Tree seed exchange : LUSENET : ACountryPlace : One Thread

Hi my name is Jack I live in southeast Indiana I love to plant different kinds of trees . Native trees , Fruit trees ,or nut trees anyone want to swap seeds or ideas on this. Indiana Country Friend Jack Bunyard farm is 118 acs. Also live close to State parks can get many different seeds

-- Jack Bunyard (, September 12, 2001


Judy, hope this helps!

Little bit Farm

-- Little Bit Farm (, July 23, 2002.

Jack, I am very interested in this. Have you had good luck with the fruit trees you get from seed. I am interested in establishing some pure strains of seed, rather than depending on grafting. It may be very important to the world in the future for this to happen. What do you think?

Little bit farm

-- Little bit farm (, September 12, 2001.

I have had good luck with peach and nut trees so far. I would like to find some free or at good price bald cypress tree seeds . Indiana Country Friend

-- Jack Bunyard (, September 13, 2001.

I have many questions. What kind of fruit have you planted from seed? How long did it take to get fruit? Was the quality of the fruit good over all? How about fruit size? Fruit specialists are always telling us that good fruit can't be grown from seed. My problem is I basically don't trust this. I have a friend who has a very nice white nectarine that came up from seed. I will try to get some seed from her. If I can get a few, I may share. This is a wonderful tree that just came up in her back yard one day. Maybe we can put together a small seed exchange and keep records of our results.

Little Bit Farm

-- Little bit farm (, September 13, 2001.

I've also been told that I can't plant fruit seeds. Jack, have yours reached maturity and produced? I feel kind of cheated that I've never tried this if it can really be done!..We had lots of kinds of fruit on our Texas homestead, but sadly nothing(yet) here.

-- mary (, September 14, 2001.

Well I do know that many of the new varieties that have come along were seedlings that came up in some farmer's orchard. Supposedly fruit tree seed is so variable and crossbred that it won't produce reliable fruit. My question is, why not do a little culture as they do on vegetable seed. I think it could be only good for farming in the long run. How come our nineteenth century farmers seemed to want to cultivate new cultivars and all we want to do is eat the same old thing. I personally feel that America has lost the desire for innovation on many levels. My friend who has the white nectarine seedling is sending me some seed post haste.

Little bit farm

-- Little bit farm (, September 14, 2001.

Tree seed sites

Little bit farm

-- Little bit farm (, September 14, 2001.

I'm not sure about the stone fruits but I know that apples just don't breed true enough of the time to rely on seed and take care of a tree for years to see what the result is (which is all too often small sour fruits). All the breeding work to get the improved fruits took generations. If you have or buy a grafted cultivar or scionwood for grafting, you can grow an almost endless supply of additional scionwood to graft to trees that come up from seed. I would think it could be reasonably self-perpetuating that way and you're guaranteed a good fruit as a result.

-- Susan (, September 18, 2001.

My question is, have you actually attempted to grow seedling fruit? Have you actually tasted seedling fruit? Or are you regurgitating what you have been told. I have tasted several types of fruit from seedling trees. A number of the apple varieties that you eat today were once seedlings that came up in a farmers orchard. Thomas Jefferson contributed several varieties of fruit, some of which are still being sold today, that were his original seedlings. It doesn't take years to develop new varieties, just the guts to try it. Even a small sour apple has it's uses(think of spiced pickled crab apples), and once you taste the fruit, if it is unacceptable, you can graft the tree over to a named variety, or perhaps one of your seedling trees that you do like. It is no wonder that very few new varieties of anything get introduced in our country, and the old ones are disappearing. Our expectations are way to high. As many bad things you listed, I can name as many good. 1) seed is free or very cheap. 2) It is good that fruit trees are variable because that means there are good solid genetics to build new varieties from. 3)If you have the room, why not do both. 4) In my experience the so called experts in this country alwys have a monetary reason for their expert advice. Most of them expect us to follow their advice simply because they said it. What better way to run a multi million dollar nursery trade than to convince the common man he canot do it himself?

Little bit farm

-- Little bit farm (, September 18, 2001.

Little Bit- go to Ebay and buy some of Luther Burbank's books. They will be invaluable and answer a lot of questions and clear some things up for you.

