Cross-Pollinating vs. Self-Pollinating Fruit Trees

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What is the difference between a self-pollinating and cross-pollinating fruit tree? Find out plus get tips on cross pollinating your fruit trees in this free online gardening and tree cultivation instructional video.

Part of the Video Series: How to Care for Fruit Trees
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Video Transcript

When you select your trees, an important consideration is whether that type of tree is self-pollinating or cross-pollinating. So what that means is some trees, like a pear tree is self-pollinating. You can plant one lonely pear tree and it would bear fruit and do great and live a long, happy life because it pollinates itself. But if you plant an apple tree, you could care for it and do everything it needs and it may not ever bear an apple, and the reason why is that in general, apple trees are cross-pollinating. So that means it needs another apple tree to- for the pollen in the two trees to cross over in order for the apple tree to bear fruit. The biggest way that trees are cross-pollinating is bees. Bees do almost all the cross-pollinating, and the wind does some, insects do some, but it’s almost all bees. So when you buy your tree, as I’ve said, an apple tree is generally cross-pollinating, but today you can buy apple trees that are self-pollinating. And what that means is one or more graphs is grafted onto the tree. So a branch on another tree is grafted, a live branch is actually installed into another tree and the two trees coming together like that cause it to bear fruit.

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