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Pruning Apricot

    51 responses

Terry starts with ...
Hi, I have an Apricot tree that is about 6 years old and has that many branches that it resembles an Echidna.
How do I prune it ? and how hard/often ? It has only produced about 10 fruit in the 6 yrs !

Thanks
Terry
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Duey
Geraldton WA
1st July 2007 11:35am
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Bud says...
Apricot trees are traditionally pruned into a vase shape. Cut the center out of your tree and prune it back to the height that you desire. Now is the time while it is deciduous.
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RodDaley1
The Sticks
3rd July 2007 7:26am
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Steve says...
Terry, an annual prune in late autumn is probably best - winter pruning can result in more disease problems. Decide on the shape you want and decide which main branches you want as the framework for the tree (so it looks good). Allow for plenty of light penetration and air circulation. The fruit are set on all the little twiggy bits (spurs, sprigs and twigs) so don't prune them off unless there are too many. Most apricots also fruit on fresh growth from the previous year. Thin fruit thin in spring at approx 1.5 cm size so that fruit aren't touching each other. You might have to remove 80% or more of the fruit. Pictures of a vase pruned trio (3 varieties in the same hole) and some nice ripening well-thinned Divinity fruit are included.
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Picture: 2
 
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Steve5
Armidale
6th July 2007 7:12pm
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Caroline says...
not sure if you can see the brown spotting and amber like liquid, but my apricot has this and some of the apricots are bad, have been picking and distroying them - but what is it
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Caroline2
Port Sorell Tasmania
16th December 2007 5:15pm
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Jo says...
It's the end of August, I have a lot of new growth on my Apricot tree.
How muon the inside to I cut off and how much of the outer new growth do I cut off. I know i'm a bit late in prunning. Will it harm the tree. I'm in Tasmania.
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Tasmania
29th August 2008 11:56am
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Anonymous says...
Best not to prune apricots til growth commences ....fewer fungal infections of wounds. Prune for a purpose 1) to let light into the centre of the tree 2)to limit the number of fruits and to allow each fruit to be bigger. Afraid you will need to post a pic to get a better idea.
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sydney
29th August 2008 5:49pm
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John says...
Prune all those wispy branches back by 1/3 when the leaves go yellow in autumn.
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John20
Perth
27th October 2008 3:38pm
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Julie says...
Caroline, I see no-one answered your question from December last year.

I would say it is definitely shot hole. This can be prevented by spraying with copper oxychloride in early spring, before the flowers open. Too late now, I guess.
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Julie
Roleystone
28th October 2008 8:21pm
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Bronte says...

I believe it is appropriate to spray copper oxychloride at leaf fall also.

I used to prune apricots in winter and got some nasty fungal infections that nearly wiped out the trees. I now clip and nip after the fruit is finished in summer - I'm told because of the good sap flow, the tree can heal more easily. Never-the-less I still get conflicting advice. I love apricot trees but their maintenance is worrying, to say the least.



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Bronte
Mudgee
30th December 2008 11:11am
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Rick says...
I have a 5 year old tree that produces lots of new fruit after the budding season about the size of a nickel. Then, when summer begins the unripened fruit begins to fall off until there's no fruit by the middle of July. Only the third year did it bear mature fruit which was so sweet and delicious because they were tree ripened. Why does it loose it's unripened fruit that may be the size of your index finger and thumb held together? Also some unripened fruit, as it's drying and shrinking, oozes amber liquid as Caroline mentioned above.
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Rick4
Lebanon, Pennsylvania
20th June 2009 12:43am
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JohnT says...
Rick, It's called gummosis,and can be treated by a single application of 0.025 per cent benomyl to apricot trees immediately after pruning.
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JohnT
Australia
6th August 2009 11:47pm
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Ruth says...
Can anybody advise me on pruning to avoid fruit? We have a beautiful old apricot tree in our yard and the previous owners were pruning hard every year so as to avoid having fruit & thus the need to deal with fruit fly. The end of the branches are now becoming very knarled and knobbly- should we be sawing these off? We love our tree: it provides us with wonderful summer shade, and my young toddler is excitedly beginning to venture up into the thick lower branches so we don't want to risk doing anything that might do it any harm!
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Ruth6
Wagga, NSW
14th August 2009 9:37am
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Merilyn says...
My husband wants me to grow an apricot tree, as apricots were planted along the Great Wall of China and sustained the builders as they kept building the Wall. Now I have grown Tropical Apples, Tropical Pears, Tropical Peaches here in Townsville and I like experimenting to see just what can be grown in our dry tropics. However, is there such a thing as a Tropical Apricot or is it possible for me to grow an apricot up here. I know it is not normally a tree of the tropics, to say the least. Also who sells them? I haven't seen them at Bunnings.
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Merilyn
Townsville
12th January 2011 10:04pm
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amanda says...
Hmnn...I don't fancy your chances in Townsville Merilyn. Others will know better - but they are not grown North of my area here in Mid West WA - which is far less humid.
Stranger things have happened tho' :)


and ps - who is that dude in the 70's gear standing next to that tree!?
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amanda19
Geraldton Mid West WA
12th January 2011 10:13pm
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Original Post was last edited: 12th January 2011 10:26pm
Merilyn says...
Thanks for your answer Amanda. I thought as it was an old line, that no one may answer.

