Self-Fruiting Apple Trees: Learn About Apples That Pollinate Themselves

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By Liz Baessler

Apple trees are great assets to have in your backyard. Who doesn’t love picking fresh fruit from their own trees? And who doesn’t like apples? More than one gardener, however, has planted a beautiful apple tree in their garden and waited, with bated breath, for it to bear fruit…and they’ve kept waiting forever. This is because almost all apple trees are dioecious, which means they need cross pollination from another plant in order to bear fruit.

If you plant one apple tree and there are no others around for miles, chances are you’re never going to see any fruit…usually. While rare, there are actually some apples that purportedly pollinate themselves. Keep reading to learn more about self-fruiting apple trees.

Can Apples Self-Pollinate?

For the most part, apples can’t pollinate themselves. Most varieties of apple are dioecious, and there’s nothing we can do about it. If you want to grow an apple, you are going to have to plant a neighboring apple tree. (Or plant it near a wild crabapple tree. Crabapples are actually very good pollinizers).

There are, however, some varieties of apple tree that are monoecious, which means only one tree is required for pollination to occur. There aren’t very many of these varieties and, truth be told, they are not guaranteed. Even successful self-pollinating apples will produce far more fruit if they are cross pollinated with another tree. If you simply don’t have the space for more than one tree, however, these are the varieties to try.

Varieties of Self-Pollinating Apples

These self-fruiting apple trees can be found for sale and are listed as self-fertile:

  • Alkmene
  • Cox Queen
  • Granny Smith
  • Grimes Golden

These apple varieties are listed as partially self-fertile, which means that their yields will likely be noticeably lower:

  • Cortland
  • Egremont Russet
  • Empire
  • Fiesta
  • James Grieve
  • Jonathan
  • Saint Edmund’s Russet
  • Yellow Transparent

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