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The Importance of Fruit Tree Pollination

by Elmer on 04/18/2012
Bee Pollinating an Apple Blossom

Let me tell you about the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees” — that tune would date some of us who were teens in the 60′s!

When you think about it, there have been a staggering number of important advances over the last 100 years in travel, appliances and communication. The field of gardening and growing has also seen some significant advances in our increasing knowledge and understanding of plants. Although there are varieties of fruit trees that were grown and named hundreds of years ago, there was still a great lack of understanding. If we knew then what we know now, we would be much further down the road of fruit production.

One of these significant developments has been learning more about today’s topic — the importance of fruit tree pollination.

What is ‘Fruit Tree Pollination’?

Fruit tree pollination equates to sexual reproduction and fruit development. Without pollination, fruit trees would not bear fruit. After pollination, the pollen germinates once it’s transferred from the stamen (male) to the pistil (female). This results in fertilization*, and the seed develops. Bees play a huge role in the process!

*not to be confused with fertilizers, which replenish soil nutrients to feed the trees

Fruit trees fit into the following categories:

  1. Self-Pollinating — trees that do not need another to complete the pollination process. Most apricotsnectarines, peaches and sour cherries are typical examples of self-pollinating trees.
  2. Requiring a Pollinator — trees that need to be pollinated by another variety of tree. Most apples, pears, plums and sweet cherries are typical examples of this type of tree.

Bee on Apple King Bloom

It’s also good to know that while some trees are self-pollinating, they might have greater success when they are cross-pollinated with another. For optimal results from fruit tree pollination, I recommend setting up a pollinating scheme. Here are a few things to remember:

  • Plant at least two compatible-pollen varieties within 50 feet of one another. Pollination will still occur if trees are planted closer together, and may even occur between trees planted farther apart than this, but, for ideal pollination, a 50-foot distance between trees is good to aim for.
  • Make sure you plant varieties that bloom in the same season. Our fruit trees page lists a few of the most recommended pollinators for each specific variety, while keeping in mind bloom times, so that choosing a pollinator for the variety you’re interested in is an easy task.
  • The key to proper fruit tree pollination is timing. Any early-season variety will pollinate another early-season variety, and the same holds true for mid- and late-season varieties. On average, the bloom time for most compatible trees will overlap enough for pollination, but, if you’re only planting 2 trees, it’s best to plant trees that will bloom at the same time.

One more thing to note when dealing with the pollination of fruit trees, particularly apple trees, is the difference between diploids and triploids:

  • Diploids have two sets of chromosomes — one from each parent — and are able to pollinate other trees. Most fruit tree varieties fall into this category.
  • Triploids have an extra set of chromosomes that make them “pollen sterile”, meaning that they can be pollinated to produce fruit, but they cannot properly pollinate another tree. Jonagold and Starkspur® Winesap apple trees are two examples of triploid apple trees.

Apple BlossomsMore triploid apple varieties:

There are several other important factors that go into successful fruit-tree growing, and none of them are really hard to understand. We could discuss proper light, location, pruning, spraying, and many other aspects essential to fruit growing; however, without fruit tree pollination, they’re all secondary discussions! So make sure your trees and plants are properly pollinated to ensure successful fruit-growing.

For additional information, visit our Growing Guides to read more articles, plant manuals, and watch helpful videos.

Topics → Planting & Growing, Tips

62 Comments

  1. Phil McLean permalink

    I had just come in from looking at my starkrimson cherry tree when I read your article. For the 3rd year in a row, my tree ahs 2 cherries on it. The tree is 7 feet tall and beautiful, but no fruit. What tree do I need to get to pollinate my tree?
    The write up for the tree said I only need one tree to have lots of fruit, but that must not be quite true. Thanks, Phil

    • Hi Phil! How old is your cherry tree? Sweet cherries tend to take 4-7 years before they begin bearing regularly.

      Any other sweet cherry should cross-pollinate the Starkrimson® Sweet Cherry but, since it is producing some fruit by itself, having another pollinator nearby may not be a solution. Bees and other pollination-helping insects are crucial for fruit-production so be sure your trees are not being sprayed during their bloom time (by you or a neighbor spraying their trees nearby). Also, if frost is zapping the sensitive blooms on your tree, it will affect the fruit production.

  2. Aaron Martin permalink

    For a couple of years I have had the problem Nectria Twig Blight. I have been very careful to prune away the infected parts. Are you aware of any way to control this problem. (Some of our neighbors have seen it also.)

