GGing Fruit Trees

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GGing Fruit Trees
« on: September 06, 2008, 01:36:24 AM »
So I'd love to start GGing fruit trees. I live in a city with starving people, and fruit trees would help. I need cheap material, so I'll either be going from fruit seeds (or pits) and growing them in a pot and then planting, or I'll create seeds bombs with the seeds/pits inside. Does anyone have any experience with either of these two methods?

If I'm growing from seed and then transplanting, how old should the seedling be? Do I need to regularly water it? Is fall a good time to plant?

Any advice/thoughts appreciated.

Re: GGing Fruit Trees
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2008, 01:42:10 PM »
Have you considered propagating cuttings? In terms of cost, all you need is access to an existing tree. For the best results, grow them in pots and transplant them out. The real challenge would be finding the right locations...
Kieran

"African, n, a n-gger who votes our way" - Ambrose Bearce

Re: GGing Fruit Trees
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2008, 02:38:25 PM »
Hi Andrew,

If you're committed to this for years to come you can start a few trees from the seeds you get from produce in your grocery.  If you search fruit trees on gardenweb.com you'll get a lot more advice.  Mother Earth news did an article about it as well.  Depending on where you're planting the trees I'd guess you'd want them to be at least a foot or two tall before planting them out.  Good Luck.  It's a great idea.

Re: GGing Fruit Trees
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2009, 11:36:55 PM »
I?ve started growing a couple of walnut trees, I plan to find a spot to plant it once it gets big enough. I got the walnut from my friend?s tree from his garden so I know it will grow well here.

I think it?s a great way to ensure that there are more opportunities for food in your home country. In the UK most food is comes from other countries and if something happens like war or the disease of our food crops, we would all starve. Growing trees would help both the environment and food security. I?m going to try grow a few every year and pass them on to either friends with land or plant them where a tree uses to be but has died or been vandalised.

Re: GGing Fruit Trees
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2009, 12:43:35 AM »
My on experience here is that mulberries are great to grow from cuttings. Any woody offcut from a healthy tree, stuck in the ground, will usually take. Same with pomegranate. But I'm not sure about your climate - her it is sub tropical.

Re: GGing Fruit Trees
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2009, 10:42:59 PM »
I've grown a few elder tree-lets from stolen cuttings, and planted two out in the community whilst keeping one at home. Elderberries are delicious- if the birds don't get them first - and the leaves greatly improve the quality and speed of your compost.

Two weekends ago, I bought two pawpaw trees, not just one, from the old fruit man at the local weekend market, planted one in my backyard and one in a park nearby where I got some funny looks. <grin>

Re: GGing Fruit Trees
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2009, 05:41:37 AM »
Fall/autumn is the best time to transplant deciduous fruit trees in a cool/temperate zone (actually, that's when I put most trees in). Planting time from seed would depend on variety - some need stratification, so probably before winter - but fast germinating species are probably best in spring.

I don't know if you have Jackie French titles in the US, but her books Backyard Self-sufficiency and The Wilderness Garden are a great wealth of information.

Re: GGing Fruit Trees
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2009, 02:09:22 PM »
I think introducing fruit (and nut) trees should be the number 1 priority of GG, not a load of toffs planting pretty flowers  :)

The problem is the cost of mature trees.
I'll be adding some fruit trees to public areas, but it's going to be 10 years before there are any results.

In the park area near work there is a secluded part where there are litterally tens of thousands of plums going to waste.

There needs to be campaigns for fruit trees in public areas and for new housing developments to include fruit trees.

Re: GGing Fruit Trees
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2009, 08:31:18 AM »
I'm going to agree with some of the people above and say that if you're going to try to GG fruit trees, propagating from cuttings is probably the quickest and easiest method. It's also one of the cheapest if you can find a good source for cuttings. There's a lot of good information on the internet about it, just search for "propagating fruit trees from cuttings".

Some trees are relatively easy to grow from seed, others are a little harder. There's also the question of where you're going to get seeds... though many trees will grow from produce, there's a fair bit of modern produce that's been created through hybridization with odd varieties or propagated strictly by cloning methods, so conventional reproduction by seed will produce weird, possibly unpalatable fruit.

Growing trees also takes a surprisingly long time [especially if you're sitting there all waiting for them to grow] and as JamesA notes fruit trees must become mature before they produce fruit. Different trees mature at different rates. If you're considering fruit trees for a source of sustainable food there are also other things you must think about, such as the lifespan of the tree, yield, insect and disease resistance, etc. Apple trees have a high yield and live a long time but they can take 10 years before they start to produce fruit. Some trees need both male and female or multiple trees in the same area for pollination. Some trees need more maintenance than others to produce. Most fruit trees will not just casually produce grocery-store quality fruit. I'm sure most of us are aiming at "edible" rather than "perfect" but depending on the tree there can be a surprising amount of care needed to produce any useful amount of undamaged fruit. If you or a local group are not going to be maintaining the tree on a regular basis you need to pick your fruit tree carefully.

There's also the question of where you're planting these things. As often said on this site you also have to be very careful about planting in urban or roadside environments due to toxic chemicals from dumping, industrial use, cars, and so forth possibly leaching into the food or coating the outside. Remember that a fruit tree is nothing but a messy nuisance if you can't eat the fruit.

I would recommend transplanting older trees [3ft or larger] if you are serious about wanting them to succeed as older trees are far less likely to be mowed down, removed, eaten by deer, etc. I would also probably take the time to stake them and possibly put protection around the trunk so the bark isn't chewed off or damaged by vandals. It also looks more "professional" so it's less likely to be removed.


An option for those GGing trees is ordering seedlings relatively cheaply through mail order, or from a local wholesale nursery. If you think about it, you will probably spend the same money in care, water, supplies, etc. to raise a tree from seed to transplant size as you would to simply buy a small tree [unless you already have an established set of supplies or devoted area to tree growing].

If you don't like that option [don't want to pollute by ordering stuff from far away, no environmentally friendly wholesalers around] but you still don't want to invest in growing trees from scratch, you can always try the bargain bin at your local garden center or nursery. I worked at a garden center for a few years and we would commonly sell off perfectly healthy or rehab-able trees for ridiculously low prices, just because they weren't good looking or they were wilty or something. It would be worth a shot to check your local nurseries in late spring/early summer. Most fruit trees come in early in the spring season, so the scraggly ones will probably be on sale by that time. If you're lucky you can pick up good sized saplings for 10-20 dollars.

As Nisaba noted sometimes you can also find trees [esp. things like berry bushes and paw paws] at farmer's markets and the like.