If you are planning on planting a fruit tree did you know that some fruits need pollinators while others don’t? Trees that need pollinators tend to have the best harvest when a fruit tree of the same or similar variety are planted near one another.

Fortunately for us, the most popular fruit trees and varieties that we use here in California gardens are self-pollinating (or self-fruiting)

 Common Name  Botanical Name  Comments
 Apple  Malus spp.  While most apples need a pollinator there are a few exceptions
 Fuji Apple  Malus ‘ Fuji’  Self-fruitful, good pollinator for other varieties
 Golden Delicious Apple*  Malus ’Golden Delicious’  Mostly self-fruitful, good pollinator for Gala & Red Delicious
 Apricot  Prunus armeniaca spp.  All apricots bear heaviest harvest with cross-pollination while  some standard apricots are somewhat self-fruitful
 Blenheim (Royal) Apricot**  Prunus armeniaca ‘Blenheim’  Freestone and self fruitful
 Harcot Apricot**  Prunus armeniaca ‘Harcot’  Freestone, self fruitful, and disease resistant
 Moorpark Apricot**  Prunus armeniaca ‘Moorpark’  Freestone, self fruitful, and great for canning
 Citrus  Citrus spp.  Most citrus trees are self-fruitful
 Improved Meyer Lemon  Citrus limon x meyeri  Bears fruit year round and is the hardiest lemon variety
 Bearss Lime  Citrus x. latifolia  Bears fruit in winter
 Satsuma Mandarin  Citrus reticulate ‘Owari’  Seedless fruit ripens in early fall
 Washington Navel  Citrus sinensis ‘Washington Navel’  Sweet orange that fruits in winter and spring, seedless
 Fig  Ficus carica spp  Figs for the home garden are self-fruitfull
 Black Mission Fig  Ficus carica ‘Black Mission’  Most popular edible fig variety in California
 Pear  Pyrus spp  Nearly all varieties of pears need pollinizers. While most varieties  cross-pollinate there are some exceptions
 Bartlett Pear  Pyrus communis ‘Bartlett’  Good pollinizer for other pears, self-fertile in arid West
 Persimmon  Diospyros spp.  There are two types of persimmon: American varieties and Asian  varieties, both cannot cross-pollinate with the other variety but  can do so  within their own variety and some are self-fruitful
 Hachiya Persimmon  Diospyros kaki ‘Hachiya’  Hachiya is one of the few persimmons that can produce seedless  fruits without being pollinized
Plum Prunus spp. Some plums are self-fruitful
Burgundy Plum Prunus salicina ‘Burgundy’ Has a long harvest, is self-fertile and is a great pollinizer

* While self-fruiting Golden Delicious will yield a better harvest with a pollinator

** All apricots bear heaviest harvest with cross pollination

After reading about all these self-pollinating trees one might ask which fruit trees need a pollinator? Well, here are a few to name:

 Common Name  Botanical Name  Comments
 Apple  Malus spp.  Be sure to pick an apple variety that can pollinate each other as  some are incompatible while others are sterile
 Gala Apple  Malus ‘ Gala’  Best harvest when pollinated by Golden Delicious Apple
 Avocado  Persica americana spp.  There are two types of avocado flowers: type A & B. The best  fruit set is when you pollinate a type A flower with a B flower. If  space is an issue, you can always graft a branch from one type to  the other.
 Bacon Avocado  P.a var drymifolia ‘Bacon’  Type A flower that bears fruit in the winter
 Hass Avocado  P.a var nubigena ‘Hass’  Type A flower that bears fruit in the summer
 Fuerte Avocado  P.a hybrids ‘Fuerte’  Type B flower that bears fruit from late fall to spring
Plum Prunus spp. Mostly all will bear more fruit with a pollinizer
Satsuma Plum Prunus salicina ‘Satsuma’ Its fruit is one of the most luscious in the plum family. Midseason fruit best paired with Santa Rosa Plum
Dapple Dandy Pluot Prunus ‘Dapple Dandy’ Tasty freestone fruit best paired with Burgundy Plum for a pollinizer

If space is an issue and you need a pollinator scope out your neighborhood and see if any of your neighbor’s have any potential pollinators. This will benefit both of you as you will both get a larger harvest of fruit. If find that there are no pollinators within your vicinity there is always the option of grafting a branch from a pollinator onto your tree.

Tell us what your favorite fruit is.