Pollination Guidelines

Pollination Guidelines for Fruits in Alberta

APPLES (Malus) To have fruit, you need a second tree for cross-pollination within 150 m of your tree. Insects carrying pollen from a neighbour’s tree can pollinate most apple trees. Flowering crabs can pollinate if they produce fruit and flower at the same time as your apple tree. A few varieties of ornamental flowering crabs, such as Spring Snow, have sterile pollen, do not produce fruit, and therefore do not pollinate. Trees of the same variety cannot pollinate each other. For example, a Goodland Apple will not pollinate another Goodland. Plant in full sun with well-drained soil.

APRICOTS (Prunus mandshurica) Need a pollinator and are more dependable if other varieties are nearby. Plant in full sun and good moisture but not standing water.

BLUEBERRIES (Vacinium) Are self-pollinating, but two or more varieties may produce larger, sweeter berries. Plant in partial shade with acidic, peaty moist soil.

CHERRIES (Prunus) Are self-pollinating; only one tree is needed for fruit production. Fruit sweetens as it turns darker red. Hardy Prairie varieties include Evans and Carmine Jewel. A new Romance series from the University of Sask. includes Juliette, Romeo, Cupid, Valentine and Crimson Passion. Plant in full sun with well-drained soil.

CURRANTS, GOOSEBERRIES & JOSTA BERRIES (Ribes) Are self-pollinating. If grown near other ribes, yields are better. Black currants will not cross-pollinate with red or white currants, and the reverse is also true. Plant in full sun with adequate air circulation.

GRAPES (Vitis) Are self-pollinating but having two or more varieties ensure pollination. Regular pruning is essential for good fruit production. At the end of June, remove all suckers from the base of the leaves. Remove the ends of canes two to three leaves past the last fruit cluster and remove all non-producing canes. Requires full sunlight (southern exposure)

HASKAP or HONEY BERRIES (Lonicera) Require a pollinator to produce fruit. One pollinator can pollinate up to 5 plants. They prefer to avoid very wet soil and require a well-drained site. Varieties include Tundra, Borealis, Berry Blue, and Svetlana. The University of Sask. is crossing varieties, and there have been many new introductions recently.

PEAR (Pyrus) Cross-pollination is required. Fruit production increases if crossed with another variety. Full sun and well-drained soil

PLUMS (Prunus) Each variety requires a specific pollinator. For cross-pollination, you must have two varieties that bloom simultaneously within a city block. Brookgold Pollinator = Bounty, Dandy or Nanking Cherry

Brookred Pollinator = Opata or Pembina

Pembina Pollinator = Brookred or Opata

RASPBERRIES (Rubus) Are Self-pollinating. They produce fruit on second-year canes, which then die. Prune dead floricanes canes at the base after harvest. They are a root crop that sends up new shoots, so stay on top of your patch by thinning new canes, resulting in more light, air circulation and food for bigger, better berries. Full sunlight and good moisture are required.

SASKATOONS (Amelanchier) Are self-fertile and require full sunlight for maximum fruit production.

STRAWBERRIES (Fragaria) They are self-pollinating. Require full sun and well-drained soil.