Crab Apple Trees

Obsession

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Do regular apple trees cross pollinate crab apple trees and vice versa? The reason I ask is last year I realized I had a crab apple tree that I never new existed until it randomly produced apples. I don't know what caused it to produce. I potted some fruit trees near the crab apple tree last year. Did that help pollinate the crab apple? The only apple tree I potted was a staymen apple tree but I did pot a few pear trees and plum trees.
Any info is appreciated.
 

PickettSFHunter

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It depends. Crabapples are usually some of the best pollinators for apples. You have to have both the pollinizer and the tree that recieves pollination with overlapping bloom times and of course blooms need to be present. Your Stayman winesap, if it had blooms, is unlikely to pollinate anything, it is triploid, so its pollen is sterile.
 

Obsession

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That is what I thought about the Stayman. But what caused my crabapple to bare fruit? There are no other crabapple trees on my property to my knowledge. Does the crabapple need another tree to pollinate?
 

PickettSFHunter

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Depending on variety, it likely does not.Most of the wild trees dont. Pollination can occur with several different kinds of insects transfering pollen over pretty good distances. Its just that with compatible trees closer together your chances of a greater amount of blooms being pollinated is greater, thus more fruit produced. And of course some are self fertile, but they will still bare better with insect pollination.
 

Obsession

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We are getting some bee hives on our property and we just planted four more apple trees so that should help with pollination.(Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Fuji, and Honeycrisp) Those trees should also help with pollination of my Stayman, right?
 

PickettSFHunter

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The 4 you listed should overlap bloom times some and I dont think any of them are pollen sterile so that will help yes. Your bees would be the best thing you could ever do, IMO. Out of what you listed, the Fuji will be most likely to overlap, then Golden Delicious, then Red, then Honeycrisp. I hope you are prepared to spray those varieties. But yes I would still rather have crabs for pollination.
 

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