[NAFEX] apple seed germination

Heron Breen breen at fedcoseeds.com
Fri Oct 22 13:18:42 EDT 2004

Many seeds do not mature fully because they are picked before the seeds are
mature. Apples falling off the tree are fully mature seeds, maybe even a little
less. The seeds are the most mature after sitting on the ground for two weeks.
Cider apples and the pomace resulting is a prime candidate for seedlings for this
reason. Normally the seed would not sprout until spring because the inside of the
apple maintains a climate chemically and pressure-wise that preserves the
integrity of the seed coat. The break down of the flesh through rotting and
chemical changes simulates what extended chilling in labs does. The short chill
period is typical of New England winters. It gets so cold here it is not a chill
period but a dormancy. There is a diffence. The other reason long chill periods
seem needed is some lineage issues are a factor. Washington has a longer chill
period than Maine, as does the apples ripening take longer. Our apples need to be
off the trees right about now, while longer season apples sit on limbs coloring
and acheiving high sugars for another month in some places of the world. Many
factors. Lab Germ test have little correlation with natural process. They are
created to do the job, sometimes not as good as mother nature. But it must be
said if the seedling did sprout in the fall naturally, it would die most likely.
So, nature is not stupid either.

On Fri Oct 22 10:20 , 'Mark Lee' <markl at nytec.com> sent:

>My four year old went fruit exploring with me in my neighborhood.  We
>found an apple tree that was dropping apples into the street.  He asked
>me to pick one of the fruits off the tree.  He really liked this apple.
>He was munching away at it, and when he got to the seeds, he collected
>them.  He gave me the handful of seeds and he said "Make me a tree,
>Daddy.".  I was starting to explain to him that apple trees don't come
>true from seed, but then I had another idea.  I told him how apple seeds
>need a cold treatment to start growing, and that apples would take years
>to show up on the tree.  He could learn many things from this little
>So on October 11 I popped the seeds into the frig, wrapped in a moist
>paper towel in a sandwich bag.  Last night, October 21, I checked on the
>seeds.  After only 10 days in the frig, one of the seeds has already
>sprouted!  How could that be?  I thought it took at least 3 months for
>an apple seed to sprout.  What is the typical time required for apple
>seeds to sprout in the frig?
>-Mark Lee, Seattle, z8a
>nafex mailing list 
>nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
>All other messages are discarded.
>No exceptions.  
>To subscribe or unsubscribe, go to the bottom of this page (also can be used to
change other email options):
>File attachments are NOT stripped by this list
>Please do not send binary files.
>Use plain text ONLY in emails!
>Message archives are here:
>NAFEX web site:   http://www.nafex.org/

More information about the nafex mailing list