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Pollination.

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  • Pollination.

    Hope this isn't [too] stupid a question but the query came into my head the other day. With my plum and other fruit trees the blossom is often out early spring when it can be cold, frosty and an obvious lack of insects bees etc. So pollination of these trees is never close to 100%. Yet why is that my flowering gooseberry and currant bushes are flowering at the same time yet they are absolutely covered in fruit later on - why are these pollinated so successfully compared to the fruit trees? That question is nagging me, - anyone who can help --thanks.

  • #2
    My guess is that they are self fertile i.e. they pollinate themselves. It's a good question though. Hopefully someone will know better than my guess!

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    • #3
      I may be wrong but I believe that fruit trees are less hardy & drop their flowers. I fleeced my plum tree last year when a frost was forecast.
      sigpic“Gorillas are very intelligent, but they don't have to be as delicate as chimps -- they can just smash open the termite nest,”
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      • #4
        Thks for the above two inputs. Both seem logical though [I may be wrong] I thought if a tree/bush is self pollinating it meant a pollinator [bee etc] only had to vist the flowers of that particuliar bush/tree ONLY and not have to bring pollen from other pollinating bushes/trees. Therefore if that is correct the currant bushes etc even though self pollinating will still need the visit of a pollinator. Ouch my head hurts now lol.

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        • #5
          A bit of medication for your headache cheops.

          * Self-fertile - (Gardening): Definition
          sigpic“Gorillas are very intelligent, but they don't have to be as delicate as chimps -- they can just smash open the termite nest,”
          --------------------------------------------------------------------
          Official Member Of The Nutters Club - Rwanda Branch.
          -------------------------------------------------------------------
          Sent from my ZX Spectrum with no predictive text..........
          -----------------------------------------------------------
          KOYS - King Of Yellow Stickers..............

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          • #6
            Another guess here. Because the flowers on a fruit bush are so close together an insect doesn't have to travel far to pollinate every flower - can crawl from one to the next. On a fruit tree, the distance is much greater and they would need to fly from flower to flower, so more difficult to cover every flower - especially in bad weather.
            A Chicken walks with small steps. Be more Chicken
            https://gardenchicken.blogspot.com/
            @realveggiechicken

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            • #7
              Probably a good guess Veggiechicken, as this would explain clusters of forming plums on a tree. And Bigmally I took and read your mediction and my headache has gone elsewhere to annoy someone else.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by cheops View Post
                Thks for the above two inputs. Both seem logical though [I may be wrong] I thought if a tree/bush is self pollinating it meant a pollinator [bee etc] only had to vist the flowers of that particuliar bush/tree ONLY and not have to bring pollen from other pollinating bushes/trees. Therefore if that is correct the currant bushes etc even though self pollinating will still need the visit of a pollinator. Ouch my head hurts now lol.
                Some plants are parthenocarpic which means they can form fruits without being pollinated and without seeds.

                Others have flowers which easily drop their own pollen onto themselves, or pollen is shaken off by wind and falls back into/onto the flower.

                In both the above examples, no insect is required.
                .

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                • #9
                  Also, there are a lot more insects than just bees that pollinate trees and bushes - if you stand and watch a fruit tree blossom there's countless winged and walking visitors. The cold weather could affect the fertilisation, after the pollen has been distributed, differently between various species. I know I can get a good crop from the Japanese plum despite it flowering around now, when its cold, but lose the fruit on a european plum that doesn't bloom till March/ April.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by yummersetter View Post
                    Also, there are a lot more insects than just bees that pollinate trees and bushes - if you stand and watch a fruit tree blossom there's countless winged and walking visitors.
                    Yes; bees, flies, ants, beetles and more can be seen on the blossoms of fruit trees.

                    A full crop on a mature tree only requires a handful of compatible pollen grains to land on the flower (sometimes just a single pollen grain is adequate), and it only requires a small number of the flowers to be pollinated (the excess fruits which the tree can't feed tend to be dropped in June).
                    .

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                    • #11
                      Soft fruit bushes naturally set more fruit than trees such as plum trees. It doesn't necessarily mean their pollination is any better or more effective (although it could be). Plum trees in turn probably set more fruit than apple trees and so on.

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