    • Hello Aaron! For control of Nectria Twig Blight, currently, simply continuing to prune out the infected limbs is recommended. The fungal disease will be able to carry over and reinfect the trees if their planting site is not kept clean and if the pruned-off limbs are not disposed of. I would encourage your neighbors to also be sure to prune back their diseased limbs, keep their planting sites clear of debris (old leaves, twigs, fruit, etc.) for better control of Nectria Twig Blight in your area.

  3. Warren A Fischer permalink

    I have a grafted Japanese plum. This it’s second year and has about 10 plums on it. I’m concerened if this will stress the tree?

    • Good question, Warren! Plums typically take 3-6 years to bear, so early fruit production may be a stress on your young tree. Read more about how many years different fruit trees take to bear here.

      We usually recommend pinching off the fruit from the young tree so that it puts energy and nutrients into growing itself. That way, when it is more established and stronger, it is able to sustain fruiting crops. :)

      Chances are, if the tree does not yet have enough resources to carry the fruit to a ripened state, it will end up dropping them prematurely anyway.

  4. Margie Jusko permalink

    A few years ago I purchased 3 different variety of colunar(?) apple trees from Stark.

    1 tree blossoms and develops apples but the other 2 do not. No blossoms, no fruit.

    What am I doing wrong?

    • Hi Margie! The columnar apple trees, like other apple trees, take a short while to become mature and established trees. Chances are the one that is flowering and fruiting already is the self-pollinating Stark® Maypole Flowering Colonnade® Crabapple that produces tangy red apples (great for preserves!). :)

      The other two may take a few more years before they begin producing flowers and bearing fruit. How long have you had your trees?

  5. Marilynne VenJohn permalink

    I bought a Stella cherry from you years ago. I have picked over a 100 lbs of cherries from it many times. Several people told me I couldn”t raise one in Ks. Fooled them

    • Congratulations on your fruit tree’s success, Marilynne! I am glad to hear it is such a prolific cherry-producer for you. :)

  6. john permalink

    is grafting a satisfactory solution?

    • Hello John! We are firm believers in the reliability and science behind grafted trees (as you can read here in our post about the Science of Grafting). Are you asking if you can bypass the need for planting a pollinator tree if you simply graft another different variety’s pollinating limb to a tree that requires one?

      That should work if you are skilled with grafting and are able to locate scion wood of a pollinator to graft onto your trees. Some of your local nurseries/growers with the rights to distribute may offer this scion wood, so check them out!

      That is one of the perks of our multigrafted fruit trees: Two of the same type of fruit, but with differing color/characteristics, on one tree, pollinating one another! :)

  7. LARRY L WOOD permalink

    I PURCHASED A LAVANDER TWIST WEEPING RED BUD
    ON 10/28/2010. THE BOTTOM IS GROWING BUT ABOVE THE BUD IS DEAD. WILL I HAVE JUST A NORMAL RED BUD IF I LET GROW? THANK LARRY WOOD

    • Hello Larry :) I am sorry to hear your Lavender Twist® Weeping Redbud did not survive. It is grafted onto an Eastern Redbud rootstock, so if yours has died above the graft, but the rootstock is still living, then what you will have (if it is allowed to grow) is an Eastern Redbud.

  8. James D. Bonn, Sr. permalink

    I am interested in purchasing Mason Bees for next years fruit pollination and I think this may be a business oppertunity for Starkes Bros. to supply this important beneficial insect.

    The usual way of shipping these Bees is in the dormant or larval stage in tubes prior to fruit tree blossoming. These tubes with dormant bee larve can be kept under refrigeration until warm weather is at hand.

    Contact me if this becomes a Starkes Bros. sale item. Thank you

    • Thank you for the suggestion, James! I don’t think we are venturing into the bee business but if we ever do you’ll be sure to hear about it. :)

      • Susan Paolo permalink

        On the property where I plan to plant my new fruit trees, I see lots of wasps and fewer bees. Do wasps pollinate fruit trees?

        • Bees, butterflies, birds, and wind are some of the most common helpers of fruit-tree pollination, and yes, wasps do their share, too! On top of spreading pollen, wasps act as a pest-control by feeding on other possibly harmful insects.

