The Ashridge Nurseries Blog

Pollinating Apple Trees

Most apple trees are, to some extent, self-infertile and so heavier crops occur when they are pollinated by other, compatible varieties. Generally, different varieties of apple trees that flower at about the same time will cross-pollinate one another although there are some that both need a pollinator and refuse to repay the favour.

These are “Triploid” apples, so called because the minimum number of apples required (including a triploid) so all bear fruit is three; two pollinators to pollinate one another, either or both of which will also pollinate the triploid.

Confused? You need not be there is a really clear cross pollination chart for apples on the Apple Pollination page on our main site. However, you can make your life simple (and your garden more beautiful by just planting one of the pollinating crab apples. Traditional orchards would include 1 crab apple for every 40-50 fruit trees.

Malus John Downie or Malus Golden Hornet are outstanding for this purpose. These flower freely and will pollinate any apple in an orchard. John Downie has big fruit for a crabapple and  Golden Hornet also makes lovely, fragrant crab apple jelly.

Watch your fruit trees grow and enjoy!

3 thoughts on “Pollinating Apple Trees”

  • jessie

    Well that's pretty simple then. Amazing that people write books about this and the answer is actually read a simple table called fruit tree pollination, or to plant a crab apple. I suggest reading the table first in case your apples are already going to do the biz. Mine are :-)

    Thankx - keep it going.

  • so i have been lookin at my Bramley producing huge crop after huge crop and wundering why my james greave has absolutely f***ing nuthing. thankx for puting me out of my misery

  • Gilly

    Rich, that is not your problem as a James Grieve is self fertile and will pollinate itself.

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