Stone fruit trees need bees and other insects to insure they are pollinated. However, sometimes they require a human to hand pollinate. Some trees can be pollinated with their own pollen, though stone fruit trees do not fit in this category. To hand pollinate, it is essential to know the stamen from the stigma. Pollination occurs when the pollen is transferred from the tip of the stamen to the sticky crown of the stigma. One way to do this is to collect the pollen with a cotton puff or paint brush. This should also be done in spring once the blossoms are open.
- Some trees do not self-pollinate, and lack the bees to pollinate them. They must be pollinated by hand.
- Self-pollinating is not particularly uncommon. Farmers will pollinate by hand to ensure a large harvest.
- Cotton swabs and Q-tips are effective for transferring pollen between blossoms.
“To pollinate stone fruits by hand, you need to make like a bee, transferring pollen from the tip of a stamen to the sticky crown of the stigma.”