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What Does It Mean to Be Self Pollinating?
Fruit trees that are sold as self-pollinating are sometimes also called self-fertile or self-fruitful.
A self fertile fruit tree (or nut tree) does not require pollen from another tree to set a fruit or mast crop. Pollination, whether by wind, insects, birds, or other means, can occur between an anther–the male part of the flower–and a stigma–the female part of the flower–on the same tree or even the same flower.
Other fruit trees require cross-pollination, meaning they will need pollen from a tree of the same genus but a different species or cultivar. Crabapple trees work well as a pollinator for apple trees for this reason.
Read more about Pollination in Fruit Trees.
How Do Self Pollinating Trees Bought Online Work?
Self fertile fruit trees will flower in spring like any other tree, and indeed most need the services of pollinator insects and other animals to achieve fertilization. In the case of self-pollinating trees, pollen transferred from a flower on the same tree or even from different parts of the same flower can achieve pollination.
The fruits we are after are created by the tree as a means of transportation for the tree’s seeds, so we need the pollination to occur and the seed to form.
Since a second tree is not required for pollination, self-pollinating fruit trees can be an excellent choice for small yards where there may not be room for two trees. However, almost all self-pollinating fruit trees will set a bigger and better crop of fruit if they have a pollinator buddy.
If you don’t have space for a second variety yourself, look at your neighbors’ yards. They may have a suitable tree whose pollen you can “borrow,” and the two trees can be mutually beneficial.
Generally, to be effective as a pollinator buddy, the other tree must be less than 100 feet away, and the closer, the better.
What Are The Best Types of Self Pollinating Fruit Trees?
If in doubt, check before buying. Our customer service team should be able to provide that information on our website or live chat.
Best Self-Pollinating Fruit Trees
- Peaches. A summer favorite, peach trees can be found that are cold hardy to USDA zone 5. Choose from a wider variety of peaches than you could buy at the market, and enjoy a peach picked at the peak of ripeness. Our personal favorite? Try the Julyprince Peach for a sweet treat!
- Persimmons. Ripening in October and November, persimmons are bright orange and tasty fall delight. Persimmons come in two types; astringent and non-astringent (sweet). Astringent persimmons are commonly used in baking and for dehydrating. Sweet persimmons are great to eat fresh or use in a salad. Try the Fuyu Persimmon out!
- Figs. Sun-ripened figs are a real joy. Figs are also great trees to grow in containers and can be pruned to maintain a manageable size. The Celeste Fig is a staff favorite because of its sweeter than life taste.
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