Pollination of fruit trees

The flowers you see in your trees in the spring are potentially future fruits! However, in order for them to turn into fruit, each flower must be fertilized with the pollen of another flower. This is called “pollination”. Most fruit trees depend on insects to carry pollen from flower to flower.


Fruit trees are classified into two broad categories, self-fertile and self-sterile:

A self-fertile species can produce fruit by self-fertilization. In other words, this means that the pollen of a tree can fertilize the flowers of the same tree or of the same variety. These trees can therefore be planted alone and still produce fruit.

A self-sterile species CANNOT produce fruit by self-fertilization. Pollen from a tree CANNOT fertilize flowers of the same variety. It is important to have, in its vicinity, another variety of the same species to allow the production of fruits. For example, two self-sterile apple trees of the same variety cannot pollinate each other.

It should be noted that, even for self-fertile species, it is better to plant another variety nearby for better production.


For most species, the recommended maximum distance between compatible fruit trees is 30 meters.


In addition, the fruits do not grow during the first year, depending on the species it takes several years before you can harvest:

-Apricot trees: 2 to 5 years

-Cherry trees: 3 to 7 years

-Plum trees: 3 to 6 years

-Apple trees: 4 to 7 years

-Pear trees: 3 to 6 years


Thus, for the majority of fruit trees, 2 different AND compatible varieties will be needed to ensure the pollination necessary for fruit production. 

See which varieties are compatible to produce fruits