Apple pollen

how far does apple tree pollen travel on the wind? my nieghbor is 100 yards due N.W of me. usually the direction of prevailing wind. my yellow transparent has about a doz blooms right now but i don’t have a pollinator for it yet. my neighbor has 6 cultivars of apples including several big crab apples. any chance that his pollen gets here?

If they bloom at the same time I’d bet you get some from that. Bees travel pretty far. Look around as I would also suspect even more crabs around you somewhere.


Chance that his cultivars will be compatible with your YT, high, however apples arent wind pollinated. They are insect pollinated. That is well within a bees travel radius.


i have a lot of bumbles so hopefully they find their way back and forth.

Apple pollen is sticky wet and heavy comparatively.

Honeybees and Bumblebees will go out and collect a certain profile of pollen at a time to bring home to make bee bread for babies. They seem to instinctively know what pollinates each other and what is compatible (probably the pollens amino acid profile). While honeybees may travel as far as 5 miles in one run usually for pollination they do this within 2 football fields, 500 meters or so depending on food availability. Bumblebees probably do not travel as far but certainly they do a similar size run and collect more total pollen before going home.

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thanks guys. i feel a little better. for some reason i had it in my head they were wind pollinated.

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Would said neighbor allow you to cut a small section of a branch to brush your blossoms with?

What I’ve seen done in the past if you don’t have another tree in bloom nearby, is to ask a neighbor or find some wild apple blossoms in bloom, snip half a dozen branches off and hang them in your tree in a coffee can full of water. My father did this for several years to pollinate his one lone Cortland tree. He’d often go snip some wolf river blossoms off a friend’s tree and hang them. Got fruit most years as long as the weather cooperated for the bees to fly.

Sorry that i did not clarify that they will definitely pollinate each other and you can go outside and watch which directions the bees come from and they will most likely be popping back and forth. Something is hard wired in bees that they will spend extra energy to go back and forth ensuring pollination from the flowers they hit. It is pretty amazing, you could definitely get a branch and hand pollinate though.

my wife work has 5 flowering crabs right full of blooms! i think ill go over and steal a nice branch. :wink: