Pollination GIF

Plant a tree - wait and see. You won't get fruit without a bee.

In most cases, fruit won't form unless pollen from the male part of a blossom is carried to the female part of a blossom; this work is usually done by bees (other creatures like birds and butterflies pollinate also). This is why you often see big white boxes in and around orchards and groves; these are bee hives. But, even if you have bees all around it still doesn't guarantee you'll get a good healthy crop of fruit.

Not just any old pollen will do; it has to be the right pollen, plants are very fussy about these things. To further confuse things, we know that apple pollen won't mix with pear pollen but did you know that sometimes apple pollen won't pollinate an apple blossom? Here's a simple way to look at the science of pollination:

Self-pollinating: Pears, plums, sour cherries, citrus and some varieties of apples and peaches. These blossoms can be pollinated either from blossoms on the same tree or a nearby tree as long as it's the same kind of tree: apple to apple, pear to pear, etc. A self-fertile tree can produce fruit even if it is planted some distance from any other tree of its kind because it has male and female parts in the same blossom on the same tree. Not all fruits are like that.

Fussy Kiwis: The Kiwi fruit is very particular. You must have two plants: one plant that makes male blossoms and another plant that makes female blossoms. Furthermore, this Kiwi couple insists that only a bee can do the job of pollinating. Kiwis are fussy, very fussy!

Lazy bees: Bees aren't really lazy but they have such a big job to do they don't want you to make their work harder. Please don't plant trees too far apart. If you plant trees 100 feet apart your bees will go on strike. The closer you plant your trees to each other the harder your bees will work for you.

Parts of a Blossom
Click here to download the Pollination.PDF