KC Gardens

Cottonwood trees seeding in spring


Is there any way to keep Cottonwood Trees from seeding in the spring? Our yard is surrounded by old Cottonwood Trees and when the seed pods burst open, their seed is in everything and makes a mess. - Marilyn -


  1. 1 year ago

    A product called Florel is sold in many stores as a fruit eliminator. The active ingredient is ethephon, a chemical that releases ethylene, which causes fruit to drop before it sets. According to the label, a foliar application of Florel will reduce or eliminate undesirable fruit development on many ornamental trees and shrubs such as apple, cottonwood, crabapple, elm, flowering pear, horse chestnut, maple, oak, pine, sweetgum and sycamore. But how well it works and potential damaging effects depend on the dose and temperature. Activity slows if the temperature is below 60 or above 90 degrees F. Because Florel degrades quickly in water, applications should be completed within four hours of mixing. Timing of the application must coincide with full bloom, a stage that requires close observation with many of our trees. Researchers at K- State have gotten mixed results using Florel on treated crabapples. With some varieties, fruit was substantially thinned. Others showed no effect. K-State cannot make recommendations on the use of Florel without research on other tree species. Kala Extension Master Gardener

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