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 Apple seedling? 
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 11:11 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Maine
Post Apple seedling?
First let me say that I have never met an apple that my cider press didn't like. That said, I am trying to grow some trees from seed, just to see what will grow. If I get some good ones, I'll keep them. (Good, not great or exceptional. Good is good enough for me.) If not, I'll top graft other varieties onto them.

Out of a little more than a hundred seedlings, one of them has 3 cotelydons and is inches taller than the others. Its leaves are about twice as big as the average and they have fairly big teeth. (Some of the seedlings have leaves much smaller than the average, and these remind me of the leaves of very small crabapples.)

Am I correct in presuming that this tree will be an unusual tree?

Would I be wasting my time specially nursing this seedling to make sure that it survives?

Does the 3 cotelydons make the tree a triploid? I have a few triploids in my small orchard, and they all have big leaves, but I still don't know how to identify a triploid from a diploid from sight. I've heard that you can tell by how the leaves grow, but I don't remember how.

Anyway, this seedling is from an unknown variety of apple. About the size of a large Cortland, taste sort of like a McIntosh, bright crimson skin with large streaks of russett, and purple flesh for about 1/2 inch below the skin. If you have an idea of what type of apple this is, please let me know.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
-Nick


Tue May 10, 2005 12:13 am
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Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2004 1:58 pm
Posts: 228
Location: Oregon
Post Re: Apple seedling?
Welcome to the forums Nick! 8)

Sounds like an interesting experiment. You might as well try to take care of the odd one, and see what it turns out to be (remember to come back here and tell us!). I don't know much about the science of triploids, so I am afraid I can't help you there.

leclair wrote:
Anyway, this seedling is from an unknown variety of apple. About the size of a large Cortland, taste sort of like a McIntosh, bright crimson skin with large streaks of russett, and purple flesh for about 1/2 inch below the skin. If you have an idea of what type of apple this is, please let me know.

Hmm.. You are in Maine, wish you could bring some of the samples to the HOS Apple ID team. They do a great job figuring out what variety an apple is. Purple flesh sounds interesting.

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Tue May 10, 2005 9:47 am
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 am
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Location: Florida
Post Possible triploids...
Three cotyledons is most likely just a weird abberation, and not related to ploidy level. When I was routinely growing grape seedlings, I saw seedlings with three cotyledons and seedlings with one (sometimes in the form of a long narrow cone formed by the fusing of the two cotyledons). These usually either died before producing true leaves or turned into normal seedlings.

However, large leaves and stems would certainly be indicative of higher ploidy. Short of labwork, there's really no way to know for sure, although once it flowers you could probably hazard a decent guess based on what pollinates it/what it pollinates.

Another possibility, if your parent apple is self-fertile, is that you're seeing inbreeding depression in all your other seedlings, and this one is your one outcrossing and thus displaying hybrid vigor. If you've got any other apples around, I think it would be unusual for even a self-fertile apple to be this completely self-pollinated. I think I'd favor the higher ploidy explanation. It's also possible it just happened to get a really good combination of genes.

Anyway, good luck with your experiment. I wish I had room to grow a bunch of apple seedlings.

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Sun May 15, 2005 2:31 am
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