The “Pristine” apple tree (Malus domestica “Pristine”) produces a yellow-skinned, early ripening apple that was created by the Purdue-Rutgers-Illinois cooperative apple breeding program. It’s immune to apple scab and resistant to powdery mildew, fire blight and cedar-apple rust. The tree is really a mid-season bloomer, growing up to 16 feet tall in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 8. Like many apple trees, “Pristine” needs a pollinizer to properly create fruit.

Plant a pollinizer tree having a comparable blossom period within 50 feet of the “Pristine” apple tree. Choose “Golden Delicious,” “York,” “Fuji” or “Granny Smith,” all of cultivars having an overlapping blossom time.

Watch for the king blossom, the huge blossom in the center of a blossom cluster, to start, as this is the very best time for pollination to occur. If you’ve got nearby bees or other pollinating insects, they’ll perform the work.

Cut a branch in a blooming apple tree if you don’t have a nearby pollinizer apple tree. Place the branch using all the open blooms in a bucket of water beneath the “Pristine” apple tree. Replace the division each morning while the tree is in blossom.

Hand-pollinate the blooms if you’re worried you will find too few insects in the area. Eliminate the anthers from partially accessible pollinizer tree blossoms. Allow them to dry overnight to loosen the pollen. Assemble the pollen and use a small paintbrush to transfer the accumulated pollen grains to the newly-opened blossoms of the “Pristine” tree.

See related