Q. I would like to plant some fruit trees this spring, but I do not have a lot of space. I understand that some fruits need more than one plant in order to produce fruit. Can you tell me which ones I can grow that do not require more than one plant?
A. Some fruits require cross-pollination in order to produce a satisfactory fruit crop. These include apples, sweet cherries (except Stella and Lappins), and some varieties of grapes and plums. Others are self-fruitful, but produce larger crops when provided a pollinator. These include apricots, blueberries, pears, and red raspberries.
Those that are self-fruitful and get along just fine without a pollinator include: most blackberries, sour cherries, currants, gooseberries, nectarines, peaches (except J.H. Hale), quince, black and purple raspberries, and strawberries.
Most fruit catalogs have pollination requirement charts that tell you which varieties are best to pollinate each other.
Do not rule out fruits that require or prefer cross-pollination because of limited space. The “five-in-one” apple trees that have several varieties grafted on one tree and provide the needed cross-pollination. Also, related ornamental trees such as crabapples and Bradford pears can provide the needed pollination. If a nearby neighbor has these ornamental trees planted, they may do the trick. Be sure to choose dwarf trees, and grow them on a trellis. This supports the often-weak dwarfing rootstocks and enables you to grow more fruit in a small space.