I have a total of 7 fruit trees in my back yard. 3 are multi grafted varieties (Pear, Plum, Apple) which l was told that they will self pollinate each other to produce fruit. I have added three additional apple trees and one cherry tree as well.

My questions are

  1. Will the single trees get pollinated from the multi grafted trees?
  2. will the three different varieties of single apple trees pollinate each other as well?
  3. Is it possible for the cherry tree to be pollinated by these other 6 trees or do I need to plant another cherry tree?
  • Word on apple trees is to always get at least two. Cherry trees, at least the good, tart ones, self pollinate. May 18, 2018 at 15:33
  • Apples are the most difficult one. They requires different variety (and usually also no so related variety). BTW never buy again multi-grafted trees: they are just snake oil, to sell more plants. One could never grow such tree balanced. It will be a nightmare to prune, and a delusion on harvesting two varieties (withing few years), so they are just temporary short-term solution (but often not sold as such). May 22, 2018 at 8:20

1 Answer 1


Pollination works within a species (to a good enough approximation).

The "family" multi-grafted trees generally combine varieties of a single species selected so that they cross/self-pollinate, as you've been told. You apparently have to be quite careful with pruning them so that one graft doesn't dominate, BTW.

These are also perfectly capable of pollinating other trees of the same species that are in blossom at the same time (some apples flower much later than others, for example, and cross-pollination is unlikely if there's little overlap in the flowering). With plenty of different apples you shoudl be fine there.

The cherry may or may not be self fertile. Sour (acid/coking) cherries generally are while sweet cherries used not to be; modern self-fertile varieties do exist.

With some species, even if a tree is technically self-fertile, yields may be better with a pollination partner. This appears to be the case with the plum I have (Victoria, but it's a fussy variety). Because fruit trees are pollinated by bees, and bees travel quite a long way, if your neighbours have trees of the same species you're probably in luck.

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