Pollinators or Pollenizers?

[The author, Dave Green, answers a question as to why a gardener’s plum tree did not produce fruit. Dave points out the difference between pollinators and pollenizers.]

“Plums need pollinators to make fruit. How is your bee population? Pollen doesn’t move by itself, even if they are self fertile. Bee populations in many areas are only a small percentage of what they were a generation ago.

“Some plums also are self infertile and need pollenizers (mistakenly called pollinators by some pop nurseries). Pollenizers are other varieties [of plum trees in this case] that are provided to provide pollen for cross pollination.

“Good nurseries have pollenizer compatibility lists – ones that bloom at the same time, and provide fertile pollen. If your nursery doesn’t know the difference between a pollinator and a pollenizer, find one that does….”

Dave Green, SC USA
The Pollination Home Page:


[Addendum] “Even self fertile fruit trees need pollinators (bees, normally). Self fertile is not the same as self pollinating. Only a few plants self pollinate and that does not include temperate zone tree fruits.” (070402)