I would like to plant an apple tree this spring. Do I need a second tree for pollination?

FAQ
Question: 

I would like to plant an apple tree this spring. Do I need a second tree for pollination?

Answer: 

Pollination and fertilization are necessary for fruit development.  Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the anther to the stigma.  Fertilization is the union of the male sperm nucleus from the pollen grain and the female egg found in the ovary. 

Self-fruitful trees bear fruit when pollen is transferred from the anther to the stigma on the same flower, another flower on the same tree, or within a variety.  Many fruit trees, however, cannot produce fruit from their own pollen.  These trees require pollen from another variety and are called self-unfruitful. 

Apples are self-unfruitful.  Plant at least two different apple tree varieties within 50 feet of one another for good fruit set.  Some apple varieties, such as Golden Delicious, will produce a crop without cross-pollination from a second variety.  However, best fruit production occurs when two or more apple tree varieties are planted in the same general area.

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