Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:46 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Can I stunt my apple tree production?

I realize this is quite the opposite of what most people are asking for on this forum, but I can't take another summer of cleaning up rotten apples.

I inherited a large apple tree, not sure what kind, when we purchased our house. The flowers in the spring are great, but the rest is a horror. Since we live in a suburb of chicago we cannot spray the tree, thus the birds, squirrels, bugs, etc.. get to the apple before we can use them.

Every day we have at least 10 or more apples fall and they kill our grass from their high acidity level etc. So every single weekend we spend at least an hour or more cleaning up rotting apples.

I would like to keep the tree alive, but is there anyway to make it fruit bearing dormant all year round??

Thanks for your advice.

User avatar
Green Thumb
Posts: 511
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:38 am
Location: Mass

I know nothing about apple trees. I'm sure someone who does will come along.
But as a gardener I was thinking, can you cut off the apples before they get large and fall off? Or the buds before they grow into apples?
This will be work and you won't get them all, but it might cut down on some of the mess.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1014
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:14 am
Location: SUSSEX

Hi Cynth,

Re your apple tree.
Why don't you prune your tree down to a more manageble size?
It will take a couple of seasons to get it down to a sensible level but will be well worth the effort.
Year one remove the top third of your tree and clear out the large centre branches from the beastie.
Don't use secateurs....only the saw. It may look harsh but it will do the job.
You should then start to see good new growth coming in the space opened up and on year two you can bring her down to a level that can be worked easily.
Many of our old Bramley and Blenhiem trees that are over 80 years old have been reduced to a third of their original size and are now workable critters without the use of massive ladders.

There are methods of de-blossoming fruit trees but they do involve the use of sprays I'm afraid.


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