  9. Great article, Elmer. Tells all one needs to know about pollinating Apple Trees in one place. Thank you.

  10. Help! Several years ago I purchased two peach trees and a nectarine tree from you folks. The peaches are doing fine and bearing nice fruit. My problem is with the nectarine tree. It blossums, develops fruit, but never ripens. The fruit stays green, gets black spots on them, dries up and dies. I spray my trees in the late winter with fruit spray oil and in the spring with fruit tree spray, all according to the directions. Can you please help me.

    • Hi there, John. Would you be able to send us any photos of the black spots and/or dried fruit from your nectarine tree? Photos of the tree would be appreciated as well. It is more helpful for us to be able to diagnose an issue if we can see what you’re seeing, too. If you can, send the photos to us at info@starkbros.com so that we may help you figure this out!

  11. Jessica Streetman permalink

    (short of cutting down ALL of the cedar trees in a 300+ yard radius), what is the best way to control rust spots on apple trees??

    • Good question, Jessica! An apple tree and a cedar tree (in the Juniperus family) need to be present for cedar apple rust to occur, so the BEST control method to avoid rust on your apple trees would be to remove the cedar trees.

      Since that is not always possible, a regular fungicide spray schedule, using a spray that is recommended for use on apple trees and also controls rust (it will say so on the label), is necessary. We currently carry these rust-controlling fungicides: Bonide® Fruit Tree Spray, its natural counterpart Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Spray, and Serenade® Garden Disease Control (used in organic gardening).

      • Susan Paolo permalink

        I have cedars and other junipers on the property where I will be planting my new fruit trees. Does the cedar rust create problems for only apples, or for other fruit as well? Is there a recommended distance for planting from cedars/junipers to help prevent the problem?

        • Cedar apple rust is more common in most areas, but it is closely related to pear rust (caused by junipers, in pears). Cedar apple rust can present itself in apple, crabapple, quince, and hawthorn trees. Since fungal spores can be carried by wind and birds, rust can occur in host trees that are growing far away from one another.

          The best method of control (when the removal of cedar/junipers is not a viable option) is to plant disease-resistant varieties that are naturally resistant to rust, like Empire Apple, Enterprise Apple and Stark® GrandGala™ Apple — these are not rust-free trees, mind you, just less susceptible to it than some other varieties.

          You can also use a fungicide like Bonide® Fruit Tree Spray, its natural counterpart Bonide® Citrus, Fruit & Nut Spray, and Serenade® Garden Disease Control to control the spread. Be sure to spray regularly as recommended.

          For more information, be sure to contact your local county Extension (find yours here: http://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/) to see if they have any localized tips or recommendations for your area there.

  12. I bought a Honeycrisp apple tree on a gamble that the neighbor’s unknown variety apple tree (probably Jonathan) will pollinate it (when my tree grows up). What would be a good apple in zone 5 that would compliment my Honeycrisp (that could be a semi-dwarf)?

  13. Joe permalink

    Really great article Elmer. I learned a lot!

  14. john permalink

    Elmer
    Great resource article!
    I bought a house four years ago with an established 17 year old sour cherry tree. The past two years I had abundant crop and every 4th of July I would harvest so many I had to give some away! After baking 7 pies and freezing gallon bags we still had plenty to share. This year though, flowered in spring and no evidence of any fruit at all, very wierd. Is this a bee colony collapse or mild midwestern winter? Tree looks healthy, I put down tree spikes last fall and the spring made beautiful white flowers.
    Fingers crossed for next year!

    • What a wonderful treasure on your property, John! This year has been hard on many fruit trees and their productivity, so it is more than likely attributed to the weather rather than colony collapse. Our fingers are crossed for next year as well! We’d love to see pictures sometime of your tree and its fruit crop. :)

  15. I just purchased a columnar apple tree (no variety described). I was told I did not have to plant a columnar apple tree in order to ensure cross-polination. So, I purchased the Honeycrisp variety (non-columnar). Will my goal of ensuring pollination work with a columnar and non-columnar planting? Thanks.

    • The information you were given on pollination was correct, Gail! :) As long as your columnar apple tree and your Honeycrisp apple tree are blooming at the same time, cross pollination will be able to take place and fruit will set once the trees have reached a fruiting maturity (old enough and mature enough to produce fruit).

  16. Jen permalink

    In order to properly pollinate, what kind of pollinator tree ratio is needed? i.e. If I want to grow several sauce apple trees and Granny Smith’s are suggested to pollinate, do I need an equal # of both? 1 out of 4 so they each neighbor the pollinator tree?

