How Are Fruit Trees Pollinated?

Fruit trees are pollinated by a variety of methods. When a tree flowers, it produces pollen that when introduced to another tree's flower, will produce a fruit. Pollen transfers from one tree to another in many way, a few of the most common being wind and pollinators.

Planting native trees, or other flowering plants near your fruit trees will attract pollinators and in turn help produce delicious fruits!

Will Any Fruit Tree Pollinate My Tree?

No! Fruit tree's get pollinated from other flowers, and therefore need to flower at the same time. To determine which trees will pollinate another, look at the flowering time for your selected tree. For example, a Honeycrisp apple tree flowers at the same time as Golden Delicious. Therefore, those two apple varieties will pollinate each other. This process is called Cross Pollination.

What about Self-Fertile Trees? Do they cross-pollinate?

Self-fertile, or self-pollinating trees do not require cross pollination to produce fruit. These trees have all they need to pollinate their own flowers within themselves. However, cross pollination will help your self-fertile tree produce higher yields of fruit. We recommend planting at least one cross pollinating variety regardless of if your tree is self-fertile.

For more information, check out the following resource from the NC State Extension!