[NAFEX] Hand pollination

list at ginda.us list at ginda.us
Mon May 23 06:49:39 EDT 2005

On the topic of hand-pollination. . . I tried to hand pollinate some 
apple blossoms this year and I had trouble.  I've hand-pollinated other 
stuff.  I've always just taken a Q-tip and brushed it gently against 
the prospective father, and then against the prospective mother.  
Ordinarily, after the first step the end of the Q-tip is visibly 
yellow.  I tried this with apple blossoms, and couldn't pick up any 
visible pollen.  Some of the blossoms were older, and the anthers were 
brown.  Other blossoms were younger and the anthers were pale yellow.  
(We had a cold snap between when the first blossoms opened, and when 
some other blossoms opened.)

Do apple blossoms stay on the tree for an extended non-fertile period?  
How does one recognize a "ripe" blossom?

(It looks like the "prospective mother" blossoms set, so either there 
was a little pollen, or the bees did the job for me.)


On May 23, 2005, at 6:15 AM, Jason MacArthur wrote:

> Due to the cool and rainy weather rut that we in New England are stuck 
> in, I am going to try hand pollinating in my apple orchard this year.  
> I got some good directions off of the Midwest Apple Improvement 
> Association website, but I am left with one question.  I have 
> collected the anthers  I wish to use for pollinating, and they are in 
> storage.  However,  what I actually want to put on the flower is not 
> anthers but pollen, correct?  Do the anthers release pollen as they 
> dry? Does anyone have any experience with this stage who can set me 
> straight as to how to go from anther to pollen?  Thank you, and I hope 
> everyone else is getting better weather for pollination than we are!
> Jason MacArthur
> Marlboro, Vt.
> Zone 4b

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