The Q&A Archives: Fewer Flowers And Crabapples

Question: Is there any way to make a crab apple tree have fewer flowers, thereby producing fewer apples? We have a crab apple tree in our very small front yard which the builders planted. When the apples fall, they splatter and make a very slippery and smelly mess every fall/winter and also kill the grass. Other than cutting back the tree, which we've done and it only makes the tree produce more branches and flowers, or cutting it down, do you have any suggestions? It is about 30 feet high. Someone else once suggested spraying the flowers in the spring to kill the bees so they would not polinate. This is something I would never do because I like bees and think they are important. Is there another way to keep them from polinating?

Answer: Jerry Baker's catalog has a product that is helpful, it is called "Fruit Eliminator". It has a chemical that when applied to plants it places them under stress, they produce ethylene gas, and drop blossom. Thus, no fruit. You can order the catalog through 1-800-888-0010

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