Although some people would say that the point of having a fruit tree is so that it will bear fruit, anyone who has ever had to deal with an ornamental crabapple or Bradford pear tree that bears fruit would disagree. Fruit such as this is either inedible or unappetizing. Once the fruit falls to the ground, it can rot and attract bugs, birds and even bears. One solution is to prevent fruit from flowering, so that fruit cannot develop on the tree.
Prune your trees after the trees begin to bud. Many trees set buds on the previous year’s growth. Pruning the tree after it has begun to bud will remove the buds and force the tree to put energy into producing new growth rather than budding.
Pick the buds off your tree by hand to eliminate the flowers from the tree and prevent them from producing fruit. If hand-picking buds is too time-consuming, spray the tree with a high-pressure sprayer to knock blossoms from the tree.
Fertilize a tree with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Fertilizers that are rich in nitrogen encourage plants to put energy into foliage production at the expense of producing blossoms.
Pull on protective clothing, gloves and a breathing mask before using chemicals.
Treat trees with a growth regulating hormone that contains ethephon to prevent trees from producing buds.
Spray trees with the pesticide Sevin after the blossoms have faded on a fruit tree. Sevin is a powerful pesticide that can cause fruit to wither on a tree before it can begin to grow.