I was on the checkouts queue-busting today, and I started chatting to a customer who was buying a load of apples.
He said that he fills balloons up with the apple seeds, and then blows them up with helium, and then lets them go.
Then when they reach 15,000 feet the balloon pops and spreads the seeds.
I let him ramble on as he was saying he is responsible for something like 80,000 odd apple trees, and that there is about 12 seeds per apple, and how one night he left the helium on by accident, and how he has started to make cider out of the apples. blah, blah, blah.
That got me thinking. What are his chances that the balloons pop? That the seeds are spread over land? or water? and how many of them actually germinate?
If two thirds of the Earth is water, then about 25,000 apple seeds reach terra-firma.
Lets round that down to 20,000 to account for balloons not bursting.
At worst 1% of the apple seeds will germinate, at best 100% will germinate.
So if 50% actually germinate then that is 10,000 new apple trees. Only a 1 in 8, or 12.5% success rate.
And then I stumbled across this site: http://www.pathtofreedom.com/pathproject/gardening/seedballs.shtml