I've never managed to grow a tree from a seed or a pip before, well, except for the conker that I planted in the rockery right outside the dining room window when I was a child. It actually sprouted and started to grow but my mum ousted it as soon as she realised, not wanting a huge horse chestnut tree growing in that position. I decided that for a bit of fun I'd put Grow a tree from a pip on my 50 Before 50 list and you can see it at number 49.
I went to the Apple Day at Lotherton in September and brought a few less common varieties home with me so I thought I'd have a go at using the pips from them to grow a new tree. In autumn, I planted some pips from the Edward VII and Ashmead's Kernel varieties. Apple tree seeds need to undergo a period of stratification, a chilling period, in order to germinate so I left them in the cold greenhouse over winter in order for them to stratify in the soil during the cold temperatures.
It worked. I have two Edward VII and one Ashmead's Kernel seedlings.
They've now been pricked out and are tucked up in their own pots in order to grow on.
Edward VII is a dual purpose apple, it can be used in cooking or eaten raw. It was first recorded in 1902, the year of the king's coronation, hence the name it was given. Ashmead's Kernel is an even older variety dating back to the 1700s. It's supposed to have a unique pear drop flavour but we didn't detect it when we gave it the taste test.
I wonder how long it will take for these little seedlings to go on and produce fruit.