Note: This tool is being updated, and doesn't currently show our full range, so please use the old-fashioned tables linked below for now.
Select a fruit type and variety in the drop-down lists below and click "Find Pollination Partners". You will then get a list of the compatible varieties.
Most fruit trees need to be pollinated in order to carry fruit at all, or to crop well. Cross pollination happens when two different (and compatible) fruit trees are in flower at the same time, and insects (mainly bees) are present to move the pollen between them. An orchard is therefore an ideal place for a beehive. In very exposed and windy locations, or at high altitude (above about 600ft to be safe), bees find it hard to fly, so it is best to stick to reliably self-fertile varieties that will make the most of limited pollinators.
Two fruit trees of the same group may be in flower at the same time, yet not be compatible, as parentage also plays a role. The fertility "window" of some varieties is also very limited: our tool takes all of these into account for you.
Sterile trees are known as triploid. The best known of these is the Bramley cooking apple. It can only be fertilised; it fertilises nothing in return. Therefore, if you are growing one triploid fruit tree, you will need two other varieties to ensure pollination for all three trees.
Some fruit trees are described as "self-fertile". This is to varying degrees. Most plums are perfectly self fertile, while almost no apples and maybe two pears truly are. The other so-called self fertile trees will crop noticeably better when they are cross-pollinated by another variety. But if you only have room for one tree, they will be alright. Malus sylvestris Crab Apples will pollinate domestic apple trees, and they are a common ornamental tree all over the UK.