We do have some seedling apples, one is over ten years old (I think) and still does not bear fruit. Growing fruit trees from seed will give a lot of variation but not always good, or even any results (like our tree which has still not borne anything at all). The seedlings planted from one tree will have all different kinds of fruit. Some small, some big, some tasty, some bland. Mushy, mealy, crunchy, sweet, tart, astringent and hardly edible. Prolific, and sparse bearing, (just hope that the nasty, bitter apples aren't the prolific ones!!!). Have you ever seen roadside apple trees? We have a lot of them here and I've had a lot of fruit from them. I always try an apple first before picking, becasue sometimes they are not worth the time it takes to pick them. Others are very good. An easy way would be to check out the wild apple trees in your area determine which bear well with good fruit, and graft onto them.

I like the idea of breeding new fruit varieties and have toyed with the idea quite a bit. The problem is, my life's about half over and I only have so much time. There's also a shortage of land to devote to hundreds of apple seedlings (yes, it takes hundreds and thousands for every really great new variety, and then there will be a lot of OK types and plenty that were not worth the trouble it took to grow them). Breeding alpine goats is my life's work and I know full well that I have little enough time to do justice to that. Besides, there are so many wonderful antique varieties that are simply going down the tubes out of sheer neglect and misuse, that took all that work to develop, so we are trying to grow some of those (not enough room to grow them all). If I had more time, land and money, I would have an orchard with all antique varieties and sell them, and educate people that there is so much more than Red Delicious- which was a seedling itself.

-- Rebekah (, September 18, 2001.

I am fully aware of the logistics of what I am talking about. I haven't seen any wild apples here yet. I would like to check out some old farm places for collecting heirlooms. Today I drove by an unusual pear tree out in the country. It was set away from everything and I am wondering if it is not a very old tree. I have read a lot about this subject. I will try Luther Burbank though. I plan to raise my seedlings in a separate orchard. Whatever doesn't bear in a reasonable time will be taken out and replaced. Apples that are grafted sometimes take eight years to produce. It is not unusual for a seedling to be up to two years or even more behind a grafted tree ready to plant. In fact most bareroot trees are two to three years old. All of these traits are things to breed for. You are absolutely right that this is definitely not for everyone. I am interested in this however. I figure that I will start with a variety of seed from different apples. Many will be weeded out in the early stages. I will be looking for over all vigor, and characteristics that make a good apple tree at the younger stage. Then as the apples mature a decision will be made as to it's viability. Precocious bearers will of course be tasted first. These will be looked on with specific consideration. The bad ones will either be grafted, or removed and another young tree set in its place. I also intend on keeping copious notes for others who are interested and also for the purpose of gathering an actual percentage of good v/ bad. I want to know how many seeds it will take to get a good tree, for myself. I think Johnny Appleseed had the right idea. I have seen many supposed named varieties that were hardly fit to eat. I guess you could call me curious. But it's a curiosity I am willing to spend lots of time on. I plan on doing this with all kinds of trees not just apples. Of course forty years from now I may be saying exactly what the "experts" say, but I'd rather find out for myself. In the mean time it is an adventure. And what is life without adventure?

Little Bit Farm

-- Little bit farm (, September 18, 2001.

The seed swap idea is a great day. Some thoughts on fruit trees from seed. If you discover a good fruit tree that has been grown from seed, the way to further propagate it is by grafting onto another fruit tree of that type or better yet to a root stock which determines how tall the tree will grow as well as certain tolerances to environmental conditions, i.e. clay soil which has tendencies for many trees to rot from the root as well as vigorousness of a root system to hold the tree upright during wind storms. To see different types of root stocks for different fruit trees visit the Bay Laurel Nursery. Problems that creep up by just saving seed and planting is that often a good fruit just discovered growing somewhere is a natural hybrid, a chance combination when the genes were right. Most such crosses are't really impressive, that is why we don't see them, or look past them. When Luther Burbank did his work breeding so many fruit trees he grew thousands of such crosses and then threw most away saving only a few 'promising' seedlings which were grafted to a mature tree which encouraged the seedling to put out fruit four to five years sooner than it would have on its own roots. What trees to save and what not? The closer to wild or native species the better chance they will breed true. Those cultivated fruits, offer bigger challenges for breeding, though it can still be fun and worth the effort. Red Delicious apple was found growing as a 'mutation' in an orchard in Washington.

-- David James (, January 08, 2002.

Hey, great to find another Luther Burbank fan! Yes, he did throw thousands, even ten thousand or more, seedlings for every one that he kept. He looked to the seedlings themselves for which to keep and which to throw into the burn pile. Keepers had strong, straight trunks or stems, good branch formation, etc. If you look at rootstocks and comapre them with a named variety, they rootstocks do have a wild, scrubby appearance in leaves, branches, and so on- they look wild.

