Growing Apples from Seed

Apples can of course be grown from seed.

You just collect the apple seeds in autumn from sipe apples, dry them and place them in an envelope in the shed over winter. Then plant the seeds in spring and up come little apple plants. Then they grow and grow and about seven to ten years later you get the first apple, which usually tastes horrid.

Only one tree in a hundred grown from seed will be a 'worthwhile' apple tree (and this doesn't mean great, it just means edible) so unless you have lots and lots of space and want to develop your own varieties, it is inadviseable to grow apples from seed. In fact many seeds will actually produce Crab apples, since they are excellent pollinators often planted in orchards to produce a good harvest.

Consider the Bramley apple, a delicious cooking apple grown on millions of trees around the world. All of them were grown by grafting saplings off the original tree which was discovered in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, England. There is only one original tree (well actually two now because scientists made a genetic clone a few years ago) but if you take a seed from it and grow it, there is only a 10,000:1 chance of growing a tree that produces apples that look and taste like a bramley.

It is much more profitable to buy dwarf or semidwarf stock from a good nursery and grow predicatable trees that will produce apples galore in just a few years. The rootstock stops seedlings turning into huge trees. The natural state of an apple is to grow to over 25 feet high which makes picking a crop very difficult.

Decide which type of apples you like (and there are over 7000 varieties of apple to choose from) and buy a young tree from a garden supplier.