How many apple/black walnut seedlings to start?
This is my first post on garden web! I am planning to start some black walnut and apple trees from seed in containers. I figured that I would have some fun growing my own rootstock use them to learn how to care for the trees and how to do grafts. So, my wild idea is to grow them in containers until they get too big for them and later transplant the trees into the ground. Or give them as gifts to friends and family who have land where they can thrive.
I am a total novice and I will be leaving the trees in containers for approximately 4 years. Ideally, I want at least 2-5 apples and 2-5 black walnut trees to survive transplantation into their final destination at that point. I plant to multi-graft the apple trees with a variety of apples.
I know that I am going to be getting a mix of genetic heritage from these seeds because they will not be commercially grown rootstock of known origin. Therefore, I fully expect many of my initial batch of seedlings to die because they are not strong enough to survive and numerous others will die due to my inexperience and difficulty of growing non-dwarfing trees in containers. And then transplanting them from containers to the ground will be challenging and I may lose yet more trees doing that.
So, how many seedlings should I start of each type to have the best chance of getting enough good, healthy plants that win the genetic lottery and to have the best chance of having some still standing after I subject them to my inexperienced care?