Pollination Problems

Asked May 9, 2014, 11:42 PM EDT

I live in Bend OR and have three fruit trees and three patio blueberry bushes. All are three years old or less. I do not think they are getting pollinated. They all flower but have never had any fruit of any size. The pear tree produced a few tiny pears but they didn't mature. The blueberry and apples have produced no fruit. I initially thought the problem was that our neighborhood bees aren't working early enough in the season when the flowers are out, because its too cole/moist. I now realize that they are out--becuase they are all in a large tree, across the alley, with big white, fragrant flowers. None of the bees come to my backyard until that tree stops flowering!! I'm wondering if there is anything I can do to get my apple, pear and blueberries pollinated. I thought about getting Orchard Mason bees but I have a feeling they will wind up in the tree across the alley too. Thanks for any ideas you have!

Deschutes County Oregon fruit trees attracting pollinators horticulture

1 Response

Hi, If you are seeing bees and other pollinators in the vicinity then they will likely work over all potential flowers that provide nectar/have pollen. There are several factors that affect pollination and fertilization including pollinator activity, bloom time, variety, and temperature and not all of these can be managed. Even if you are seeing flowering there may be tissue damage to the flower parts that prevent them from setting fruit. There are a few publications that you can use to learn about ways to attract pollinators to your area by planting certain plants. http://www.pollinator.org/guides.htm
http://www.xerces.org/fact-sheets/ Native plants for central Oregon
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/deschutes/sites/default/files/ec1623-e.pdf

Thanks, Amy Jo