Answer: There are certain sprays that will inhibit fruit production; however, these are regulated, toxic chemicals restricted for home use and available only to licensed commercial growers. One suggestion is to simply shake the tree at around the time the petals are falling, and perhaps again a week or two later. This will cause a good number of the flowers and developing fruits to drop, and at this stage they are tiny and easily raked up. Note that a healthy, vigorous tree will actually produce less fruit that a stressed one, so keep tree well watered and fertilized. Do you have any neighbors, or a local food shelf, that could use the fruit? Perhaps you could spread the word and a neighbor could come by to gather the fruit. You might even get a jar or two of peach jam or apple jelly to boot!
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