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How to Stop Apple Tree from Bearing Fruit

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From: Heidi Pawelczyk
darien, IL
I have two 40-year old apple trees. I would like to stop them from producing fruit. Is this possible? I prune annually and every other year, they produce a lot of buggy apples. I do not spray them. Is removal my only option?

Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Greetings Heidi:

In order to prevent your apple tree from fruiting, you need to inhibit the pollination of the tree's flowers. There are several products available out on the market, though their use and effectiveness is sometimes hit or miss.

Florel fruit eliminator is one such product. A well-timed application must be made to your tree(s) to inhibit pollination. This product may be purchased over the Web or at local home/garden/nursery stores.

From: Rex Coon
Fort Wayne, IN

I had a person asked me about the same thing, they bought a house recently with two apple trees. One of their children is allergic to bee stings and the other is terrified of them. The trees are about 15 feet tall. I said that I would need to research for possible solutions. I have read about several options, from pruning, fertilizing with high in nitrogen, using chemicals, etc. I come to the conclusion that none are guaranteed and costly. I feel they should probably remove the trees with safety a high concern.

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