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Where can I find some info on two things. Thing 1; Why can't I get a decent peach from growing a tree from a seed? and Thing 2; "Which came first the chicken or the peach" or "How does grafting work?"

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A

Most fruit trees are grafted.  Grafting fruit trees enables you to clone the commercial qualities of a particular fruit variety on another tree -
whereas the quality of the fruit from trees grown from seed can be highly variable.
Also, grafted trees come into production much earlier than trees grown from seeds - they usually bear fruit within 2-3 years, whereas in the case of trees grown from seed you have to wait 5-10 years before harvesting. So planting a pit or apple core in the ground usually will most likely not produce the type of fruit you desire.  Rootstock are propagated that can tolerate a range of soil properties, environmental and climatic conditions that the variety of peach you desire if grown as a single tree may not be able to tolerate.  The science and art of grafting is putting a desirable variety of fruit onto a rootstock that will have a fair chance of getting established.

So that peach pit may not be able to grow and establish in our tough soils and climate. Grafting works by matching the tissues of the scion wood to the rootstock and eventually they become a full graft.

Some species of fruit are commonly grown on their own roots; new plants are propagated by rooting, layering, or modern tissue-culture techniques. In these cases there are may be no great advantages to using a special rootstock or improved rootstocks are not available. Fig, filbert, olive, pomegranate, gooseberry, bramble, and other fruits are commonly grown without any special rootstock.

Posted on 5 Sep 2007

Maggie Shao
Horticulture Agent, Salt Lake County

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