How to Sterilize an Apricot Tree


A quality apricot cultivar produces delicious fruit that can be used in any number of ways. But not every apricot produces good or even edible apricots. And when trees produce an abundance of inedible fruit every season, it can be a nuisance. The fruit falls uneaten onto the ground where it attracts insects, vermin and other pests. In this case, the best course of action is to sterilize the tree annually to stop it from producing the unwanted fruit in the first place.

Step 1

Fertilize your apricot tree before it ends its dormant stage--in late winter or the beginning of spring. By giving your apricot tree a dose of a 20-0-0 fertilizer, you will cause it to grow rapidly and produce foliage at the expense of new buds. To encourage this type of growth further, apply the 20-0-0 fertilizer again in mid-spring. Apply the manufacturer recommended dose and then water the tree deeply. And to prevent nitrogen buildup in the soil, do not give the tree nitrogen at any other time of year.

Step 2

Prune your apricot tree's flower buds as soon as they emerge in spring. Use loppers or shears to remove just the bud. Removing too much of the tree's foliage may send it into shock.

Step 3

Apply Florel or any other plant growth regulator (according to the manufacturer's instructions) to any missed buds that bloom into flowers. If applied when the flowers first open, it will cause them to drop off the tree before they can fruit.

Step 4

Pinch off any remaining flowers or fruit buds with your shears or loppers if they have managed to escape your efforts in step 1 through 3.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Pruning loppers
  • Growth regulator
  • 20-0-0 fertilizer


  • Gardening Tips and Ideas: How to Stop a Tree Fruiting
  • Iowa State University: Prevention of Undesirable Fruit
  • Univeristy of Massachusettes: Thinning Apples Chemically
Keywords: sterilize apricot tree, sterilize fruit tree, stop fruit tree

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.