It reminds me of our work with dairy goats- plain headed, or frail, scrubby looking goats almost always never produce well. After a while you can look at the month old kids and have a pretty good idea of who will be a keeper and who is not worth keeping to freshen. I have given some a chance anyway, any then wondered why I bothered, the weedy looking kids were no better as adults than as kids. Luther Burbank was the same way with his plants. He had the experience to know what good productive stock should look like, and he also had a very clear idea of what he wanted when he made a cross. If the offspring didn't show what he was looking for, he got rid of them!

-- Rebekah (, January 12, 2002.

I got some pearseeds from the genbank at Corvallis, these are from different inetresting types such as some Asian cultivars and hybrids af variuos pyrus. I will be growing these seedlings to try and find som new fuits, Im also trying to get a number of plum seeds from various types of plums collected from the whole world from the genbank at Davies, California. I love the idea of developing new fruits. Keith Held, Denmark, Europe

-- Keith Held (, December 20, 2003.

Antanoka apple does come pretty true from seeds, or so I have read and been told by and old farmer who tried it. Antanovka is not one of the best apples to start with though. There are also some good named varieties that are from Antanovka x well known varieties. I have concidered a backcross of those hybrids to Antanovka. This would give an Antanovka-like gene pool that has been enriched with greater variation in the positive direction. Also a few of the dwarfing rootstocks used in noirthern Europe are from Antonovka x EM9 and other common (in the USA) dwarfing rootstocks. So the groundwork is laid, and the breeding stock is available. Also Yellow Delicious X Johnathan gives good seedlings, on the average.

Barlett x Beure de Anjou and Bartlett x Bosc gives good seedlings. This I read in a book on fruit breeding. It said that the cheap unnamed pear trees available 50 years ago from mail order catologues were just seedlings from this cross. The pears were being grown for processing and the seeds collected and grown out because they were pretty good. Customers seemed saticfied.

Peaches, unlike apples and pears and plums are normally self- pollinated. The variety Elberta, according to a book on fruit breeding, come "90% cannot be told from the Elberta in commerce". I have grown and eaten Elberta seedlings. They are as good as Elberta, the few I have grown. There are some other varieties that are grown from seed, Glen Drowns at Sandhills Preservation Center (I don't think that name is exact)has one.

Japanese plums tend to be worthwhile from seed. But Japanese plums are not adapted to my area of the great plaines. The better adapted Japanese-American hybrids are less good from seed, on the average.

The European plums come the nearest true from seed. Until a couple of centuries ago, they were often sown from seed for local use, though the rich did keep superior grafted varities. The were just selections from the local generally good populations.

Sour cherries are pretty true from seed. There is an orchard of seedling cherry trees near Hillsboro KS, of seeds brought from Russia (the Crimean, I think) nearly 150 years ago by Mennonite imagrants. They are suposed to be very good, and I will be trying to get seeds to start an orchard of my own. Hillsboro is less than 100 miles from me.

Sweet cherries are a less true to type than the sour cherry.

Folks in North American Fruit Explorers say that apricots come pretty true from seed.

A grape breeder says that most grape seedlings are "interesting". I noticed he didn't say good, nor bad.

Those are the kinds of fruit I have done litterature searches. Walter

-- Walter Pickett (, April 06, 2004.

The only fruit tree that I have direct experience with planting from seed is the peach. I have peaches from seed that I have planted and they come true to the variety they come from. I live pretty far north (Zone4)for most peaches so the varieties I can try are pretty limited but the hardiest of peaches at least work quite well from seed and don't take terribly long to bear. I would be interested to hear from people who have direct experience with plums from seed as I have plums that have come up from the compost I put in my garden and am wondering if they are worth transplanting. I don't have a lot of extra space for trees that may not be worth having.

-- Rick Scheffert (, April 24, 2004.

So, I have tried to grow some fruit trees from seed and have some nice plants, but no fruit. I have 5 lemons, a nespola (medlar), and two star fruit. The lemon and nespola seeds came from Sicily from fruit I ate there. The star fruit came from seeds in Tahiti when I came upon a huge tree in the forest. Wow, the best star fruit I have ever had!!! I just want these things to flower and produce something anything... I live in MD, not far from DC. Thanks.

-- Andrew (, May 17, 2004.

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