Fruit Tree Pollination

Fact Sheet: Fruit Tree Pollination


The weather has a big impact on successful fruit set. If the weather is good when the trees are in flower, most will set adequate fruit. This is because there are many pollinating insects and an abundance of pollen. However, as most of us live in urban areas, where there are usually other apple trees, there is a good chance that enough pollinating insects are around to achieve good fruit set. So, if you don’t want to leave things to nature the following pollination guide should help.

On our labels each variety has been given a POLLINATION GROUP, from 1 to 5. Varieties can be matched within one group on either side. i.e. A variety in group 3 will inter-pollinate with any variety in groups 2,3 & 4. The exception to this is triploid varieties of apple such as Bramley’s Seedling. They require two non-triploid varieties to be pollinated. Some varieties of ornamental crab apples (Malus) make very good pollinators for apple trees. The following varieties are particularly good. Everest, Golden Hornet, John Downie and Pink Glow[ST1] . It is worth noting that some varieties have shown a tendency to be partially self-pollinating (self-fertile).


The same basic pollination principles apply to pears as to apples. Like apples, pears are given pollination groups. These groups also work in the same way as they do for apples.

Note: Apples and pears will not pollinate each other.


All our varieties are self-pollinating (self-fertile), so do not require another variety for pollination.

Plums & Gages

Most of our varieties are self-pollinating (self-fertile), but for those which are not you can apply the same pollination group method as for apples and pears.

Apricots, Peaches & Nectarines

All our varieties are self-pollinating (self-fertile), but in cold weather when few insects are about, they may need to be hand pollinated. You can hand pollinate by transferring pollen from one flower to another with a soft brush to achieve a good fruit set.

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