March 12, 2019 by Ashley Adamant
Apple seeds are easy to grow at home with the proper preparation, and seedlings are often more vigorous than their grafted nursery counterparts. Give an apple tree seedling 3-4 years and it’ll catch up to and pass a potted transplant in size. From there, you have a tree that may bear for centuries.
经过适当的准备，苹果种子很容易在家里生长，而且幼苗往往比嫁接苗圃的同类更有活力。 给苹果树苗3-4年，它将赶上和超过一个盆栽移植大小。 从那里，你可以看到一棵可以承受几个世纪的树。
The main reason apples aren’t grown from seed is that they don’t “come true to seed.” Just like humans, the offspring may have some resemblance to their parents, but with their own flavor and habits. Humans tend to want predictability, and for that reason, apple trees are cloned by grafting rather than starting from seed.
苹果不是从种子长出来的主要原因是它们不会“真的结籽” 就像人类一样，后代也许和他们的父母有一些相似之处，但是有他们自己的口味和习惯。 人类往往想要可预测性，因此，苹果树是通过嫁接而不是从种子开始克隆的。
The thing is…all the tastiest apple varieties were a seedling at some point in history. Planting an apple from seed is like playing the lottery, and since you’re likely going to compost that apple core anyway, you’ve got nothing to lose.
事实是... ... 所有最美味的苹果品种在历史上的某个时期都是一颗幼苗。 从种子中种植一个苹果就像买彩票一样，而且既然你很可能要把苹果核堆肥化，你也没什么可失去的了。
A few hundred years ago settlers carried with them apple seeds and started seedling orchards all over the Northeast, and those same orchards became the parents of many of the heirloom varieties I now treasure. Those that were less tasty eaten out of hand went into hard cider, which requires a certain percentage of high tannin or high acid apples to brew properly.
One year we bought more than 30 apple varieties from a local heirloom apple orchard and did a big apple taste test. Since all the trees were in an heirloom orchard, there’s no telling who the second parent tree was…but it’s less likely that the father tree was a wild crab apple and more likely that it was another tasty heirloom. This improves the chances that any given seed will bear offspring with good characteristics.
有一年，我们从当地的一个传家宝苹果园购买了30多个品种的苹果，并做了一个大苹果的味道测试。 因为所有的树都在一个传家宝果园里，所以不知道第二棵母树是谁... ... 但是父树是野生海棠的可能性很小，而且更有可能是另一棵美味的传家宝。 这就提高了任何一粒种子产生具有良好特征的后代的可能性。
Since a seedling tree will have some of the characteristics of its parents, we chose the seeds from our very favorite varieties to plant. There’s a good chance many of them will be best suited for hard cider or to please the deer as windfalls, but even then they’ll still feed the bees with abundant blossoms and nectar in the spring. And at the very least they’ll help pollinate our other tastier trees, so it’s a win either way.
由于幼苗树具有其亲本的一些特性，我们从我们最喜欢的品种中选择种子种植。 很有可能它们中的许多最适合酿造烈性苹果酒，或者作为意外收获来取悦鹿群，但即便如此，它们仍会在春天用丰盛的花朵和花蜜喂养蜜蜂。 至少它们能帮助我们其他更美味的树木授粉，所以无论哪种方式都是双赢的。
Apple seeds need cold stratification to break dormancy. The seeds need to be kept under moist refrigeration for at least 6 weeks before they’re planted. Place apple seeds in a moist paper towel, and then put that paper towel inside a plastic bag, leaving it open just a crack for air exchange. Store it in the back of the refrigerator, checking on the towel every week or so to make sure it’s moist.
苹果种子需要低温层积才能打破休眠。 种子需要在潮湿的冷藏条件下保存至少6个星期，然后才能播种。 把苹果种子放在潮湿的纸巾里，然后把纸巾放进塑料袋里，只留下一个空气交换的缝隙。 把它放在冰箱后面，每周检查一次毛巾，确保它是湿的。
At the end of 6 weeks, some of the seeds may have started to sprout already. That’s a good thing since apple seeds have a very low germination rate. Some sources say as low as 30%, though I’d guess ours were more like 60% at least, so clearly, it’s variable.
