Pollinating A Cherry Tree: How Do Cherry Trees Pollinate?
The pollination process of a cherry tree involves several stages. First, the male flower bud of the female cherry blossom (stellaria) is opened up and then it releases pollen grains into the air. These are carried by wind currents around the world and eventually fall onto nearby plants or soil where they germinate and grow into fruit. Then, after a few days, the new seeds sprout from the ground and mature into cherries.
In order for the pollination process to work properly, there are three things that must happen:
1. The pollen grains need to land on the right type of plant.
2. The wind needs to carry the pollen grains to the right place.
3. The seedlings need to develop correctly before they can release their own seeds.
Cherries are self-fertilizing plants. This means that a single tree can be both the male and female parts of the equation. Sometimes, however, female trees become so exhausted by over-production that they lose their ability to produce fruit.
In these cases, cross-pollination with a nearby male tree can really help out, assuming that another one is available in the area. Some people choose to plant several trees for this reason.
However, the process of cross-pollination can be tricky. If you plant a tree on the other side of the property, you may have to wait several years before the wind blows the pollen over to it. Also, if the trees are too far apart, their flowers may release the pollen before the wind has a chance to carry it.
You can try using a watering can to gently “spray” the flowers with water to send the pollen grains flying.
Some orchards employ a more high-tech solution to this problem. They use small drones to fly over the trees, sprinkling minute amounts of water on the flowers. These techniques can greatly increase the amount of successful cross-pollination that takes place.
Cherry Blossom Facts
Cherries are members of the Rosaceae family and include more than 400 different kinds of trees and shrubs. The most popular of all is the sweet cherry, which is used to make everything from pies to juice.
Cherries are native to the foothills of the Himalayas in present-day Afghanistan and Pakistan. People have been eating them for at least 3,000 years. The ancient Greeks and Romans helped spread the popularity of cherries throughout Europe and Asia Minor.
Sources & references used in this article:
Disentangling multiple drivers of pollination in a landscape-scale experiment by C Schüepp, F Herzog… – Proceedings of the …, 2014 – royalsocietypublishing.org
Influence of habitat complexity and landscape configuration on pollination and seed-dispersal interactions of wild cherry trees by N Breitbach, S Tillmann, M Schleuning, C Grünewald… – Oecologia, 2012 – Springer
Landscapes with wild bee habitats enhance pollination, fruit set and yield of sweet cherry by A Holzschuh, JH Dudenhöffer, T Tscharntke – Biological Conservation, 2012 – Elsevier
The “effective pollination period” in fruit trees by J Sanzol, M Herrero – Scientia Horticulturae, 2001 – Elsevier
Bee Population Returns and Cherry Yields in an Orchard Pollinated with Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) by J Bosch, WP Kemp, GE Trostle – Journal of Economic …, 2006 – academic.oup.com
Exceptional cherry production in an orchard pollinated with blue orchard bees by J Bosch, WP Kemp – Bee World, 1999 – Taylor & Francis
The pollination of fruit trees by JB Free – Bee world, 1960 – Taylor & Francis