Flower Groups (Pollination)
Apple & Pear
• To ensure you get fruit, your apple tree must be pollinated by different type of apple tree in a similar flower group. An apple tree will not pollinate a pear tree and vice versa.
Example: Spartan is in flower group 3. It can be pollinated by any other apple in group 3 or by any in group 2 or group 4, this is because there is an overlap in time when they are in blossom. The blossom on group 2 trees will be finished by the time group 4 need pollinating.
• Consider, when buying a fruit tree, whether it is in the same or close flowering group as one you already have or one near where you intend to plant your tree.
• The trees must not be too far apart or pollination will not occur. A pollinating insect will not travel too far from one tree to another, maybe only 15 to 20 metres. This is not so much of a problem in an urban environment due to other fruit trees in gardens.
• Be aware that there are some fruit trees which have sterile pollen, therefore cannot pollinate another tree, (this is called Triploid). For example, Bramley is triploid. It needs to be pollinated by another apple in group 3, but it cannot pollinate in return, so a third tree will be required to pollinate the second tree.
• Most of the apple trees I sell are in group 3, the most common group.
• Some plum, gage and cherry trees are self-fertile, they can pollinate themselves, but is best to be cross pollinated for a good crop. However, some fruit trees do not require a pollinator for their crop and these include quinces, medlars, figs, mulberries, peaches and nectarines.