Pre Order Your Favorites For Spring/Summer '24 While Supplies Last!

A Guide To Fruit Tree Pollination

"This comprehensive guide provides a wealth of information on the pollination of fruit trees, making it an invaluable resource for gardeners everywhere."


Fruit tree pollination compatibility refers to the requirement of two different varieties of the same fruit type, with similar bloom times, to produce fruit. For most apple, pear, plum, and sweet cherry trees, which are not self-fertile, cross-pollination from two different compatible varieties is necessary for fruit production.

Most apricots, peaches, nectarines, and sour cherries, which are self-fertile, can still benefit from cross-pollination with a compatible variety of the same fruit type, leading to larger fruit size, improved fruit quality, and increased yields.

For successful cross-pollination, it's important to have the bloom times of the two different varieties overlap. Early blooming fruit trees can overlap with mid-season blooming fruit trees, and late-season blooming fruit trees can also overlap with mid-season blooming fruit trees. However, early blooming and late blooming fruit trees are not compatible, as their bloom times do not overlap.

How Pollination Occurs:

Pollinators play a critical role in the pollination of fruit trees. They are responsible for moving pollen from the male part of a flower (stamen) to the female part of the flower (pistil), which enables the plants to reproduce and produce fruit.

There are many different types of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, and hummingbirds. Each type of pollinator has different behaviors and physical adaptations that allow them to collect and distribute pollen. For example, bees have hairs on their bodies that collect and hold onto pollen, while butterflies have long proboscises that allow them to reach deep into flowers to obtain nectar.

When a pollinator visits a flower, it collects nectar, which provides energy, and pollen, which is used as a protein source for their young. As the pollinator moves from flower to flower, it transfers pollen from the male reproductive structures to the female reproductive structures, thereby pollinating the flower. This process can be accomplished in several ways, including direct contact between the pollinator and the flower, or by wind, which can carry pollen from one flower to another.

Once the flower has been pollinated, it will produce fruit that contains seeds. These seeds will grow into new plants, ensuring the continuation of the species. Without pollinators, fruit trees would not be able to produce fruit, and many plant species would eventually become extinct.

In recent years, there has been a decline in pollinator populations due to habitat loss, pesticide use, and disease, among other factors. This decline is a cause for concern, as it has the potential to impact the production of many of the fruits, vegetables, and nuts that are a staple of our diets. To help protect pollinators, it is important to support their populations by planting pollinator friendly flowering plants, reducing pesticide use, and conserving habitat.

Click here to view our attracts pollinators collection.

How To Use Our Pollination Guide:

table showing bloom periods for different varieties of each fruit type like the ones provided below can be used to successfully pick compatible fruit tree varieties for pollination. Here's how:

Identify the bloom period of your existing fruit trees: Look at the table and find the variety of the fruit tree that you already have and note its bloom period.

Select a compatible variety: Look for another variety of the same fruit type that blooms during the same or an overlapping period as your existing tree. This is essential  so that the bloom periods overlap and cross-pollination can occur. (For Plums, in addition to overlapping bloom times you must use Japanese and American varieties for pollinating each other and themselves but European plums must be crossed with only other European varieties for successful pollination)

Consider the self-fertility of the fruit type: If the fruit type is self-fertile, like apricots, peaches, nectarines, and sour cherries, you can still benefit from adding another compatible variety, but it is not necessary for fruit production.

Repeat the process for each additional fruit tree type that you want to plant: Make sure to select compatible varieties for each new type of fruit tree you want to plant, in order to ensure cross-pollination and successful fruit production.

By following this process, you can use the table of bloom periods below to determine which varieties of fruit trees are compatible and will lead to a successful pollination, resulting in fruit production.

Note: The bloom period of a particular variety can vary slightly depending on the region, weather conditions, and other factors. The below categorizations are based upon an average Canadian climate including freezing winter temps and cool springs.

Apple Bloom Times:

Apples Growing On Apple Tree
Apple Variety Bloom Season
Gala Early
Braeburn Early
Pink Lady Early
Cripps Pink Early
Yellow Transparent  Early
Empire Early
Urban® Blushing Delight™
Battleford Mid-Season 
Granny Smith Mid-Season 
Liberty Mid-Season
Spartan Mid-Season
Jonathan Mid-Season
Red Delicious  Mid-Season 
Golden Delicious Mid-Season
Hardi-Mac Mid-Season
Fuji Mid-Season
Honeycrisp Mid-Season
Cortland Mid-Season
MacIntosh Mid-Season
Northern Spy Mid-Season
Golden Russet Mid-Season 
Sweet Sixteen Mid-Season 
Rome Beauty Mid-Season
Ambrosia  Late
Winesap Late
Ida Red Late
Arkansas Black Late
Rome Late

Click here to view our apple varieties.

