Pull an apple tree from a core yourself

Pull an apple tree from a core yourself

Choose suitable apple seeds for cultivation

In principle, all kernels from apples bought in a shop are suitable for growing an apple tree from them with a little luck. However, with a view to the future, a variety should be selected when buying that fits the local climate. If you or your neighbor should already have a suitable apple tree in your garden, you can use the pips from its fruits so that you do not experience an unpleasant surprise in later years. Such varieties in Central Europe would be, for example, the following:

  • Jonagold
  • Elstar
  • Alcmene
  • Berlepsch
  • Boskoop
  • Gold parmane

also read

  • Grow an apple tree yourself from seeds
  • Grow your own apple tree in your own garden
  • Sow an apple tree from seeds yourself

Apple trees from pips have surprises in store

If apple trees are propagated by grafting a branch onto a suitable base, this is called vegetative propagation. If, on the other hand, apple trees are grown from pips, the result can be quite different from one core to another. In the commercial cultivation of apple varieties, apple trees are grown from kernels in test series in order to obtain new crosses. In the home garden, this can lead to surprises, as a small apple tree pulled from the pips can develop a huge tree crown over time.

The kernels need to be stratified for germination

In nature, the apple kernels are set with natural germ inhibitors in such a way that they do not start the germination phase until after winter. If you do not use any fermentation-pretreated kernels from must production, you have to simulate winter for immediate use of the kernels. To do this, put the apple seeds between two damp layers of kitchen paper in a box, which you put in the refrigerator for about two to four weeks. After this period you should be able to see the first signs of germination on the seeds.

Be careful when planting the kernels

The pre-germinated apple pits are still very sensitive. So put them very carefully in pots with loose garden soil. Leave each individual core enough space for the first year of growth. Cover your apple seedlings with a layer of substrate about one centimeter thick and water them well. The pot should be in a light and warm location and have drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.


Sometimes nature naturally helps you to grow an apple tree from a core. If you know places where rotten and overripe apples are composted, you can search the ground for young apple trees.