Hand-Pollination of Cherimoya Bears Fruit

QUESTION: My 7-year-old cherimoya tree looks healthy but has not produced much fruit. I fertilize and water it regularly. What can I do to have more fruit?

ANSWER: To get good fruit production, cherimoya trees need hand-pollination. Beginning in June, pollen should be removed with a small paintbrush from the male portion of the flowers, which are fully open in the afternoon. Store the pollen in the refrigerator. In the morning, brush the pollen onto the cone-like pistil of the partially open female part of the flowers.

Hand-pollinate about a dozen flowers per week through August. By extending the procedure, you will also extend the harvest period over several months. Depending on variety and cultural considerations, fruit will mature from November through March.