My 30 year old, 20 foot tall outdoor Ficus drops fruit or seeds (pea size tan nut-like balls) in the summer.

Is there any way to stop the production of these messy balls?


Not really, the little balls are unfertilized fruit. From here:

The fig fruit is an enclosed inflorescence, sometimes referred to as a syconium, an urn-like structure lined on the inside with the fig's tiny flowers. The unique fig pollination system, involving tiny, highly specific wasps, known as fig wasps that enter via ostiole these sub-closed inflorescences to both pollinate and lay their own eggs

Regardless of whether those tiny wasps live near your tree you will get the little fruit.

That being said, if you have money, patience and are willing to hire someone you can get a quote on applying a fruit thinning product like Ethephon which is commonly packaged as Florel.

If you can find someone who:

  • is licensed to apply it
  • knows when to use it (two applications may be necessary as the fruit is setting)
  • the equipment to spray a twenty foot tall tree

then you might be able to reduce the fruit production to minimal levels.


Inject Atrimmec into the tree before it starts to bloom in Summer.

  • 2
    Please explain what this will do and how it will help. – Niall C. Apr 12 '17 at 18:27

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