How to Stop Crab Apple Trees From Growing Their Fruit

Chemical sprays can prevent fruit from growing on a crab apple tree.
Chemical sprays can prevent fruit from growing on a crab apple tree. (Image: crabapples image by catbird338 from

The key to stopping the Crap Apple Tree from growing its fruit is to stop the fruit at just the right time and apply a chemical to the tree that disrupts the fruit-growth process. The timing of the application is critical to the success of the product. You must spray your tree when the flowers are in mid to full bloom. Different tree sprays are available on the market, which include hormone disrupters and insecticides. The hormone disrupting chemicals break down into ethylene, which is a plant hormone. This is the stress hormone, which will prevent the tree from producing fruit. It is important that you do not use these chemicals on trees that are already stressed, such as those that are diseased or living in drought conditions. Further stress to the tree can permanently damage the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Fruit-eliminating chemical
  • Spray applicator

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Wait until environmental and tree conditions are perfect for spraying your tree. Daytime temperatures should be between 60 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit, and your tree should be in mid to full bloom.

Prepare your foliar spray by mixing the desired amount with water by following the directions on the package.

Spray your tree using a spray applicator and thoroughly covering the tree in the chemical mixture; however, do not overspray causing run-off. Too much product can damage the tree, but too little product will not prevent the tree from bearing fruit.


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