Author Topic: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.  (Read 16846 times)

Offline Stein

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"Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« on: January 27, 2009, 02:46:16 PM »
So, a while back I read an article in Mother Earth news about propagating your own trees from seeds.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/2008-06-01/Grow-Free-Fruit-Trees.aspx

I looked over and what do you know, we had four peaches in the kitchen.  So, I saved the pits, dried them out, cracked them open and planted the seeds as described.  I used a handful of dirt from the garden and a plastic container.  They went into the back of the frige for a couple months until about a week ago.  There was no sign of life, so I left them on the window sill in the kitchen for a couple days.

What do you know, I now have four peach tree seedlings.  Timing is perfect, they will go under the grow lights with the rest of the garden fares in a week or so.

It will take a long time to get actual fruit bearing trees, but you can't beat the price of free and the teaching opportunity with the kids.  My daughter is still trying to wrap her mind around the fact that this 1/8" green twig will eventually turn into a huge peach tree.

A guy could develop an entire orchard for practically free if he had enough patience and time.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 02:48:32 PM by Stein »

Offline chris

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2009, 03:31:47 PM »
Hmmm, I'm running tto the store now. Thanks for the post.

Offline firetoad

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2009, 03:44:12 PM »
Great link and information!  +1

Offline ColdHaven

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2009, 04:22:10 PM »
+1. I had no idea you had to dry them and then crack open the pits. No wonder I haven't had any luck.  :-\

Offline archer

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2009, 04:47:56 PM »
+1. I had no idea you had to dry them and then crack open the pits. No wonder I haven't had any luck.  :-\
Neither did I... Wonder how that happens in the wild? +1

Offline SteveInTx

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2009, 06:11:54 PM »
+1. I had no idea you had to dry them and then crack open the pits. No wonder I haven't had any luck.  :-\
Neither did I... Wonder how that happens in the wild? +1

I would guess that whatever critter ate the peach would do the cracking while chewing it up?

Offline Stein

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2009, 06:46:48 PM »
There are little fairies running around with hammers.

Seriously, let them dry out for a week.  Then, go into the garage or sidewalk, put them on the long edge and GENTLY tap the side  It takes a reasonable amount of force but to much will pulverize the whole thing.

It is a crazy process, dry the seed, beat it open, freeze if for a few months then life appears.  No wonder we don't have natural peach forests around the US.

Offline T Kehl

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2009, 07:01:51 PM »
+ 1

I knew apple's would not produce true to seed and assumed other fruits were similar.  That's what I get for assuming!

Tommy Jefferson

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2009, 10:08:06 AM »
Very cool Stein!  Thanks for the idea.  I'm going to try this.

Offline archer

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2009, 11:11:46 AM »
I knew apple's would not produce true to seed and assumed other fruits were similar.  That's what I get for assuming!

What is this twk178?

Offline T Kehl

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2009, 05:25:56 PM »
I knew apple's would not produce true to seed and assumed other fruits were similar.  That's what I get for assuming!

What is this twk178?

Most fruits will not produce the same quality of fruit as the parent if produced by seed.  I did not mean to infer that apple seeds would not produce an apple tree.  However, seeds taken from a tasty apple most times grow an apple tree that is best used for cider only.  To get the "true to type" ie the same fruit as what you are eating on a new tree, it needs to be started from cuttings or prunings.  This can be through either rooting or grafting onto rootstock. 

This is true for Apples, Pears, Grapes and likely other fruits that I can't currently confirm.

During the 1800's, there was a big push to develop new varieties of fruits was a phenomenon similar to the number of people growing tomatoes in their backyard.  This was done partially by hybridization, partially by luck, but mostly by planting LOTS of seeds to see what their ofspring tasted like.  The data I've read is that one in 10,000 apple seeds planted create an exceptional apple, with most being lower quality than the original.

With that said, it may be possible to find an orchard that would sell/give you the prunings from their trees.  A little rooting compond and time should produce some viable results even if the success rate is low.  Though I have not tried this myself with fruit, it works well with crepe myrtle, tulip, snowball bush, etc, so it should work.  Some are even simpler.  From what I've read, cranberry trimmings when stuck directly in the ground will root with no assistance!

SouthernLiving

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2009, 01:19:22 PM »
What twk says is true - I had always wondered why.

Luckily, after you plant your seedlings and they get some size to them, you can graft different higher quality varieties to that base tree.  Find a friendly neighbor that has really good peaches and ask for a few small cuttings.

