Pierre is our resident tree and shrub expert.  You’ll almost always find him outside in the yard watering and pruning, and on really windy days, picking up his trees.  He’s knowledgeable and friendly, truely loves his job and wants to find the right tree for your yard.  He’s informed me that this year he has an abundance of selection of fruit shrubs and trees that he’s excited to share with you.  Here goes the list:

Blueberries, Currants, Cherries, Gogiberries, Grapes, Gooseberries, Saskatoons, Raspberries, thornless Blackberries and of course, Strawberries and Rhubarb.

Apple, plum and pear trees are also always on the yard.

I have a few tips for understanding cross-pollination of your small fruit shrubs and trees to help ensure your success in producing delicious fruit.

Cross pollination refers to the transfer of pollen between flowers of genetically-distinct plants.  For cross-pollination species, at least two different cultivars from the same group must be planted in relatively close proximity for successful pollination and fruit production.  Insects will cross polinate a fruit tree when other suitable pollinator trees are growing within 450 feet.  However, cross pollination may be hampered by cool, rainy weather or the lack of pollinating insects.

Fruit Tree Pollination – Apple – All apples, crabapples and applecrabs are closely related and can cross pollinate each other for fruit set.   

                                  – Apricot – Produce more reliably when pollinated by other apricots of Nanking Cherry.

                                  – Cherry Plum – Requires cross pollination by another cherry plum cultivar or Sandcherry.

                                  – Plum – Requires cross pollination by another plum cultivar or native plum species.

                                  – Pear – Requires cross pollination by another pear cultivar or Ussurian Pear seedling.

Small Fruit Pollination – Most hardy fruit shrubs are self-fertile and do not require cross pollination by another cultivar.

                                    – Cherry, Raspberry, Saskatoon and Strawberry are self-pollinating and only require one variety for fruit production.

                                    – Blueberry – Many are self pollinating, however planting multiple cultivars often results in larger berries and better yields.

                                    – Currant and Gooseberry – Self pollinating.  If currants are grown near gooseberries, your yields can be even greater.

                                    – Grape – Many are self-pollinating, however, some hybrids have non-viable pollen and require a pollinator.

                                    – Honeyberry – Requires cross-pollination by another cultivar of by Sweetberry honeysuckle.

When you’re ready to harvest the fruit, colour, firmness and flavour are the best indicators that your fruit is ready to be picked.