Reproducing apple trees

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Every so often we receive a question about how to make apple seeds
germinate. Often, the person is looking for a way to reproduce an apple
tree that is dying. Unfortunately, apple trees do not come true from
seed. In other words, the apple seed produces trees that differ from the
parent. It is extremely unlikely that any apple produced from seed will
bear quality fruit. About 1 in every 80,000 apple seedlings will produce
commercial quality fruit.
So, how do you reproduce an apple that is like the parent? The most
common way is by grafting. Grafting is a procedure that joins two plants
together. The upper part (or scion) becomes the top part of the tree,
while the lower part (or stock) provides the root system or part of the
trunk. Apples are relatively easy to graft. How to graft is beyond the
scope of this newsletter, but local libraries should have materials that
cover the procedure, or you can find an excellent publication on the web
at http://muextension.missouri.edu/explorepdf/agguides/hort/g06971.pdf

 

By: Ward Upham

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