    • If I understand your question correctly, Jen, if you’re growing a total of 4 trees and 1 happens to be your Granny Smith apple tree for pollination of the sauce apples, this will work. As long as you’re not trying to use 1 Granny Smith to pollinate a larger number, like 10+ sauce apple trees, you should be fine. :)

  17. David permalink

    I have a grafted apple tree and a grafted orange tree, both about 5 years old. They are growing well, but the grafted parts of both have died. The apple tree does produce a few small apples, and the orange tree just grows thorns and leaves. Since they are healthy, can I try to graft onto the existing trees or should I just dig them up and start over?

    • Hi David! Did you graft these trees yourself? I’m not sure what varieties were grafted onto the apple and orange trees you have growing (the rootstocks/understocks I’m guessing), but it could be that they are not compatible with the varieties that didn’t take. If you try grafting those varieties again onto these trees/understocks, you could end up with the same result.

      Since the apple tree produces fruit, I don’t know if you’d need to dig it up and start over. It could simply need more time to produce more fruit.

      The orange tree might not be ready to produce fruit yet. It sounds like a healthy orange tree, thorns and all. I know from experience that citrus trees grown in containers tend to flower and fruit once their roots have grown to the edge of the pot. They don’t reach their natural mature size in a container-grown situation, so this is their trigger to set flowers and fruit. I wonder if it is just that your orange tree has not yet matured enough to flower or fruit.

      It’s really up to you what to do from here. The trees you have sound healthy and they could even become more productive given time. If you would prefer known varieties and have them grafted onto those trees instead, you could try that as well. Digging these trees out and starting over is certainly an option for you, but what you choose to do really depends on what your end goal is! :)

  18. Dorothy Lee permalink

    I am looking at apple trees to purchase and see comments about crabapples as pollinators. I have two very productive crabs with slightly different bloom times (one starts about 2 weeks after the other usually April). I also have two very old apples which produce fruit in Sept. There is about 100′ between each of the crabs and the apples.
    1) Will any of these act as pollinators for semi-dwarf apples
    2) Would I need to plant the new apple closer to (which one?) or would central to the group work?
    If it matters, I am looking at Sept ripening times of good canning / pie apples with some “storage”time

    • Great questions, Dorothy! Crabapples do make excellent sources of pollination for regular apple tree varieties. The bloom times typically overlap those of other apple trees, including semi-dwarf apples you opt to plant nearby.

      An ideal distance between pollinators is 50′ from one to the next, but pollination has been known to occur between trees planted even up to a quarter-mile apart. If your semi-dwarf apples are planted between the crabapples, then that works just fine!

      Cortland apple ripens in September (zone 5/6), is great for pies, fresh-eating, and cider.
      Starkrimson® Gala apple ripens in early September and is a good keeper (storage), ideal for fresh-eating and baking.
      Stark® Jon-A-Red® Jonathan apple ripens in mid-September and is great for candied apples and pies.
      CrimsonCrisp™ apple is a disease-resistant tree, a great keeper, and ideal for fresh-eating.
      Blondee® apple is a yellow apple that ripens in early September and happens to be an excellent keeper, also great for fresh-eating and desserts.
      Ben Davis apple is an old-fashioned variety that ripens in late September, keeps very well, and is firm, so it’s good for fresh-eating and baking as well.

  19. George Tiller permalink

    Hi, On the subject of Fruit Trees. If I plant a Peach, Pear and Nectarine will they polinate each other ?

    • Hi George! When you’re talking about pollination, it’s best to stick with like-species: Nectarine trees pollinate nectarine trees (and are actually self-pollinating*), peaches pollinate other peaches (and are actually self-pollinating*), and pears pollinate other pears.

      *Self-pollinating — and sometimes referred to as “self-fertile” — fruit trees and plants can produce fruit by themselves, without requiring another variety nearby for cross-pollination.

      In your given scenario, you should be able to get fruit from one peach tree and one nectarine tree, but your pear tree will most likely need another different variety for pollination to produce fruit.

      Exceptions:
      Stark® Hal-Berta Giant™ Peach — this needs another different peach variety for a pollinator
      Stark® Honeysweet Pear — this pear tree is self-pollinating

  20. Judy permalink

    How can I tell what type of cherry tree we have, self-pollinating or not? It flowers then begins to produce fruit, but then drops the fruit.

    • It’s difficult to say with certainty what variety a cherry tree is, and a best-guess would be based on the fruit (size, color, ripening date, etc.). If you have seen fruit develop on your tree and there isn’t another around to pollinate it, it would be safe to say your cherry tree is at least partially self-pollinating, though.

