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Starting an Orchard? Here's What You Need to Know about The Pollination of Fruit Trees

Are you starting an orchard? Growing your own fruit can be rewarding and valuable. Having your own bushels of fresh picked organic fruit tastes great and can be fun for the entire family. And besides eating it throughout the summer, it can also be saved and frozen for winter edibles, used in pies, and canned. To get started, you need to have an understanding of the pollination of fruit trees. Many varieties require cross pollination meaning you will need to plant at least two fruit trees.

Cross pollination occurs at blossom time in the spring; without pollination fruit will not develop.  Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the male part of the flower to the female part of the flower and cross pollination is the transfer of pollen between varieties of trees. Cross pollination is required for most apples, pears, sweet cherries and many plums. However, some types of fruit trees can be pollinated with their own pollen and are referred to as self-pollinating.

Tip from the pros: Pollination most often occurs by the hard work of honeybees. However, even these hardworking insects can't be expected to travel too far. We recommend trees be planted within 100 feet of one another to ensure the best pollination.


The best way to ensure a good apple crop is to provide dequate cross pollination of two or more varieties. apple.jpgFlowering crabapples can also work as a cross pollinator.


Pears require another cultivar for cross-pollinization. European and Asian pears will cross-pollinate if they bloom at the same time.


Most plums will set fruit with their own pollen but will produce better crops with pollinizers nearby.


Sweet cherries, with the exception of the Stella, require cross-pollination between two different cultivars. Cherries also need to match in bloom time to be effective. Sour cherries are self-fertile and will not require another species. They are capable of cross pollinating a sweet cherry variety, but often times bloom too late to be effective.

Adding an orchard to your landscape is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and make the most of your landscape space. More so, you will have natural locally grown produce to enjoy all summer long. If you would like to learn more about the varieties we typically carry please enjoy, "Aaron's Handy Dandy Fruit Tree Guide".






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