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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Does size matter? Newton Wonder Seedlings

A few years ago I grew about 10 apple seedlings from Newton Wonder pips. Now as I am sure you know, apples do not breed true from pips and each seedling is a unique 'variety'. In fact apple varieties, like potato varieties, are clones. It is supposed to be very rare to get an edible apple from a random seedling, so I stuck these seedlings behind a bit of fence on the side of the road and forgot about them. I saw there were a few apples last year but the crows got to them before me. Mike picked one from each of three trees recently and we were pleasantly surprised. The two on the right were a bit sour but might improve on storage like their mother. The one on the left was crisp sweet and tasty. It was small, but does size matter? It has been named John Hope.


  1. I wonder whether all the stuff about the rarity of obtaining an edible apple from pips is actually true. In this area there are often seedling apple trees on waste ground and along railway lines, presumably from cores lobbed out of train windows. I have tried these on occasion and often they are perfectly edible. The majority are probably not oustanding in any way, but there may be a few gems out there; if people assume they're inedible, they'll never know.

  2. I think a lot of commercial orchards use crab apples as pollinators which possibly reduces the chances of an edible cross, but my apples are mostly named varieties so I suppose that increases the chances. Perhaps its all a conspiracy to stop us trying a bit of plant breeding at home.

  3. I wanted to say just that, but was scared that I might be branded a conspiracy theorist.