Other blood apples have berry and strong fruit flavors, but I haven't tasted any yet that compare with Grenadine. It has a very complex and forward fruit punch and berry flavor, and in a good year, deep pink flesh. I've made many crosses with it and one of those which fruited looks and tastes very much like grenadine. Grenadine's genes are somewhat primitive, making it probably riskier than some of the apples listed here, but the point is to move toward improving it by mixing in more refined desert apple genes. As it is the apple is intriguing eating when it's just right and good for juice, jelly and sauce and cooking regardless. It ripens late here, in December, but may ripen and color very differently elsewhere. Color varies depending on chill hours during ripening. NOTE, not all seedlings will show the red fleshed trait. It could be as little as 25% according to a friend that has grown out a lot of red fleshed apple seeds. i don't have enough results to say yet. here are two videos where I talk about and taste Grenadine. Etter's blood apples & Blood apple follow up video.
RUBAIYAT: Another Etter blood apple. This one has more refined texture, though it goes meally and loses flavor if left long enough. It may be ripe a little earlier than Grenadine, at least in some years. Like grenadine, it has deep pink flesh when very ripe and excellent berry flavor. The flavor is not as intense or complex as Grenadine, but it is no slouch for sure. The texture is quite good when it's just right, but the window of best eating is rather short. it gets scab badly and cracks very easily when the fall rains come. It is a very good looking apple. Overall, more refined than grenadine as a desert apple, but has it's own issues. Again, not all seedlings will have red flesh. More in these two videos: Etter's blood apples & Blood apple follow up video.
WICKSON: A favorite apple for many. This is yet another of Albert Etter's creations, named for friend and famous early 20th century agronomist Edward J. Wickson. It has a fairly unique rich flavor and extremely high sugar level, supposedly up to 25%. It's downfall is cracking. Scott Smith, owner of the GrowingFruit.org forum, says that it doesn't do well outside the west coast and northern regions due to disease issues. Cracking is a common problem. All that said, these genes need to get out there more. It seems as though crossing it with disease resistant varieties would be in order. These could be crossed with anything. My first Wickson seedling is very good eating, but it did get scab rather badly this year., more on that apple here: BITE ME!
POMO SANEL: This a very late hanging apple discovered on a local homestead a I hear it. The fruits are long and tapering, yellow/green, with red blushing in the sun and red speckling around the lenticils. It looks like it could be from the golden delicious line of genes. It is not ripe here until about January, though it probably could be picked sooner and held in storage. It resists cracking and hangs tenaciously to the tree continuing to ripen after all the leaves are gone. The flavor is quite good, somewhat complex, with a notable banana note. The flesh tends to go rubbery or just coarse instead of mealy or mushy and also retains it's shape when boiled. I just ate one out of storage and it was very enjoyable. Seems especially worth pursuing it's long hanging genes, at least in a milder climates like mine. Late hanging apples will easily survive light to moderate freezes, but I'm not sure how they would do with consistent temps into the teens and below. Video Review here.
MIXED SEEDS GRAB BAG: Contains at least these varieties in totally random proportions- My Jewel, Newtown Pippin, Pink Lady, Katherine, Old Nonpareil, Grenadine and Gold Rush, what I think may be Northern Spy and probably others