[NAFEX] tree gooseberries (and grafting)

Lee Reich lreich at hvc.rr.com
Fri Oct 30 14:59:24 EDT 2009

Hi Jim,

Any chance that I could get a half-dozen or so seeds of igde from you  
for planting? Years ago I got some from the USDA but they never  

In my book about uncommon fruits, I wrote that the seeds did not  
germinate readily, often waiting until the second season unless they  
were nicked, soaked in acid, kept warm and moist for a few weeks,  
cracked out of their seed coats, or washed for 6 days to leach out  
inhibitors. Sounds like you found none of this to be true. (Maybe I  
read my own book too closely about how hard the seeds are to germinate!)

If your seedlings are growing well, you're probably home free.  
Whenever I've put in plants of King Red, they've always collapsed  
before the end of their first season, something Hector Black, in  
Tennessee, also noted.

Lee Reich, PhD

Books by Lee Reich:
A Northeast Gardener's Year
The Pruning Book
Weedless Gardening
Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden
Landscaping with Fruit

On Oct 30, 2009, at 1:44 PM, <jelie at new.rr.com> <jelie at new.rr.com>  

> John,
> I have been hearing about the die-back issues with King Red Russian  
> Olive for years so last fall I purchased some Eleaegnus orientalis  
> seeds from a Middle-eastern grocer and after a dormancy period close  
> to that of apple seeds I now have about thirty seedlings growing in  
> the yard.  I haven't noticed any issues with them as of yet.  Our  
> typical snow cover should get them through the winter if the mice  
> leave them alone.
> The seeds are sold from Persian grocers as "senjed" or "sencet" and  
> from Turkish grocers as "igde" (pronounced "e day").  There are some  
> nice pics online of the igde fruit on flicr, if I am not mistaken.
> I do also have the two varieties of Trebizond Date which I purchased  
> from from One Green World a couple years ago. I haven't had a  
> problem with die-back but growth has been steady.
> I don't know how seriously you would like to get Russian Olive but  
> growing from seed is an easy, albeit, much longer option.
> Take Care,
> Jim Elie
> Green Bay WI
> z4/5
> ---- John S <swim_at_svc at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> Lee,  I have a couple of attempts going now. ......
>> I've been focused on trying to graft my dying King Red Russian  
>> Olive to autumn olive rootstock (your excellent book mentions the  
>> problems keeping King Red alive), but so far none of the grafts  
>> have taken - don't know whether its my technique or an  
>> incompatibility.  I think the King Red finally failed this fall.
>> Raintree sells standards of gooseberries from time to time.
>> John
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