      Since it’s dropping fruit, it may be that the tree is not mature enough to support large crops of cherries, so it drops them. If the tree is older and should be mature enough to support the crops of fruit it tries to bear, it could be the case that it is partially self-pollinating but it’s not enough to create viable crops of cherries, so it drops them.

      Even self-pollinating trees benefit from having another variety planted nearby for cross-pollination. Having another cherry tree planted (ideally within 50 feet but a little further could be fine) might help your existing tree produce fruit that doesn’t get dropped before it’s ripe.

  21. barb permalink

    we just bought a stanley plum tree and a vanessa grape, we are also wanting to get an apricot tree and wondered if they would be ok together to pollinate each other, we were told that soft fruit pollinates soft fruit and hard fruit pollinates hard fruit, any comments / barb

    • While it’s possible for different types of fruits like and apricot and a plum to cross-pollinate — which, through selective breeding, is where things like Apriums and Plumcots and Pluots come from — it’s not something to rely on. It’s best to stick with plums-for-plums and apricots-for-apricots. Fortunately, the Stanley Plum and most varieties of apricot are self-pollinating, so they don’t necessarily need another pollinator nearby for fruit production. It looks like the Vanessa grape is also self-pollinating, so you should be set with your current selection, as long as your apricot tree states that it is “self-pollinating” (or “self-fertile”) as well!

  22. belinda fouts permalink

    My step dad passed on and left my brother his place which has an Orchard on it one by one his apple and pear trees are dying and we aren’t sure why

    • My condolences, Belinda. :(

      As for the fruit trees… it’s difficult to determine what is going on with them without at least seeing them. If you have any photos of the trees to share with us and more details of what’s going on with them and why you think they’re dying, it could help! You might also consider contacting the local County Extension service nearest to where the orchard is located. They’re experts who are local to the area and would be able to come out and assess the situation with the pear and apple trees, in the event that we are unable to determine a cause or solution by any further details you can provide. I look forward to hearing from you!

  23. Fallon Adams permalink

    I have one granny smith apple tree that is one year old. It is a dwarf granny smith. I have 2 trees growing from it….one is growing below the graft which will make it a standard size granny smith and I have one tree growing from the graft. My apple tree that I bought to pollinate it died…will the two trees growing from the same root pollinate each other or do I need to buy another tree of a different kind of apple?

    • The rootstock isn’t also the Granny Smith variety, so, as far as pollination is concerned, if the rootstock’s growth happens to flower at the same time as the grafted part of your tree, it *should* work. However, there really isn’t a way to guarantee that the rootstock will bloom at a certain time, since it was really only chosen for its characteristics as a rootstock.

      I would still have concerns for allowing any growth to remain below the rootstock. On top of being nutrient-competition for your Granny Smith variety, they are most likely also competing for space, which can lead to splits or breaks in the future. Pruning off the growth from the rootstock would be preferable to leaving it there.

      Since your Granny Smith tree has only been in the ground for a year, it won’t be too far ahead of a new pollinator tree if you plant one in place of the apple tree that has died. It will have to be a different variety from Granny Smith to pollinate, but that just gives you a selection of apples to enjoy later on! :)

  24. Andrea permalink

    Our orange tree didn’t fruit this year, although it did flower. The only change was installing a plastic owl to keep the birds away. Could this be the reason?

    • Good news: I don’t think the plastic owl bird-deterrent would have caused your tree to flower and not fruit. :)

      Has your orange tree ever set fruit, Andrea? If it hasn’t, it may need more time to mature before fruit development occurs.

      Otherwise, the tree may not have had adequate pollination during bloom time, which can happen if pollinating insects like bees aren’t numerous. A fruit tree can also bloom and the flowers can be damaged by untimely sprays or frosts. Next time your orange tree blooms, you may want to consider taking a small paintbrush or cotton swab and collecting pollen from flowers in order to brush it onto its other flowers. This may help encourage fruit production if it doesn’t seem to be happening naturally!

  25. Pam permalink

    I have three semi-dwarf apple trees that must be in their 6th season by now. Last year, only one had blossoms and then four apples, two which dropped, 2 which birds or squirrels got before me! I am wondering what might help them move toward actually bearing apples. They look healthy, but no bloom or apples! [Cox Pippin, Mutsu, Sops of Wine].

