Apple Tree Cross Pollination/ Hybrids

Asked February 22, 2013, 12:14 PM EST

Since apple trees require cross pollination, is the resulting fruit a hybrid of the two parents? Or is it the case that the fruit is a function of the main tree, but its seeds are hybrids? Please explain the science here, or provide a link where I can read more. Google is not helping me on this.

Hickman County Tennessee apples

3 Responses

The fruit flesh is not a hybrid, but the seeds are. Hence, if the seeds were planted, it would be a different apple 'variety' that results on the tree. But the fruit itself has the same genetics as the tree it is growing on, hence, a Gala tree gives a Gala apple. Hence, all apple trees are cloned (grafted) so they remain true to type. New apple varieties are a result of purposeful pollen crosses then the seeds are grown into a new plant and the resulting apples are evaluated for their merits (or not). It's just like people, offspring are completely different from their parents, however, if we wanted to maintain the traits of an individual we would have to clone. (Which we can do with plants, but not people.) Make sense?

Perfect reply. Thank you. Its amazing you can't get this information easily on Google.

The fruit flesh is not a hybrid, but the seeds are. Hence, if the seeds were planted, it would be a different apple 'variety' that results on the tree. But the fruit itself has the same genetics as the tree it is growing on, hence, a Gala tree gives a Gala apple. Hence, all apple trees are cloned (grafted) so they remain true to type. New apple varieties are a result of purposeful pollen crosses then the seeds are grown into a new plant and the resulting apples are evaluated for their merits (or not). It's just like people, offspring are completely different from their parents, however, if we wanted to maintain the traits of an individual we would have to clone. (Which we can do with plants, but not people.) Make sense?