Are Greengage and Robe de Sargeant plums ok to cross pollinate?

are these varieties really compatible for Xpollinating? Would another variety go better with the Robe de sargeant which is a healthier tree, and flowering madly, the greenage not nearly as well


25 September 2011 08:30 AM

Hi Carmen,

As you're aware cross pollination refers to the transfer of pollen from one flower to the stigma of another.
Can you please confirm are the two trees in similar soil, similar sunlight conditions, and fertilised equally? A fertiliser such as Yates Thrive Natural Citrus & Fruit Pelletised Plant Food can help. It's enriched with Dynamic Lifter and has added nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to give your fruiting plants the right balance of nutrients for their growing needs. If there are very windy conditions when the greengage is flowering it may lose the flowers before they are pollinated.
Here are some of the basics of fruit tree pollination:

Most fruit trees require pollination between two or more trees for fruit to set.
Pollination occurs when the trees blossom.
Pollen from the anthers (the male part of the plant) has to be transferred to the stigma (the female part of the plant). Completed pollination fertilizes the tree and fruit grows. Otherwise, flowers grow, but not fruit.
Pollination can be performed by birds, wind or insects. The most common fruit-tree pollinator is the honeybee that gathers nectar from the flowers, simultaneously transferring pollen between them. (A single honeybee may visit as many as 5,000 flowers in a single day.)
With the help of the bees, some trees can pollinate and bear fruit all by themselves, called self-pollinating or self-fruitful. Nearly all common varieties of apricot, peach, nectarine and sour cherry are self-pollinating.
Other fruit trees, like most apple, plum, sweet cherry and pears are cross-pollinating or self-unfruitful. They need another tree for pollination, and not just one of the same variety, but a different variety of the same fruit. For example, most sweet cherries must be pollinated with compatible sweet cherry trees. In addition, these fruit trees have to blossom at about the same time (mid-season, late-season) so honeybees can cross-pollinate them.
However, even if the trees are considered compatible, other factors can interfere with pollination. Lack of rain, high winds or frost can damage buds before they blossom. Fruit trees form their flower buds in the fall. Excessive winter cold or even a late-spring frost can kill buds and blossoms. That's why it's important to choose a tree selected for your climate zone (shown on the plant tag). These trees develop buds more in time with the last local frost, so there's less chance of losing fruit production.

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