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  • From: <>
  • To: North American Fruit Explorers <>
  • Cc: Deb S <>
  • Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Starting apple trees from seed
  • Date: Sat, 21 Nov 2009 11:10:48 -0500

Hey Deb,

I've been growing out apple seeds for the past couple years, I use the
recommendations of Philip Forsline of the USDAs national apple repository in
Geneva New York. He is also one of the individuals who have brought back
seed and scion from Kazakhstan.

I have his specific instructions on the hard drive of my old computer which I
could relay later. Anyway, as close as I can remember it involves soaking
out the seed coat's chemical inhibitors then placing the seeds in the
refrigerator where they will germinate 2.5 - 3 months later. Although, I
have found germinating seeds inside apples I had just enjoyed. Also, some
seeds may even exceed the three months on occassion. From the refrigerator
you tranplant them into a growing medium and give good light.

1. With the dried seeds you soak them in warm water, changing the water
every fifteen minutes. Do this for 2-3 hours.

2. After that change the water every two hours or so for about three days. A
long soak overnight won't hurt them.

3. After the soaking period, disinfect the seeds with a 1 part bleach to 10
parts of water solution. Then rinse with regular water.

4. I then soaked a paper towel in water and wrung it out. I fold it in half
twice then place the seeds into one of the folds. I slip the paper towel
into a plastic sandwich bag then I place the sandwich bag into a plastic dish
or plate and set in the refrigerator.

5. Monitor the seeds at least on a weekly basis. If mold starts, you can
disinfect them as above and replace the damp paper towel and plastic bag.
The ungerminated seeds are safe to disinfect but any that are germinating
will be killed by the disinfectant.

6. The seeds will germinate at refrigerator temps. I like to give the roots
about one half to three quarters of an inch of growth then transplant them
into a growing medium.

7. Use a lighter rather than heavier medium. From experience, potting soil
is too heavy. I picked a bag of sand-based topsoil and amended it with
perlite which seemed to work well. I am sure that regular vermiculite or
perlite would work as well.

8. Give lots of light and monitor as you would any young plant. I used a
gro-light for mine but a good sunny window would probably do as well.

If you have seen the Public television documentary "Botany of Desire" they
have a nice segment on apples. This can be seen by going to there website.

Good Luck,

Jim Elie
Green Bay, WI
Zone 4/5

---- Deb S <> wrote:
> Hi
> I've received some apple seeds that I would like to grow out. What
> techniques do you all recommend for stratification? Any tips on growing
> apples from seed? (Yes, I know, they won't be "true", but this is an
> experiment I want to try.) Thanks!
> deb

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