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Crab-Apple/Apple Tree Pollination

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By Robert Cox, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, horticulture agent

For a crab apple tree to pollinate an apple tree to produce fruit, conditions must first be just right.

Crab apples produce fruit less than 2 inches in diameter, and apple fruits are 2 inches in diameter or greater. Most crab-apple varieties tend to bloom a little earlier than most apple varieties. If the crab-apple and apple bloom periods overlap, there's a good chance that the crab apple will pollinate the apple. Ideally, they should be within 50 yards of each other.

Photo: Judy Sedbrook

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010