Crab Apple Pollinators

Asked June 3, 2014, 11:47 AM EDT

This is the third time that I have contacted you with a question. Sorry if I am being a pest. I purchased and planted a Winesap Apple before I learned that it is a poor pollinator due to its triploid genotype. I understand that I need a crabapple to pollinate the Winesap. I have not been able to find the suggested crab apples in my area. Of the 5 varieties I have found (Sargent, Velvet Pillar, Spring Snow, Prairie Fire and Coral Burst), Sargent seems to have the best match (white flowers) although I don't know about the timing of flowering match. Winesap is Flowering Group #3 and Sargent is April to May. I could not find info on how these two pieces of information line up. Am I OK with purchasing the Sargent Crab Apple? Also, I read somewhere that Winesaps require two other varieties for pollination. Is this something that I need to incorporate?

Thank you - you have been very helpful

Tim Radley

Arapahoe County Colorado trees and shrubs fruit trees apple trees

1 Response

Tim,
Winesap could be pollinated with Indian Summer Crabapple or Sweet Sixteen + Golden Delicious apples. The only reason for using two apples is because Winesap can't pollinate either of the others, so you might as well get two othe rapples that can pollinate each other in addition to the Winesap.
However, if you live in an urban area where other nearby homeowners have several apple or later-blooming crabapple trees within 50 yards/150 feet, you probably would be OK to just have the Winesap.
Although pollinator varieties can be important to consider for an area where no other apples/crabapples exist, it's even more important that you consider planting apple varieties that are resistant to fire blight, a very common bacterial disease of apples, crabapples and pears.
See http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/02907.html

If possible, plant apple trees out of lawn areas, as the fertilizer and water given to maintain lawns can be more than is needed for apple trees.