The key to growing productive fruit trees is pollination — and that's something you have to plan before you plant. Every type of fruit tree has distinct requirements for pollination.
Here are some of the basics of fruit tree pollination:
Additional facts on pollination:
With the help of the bees, some trees can pollinate and bear fruit all by themselves, called self-pollinating or self-fruitful. Nearly all common varieties of apricot, peach, nectarine and sour cherry are self-pollinating.
Other fruit trees, like most apple, plum, sweet cherry and pears are cross-pollinating or self-unfruitful. They need another tree for pollination, and not just one of the same variety, but a different variety of the same fruit. For example, most sweet cherries must be pollinated with compatible sweet cherry trees. In addition, these fruit trees have to blossom at about the same time (mid-season, late-season) so honeybees can cross-pollinate them.
However, even if the trees are considered compatible, other factors can interfere with pollination. Lack of rain, high winds or frost can damage buds before they blossom. Fruit trees form their flower buds in the fall. Excessive winter cold or even a late-spring frost can kill buds and blossoms. That's why it’s important to choose a tree selected for your climate zone (shown on the plant tag). These trees develop buds more in time with the last local frost, so there's less chance of losing fruit production.
All fruit trees at the Lowe’s Garden Center have a tag that has information on pollination, growing zone and other important facts.
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