|1909 Illustration of a "Colorado Orange" Apple, USDA|
What kind of apple trees do you think Johnny Appleseed planted as he sowed swaths of seeds to establish orchards across the Midwest? It turns out that every seed he planted grew into a unique apple tree! Planted apple seeds will not produce a tree or fruit exactly like the original fruit or tree the seed was collected from. If you grow an apple tree from a Macintosh apple seed, you will have an apple tree, but not a Macintosh apple tree. Apples are an example of a plant that can only be reproduced exactly by a technique known as “grafting”. Grafting is the process of joining two plants together. The upper part of the graft (the scion) becomes the top of the resulting plant, and the lower part provides the root system.