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Will a MacIntosh Apple tree produce MacIntosh Apples from seed??

Posted by clare2008 Ontario z4 (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 19, 08 at 18:57

Here's a question..
Will a MacIntosh Apple tree produce a pure MacIntosh tree from it's own seeds, or is the only way to "reproduce" a true varietal from a graft??
If one saved the seeds and planted them what type of apple would it produce?
On the same note are there any fruit trees ( apple, pear, peach..) that can be grown from their own seeds.
Would one have to prevent cross pollination from one variety of apple to the other..??

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Will a MacIntosh Apple tree produce MacIntosh Apples from see

No. Apples require cross-pollination (pollen from a different variety, not just pollen from a different tree of the same variety) in order to produce fruit. The only way to create a genetically identical clone is to take a cutting, and graft it, root it, whatever. It's a crapshoot as to what type of apple a seed from a MacIntosh (or any apple) will depends on what the male parent was, how all the genes interacted, etc.

Peaches are fairly self-fertile, so seedlings are more likely to be very similar to the tree it came from, but it won't be genetically identical.

RE: Will a MacIntosh Apple tree produce MacIntosh Apples from see

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 19, 08 at 23:36

Apple trees are often highly variable when raised from seed.

RE: Will a MacIntosh Apple tree produce MacIntosh Apples from see

That's all true, but I have one apple tree we saved in a field, simply because it was the only tree in that field when we bush-hogged. It was definitely a volunteer. It was a pretty thing to look at, and that was about the extent of my expectations. It bore heavily for the first time two years ago. Amazing amount of fruit, excellent texture and taste. Ditto two 'white' peach trees a customer of mine gave me he'd grown from seeds. Nobody wanted them because of the horror stories they get about seed grown fruit trees. Dang, but they were winners! I lost one in a severe storm when it was heavy with fruit. Snapped that baby off at the base, like a match stick. I still have the other one, and she's heavy in fruit now. Wonderful, wonderful peaches.

The thing about seeds is they can turn out good as well as turning out bad. You just don't know until it produces.

RE: Will a MacIntosh Apple tree produce MacIntosh Apples from see

  • Posted by murky z8f pnw Portlan (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 10, 08 at 3:56


I've read that peaches often give good results from seed, but I didn't think it common for a seedling to snap at the base. Usually when I hear of snapping at the base I assume its a break at the graft union.

Why are you so sure the apple is a volunteer? There are mischievous members of this forum who delight in grafting over trees they happen upon.

RE: Will a MacIntosh Apple tree produce MacIntosh Apples from see

LOL. Because we have lived on this property for twenty five years, and that field had gone fallow and not been hogged for two or three and the size of this little whip was consistant with that. It has been a farm for nearly two hundred years and up over the hill was an orchard in existence since 1830s. Around the periphery of our property are numerous 'onesy twosey' apple trees, all pretty much non-descript and bearing well only a few times a decade. Old and not worth nurturing. Deer food most years. Since there was an operating orchard I doubt they were every planted for apple production. Some are not worth eating, but a couple of them produce a decent fruit.

That poor little peach tree. I negelected to tell you those white peaches ended up being a nice semi-cling yellow. We had some really terrible wind shears with a storm and the tree was so heavy with nearly ripe fruit, it should have been staked up and I didn't. It was quite healthy, as is its twin still producing, but I think the sheer caught the canopy and it just could not withstand the horizontal pressure.

RE: Will a MacIntosh Apple tree produce MacIntosh Apples from see

Most seedling peaches will produce reasonably tasty fruits - and in many cases, they'll be relatively similar to that produced by the 'mother' tree.
Apples & pears, however, are a different story. While there are plenty of varieties around today that were just chance seedlings, like suzi's one good tree, most are second-rate at best. In the big university-sponsored apple breeding programs, only about 1 in 10,000 seedlings 'makes the grade' - but they're also looking at more than just taste - they also consider disease resistance, color/shape, resistance to bruising/browning, storability, etc.

Yes, McIntosh come relatively close true to seed

Most apples do not come true to seed, but there are several notable exceptions. Two that I know of are the snow (fameuse) apple, and the Antonovka, a Russian table apple that is also used as a rootstock. McIntosh is thought to be an offspring of the snow fameuse apple, so most likely, if you plant a seedling of McIntosh, you will get something that will be very close to McIntosh.

Most of the crosses that were made with McIntosh as one of the parents generally end up very similar to McIntosh, like Spartan, empire, McCoun etc...

For most other apples, the above does not apply. You will generally not get anything resembling the parent, but the likelihood that you will get a tasty backyard quality apple is pretty good. You probably won't get special traits such as the cardboard taste that seems to be required for commercial apples, and it might not be esthetically pleasing to be suitable for store shelves, but it will very likely be quite tasty.

Peaches are amazingly true to seed as well, so they are worth a try. On the other hand, plums are terrible, you won't get anything decent unless you have lots of room to grow multiple trees and throw out the unwanted ones. I have not tried to many of the other fruits.

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