Do I Need Two Apple Trees?
How to bear fruit from a single apple tree
I would like to plant an apple tree, but I was told I needed to plant another fruit tree in the area in order for the two trees to cross-pollinate. Is this true?
—Jack, Madisonville, Kentucky
Roger replies Yes, all apple trees require two trees to cross-pollinate and produce fruit. However, if you only plant one tree, there is the possibility that another apple tree is nearby enough - whether it is on your property or not - that you might get lucky and find that your tree becomes pollinated anyway. If not, your single apple tree will still get all the beautiful flowers, just not the fruit. If you do only want to plant a single apple tree, another option is espaliered trees, which have two or three varieties incorporated onto a single tree and are trained to be planted against a wall. So while an espaliered tree won't have a
traditional apple tree form, it will be able to bear fruit on a single tree.