Offline archer

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2009, 04:02:01 PM »
Wow. I did not know this. Genetic diversity shows itself. Thanks for the info. +1

Offline Stein

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2009, 09:55:32 PM »
What twk says is true - I had always wondered why.

Luckily, after you plant your seedlings and they get some size to them, you can graft different higher quality varieties to that base tree.  Find a friendly neighbor that has really good peaches and ask for a few small cuttings.

Peaches are different from apples.  From what I read the peach seed should reproduce the exact fruit.

Apparently I planted 5, not 5 as the last one showed up yesterday.  I put them under grow lights for 12 hours a day two days ago and they took off like rockets.  I will need to transplant them into 4" pots tomorrow.

Offline T Kehl

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2009, 10:13:39 PM »
What twk says is true - I had always wondered why.

Luckily, after you plant your seedlings and they get some size to them, you can graft different higher quality varieties to that base tree.  Find a friendly neighbor that has really good peaches and ask for a few small cuttings.

Peaches are different from apples.  From what I read the peach seed should reproduce the exact fruit.

Apparently I planted 5, not 5 as the last one showed up yesterday.  I put them under grow lights for 12 hours a day two days ago and they took off like rockets.  I will need to transplant them into 4" pots tomorrow.

If the peach is not hybridized it may work.  However, I've dug a little bit online and the results are not as encouraging.  Yes you will still get peaches, but they may not be "true to form" of the one you ate.

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/seed/msg071236403337.html
http://en.allexperts.com/q/Seeding-Propagation-733/Peach-seeds.htm
http://garden.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Peach_Seed_Planting

Often trees at the grocery store will be grown on one tree that was pollinated from another variety.  I believe this is where the variation of quality can come into play when that seed is planted and grown.

The tree may very well produce delicious fruit, but if not, peach wine is fantastic!


Offline creuzerm

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2009, 01:31:53 AM »
Yeah, Good apples are more luck and art then anything else.

Many of the apples we enjoy are 'sports', where a branch on an existing adult apple tree turns out to be different. A little smoother of appearance, bigger, sweeter, whatever. They take a cutting off of that branch, graft it onto another tree, and grow lots of copies this way.

Most of the good eating apples don't naturally have a strong enough root system to survive the harsh Wisconsin winters. So the trees you get at a nursery have the rootstock of a crabapple tree that is locally winter hardy, with a fruit apple grafted onto it right at ground level. Dwarf apple trees of a given variety are the same thing, a dwarf rootstock with a good fruiting apple on top.
You can look at the tree, right at ground level, I forget if it's just above or below, there is that little wide spot where the grafting was done. There is a name for that spot, I just don't remember it. It's been 12-3 years since my ag classes in Highschool.
That is also why you should cut off the suckers at the base of an apple tree. Odds are, is that they are from the rootstock and not the grafted on tree, and won't produce fruit anything like what you are expecting.

This is how they make those 5 variety in a single tree apple trees you can find. They just graft 5 different types onto a single rootstock. Any old horticulture textbook goes through the process.

I know nothing about peaches, as they don't winter too well in Wisconsin. I would have made the same assumption that twk178s did.

Offline T Kehl

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2009, 12:42:55 PM »
I think I finally found some answers at least in terms of Apples.

Apple's can't pollinate themselves and require cross-pollination.  As such, the seeds in every apple will be hybridized seeds.  Hybridized seeds are known to not produce reliable offspring.

Source:  Backyard Living Sept/Oct 2004

The question then becomes, do Peaches require cross-pollination? 

However, there is an Apple tree on the family farm that is likely half a mile from any other apples, but still produces fruit.  The apples are generally small and lower quality that store bought, but apples none the less.

VERDICT:  The more I look into this, the more conflicted the information becomes.   :-\

Offline Roswell

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2009, 11:47:10 PM »
screw it I'm trying it with apples. I have a bunch already and I LOVE cider  ;)  let me know how your peaches turn out.  I may try those too.  I'm in Georgia so, they'd have to be delicious.  Has anyone tried oranges?  Is this a case where it is like comparing apples to oranges or do oranges perform similar to peaches when taken from seed.  Like I said I love cider, but not sure about bitter OJ.

Offline Stein

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2009, 08:09:03 PM »
Peaches can be self-pollinating, I bought a tree before I tried this.

The five trees have grown to about 10" or so.  They are under 14 hours of grow light a day and seem to be doing quite well.  Of course, it will be two years at least before the proof will either show up or not.

