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    Growing non-hybrid fruit tree's - from seed 
    #1
    Junior Member
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    Aug 2006
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    Mid-North Coast NSW
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    I'm not that keen on growing hybridised fruit - i want traditional or wild varieties.

    Sure, hybridised fruits are sweeter, less seeds, or less prone to attack.
    But I've read many times that the original, wild varieties are generally richer in vitamins & minerals etc.

    Also, tree's grown from seed generally produce more nutritious fruit, so i've read.

    But where can one source these wild strains of seed?

    Sourcing Heirloom Vege's is easy, but heilroom fruit tree seed is rare!

    Does anybody know of a good book on growing from seed & which varieties to choose, or heilroom seed suppliers?


    Thanks
    Paul
    Coastal 2.5 acres Subtropical Food Forest - Coffs Harbour, NSW
    Visitors welcomed & encouraged
     
     

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    #2
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    May 2007
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    Northampton WestAust
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    Hi Paul,
    The rootstocks that are used to graft our modern fruit trees are heirloom or original species. They are used for their superior hardiness or disease resistance. The grafts are added for their superior fruit. A lot of the wild. or old type fruits had undesirable characteristics. You might be somewhat disappointed after biting into a Citreon, which is one of the rootstocks used for oranges. Just one example. Personally, I'd just eat more of our currently available yummy fruits.
    Jackie K
     
     

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    #3
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    country nsw
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    Planting seeds of anything is pretty 'hit and miss'. You do not necessarily get the apple you want. You may get any sort of result. When you have to wait 4 years or so with a grafted tree, a seedling could take ten for a undesireable result.

    It is one area that seems best to follow modern practise. There are producers developing appealing strains of 'old fashioned' fruit trees.

    Try this http://www.woodbridgefruittrees.com.au
     
     

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    #4
    Senior Member sweetpea's Avatar
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    I have started several trees from seeds, apples, avocadoes, apricots, and one of the issues is that you may not know just which one you've started, and will you have a pollinator for it? Blooming times are crucial. Asian pears need another Asian pear pollinator (not the same kind), and not just any old pear.

    I love to do heirloom fruits, and they were growing on their own roots for centuries before hybridization came along. I think it's worth trying, as long as you know which seeds you've got, and if you've got enough chill hours to produce fruit, the correct pollinators, and soil that is not too wet, not too sandy. Plant some hybrids for a reliable crop, and do a few heirlooms on the side. Trees are a great investment, and always worth whatever room and effort you've got for them.

    There are lots of 100-year-old orchards where I am in the mountains and rural areas, and if you can find old orchards (even 50 years is old enough) and get those seeds, you know they will do well in your area, someone probably knows just which ones they are, and they are a good bet
    "Life flows on within you and without you"...George Harrison
    ~~~~~~
    Coastal California, USA, Mediterranean climate - no summer rain, a little frost mid-winter
     
     

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    fruit trees 
    #5
    Junior Member
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    Feb 2007
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    12
    Hi Paul,

    Quite a few fruit trees are only edible because of weird genetic mutations and permutations that we then clone. Some examples are:

    Apples. Plant an apple seed and you will most likely get an apples known as 'spitters', good for cider. not good for eating.

    Almonds. Only edible due to mutation. don't plant seed.

    Citrus. It it's wild state is sour and seedy. Most crosses will end up like this (except for likely ones like meyer lemons which is an orange / lemon cross). On the other hand I think citrus has some unfertilized seeds which are clones of their parent, anyone know ?

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers

    Damien
     
     

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    #6
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    Jul 2005
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    Brisbane
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    I think there is some missunderstanding: there are pretty much apple varieties which are considered as heirlooms, all grafted. Apples, Stonefruit ect. are since early times grafted. In Germany we had thousands of different apple varieties before the european Union and their sometimes weird burocracy.
    On the other hand there are some fruits you can easily grow from seed, but that are more tropical species. For example tamarillo, papya etc.

    'There are other fruit trees which come reasonably true to type you can plant from seed that are magos and as far as I know some lemons and avocados. The disadvantage of growing from seed with this trees is that they need twice the time to fruit (an in all these years you will buy your fruit)

    Some trees can be propagated by cuttings etc.

    Most of the vegetables you eat are breeded varieties and they have little resemblance to their ancestors.

    Breeding vegetables and developping fruit trees is a cultural heritage and you can conserve it buying grafted heirloom varieties (or graft yourself)
     
     

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    #7
    Senior Member sweetpea's Avatar
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    Paul, here's a couple of good sites for heirloom seeds:

    http://www.seedsofchange.com/

    http://www.ediblegarden.co.nz/cat-koanga-gardens.html

    Scroll down a bit, there are good links:

    http://www.ecst.csuchico.edu/~atman/gar ... links.html

    It is faster to graft an heirloom than start from seed, so that is one step that is probably worth taking
    "Life flows on within you and without you"...George Harrison
    ~~~~~~
    Coastal California, USA, Mediterranean climate - no summer rain, a little frost mid-winter
     
     

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    #8
    Senior Member pebble's Avatar
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    I agree that there are two issues here: heirloom, and grafted vs seed.

    Just wanted to say that some fruit does do ok self seeding. I have plums and apples locally that do this. The fruit is smaller than 'bred' fruit, and is typically not as sweet. But it's free, and I'm kind of partial to feral food. And in terms of powerdown, I'm interested in my tastes changing to accomodate wild food more. The feral fruit is good when dried but again it's not intensely sweet like commercial dried fruit. But I think that degree of sweetness is a modern and learned thing.

    Also, I don't have the energy or space to establish a good heirloom orchard at the moment, so I appreciate the local feral trees.

    So if you have the room (in addition say to a grafted heirloom orchard), you could find the fruit trees local to you that you can harvest seed from, or even seedlings.

    I agree that heirloom varieties are more nutritious. There is research to back this up too.



    A question about grafting. Is it still faster than seed if you have to grow your own rootstock?
     
     

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    #9
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    country nsw
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    Sweetpea, you discussed Asian Pears and I suppose these are the things we call 'Nashi'. Very watery, plain tasting sort of a cross between an apple and a pear. I have three 'Nashi' trees that are all the same variety and while they do pollinate and bear fruit they are not really very productive. I have blamed the frost for getting at the blossoms but perhaps I do need another variety to boost pollination. Thanks for the 'heads-up'. :wink:
     
     

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    #10
    Senior Member sweetpea's Avatar
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    Plumtree, my Asian pears are Yoinashi and Kikusui, so they pollinate each other. They are very sweet and nice. But I had to get the two kinds so they would pollinate each other.

    All my pear trees are tough, unfussy trees. I have been impressed. I have one I planted long ago that is far away from my other trees, about 800 feet, and the deer don't eat it, and it's tapped into some underground water source because I don't water it, and it's fine. They make the best tarts!
    "Life flows on within you and without you"...George Harrison
    ~~~~~~
    Coastal California, USA, Mediterranean climate - no summer rain, a little frost mid-winter
     
     

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