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Re: Flowering Crab Apple Tree

I've got 2 pretty good sources here.  First Deno, then the US Ag handbook.
Then a few pointers from AHS Plant Propagation

Deno tested 4 hybrid crabapples from fresh and dry stored seed.  He says,
"Most of the germination occurred in the first cycle if sown at 40F and in a
70F-40F-70F pattern if sown at 70F.  The fruits were collected in winter and
the seeds washed in water and cleaned daily for a week.  Fresh seed data:
M. 'Bob White' at 40F - 86% germ in 2-8 weeks
M. 'Donald Wyman' at 40F  - 86% germ in 2-9 weeks
M. 'Red Splendor' at 40F  - 100% germ in 2-10 weeks
M. 'Red Splendor' at 70F  - 15% , then 3% more at 40F, then 70% more at 70F
M. unnamed yellow at 70F - 11% , then 12% more at 40F, then 75% more at 70F
in 2nd week
When GA-3 was apploed to red Splendor the seeds germinated more slowly and
in a lower percentage.

The Ag Handbook doesn't supply a lot of info because they say, "There is a
huge amount of literature on the germination of apple seeds."  But they do
provide, "Apple seeds display dormancy which has been overcome by
prechilling.  ASOA standards for Malus species are substrate: paper;
incubation temperatures: 18-22C; duration: 7-10 days; addtnl directions: use
embryo excision method or TZ. (TZ - ? - wasn't included in the glossary).
Apple rootstocks are often grown from seed in nurseries.  Untreated seeds
can be sown in the late fall and prechilled seeds in the spring.  Sow 0.6 to
1.25 cm deep in rows and mulch with a thin layer of sawdust.  Germination is

Fleshy fruits: Pulp smaller fruits and leave in warm water for up to 4 days
to separate out the seeds, which should sink to the bottom.  Dish detergent
added to the water may assist separation.  Once seeds are clean, pat dry.
Most ornamental crabapples are self-sterile, but some come true to type.
Clean ripe fruits in autumn and sow outdoors.  Alternatively, sow the seeds
in the refrigerator; in early winter, soak seed for 48 hrs, drain, and
refrigerate for 3-6 months before sowing.

I don't know how much any of this helps, but it's a start.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jesse Bell" <silverhawk@flash.net>
To: "Gardenchat" <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2004 1:36 PM
Subject: [CHAT] Flowering Crab Apple Tree

> O.K. all you master gardeners and advanced master gardeners....and anybody
else who knows the answers here.....question:
> How long should the seeds be "cold treated" and how cold does it have to
> From what I've read, most crab apples are propagated by grafting or by
> digging up the suckers. I have found very little information on the
> seeds. There are some very, very old and very beautiful crab apples in
> the park across from the building where I work. I just went and picked
> up some of the tiny little "apples" and now I'm wondering....how long do
> they have to be cold treated before they will sprout?
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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