The Q&A Archives: Apple Trees from Seed

Question: Is it possible to start apple trees by planting seeds from apples? If so when should I plant them, and should I start them inside or just start them outside in the spring? Thank you!

Answer: It is sometimes possible to start apple trees by planting seed (Johnny Appleseed did it!) but the resulting trees will not match the apple the seed came from, so most people start their apple trees using purchased grafted plants which ensure a reliable yield of good quality apples. Assuming the apple is truly ripe so that the seed is mature, it will need from two to three months of cold treatment in order to germinate. (Apple seed germination is somewhat unpredictable.) An easy way to do this is to plant the seed in the fall and wait for it to germinate naturally in the spring. Alternatively you could place the seed in barely damp medium in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and then plant it in the spring. Have fun with your project!

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