Pruning apricot trees will not only make them look better but will bring about new growth. It will also make the trees produce a good number of apricots every year.
Trimming your trees regularly by removing the unwanted branches and shortening the ones remaining can make the tree produce good fruits.
Part 1 of 5
Preparing to Prune
1. Wait until late summer before you prune your apricot trees
Many trees are dormant during winter, and they are best pruned at those times, but the apricot trees are very vulnerable to diseases. When you prone an apricot tree during summer, it will be able to heal quickly and seal up the openings on it. This will prevent it from getting infected by diseases.
- Once you harvest your fruits from the apricot tree, you should start pruning them. At this time, the tree will be at its growth stage and can easily heal up
- When you trim your trees in late summer, they will be able to produce more apricot before the next year.
2. Acquire sharp pruning shears, and a pruning saw
The type of shear that is best for pruning is one that is sturdy, can clip through small branches, and is not sturdy. You will need a pruning saw to cut the bigger branches of the tree. The saw should have a curved blade, and it should be wide. You can sharpen your old tools at a hardware store.
- If you are not tall enough to reach the top of the tree, you can get a ladder. The folding and leaning type of ladder is not good for pruning purposes. This is because they are not stable on the ground and might likely fall. I will advise that you use the orchard type of ladder, this is good for pruning, and it is sturdy and balances well.
3. Sterilize your tools in a 10% bleach solution or rubbing alcohol
You have to sterilize your tools to make sure they don’t transmit diseases to your tree. Place the tools in bleach solution or add alcohol. If you are pruning more than a tree after each tree sterilizes your tools.
Part 2 of 5
Removing Unhealthy or Unnecessary Branches
1. Cut away dead, diseased, or damaged branches
The diseased branches can cause a decline in the growth of the tree. They can also spread the disease to other parts of the tree.
- Remove branches that have hard sap. Also, remove the gummy ones; it is one of the symptoms of disease or rot.
2. Remove small sprout growing from trunk or branches
Remove the small sprout; they won’t produce new apricot and might hinder the ones bearing fruit. Cut the sprout at their base very close to the trunk.
- Suckers are the small sprout that grows from the base of the trunk; you can find them very close to the ground
- Waterspout: they grow from the main branches of the tree. They don’t produce fruit, and they also hinder the flowers from getting sunlight.
3. Cut off branches that grow straight down or towards the middle of the tree
These branches can serve as an obstruction for the good one; they need to be cut away. Leave the branches growing upward and outward.
4. Remove branches that are competing with each other
In a case where you have two branches that are competing with each other, keep the healthy one, and cut off the other.
Part 3 of 5
Thinning Out the Branches
1. Choose a few healthy scaffolds that you want to keep
If you want to increase the growth of a tree greatly, only keep the branches that are 18 to 36 inches away from the ground. They will be the fruit-producing branch.
- Branches that are growing outward are better than those that are growing upward. Upward growing branches are prone to breaking off when they start bearing fruit
- To balance the structure of the tree, make sure the branches are evenly spaced
- Use something to label or tag the branches you have decided to keep. It will make known the one you are keeping.
2. Cut most of the remaining branches at the collar
Use the shear to cut new branches; also, use the big saw to cut big branches.
- At the collar of the tree, this is where the branch joins with the body, cut the branch at that junction.
3. Prune branches located within 8-10 inches of your scaffold branches
A tree ought to have many spaces around it; this will allow for adequate air circulation. It also allows the sunlight to reach the plant apricot branches that are in the lower part.
- The thin branches at the top of the tree can be left to cluster together, but the thick branches at the lower part should be spaced.
Part 4 of 5
Shortening Remaining Branches
1. Leave your scaffolding branches intact
Ensure that you leave the primary branches of your tree uncut; they will produce maximum yield during the next season. It also ensures that the scaffolds are of the same size; if one is larger than the other, trim it to the same size as the other.
2. Shorten all other branches 20%-30%
This depends on the growth rate of the tree and how much it grew in the last season. You can trim the tree from 2 inches to 4 feet.
3. Shorten the height of the tree so that you can reach every branch
You will enjoy having your apricot tree if you can access all the branches easily; you will also be able to pick the fruits easily. New growth happens at the top of the tree year in year out, so you will have to shorten it.
Part 5 of 5
Maintaining Your Tree Throughout the Growing Season
1. Remove small sprout a couple of times during summer
Cutting all the small branches that grow during summer will ensure that all the branches get sunlight.
2. Cut off any new branches growing towards the trunk or other branches
Cutting off the new branches early will help your tree grow the normal way, and it will also reduce the number of branches you will cut later.
3. Prune away damaged branches immediately
If there is a branch that falls off because of wind or too much fruit, remove such immediately. Make sure the branch is cut off properly so that the tree can heal faster.
4. Prune fruit-bearing branches in early summer
This will help your apricot from overproduction; it also improves the production of the tree.
Here are some steps you can use to prune your apricot. If you follow these steps, you will be able to increase the yield of your tree.
Thank you so much for reading this article. If you have any questions or something you want to share, please leave your comment below, and I’ll be happy to write back to you.