WSU Extension


Common Cultural Problems
Air pollution 
Construction damage 
Desiccating wind 
Drought damage 
Fertilizer burn 
Frost injury 
Hail damage 
Lime-induced chlorosis 
Marginal leaf necrosis 
Morphological changes 
Mosses and lichens 
Needle loss 
Needle tip necrosis 
Nutrient deficiency 
Overwatering or poor drainage 
Plant girdling and circling roots 
Poor pollination 
Salt damage 
Transplant shock 
Winter desiccation 
Winter injury 

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Caption: Poor pollination on cherry
Photo by: R.S. Byther
Common Cultural : Poor pollination
(revision date: 4/30/2013)

Fruit may fail to develop properly or may drop prematurely if pollination is poor. Several factors may cause poor pollination. Some fruit trees require a tree of a different variety for viable pollen. Cold temperatures or very wet weather during flowering may inhibit bee activity, or frost may damage delicate flower parts. Certain insecticides also can stop bee activity, while untimely spray applications may inhibit pollen growth. Also, some trees may have a tendency to produce only one crop every other year. Vegetable crops and small fruits may also suffer from poor pollination.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Protect bees by applying pesticides only when necessary. Do not apply insecticides on or near blooming plants, including weeds. If insecticide use is necessary, apply in the evening after bee activity has stopped for the day. Remove flowers from blooming plants where practical and choose formulations less toxic to bees such as liquids or granules.
  • For fruit trees, make sure an appropriate pollinator tree is available if one is necessary.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

None recommended


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Caption: Poor pollination on cherry
Photo by: R.S. Byther
Caption: Cherry fruit drop
Photo by: R.S. Byther
Caption: Strawberry catfacing
Photo by: W. Willis