The Q&A Archives: Self-pollinating Fruit Trees

Question: I have a self-pollinating peach tree and 2 self-pollinating asian pear trees (different varieties). Do they require the work of bees in order to produce fruit? Or does the term "self-pollinating" mean they can create fruit on their own with no outside assistance?

Answer: The short answer to your question is yes, insect activity (or wind) is necessary for the transfer of pollen from the anthers to the stigma of the flower in order to produce fruit. In basic terms, the label self-pollinating or self-fruitful means that the plant bears both male and female flowers, or flowers with both male and female parts. Sometimes self-incompatablilty (chemical inhibitors within the plants themselves) makes cross-pollination necessary, and a better yield will occur if a compatable tree is growing in the vicinity. In your plants, you can expect a good crop of fruit as long as wind or insects transfer the pollen within each flower. If the flowers were all sealed up in bags that prevented wind or insect activity within, no fruit would form. Hope this clears the issue!

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