by Dennis Schmidt
I have been doing my own cross pollinations now for some time and with some success, this is the only true cross pollination method as the mother flower is emasculated before introducing the new pollen, all other methods leave the original pollen in the flower allowing it to “self” pollinate.
This method is not hard to do and is straight forward, you will need a magnifying tool, I use a headpiece for ease of use, a small bladed scalpel and a covering for the flower, I use straws cut to length and labeled with the father pollen.
You need to have flowers that are just starting to open on the tree(early morning is best), I have used two open flowers that have been removed from the tree for ease of demonstration and to make sure I get the required pics. With the scalpel run a cut down the flower stem for 4mm to 5mm about 3mm apart stopping just above the base of the flower(as in the pic) then cut across the top and bottom of the cuts so the piece can be removed, I hold the flower at the back between 2 fingers while performing all the cuts etc. You will see the anthers inside, these need to be removed carefully so you don’t damage the flower/stigma.
Once you have removed the anthers you can introduce the new ones from your selected father flower(these should be at least 2 or 3 days old so pollen is on the anthers). Just slice the flower in half and remove the anthers and place them into the mother flower, I tap them gently a few times to make sure the pollen is against the stigma then you can remove the top of the flower and place a straw over it so that it is protected from other possible contamination, seal the top of the straw before using it.
with pollen introduced
covering the cut
All you need to do now is wait for a week or so to see if it has taken. If not you can repeat the process as you need to do it at the time when the flowers are most fertile/receptive. You can work out the individual trees premium time by counting back 9 months from the opening of any pods that have formed previously on each individual tree. Getting the correct time is the hardest part, I start in December and go through until March(this is for Australia, begin at the start of summer),