Fruit trees

Asked February 7, 2019, 5:30 PM EST

I live by Rochester, MN. I want to plant 4 fruit trees. Sweet 16 apple tree, honey crisp apple tree, a pair tree for fresh eating, a peach tree for fresh eating. What do you recommend for the peach and pair. Do they self pollinate, will the pollinate with the apple trees or each other? Mark Hansen

Dodge County Minnesota

1 Response

Thank you for the question. According to Extension, "Each type of apple tree has a short bloom time in the spring in which the tree must be pollinated, usually by bees. This bloom time lasts about a week for each different type of apple tree. But not all apple trees bloom at the same time. Almost all apple trees bloom within a three- to four-week period in the spring. When your tree is pollinated, you must have another type of apple tree within 500 feet that blooms the same week(s) yours does. So apple trees have been divided into three time frames: early season, mid-season, and late season. Honeycrisp blooms mid-season and must be pollinated by another mid-season blooming apple tree. Sweet 16 is an example of a mid-season bloomer so these two varieties will serve to pollinate each other".

Apple, pear, and peach trees do not pollinate each other. Pear trees generally need another pear tree of different variety to reliably produce fruit each year, but a few varieties can produce acceptably on their own. Read about pears and find a chart of suitable varieties to grow in the home garden here:

Growing peach trees in Minnesota is a gamble because the trees bloom very early in the spring and need more warmth than Minnesota typically offers. The peach blossoms are very sensitive to spring freezes, and as a result, may not produce every year. You will need to plant two trees of different variety for successful pollination. Reliance, Contender, and Intrepid are peach varieties that might do well here. Read more about stone fruits here:

It seems that for the best success, you will need to plant at least 5 or 6 trees in your home orchard.

Thank you for contacting Extension.