Offline T Kehl

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2009, 09:05:25 PM »
Thanks for the update!

I intend to get a bunch going and plant them on my parents farm.  Planning on apples, peaches, plums, and maybe pears. 

I do also plan to buy a couple trees for my house.  I live on .25 acres in the middle of the city with garden space at a premium.  For my situation it's better to pay up and avoid the risk.

Offline Stein

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2009, 01:13:37 PM »
Thanks for the update!

I intend to get a bunch going and plant them on my parents farm.  Planning on apples, peaches, plums, and maybe pears. 

I do also plan to buy a couple trees for my house.  I live on .25 acres in the middle of the city with garden space at a premium.  For my situation it's better to pay up and avoid the risk.

That's what we are doing as well, our yard can maybe take two trees plus a berry vine or two.  The rest will go to the inlaws place.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2009, 01:27:52 PM »
Most of the good eating apples don't naturally have a strong enough root system to survive the harsh Wisconsin winters. So the trees you get at a nursery have the rootstock of a crabapple tree that is locally winter hardy, with a fruit apple grafted onto it right at ground level. Dwarf apple trees of a given variety are the same thing, a dwarf rootstock with a good fruiting apple on top.

Thanks for pulling this stuff up.  I've done a lot of reading on this stuff, but I still think it is amazing that doing something like grafting will not kill the apple tree.  Fascinating stuff.

Offline theaccidentalsurvivor

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2009, 02:19:33 PM »
FYI you can grow an avocado tree basically the same way, but it wont produce fruit without a graft..... But they make EXCELLENT shade trees!

Offline T Kehl

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2009, 05:58:44 PM »
Most of the good eating apples don't naturally have a strong enough root system to survive the harsh Wisconsin winters. So the trees you get at a nursery have the rootstock of a crabapple tree that is locally winter hardy, with a fruit apple grafted onto it right at ground level. Dwarf apple trees of a given variety are the same thing, a dwarf rootstock with a good fruiting apple on top.

Thanks for pulling this stuff up.  I've done a lot of reading on this stuff, but I still think it is amazing that doing something like grafting will not kill the apple tree.  Fascinating stuff.

Nature is amazing!!!!!!!!!

As a side note, I started thinking about cherries during supper.  Since they are supposed to be tart anyway for most recipies, I see no problems starting cherries from seed.

Offline T Kehl

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2009, 09:55:50 PM »
My apologies in bringing an old thread back up.

I got to thinking that if you had an orchard of fruit trees grown from seed, if you ever wanted to make the fruit true to variety, you would only have to buy one tree.  The clippings from the tree you buy could be grafted on to the rootstocks grown from seed.  (This could be grafted into a stump or as a new branch).  This gives a huge head start by grafting onto an established rootstock.  If you wanted to save even more money, you may be able to get the prunings from a local orchard.

I read about something similar in New England where a guy became caretaker of a bunch of MacIntosh apples and ended up cutting them all down and using the roots to grow other rare varieties.

Offline leprechaun

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2009, 05:57:34 PM »
Stein, if they are from walmart wouldn't they be hybreds. I bought peaches from local fruit stands. I havested the pits and am waiting for results.

Offline Stein

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2009, 09:51:18 PM »
They weren't from Walmart, our local fruit stand.

BUT, I put them on the side of my house out of the way and promptly forgot about them for several weeks.  Now I have some brown sticks.

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2009, 11:55:46 PM »
Just a note about cracking open peach pits.  They contain an amount of cyanide.  That amount will make an adult sick, but could be fatal to a child or dog. 

Offline wyomiles

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2009, 10:40:45 AM »
When I was little my folks bought a box of peaches. Being the little gardener in the house , I collected each pit. They were planted in the fall, in about a 6 foot by 6 ft area, and in the spring I had dozens of trees come up. This was in a suburb of Denver so I assume they cracked during the winter. I had planted them just like I planted all of my other seeds , close together in rows, so they came up like peas !  ;D
We moved before I ever got to see if they made peaches.

Offline robt871

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Re: "Free" Peach Trees, it actually worked.
« Reply #29 on: January 01, 2010, 10:10:38 PM »
I planted a seed from a peach tree in my yard, after the harvest I found a dried pit, I took the seed from it, planted it in a small pot, placed it in a icebox at about 35 degrees. I forgot about it, found it tonight, it has a healthy stem of about 12 inches.  I am so psyhed.