Johnny Appleseed Orchards LLC owns the genetics to the last known surviving tree planted by ‘Johnny Appleseed’ (John Chapman). Over 6,000 grafted trees are now being grown to produce trees genetically identical to the proven heirloom tree.
There are vast differences between grafted fruit trees and seed-grown fruit trees. Ever wonder why you don’t get true-to-name fruit by planting seeds?
Contrary to logic, apple seeds will not produce apples genetically identical to the tree they came from. Trees grown from seed will produce apples of greatly varying taste, appearance, and quality. Since long before Johnny Appleseed’s time, when an attractive, good-tasting apple was discovered, buds from that tree would be grafted onto other rootstock to produce a consistent orchard. All it took was a pocket knife and some patience.
In Johnny Appleseed’s day, there were no passable roads at the frontier suitable for hauling trees, so he traveled light, carrying only seeds. Johnny’s plan was to first plant apple trees from seed at the edge of the frontier, fencing the area. As settlements advanced, these trees would be sold, becoming rootstock for buds from perhaps a single tree brought by a pioneer to the frontier. Apples from the Johnny Appleseed era, such as the Golden Delicious and the McIntosh, continue to be enjoyed.
Today, Johnny Appleseed Orchards is implementing a program to certify orchards in States where Johnny Appleseed was active, and which are growing Appleseed-era apples with careful protocols. These Johnny Appleseed Authentic™ apples form the foundation of a trusted consumer brand.