reproductive sterilization of plants?

Ross Koning koning at ECSUC.CTSTATEU.EDU
Thu Sep 11 16:09:27 EST 1997

At 11:48 PM -0400 9/10/97, Kellie_Bonnici wrote:
>In article <3416EE5C.2CA8 at>, JOHN FERGUSON <ferg at>
>>Try picking off the flowers before they ripen.
>>JF :)
>I'm hoping that your little "smiley face :) " indicates you were joking! I'=
>looking to do this on much to large a scale to even *think* about such an

I am a plant physiologist, and know of no way to
chemically sterilize a plant even for one season
let alone for its life.  I would be thrilled to
sterilize a particular oak tree that lives over
my house...pelting us with acorns that won't rake
up, etc.  I'd rather its energy were put into more
leaves and better defense of its branches to disease.

Unfortunately there is no way I know of to do this.
I'd bet there were million$ to be made if such DID

Some species can be influenced to make all male flowers
though (usually with a Gibberellic acid spray) and this
can eliminate fruiting...again in some species.  But
the MALE flowers still exist and can pollinate other
female plants in the area.  For woody plants such as
those you mentioned a GA spray could destroy their normal I don't think I would try it on any plants in
my home landscape.

I'm sure that John meant the smiley just the way you
took it.  It was tongue-in-cheek humor. To actually
try to do that would more likely give this smiley   :-P
(tongue hanging out---phew!).

Anyway I'm sorry there is no easy answer to your question
that I know about.


Ross Koning                 | koning at
Biology Department          |
Eastern CT State University | phone: 860-465-5327
Willimantic, CT 06226 USA   | fax: 860-465-4479

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