Pollination Charts for Fruit-bearing Trees and Shrubs
- how to get a larger crop -

Posted on June 4, 2018

Pollination Charts for Fruit-bearing Trees and Shrubs

Importance of Pollination

Some fruit trees and shrubs cannot pollinate themselves, or if they can, then it's not highly effective. In this case, a different variety must be planted nearby to ensure a large harvest of fruits. Plants that generally require a pollinator are blueberries, pears, apples, plums and sweet cherries.

Other fruit trees and shrubs are self-pollinating and do not require another variety to produce a large crop of fruits. Nearly all strawberry, raspberry, grape, blackberry, peach, nectarine, sour cherry, and apricot varieties are self-fruitful. In this case, no second pollinizing plant is needed.

Timing

  • When a fruit tree can't pollinate itself, you need to partner it with another, different variety that blooms at the same time.

Spacing

  • Apple - The pollinator partner for semi-dwarf trees should be planted no more than 50 feet (15 meters) away. If you have a dwarf tree, then plant the two varieties less than 20 feet (6 meters) apart.
  • Blueberry - Plant a different variety tree no more than six feet (2 meters) apart.
  • Cherry, Sweet - Plant a different variety tree no more than 20 feet (6 meters) apart.
  • Pear - Plant a different variety tree no more than 100 feet (30 meters) apart.

Maturity

  • Apple - Produces fruit two to five years after planting.
  • Blueberry - Produces fruit two to three years after planting.
  • Cherry, Sweet - Produces fruit four to seven years after planting.
  • Cherry, Sour - Produces fruit three to five years after planting.
  • Pear - Produces fruit four to six years after planting.


Apples

When in doubt of which variety to plant, most white-flowering crabapple trees are a great pollinator for any apple tree.

Pro Tip: Triploid (three chromosomes) apples have sterile pollen that will not pollinate other trees. You should plant at least two different non-triploid varieties when growing a triploid apple. Triploid (sterile) varieties include: 'Arkansas Black', 'Jonagold', 'Liberty', 'Lodi', 'Spartan' and 'Winesap'.

Apple Tree Pollinators Chart


Blueberries

Half-High (Vaccinium corymbosum x angustifolium) – Best for the Upper Midwest, regions with exceptionally cold climates.

Northern Highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum) - Best for eastern and northeastern United States with cooler climates.

Southern Highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum x darrowii) – Best for regions with mild winters and higher average temperatures.

Rabbiteye (Vaccinium ashei) – Best for southeastern United States with long, hot summers.

Blueberry Shrub Pollinators Chart


Cherries

Sweet Cherry (Prunus avium) – Best for eating fresh or for baking and preserving.

Sour/Tart Cherry (Prunus cerasus) – Best for baking and preserving.

Pro Tip: Sweet and sour cherries can cross-pollinate each other, but ornamental flowering cherries usually won’t cross-pollinate sweet or sour cherries. Sour cherries are generally self-fruitful and don’t require another tree to produce fruits.

Cherry Tree Pollinators Chart


Pears

European (Pyrus communis) – These trees produce sweet, juicy fruits that are the traditional pear shape.

Asian (Pyrus pyrifolia) – The types of fruit produced by these trees are round and crisp (similar to an apple).

Pear Tree Pollinators Chart

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PDF Download of Apple, Blueberry and Pear Pollinators Charts

Apple, Blueberry, Cherry and Pear Pollinators Charts


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