    • Often when a mature fruit tree isn’t blooming or bearing fruit, the first thing we think will make them fruit is fertilizer. Unfortunately, fertilizers that are high in nitrogen (as most fertilizers are) attribute to vegetative growth but often at the expense of flower development. If your trees have not bloomed and you’ve been fertilizing them, I would recommend giving the fertilizer a break until after bloom time next spring.

      If you haven’t pruned your apple trees, this would be the year to start. Pruning helps keep your tree’s limbs from becoming too long and skinny to support fruit. Pruning also helps keep your tree open to light and air circulation, which is key to fruit development and quality.

      Even if you have been pruning, we’ll reinforce what works in favor of fruit-bearing trees:

      • During any time of the year: Prune off dead/damaged/diseased limbs and any suckers (from the roots).

      • During the winter/early spring: prune limbs that are crossing over one another, limbs that are growing in toward the center of the tree, and prune just the new growth from that year back by a third.

      We have an article on “Fruit Tree Blooming and Bearing Problems — and How to Solve Them” with more tips on why your apple trees may not be blooming or fruiting as expected.

      I’ve learned that a good mixture of time and patience is the best thing we can give fruit trees before they enter their fruit-bearing years. There isn’t much we can do to “make” them fruit if they’re not mature enough, but I hope this helps encourage your trees to fruit for you!

  26. Jerry permalink

    I have two apple trees in planters on a rooftop in NYC. One is a Macoun and the other is a Pippin, and both are 4 years old. I am hoping for blossoms and fruit next year. One thing I am wondering about is whether they will blossom at around the same time so that they can cross pollinate each other? I would be grateful for any advice you can offer on this. Thanks.

    • Macoun is a mid-season bloomer that happens to overlap several early season varieties and other mid-season blooming varieties as well. Since there are several varieties of apple that go by “Pippin” I’m not sure which one you have, but if it’s Cox’s Orange Pippin, that variety is also a mid-season bloomer – so your trees should pollinate one another!

      You can check for common apple variety compatibility on apple pollination charts like this one here:
      http://www.acnursery.com/apple_pollinizer.pdf

  27. Jerry permalink

    I purchased the Pippin from JE Miller Nurseries, and it is marked on the tag as “DF107 C.O. Pippin Apple”. Does this provide sufficient information to determine if it will cross pollinate with the Macoun? Unfortunately, I cannot find a copy of my original order form, so I do not have more information on the type of Pippin tree that I have. Thanks.

    • The tree you ordered from Miller should be a Cox’s Orange Pippin apple, which blooms mid-season, so it does cross-pollinate with the mid-season blooming Macoun apple. Your trees’ pollination needs should be covered, Jerry! :)

  28. Jason permalink

    From your website I see that Honeycrisp and Cox Orange Pippin both like to be cross-pollinated by Golden Delicious. If I wanted to buy 2 Honeycrisp and 2 Orange Pippin trees, how many Golden Delicious should I buy to make sure everything works out? Would one be enough? Thanks.

    • One Golden Delicious apple tree would be able to pollinate the two Honeycrisps and two Cox’s Orange Pippins – as long as they’re planted within 50 feet* of one another. Cox Orange Pippin and Honeycrisp will have overlapping bloom times as well, so the three of those varieties all planted together will provide sufficient pollen sources across the five trees! :)

      *the ideal distance for pollination to take place, although things still tend to get pollinated even if they are closer or slightly further apart

  29. Molly permalink

    My late husband planted an orange tree on our property about 2006 or 2007 that has never bloomed or produced. We discovered later that it was not a self-pollinator. Sadly he passed away in 2011 and although he knew what kind of tree it was, I don’t. Is there any way to pollinate it without having that information? It is the only citrus tree I currently have. Thanks!

    • I thought all orange trees are self-pollinating, and it’s difficult to determine that your tree is not self-pollinating if it has never bloomed! I would think that, as long as the tree is actually an orange tree, it may just need help being encouraged to bloom. If it does end up needing a partner orange tree nearby, planting any self-pollinating orange tree should take care of pollinating itself as well as your orange tree – as long as they’re blooming at the same time.

      We address some reasons fruit trees don’t bloom (or bear fruit) and different things you can do to encourage fruit bearing in your trees here:
      http://www.starkbros.com/blog/fruit-tree-blooming-bearing-problems/

      I hope this helps! :)

      • Molly permalink

        Thanks for the quick reply, Sarah. I will certainly give this a try — would love to see it bloom and bear fruit! Thanks again!!

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