Can you stop a tree from producing fruit?

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When one is first planting a tree, it may be picked due to the reason that it will produce fruits in the future. This is particularly the case for some trees such as apple and mango trees that make sweet and tasty fruits once they mature.

However, there may come a time when the fruits are no longer desired, which is why people wonder whether there is a method or solution that can be done to stop trees from bearing fruit. Although there are not many methods that can be done to inhibit the tree from growing fruit, it is certainly possible. Along with spending a sometimes huge amount of effort and time, you will be able to stop the tree from producing fruit for a certain period, unless you will cut the tree down and replace it with a non-fruit-bearing tree instead.

What can be done to stop a tree from producing fruit?

As mentioned above, it is absolutely possible to stop a tree from producing fruit when desired by its owners. We have listed three different methods that are being used by arborists – also called tree doctors, when they want to halt fruit production for a time. Most of these methods use chemicals that can be harmful when not used properly, which is why wearing protective gear such as masks, gloves, and glasses are necessary.

Method #1: Pruning the tree

Pruning, or the act of trimming the branches of the tree for maintenance purposes, can be a method to stop the tree from bearing fruit. This technique can also be done by handpicking the buds that have already formed around your tree, however, this method can be very time-consuming and will not be possible if you have many trees that you want to stop from growing fruit.





If you opt to do this technique, make sure that the tools you are using, such as your pruning shears, are properly sterilized. Using a dirty tool can infect your tree and cause it to be weak, making it more prone to diseases and pest infestations. You can also use a pressure sprayer to remove the buds from the tree faster.

Method #2: Spraying the tree with fertilizer

Spraying the tree with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer formula is another way of inhibiting fruit growth, although it will need careful application as it can be a hit or miss. The reason why nitrogen fertilizers can be done to halt fruit production is that it encourages the growth of a tree’s foliage. In the case where too much nitrogen fertilizer is applied to a tree, it will promote excessive foliage growth, making the tree focus most of its energy on its foliage. When this is the case, the tree will not be able to produce any buds, or will only be able to produce a few.

You can do this method, however, it can be expensive to buy high amounts of nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Also, it can be a pain to prune and sweep the leaves of your tree after the process is done and the fertilizer has made your tree grow thick foliage. It is also possible for your tree to be weaker in the winter due to the energy lost in cultivating the foliage.

Method #3: Spraying the tree with hormones

One of the best possible methods in stopping a tree from producing fruit is by spraying the tree with a hormone. This method is also the number one choice of arborists as it is the most effective in halting fruit production with little stress and damage to a tree.

The method of spraying a tree with hormone is often called the act of “sterilizing” it. Although this can sound a bit horrible, there is lesser damage to the tree when this method is done, and this will not mean that it will be impossible for the tree to grow its fruits once the owner wants it to.

When a tree is sterilized, the tree will stop some processes in its growth, which affects the production of auxin, the hormone that is responsible for its growth. If the auxin is interrupted, the tree will not be able to recognize the signal to reproduce, which will result in the halting of the budding process. No buds = no fruits.

To spray a tree with hormone, the formula must be followed and is usually mixed with water. Make sure that you are wearing your protective gear and that you are not inhaling the chemicals directly. Although many arborists say spraying trees with hormones are less damaging, it is still possible for a tree to be damaged and weaker due to improper spraying or an incorrect formula.

Is getting the help of an expert necessary?

There are many people who think that tree experts only assist with the propagation and cultivation of trees, which is why it may be weird to call one to ask for help in stopping a tree’s fruit production. However, tree experts or arborists can assist you in anything related to trees, and contacting one to assess which method would be best for your tree will be the wisest decision you can make.





This is because stopping the trees from producing fruit is not a natural process, and if you want to make sure that the production will be stopped while your tree will remain healthy, an expert will be there to get the job done properly. Applying too much or too little fertilizer and hormone and pruning trees incorrectly, are the many mistakes owners with less knowledge about trees can easily do. This can, unfortunately, be ineffective to stop the fruit production, or may at times, kill the tree due to extreme stress or injury.

Arborists can do the inspection of your tree and make the formula that will be the least harmful for your tree and will still stop the tree from producing the fruit.

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