6周后，一些种子可能已经开始发芽了。 这是一件好事，因为苹果种子的发芽率很低。 一些消息来源说低至30% ，尽管我猜我们至少有60% ，所以很明显，这是可变的。
If you buy local apples late in the season, months after harvest, they’ve already been kept under refrigeration for many months. It’s a good idea to cold stratify those seeds in a moist paper towel too because extra stratification won’t hurt them, but not enough cold hours means no apple seedlings. When you cut long stored local apples open, there’s a chance that some of the seeds may have already started to germinate inside the apple…
如果你在收获季节的晚些时候，收获后的几个月购买当地的苹果，它们已经被冷藏了好几个月。 用潮湿的纸巾将种子冷分层也是个好主意，因为额外的分层不会伤害它们，但是没有足够的冷时间意味着没有苹果幼苗。 当你切开长期储存的本地苹果时，有可能一些种子已经开始在苹果里面发芽了..。
An apple seed that had already started to germinate inside an apple from cold storage.
After a minimum of 6 weeks in a moist paper towel in the refrigerator, you can plant apple seeds just as you would any other seed. They can be direct seeded outdoors if it’s after last spring frost and the soil can be worked. Since germination rates are low, and predation from squirrels, mice, and voles can be an issue early on, we generally sprout them in pots.
在冰箱里用湿纸巾擦拭至少6个星期后，你就可以像种其他种子一样种植苹果种子了。 如果是在去年春天霜冻之后，而且土壤可以耕作，那么它们可以在户外直接播种。 由于发芽率很低，而且松鼠、老鼠和田鼠的捕食可能是早期的问题，所以我们通常在盆中发芽。
I place about a dozen seeds in a recycled one-gallon nursery pot along with a bit of seed starting potting mix. Keep the soil warm and moist, as you would any other spring planted seed start (ie. tomatoes).
我把大约十二颗种子放在一个可回收的一加仑的苗圃花盆里，还有一点开始灌装的种子混合物。 让土壤保持温暖和湿润，就像任何其他春天播种的种子一样。 番茄)。
After 6 weeks of cold stratification, apple seeds actually germinate fairly quickly. Many of the seeds will already be germinating on the paper towel in your refrigerator, and those will emerge from the soil quickest after planting. Assuming soil temperatures are fairly warm (about 75 degrees F) the seeds should emerge from the soil in 1-2 weeks.
经过6周的低温层积，苹果种子实际上发芽相当迅速。 许多种子已经在你冰箱里的纸巾上发芽了，而且种下后会以最快的速度从土壤中冒出来。 假设土壤温度相当温暖(大约75华氏度) ，种子应该在1-2周内从土壤中出来。
From there, we tend the apple seedlings in pots until the young trees are at least 4-6 inches tall. That means we’re less likely to lose them where they’re planted, but staking them is also a great idea because one casual step can mean the end of a young tree at this stage.
If you’d like to get them into the ground sooner rather than later, just wait until nighttime temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees in the spring (or early summer here in the north country).
Once the apple seedlings are in the ground, they’ll begin the work of growing into a full sized tree. Since they’re not grafted on dwarfing rootstock that handicaps them and limits their nutrients, seedling apples will grow strong and healthy, but also large. Good pruning can keep apple trees smaller, but full-sized apples should still be planted at least 20 feet apart.
一旦苹果幼苗长到地里，它们就会开始长成一棵正常大小的树。 因为它们没有嫁接到矮化砧木上，这阻碍了它们的生长，限制了它们的营养，所以幼苗苹果会长得强壮健康，但也会长得很大。 好的修剪可以使苹果树变小，但是正常大小的苹果仍然应该种植至少相距20英尺。
Surprisingly, not really any longer than an expensive grafted nursery tree. Nursery bought apple trees generally bear about 8 years after planting. They may have been in the pot for some time, which caused them to become a bit root bound and stunted. Even in the best of cases, large 6” tall nursery trees don’t take transplanting well and it takes them some time to recover and begin to grow vigorously again.
令人惊讶的是，并不比昂贵的嫁接苗圃树长多少。 苗圃购买的苹果树一般在种植后8年左右结实。 他们可能已经在锅里放了一段时间，这导致他们变得有点根束缚和发育不良。 即使在最好的情况下，6英寸高的大苗木移栽效果也不好，需要一段时间才能恢复，重新开始茁壮成长。
After three years in the dirt, our apple seedlings are now actually taller than our grafted nursery trees. We’re expecting them to come to bare alongside our other standard apple varieties in about 5 more years, but time will tell.
Growing Apple Trees from Seed ~ Growing apple trees from seed is easy, if you know the trick to breaking apple seed dormancy before planting.