Can Cherry Laurel Pollinate Cherry?

Hello, master fruit growers! It’s nice to meet you all. I’m a new fruit grower and am looking forward to learning from you.

Here is my question — hope you can help:

I just purchased 2 Skeena cherry trees — they were buy one, get one. I was excited to get 2 of them, thinking that have 2 would offer pollination opportunities that would increase their growth and yield. However, I’m hearing that it is likely these 2 trees could be clones of one another, which would negate pollination.

On my property near where I want to plant these trees I have a small Carolina cherry laurel tree growing. My question: even though the cherry laurel produces a toxic fruit, will it pollinate the Skeenas?

Many thanks!

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Great news, Skeena is a self fertile sweet cherry. So you don’t need a pollination partner. Having a partner might increase fruit set slightly but I won’t be concerned about that.

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I actually looked into whether cherry laurel could hybridize with any other Prunus species a while back for unrelated reasons. It turns out it has a very high ploidy level with hybrid attempts resulting in mostly aborted embryos. That should rule it out as a potential pollinator.

Edit: I just re-read your post and realized you were referring to Carolina cherry laurel which is a different species than I was referring to. That said I don’t think that one has proven very successful in hybridization attempts either so not a great candidate for interspecific cross pollination.

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Many thanks! Yes, as a novice fruit grower, I have been focusing on the self pollinating plants, shrubs, and trees. It seems that a lot of guys say that having more than one can yield better results. But I wonder to what extent it makes a difference. I guess it depends on what you’re growing?

That’s really interesting, thank you. Yes, I recently moved to East Texas, which is generally a pretty good place to grow different fruits, and the Carolina cherry laurel is a native and common tree that you find here. I certainly don’t understand the science in the way that you do, so I appreciate your insight.