The magic of pollination

The magic of pollination (image + link)Most fruiting trees and shrubs require pollination from another tree or shrub of the same kind to set fruit. This means that an apple tree needs another variety of apple in close proximity. That can be an apple tree in a neighbor’s yard. These apples have to flower at approximately the same time for cross pollination. While bees and other insects usually take care of the hard pollination work, you can also do this by hand. Apples can be pollinated by crabapples as well, because they are the same family (Malus). Crabapples usually flower for a longer period of time, which makes them the perfect pollinator.

For pears pollination works the same as for apples: you need another pear variety close by for your pear tree to grow fruit. Remember: the other tree can be in a neighbor’s yard.

The magic of pollination (image + link)While Cherries, Plums, Apricots, Nectarines and Peaches are all Prunus varieties, they do not pollinate each other. The good news is: Apricots, Nectarines, Peaches and most plums are self fertile and do not need another variety to set fruit.  Most Plums will grow fruit on their own, but better yields are achieved with another variety around. In general sweet Cherries need another Cherry variety as pollinator, although there are some that are self fertile, like Stella, Lapins, Santina and Sweetheart.  All Romance series cherries and Evans cherry are self pollinating and do not require another tree to set fruit.

Haskaps or Honeyberries are gaining more popularity, because they are very hardy and can produce lots of healthy fruit with the right pollinator. You need one pollenizer plant for every five plants. It is best if the plants are planted side by side, but as long as bees can easily see both plants at the same time they are probably close enough. Not all Haskap varieties will pollinate each other: Polar Jewel and Aurora are great pollinator plants for Tundra and Borealis.

Currants and Gooseberries are self fertile, but benefit from another variety for pollination. Goji berries are also self fertile and will set fruit on their own. Like Currants, they do set better crops when a different variety is planted nearby. Grapes are self fertile, so you can have only one plant and enjoy lots of fruits. Kiwi’s need a male and female plant in order to grow fruit except for Issai, which is self pollinating.

The magic of pollination (image + link)Most of the Blueberry varieties sold at garden centers are self fertile, however they do benefit from having a different variety planted close by. This will result in more and bigger fruit. Like all pollinator varieties, it is very important that their bloom time overlaps, so there is enough time for bees and other insects to cross pollinate them.

When in doubt you can always ask the experts at your local garden center. They know best which varieties to choose for your area that will result in the best possible yields.

Happy Gardening!

For more ideas ask your local garden center professionals and make sure you follow us on FacebookTwitter,YouTube and Pinterest for other help tips and hints.


Guest post by Floortje - Bylands Inventory Coordinator & Social Media Communications

I am originally from the Netherlands, where I worked for a municipal parks department and the promotion organization for the Dutch Nursery Stock Industry. My husband and I are still in the process of building our garden as we moved into our house four years ago and I didn’t like all the plant decisions the previous owners made :-) Besides gardening there are a number of renovations going on in our house. 

Photo Credit header picture: Pinterest