You won’t get apples without cross pollination

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I planted ten apple trees about a dozen years ago. The trees get beautiful flowers but I either don’t get any fruit or they fall off when they are little. They are all Red Rome apples. I planted them in the middle of a big field and there are no trees to cut off their sun. Is it because I don’t prune them? I have a peach and it has fruit.

The fact that you have no fruit can be laid off to one thing. You have only one kind of apple tree. To have the fruit grow, there has to be cross-pollination with another kind of apple or crabapple tree. So you would need Gala or McIntosh or Northern Spy apple for the pollen swap to work.

There are probably three hundred different kinds of apples other than Red Rome that will work. The trees need to be blooming at the same time for the happy little bees and other insects to make the transfer.

Fruit trees are considered either self-fruitful or self-unfruitful. If it is self-fruitful, it does not need another tree. That would be your peach. Also included are: tart cherry, apricot, nectarine and European plum. But for the self-unfruitful trees to have fruit, they need a similar tree but a different variety.

Besides apples, pears, sweet cherries, Japanese plums are self-unfruitful. There are a couple of cultivars that are exceptions that do not need another pollinator: Golden Delicious apple and Bartlett pear.

It is important to know the name or cultivar of the fruit you have.

For apples, if there is a crabapple planted no more than 100 feet away, it can act as a pollinator, but it doesn’t always work. The cross pollination is to allow the trees to make fruit. The only thing that is affected is the seeds. They are now a combo of your tree and the pollinator. But since you will not be growing fruit trees from seeds, it doesn’t matter.

All your purchased trees are grafted so they will be identical to the Red Rome or Yellow Transparent that was the parent tree.

My lawn looks really lumpy this spring. I have some mole trails that have lifted grass up and I have a couple of big dips that are several inches deep. I was told to just get dirt and throw it on the top of the bad areas and drop some grass seed and it would fix itself. It sounds easy but will it work?

The simple answer is no. If it sounds too good to be true and there’s no such thing as a free lunch…that stuff is still accurate.

For raised mole trails, the best solution is to buy a lawn roller that you can put water in to change its weight. Add just enough water so that the raised tunnel is compressed. You do not want to leave a ditch. On clay soils, you could compact the soil so much that the grass dies. The right weight is needed.

Get a roller that you can hitch to a riding mower or ATV. Many of the mole poisons do not seem to work well for homeowners.

For the dips in the lawn, if you follow your plan, the grass will germinate and grow a bit and then die.

You have two choices.

You can dig three sides of a square and pull the grass back like a rug. Mix your topsoil and the existing soil under the grass flap together and replace your giant divot. Water well and the roots will grow as long as it stays damp.

Or you can dig up the area, mix the topsoil and the existing soil and put down seeds and straw and keep it damp for the next month.

Lifting your grass and stuffing under it will give you a lawn that looks the same. Your seeds that grow will not exactly match the existing lawn. It depends how much you want it to look the same. And it all depends on how much suffering you want to experience to complete this task.

About Gretchen Voyle 51 Articles
Gretchen Voyle is the MSU Extension-Livingston County Horticulture Educator. She can be reached at (517) 546-3950.