Posted: 31/01/2015 at 12:22
As long asyou have at least two of each species (ie two varieties of apple, two pears etc) then they should pollinate each other if you have chosen compatible varieties (apples will only pollinate other apples etc.) However, at 1000 feet above sea level, the problem is likely to be lack of pollinators at blossoming time. Try hand-pollinating using a small, soft brush, like a make-up brush. You will need to gently push it into as many flowers on one (say) apple tree before moving on to the other apple, then switch back to the first tree again and re-do it. After that move on to the pears, then cherries etc. It would be worth trying to encourage pollinating insects (especially native bees) to overwinter in your garden by creating 'bee hotels' (google that for ideas). Having a pile or two made of short logs, branches and covered with leaves etc in sheltered corners of your garden is a natural way of creating such a habitat. To get the pollinators to choose your garden to overwinter in, you will also need to grow as many species of 'pollinator friendly' flowers as you can throughout the year. In general they don't like windy sites so surrounding your garden with hedges, shrubs etc will help create the right sort of micro-climate.