Pear Bloom Times:

Pears Growing On Pear Tree
Pear Variety Bloom Season
Bartlett Mid-Season
Bosc Mid-Season
Comice Mid-Season
Conference Mid-Season
Forelle Mid-Season
Anjou Mid-Season
Red Anjou Mid-Season
Starkrimson Mid-Season
Concorde Mid-Season
Summercrisp  Mid-Season 
Seckel Late
Moonglow Late
Winter Nelis Late
Orléans Late
Flemish Beauty Late
Ayers Late
Parker Late
Clapp's Favourite Late
Beurré Bosc Late
Beurré Hardy Late
Bosconda Late
Doyenné du Comice Late
Magness Late

Click here to view our pear varieties.

Plum Bloom Times:

Mount Royal Plums Growing On Tree
Plum Variety Bloom Season Plum Type
Stanley Early European 
Santa Rosa Early Japanese 
Satsuma Early Japanese
Mariposa Early Japanese
Shiro Early Japanese
Early Golden Early Japanese
Bluefre Early European 
Beauty Early Japanese
Mount Royal  Early European 
Brookgold Early Japanese
Compass Early Japanese
Waneta Early American Hybird
Casselman Mid-Season Japanese
Methley Mid-Season Japanese
Tecumsch Mid-Season American Hybrid
Italian Mid-Season European 
Toka Mid-Season American Hybrid
Superior  Mid-Season American Hybrid
President Mid-Season European 
Greengage Mid-Season European 
Opata Mid-Season American 
Angelina Late European 
French Late European 
Marjorie's Seedling Late European 
Pembina  Late American Hybrid
Brookred Late Japanese

Click here to view our plum varieties.

Sweet Cherry Bloom Times:

Sweet Cherries Growing On Cherry Tree
Cherry Variety Bloom Season
Black Tartarian Early
Stella Early
Lapins Early
Brooks Early
Bing Mid-Season
Van Mid-Season
Rainier Mid-Season
Sweetheart Mid-Season
Tulare Mid-Season
Utah Giant Mid-Season
Skeena Mid-Season
Gold Mid-Season
Black Republican Late
Corum Late
Black Gold Late
Napoleon Late
Regina Late
Sweet cherry Late
Emperor Francis Late
Kristin Late

Click here to view our cherry varieties.

Sour Cherry Bloom Times:

Cupid cherry tree
Variety Bloom Period
North Star Early
Meteor Early
Morello Early
Evans Early
Early Richmond Early
Juliet Early
Cupid Mid-Season
Crimson Passion Mid-Season 
Balaton Mid-Season
Romeo Mid-Season
Montmorency  Mid-Season
Danube Mid-Season

Click here to view our cherry varieties.

Apricot Bloom Times:

Apricots Growing On Apricot Tree
Apricot Variety Bloom Season
Goldcot Early
Early Moorpark Early
Tomcot Early
Hargrand Early
Katy Early
Sunglo Early
Casino Early 
Goldrich Early
Moorpark Mid-Season 
Tilton Mid-Season
Flavorcrest Mid-Season
Scout Mid-Season 
Goldstrike Mid-Season
Tasty Rich Mid-Season
Harogem Late
Flavor Supreme Late
Perfection Late
Sunset Late
Westcot Late

Click here to view our apricot varieties. 

Apricot Variety Bloom Season
Goldcot Early
Early Moorpark Early
Tomcot Early
Hargrand Early
Katy Early
Sunglo Early
Casino Early 
Goldrich Early
Moorpark Mid-Season 
Tilton Mid-Season
Flavorcrest Mid-Season
Scout Mid-Season 
Goldstrike Mid-Season
Tasty Rich Mid-Season
Harogem Late
Flavor Supreme Late
Perfection Late
Sunset Late
Westcot Late

Click here to view our apricot varieties. 

Nectarine Bloom Times:

Red Gold Nectarine
Variety Bloom Period
Arctic Snow Early
Fantasia Early
Springold Early
Early Elberta Early
Fairtime Early
Golden Prolific Early
Flavor Top Early
Firebrite Early
Sunred Mid-Season
Sunhaven Mid-Season
Arctic Rose Mid-Season
Crimson Lady Mid-Season
Desert Dawn Mid-Season
Red Gold Late
Sunset Late
Vivid Late
Winblo Late
Majestic Late

Click here to view our nectarine varieties.

Peach Tree Bloom Times:

Reliance Peach Tree
Variety Bloom Period
Early Redhaven Early
Cresthaven Early
Reliance Early
Spring Snow Early
All Star Mid-Season
Glow Haven Mid-Season
Red Globe Mid-Season
Suncrest Mid-Season
J.H. Hale Mid-Season
Madison Mid-Season
Glowing Star Mid-Season
Coconut Ice Late
Oh Henry Late
Autumn Rose Late
Starfire Late

Click here to view our peach varieties.

Feel free to leave a comment here!

Please note, only constructive and positive comments will be approved so we can keep this a friendly and happy place for all gardeners to interact.