Can you pollinate an apple tree with a pear tree?
It is always best to pollinate fruit trees of the same genus with each other (apples with apples, pears with pears) but pears can cross-pollinate with apples as long as both trees bloom at the same time. Some (but not all) crabapple trees work for cross-pollination. A few varieties have sterile pollen.
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.
- Citrus. Most citrus trees grown indoors or outdoors are self-fruitful, including oranges, grapefruit, kumquats, lemons and limes. However, some mandarin orange varieties produce more fruit with cross-pollination, but those fruits may have more seeds than those that self-pollinate.
- Cross-pollination between trees requires wind. The majority of olive cultivars are self-fertile and therefore do not need cross-pollination by other cultivars. However, a number of sources recommend pollinators such as Pendolino, Maurino, and Leccino to increase the yields of certain cultivars.
- Most fruiting pear trees require the presence of another different variety of pear for cross-pollination in order to set fruit; however, these pear trees are self-pollinating — meaning they can grow and develop fruit without another compatible pear tree blooming nearby.
Many types of fruit trees, such as apples and pears, need two different varieties growing close to each other for proper fertilization. Peaches are self-fertile, which means that a single tree, with the presence of adequate insect pollinators, can pollinate itself.
- Generally, peach trees live from 10 to 20 years. According to a team of Texas A&M University horticulturalists, peach trees begin producing fruit in their third season and continue producing a viable commercial crop for nine to 12 seasons, or until the trees reach age 12 to 15.
- Also look for self-pollinating cultivars, as some figs are pollinated by tiny, specialized flies native to the Mediterranean and won't set fruit without them. (Reputable U.S. nurseries sell only self-pollinating figs.) Plant trees as you would any young tree.
- Most apple varieties do not pollinate themselves or any flowers of the same apple variety; this requires planting at least two different apple tree varieties close to one another so that the bees can pollinate. However, even these apple trees will bear more fruit if cross-pollinated.)
Citrus trees require heat, good drainage and moist soil to thrive, but most types of citrus, including lemon, are self-fruitful and do not require cross-pollination to set fruit. You can plant one lemon tree in your backyard and enjoy a good fruit yield under adequate cultivation practices.
- In most instances, bees carry the pollen from a type A tree to a type B tree. Avocados are usually not self-pollinated, because the male and female parts are not open at the same time. In some climates, avocados may self pollinate from the wind.
- An orange tree grafted onto rootstock may take three years to begin producing, while a tree grown from seed can take up to 15 years. After transplanting a tree from one container to another or from a container into the ground, the tree may take three to four years to bear fruit normally.
- Whether grown in a container or planted in the ground, Meyer lemon growing requires at least six hours of sunlight. In the hottest summer areas, morning sun and afternoon shade is best for growing Meyer lemons. Start with a healthy tree, grafted onto a hardy rootstock.
Updated: 3rd October 2019