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What do you think of my apple sapling?

  1. Oct 7, 2011 #1
    Last year, I planted some apple seeds. About 2/3 of them sprouted, and a fair amount survived. However, I learned the hard way that I should not plant trees in the same pot at first, since I was using a cut up water bottle sideways to hold them. So after killing half while transplanting and all but one later dieing, I have the tree in the attached pictures.

    I know I should probably get a bigger pot, but does anyone know if it's ready to be left out for winter? Since it is the last of the seeds I planted that survived, I don't want to kill it. I can probably find a place inside my house for it if I need to. I've also been fertilizing it periodically with used coffee grounds.

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 7, 2011 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Wouldn't it do better if you didn't lay it on it's side?
  4. Oct 7, 2011 #3
    Probably, but I used my mom's iphone to take the pictures. I'm not sure why the picture is like that.
  5. Oct 7, 2011 #4
    i would probably plant it in the spring. and bigger pot or not, i wouldn't leave it outside over winter in a pot, the roots will freeze.
  6. Oct 7, 2011 #5
    Alright, inside it shall be then!
  7. Oct 7, 2011 #6
    you might want more opinions. ;)
  8. Oct 7, 2011 #7


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    Staff: Mentor

    That's correct, the roots will freeze in a pot, bring it inside. The trick if it goes dormant is knowing when to water it.
  9. Oct 7, 2011 #8


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Trying to grow trees in small pots is usually a bad idea. Even if you want to make a bonsai tree, it's better to start with something "natural" and prune it, both above and below ground level.

    When most tree seeds germinate in the ground naturally, the first thing they do is grow a LONG tap root, much bigger than the plant above ground. That's a good survival strategy, because if the top gets broken off the root system is big enough for the plant to regrow.

    If you plant the seeds in a small pot, you get a plant with a very abnormal root system, which won't do very well when you plant it outside. At best, it will take a year or two to sort itself out and start growing normally.

    Assuming your climate is suitable for growing apple trees out of doors, the easy way is just bury a whole apple in the ground at the time when it would have fallen off the tree naturally, and wait. It might take a couple of years for the apple to rot down and the seeds to germinate, but that's what they have evolved to do. The hardest part is remembering where you buried it!

    Don't bury it too deep. Make the depth of the hole about 1.5 times the diameter of the apple. Frost doesn't matter. In fact some seeds won't germinate at all until they have been frozen.

    Bear in mind that cultivated apple varieties may be grown grafted onto a different rootstock, and may not grow well on their "own" roots anyway. Even if they do grow OK on their own roots, they may be grafted to control the size of the tree. An apple variety that spends the first 15 or 20 years of its life growing into a 40 ft high tree before it produces any apples at all is not much use commercially, Grafting the the same variety on a dwarfing rootstock that restricts it to say 5 ft high, and puts it under stress so it starts producing fruit in 3 or 4 years, is a much better option.
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