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Can I grow an apple tree from a pip?

(18 Posts)
MummyDoIt Wed 16-Jul-08 11:29:02

The DSs wanted to do this so we planted some pips and one grew. We now have a plant that's about 2 feet tall. I've shoved it in a pot in the garden but do I need to do anything with it? Will it produce apples? I know apples are normally grown by grafting so I'm doubtful we'll get anything from a home-grown pip.

MummyDoIt Wed 16-Jul-08 15:43:13


choccypig Wed 16-Jul-08 15:46:39

I have read that apples do not "breed true", that is, the tree you get will not give apples like the one you started with. Presumably that's why they are usually grafted. However, you never know, you might get a new variety of apple to be named after you.

Ecmo Wed 16-Jul-08 15:47:58

yes I have. One had one apple on in 10 years the other has lots every year.

MummyDoIt Wed 16-Jul-08 15:50:14

Yes, I'd heard that you don't get the same type of apple but I'm not fussy, as long as they're okay to eat.

Ecmo, how many years before they start producing fruit?

Ecmo Wed 16-Jul-08 15:56:15

oh quite a while. according to this it takes 6 years. Our tree was planted when I was really small so maybe there wasnt so much 'modification' of apples then which is why it has lovely apples on.

MummyDoIt Wed 16-Jul-08 18:02:59

I don't mind waiting for the fruit but am a bit disappointed about the low odds of it producing edible fruit.

choccypig Wed 16-Jul-08 20:49:58

If you like the idea of growing apples, I can recommend Woolworths fruit trees. We've bought several over the years, ranging in price from £5 to £10 and got fruit the following year. So if you bought some this winter you'd be likely to get fruit next autumn. The Woolworth's trees have actually done far better than the £42 jobs from the proper garden centre.

MummyDoIt Wed 16-Jul-08 21:05:49

Thanks for the tip, choccy. I would like something that will produce fruit we can eat so I'll take a look in Woolworths next time I'm in.

snorkle Wed 16-Jul-08 22:30:04

As mentioned already apples don't breed true and so are usually grown from cuttings. Furthermore, apples trees are usually grafted onto a stronger rootstock as the plants that generally grow nice tasting apples don't have strong roots and so tend not to grow into strong plants.

So if you do grow one from a pip not only will you most likely get a poor quality apple variety but it will probably also be a weak plant as well.

Woolies sounds like a good tip, but do also remember that unless you get a 'self fertile' variety, you really need two compatible apple trees to pollinate each other.

thisisyesterday Wed 16-Jul-08 22:33:02

yes, you can. but it'll take forever to grow!

I planted one when I was about erm, 12 (possibly younger)
It now stands proud in my parents garden, and has been bearing fruit for the last 2 years :D

thisisyesterday Wed 16-Jul-08 22:33:23

should have said, I am now 27. so it's been a long time waiting for those apples

snorkle Wed 16-Jul-08 22:38:27

Possibly the very long wait was due to not having a compatible pollinator in the past thisisyesterday. Did your parents/the neighbours planted a new apple tree around the time it began fruiting?

As I recall, apples varieties fall into 3 groups, early, mid and late flowering types and to pollinate you ideally need two from the same group, but can often get away with adjacent groups.

MummyDoIt Thu 17-Jul-08 09:07:39

There is an apple tree in next door's garden so I might be lucky in having a pollinator close by. If I buy two of the same variety, are they guaranteed to be compatible pollinators?

Tinkjon Thu 17-Jul-08 10:45:36

I've never understood this apples not growing true' thing - so how do we keep getting the same variety of apples then, if the fruit is always different?! Does that mean that if all the trees of a particular variety were cut down we'd never be able to grow any more?

snorkle Thu 17-Jul-08 13:48:42

MummyDoIt - no - unless the variety is 'self fertile' you need different ones from the same group. Apples don't usually pollinate the same variety very well (else you would only need one tree). There's a brief explanation here.

Tinkjon - effectively when you grow an apple tree of a given variety you are growing a clone of the parent tree - this is done by taking a cutting (asexual reproduction), so yes if you cut down all the trees of a given variety without taking any cuttings you would lose that variety.

MummyDoIt Thu 17-Jul-08 17:31:23

Thanks for the link, Snorkle. It's all very complicated!!! Think I might stick to tomatoes LOL!

snorkle Thu 17-Jul-08 18:18:18

It's only complicated at the start making sure you've got a good pair of plants and often the lables on them say what other varieties they're compatible with so that helps.

Once they're planted and going it's not complicated at all - and having home grown apples is lovely.

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