The Green Review

By Chris Zdorovtsov

Can you plant the seeds inside of an apple and get an apple tree?

Not exactly! You could grow a tree from these seeds, but it will not produce an apple that is similar to the parent. Since this new tree will contain a random mix of genes, you will not know what traits the apples will have. Very few fruits are propagated from seed. Some form of asexual propagation, such as grafting, is used in order to have fruit that will produce the same type as the parent.

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What is a rootstock?

Fruit and nut trees such as peaches, apples, pecans, avocados and citrus are propagated and grown on roots other their they own. These roots are known as the rootstock. The desired variety is grafted onto the rootstock. Many fruits use rootstock to overcome climactic differences or pests (such as nematodes or soil borne diseases). It is very common to put apples on a dwarfing rootstock to shrink the overall size of the plant. The smaller size allows producers to more easily spray, prune and harvest the tree. Apple rootstocks are designated by letters (or short names) and numbers such as M7, M26 or Bud 9. Each rootstock will dwarf the tree by a different percentage.

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