How many apple trees do I need to ensure pollination?
Very few apple trees are self-pollinating and whilst you can get, what are sometimes referred to as "Family Apple Trees" where more than one variety has been grafted onto one plant, in general, apple trees will need at least one other variety of apple tree planted in the same garden to ensure pollination (and consequently the production of fruit). In addition there are some varieties, such as "Bramley's Seedling," known a 'triploids' which require 2 other varieties in the same garden in order to pollinate.
To ensure that you select trees that cross pollinate, apple trees are divided into 7 flowering groups. The rules is that if a tree is from either the same group or a group either side of that group then this is an acceptable pollinator. For example, the "Discovery" apple tree is from group 3 and can therefore be pollinated by any other apple tree that falls in group 3, or group 2 or 4 (as these fall either side of group three. If the tree was from group 4, it could be pollinated by any tree in group 3, 4 or 5 and so on.
Many of the varieties sold in Ireland would fall in the group 3 category and certainly that is the case within Ardcarne Garden Centre, but if you're ever unsure when buying your apple trees simply ask one of our staff and we'll point you in the right direction.