Mid west WA is more further north than I thought possible. I have read where people have grown apricot trees from seed. I know that growing from seed is not usually the best way to go, and grafted is better, but anyway is worth a try. I have read where apricots are tricky to grow at the best of times.

That person is very well dressed to be sporting a whipper snipper, although the jeans verify the work was done!
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Merilyn
Townsville
18th January 2011 12:41am
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amanda says...
Hey Merilyn.... you can but try, at the end of the day. I suspect fungal infections and pollination may be your challenges though. We are not futher north than Brisbane though - and in a semi-arid zone (which is better suited to apricots....)

He he - you can't actually see how filthy I was in that pic.... I am not sure which is worse - whipper snippering green stuff that coats you with sloppy gunk - or dry stuff that is like little missiles that bruise me thru' my overalls...I only do that job when I am grumpy...

Yea kert - I was actually thinking of u that day! :)))
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amanda19
Geraldton Mid West WA
18th January 2011 1:12am
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. says...
There seem to be another (older?) parallel thread discussing the same topic in
https://www.daleysfruit.com.au/forum/apricot-tree-pruning/?PHPSESSID=6779dd87e2d4e715405bca862d7ae526

I tried to merge that thread with this one but somehow I could not transfer the pictures in that thread over here.
So, I am going to keep that thread, and hope to divert people to forum in this thread to keep the discussions in 1 place.
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31st August 2011 2:37am
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Victor G says...
Hello
I have/had a wonderful apricot tree. Its fruit is so large and so sweet that I would hate to lose it completeley.
The tree is very old, I guess at its age of over 50 years, my problem is last year i got a couple of bee hives, and the busy little bees must have pollenated every single flower on it, which was wonderfull, untill the end when all the fruit had grown (each apricot is larger than a tennis ball.) and the combine weight split the tree in two, flat to the ground.. alas I figured it was the end of such a magnificent tree,(It was larger than my two storey home.) So I decided it had to go.. I started to prune and remove it, Being so large a tree, a naturally labourious time consuming adventure for one such as my self. Now 6 months later i have discovered that some of the branches that i left on the ground have started to flower. CAN I SAVE THESE SOMEHOW AND PLANT THEM AS I WOULD LOVE THIS TREE BACK. As i said it has the largest fruit I and many i know have ever seen and so sweet..
Please can you advise me on how to plant these branches or are they alredy to far gone. What can I do..
VG
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Victor G
East Coast Tasmnia
31st August 2011 4:04pm
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Jimmy says...
Offer the budwood to www.woodbridgefruitrees.com.au they find many old fashioned fruit in Tasmania and sell the progeny thereof.
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31st August 2011 5:20pm
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Jason says...
Victor did you remove the tree completely or left the stump in the ground?. If you've removed the whole thing you might MIGHT be able to graft some of the wood you have on the ground now to a another tree.

If the fruit is as special as you say I would give sticking the wood onto some of my trees with the idea of returning a tree to you as soon as I'm able to get one onto a fresh young tree. If you want to do that, take some cuttings from the branches you have on the ground, in say 20cm lengths from the tips of the last years grow and wrap them in damp paper and put them in the fridge.

Also contact those guys Jimmy talked about, maybe they are nearby to you and will come and get the wood
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Jason
Portland
31st August 2011 9:24pm
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Shaun says...
I planted this Newcastle Apricot in the pot about 2 Winters ago.
The growth was rather slow in the first Spring, and it got badly burnt by the 40 deg Celcius sun during its first Christmas Day at my back yard.
I thought it had died because it did not put out any new leaf growth during that Summer, and most branches dried out, but I left it in the pot as I was too busy then.
After the 2nd Winter, the tree sprung back to life and started to flower. It set about 6 fruits, but most dropped off before they ripen.
Only 1 fruit survived and ripen, and I have enclosed the photo here.
It was a very tasty apricot indeed, and was very much cherished.

The tree now has got new buds growing.
Have I got to prune the tree this Spring (Sep 2011) to encourage new growth?

Picture 1: The Newcastle Apricot tree in a brown pot - it sprung back to life after the 2nd Winter. You can see a sole fruit hanging on its branch (Jan 2011).

Picture 2: A close-up shot of the sole Apricot fruit that ripened (Jan 2010).
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Picture: 2
 
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WA / Perth
2nd September 2011 6:13am
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Julie says...
Shaun, you are very lucky to have found a Newcastle. They are the best, but not really grown any more. They make wonderful jam. The fruit is not as large as other varieties, so has less commercial appeal.

Where did you buy it? My ancient tree may not last much longer.
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Julie
Roleystone WA
2nd September 2011 8:21pm
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Original Post was last edited: 2nd September 2011 8:23pm
Victor G says...
Hello again,
Cheers Thanks for the heads up, I will contact woodbridge fruit tress and see what they say... I have left the left side, half, of the tree (heavily pruned but still growing and the right side is more or less a stump, poor girl, looks terrible, split vertically down the middle, all the centre exposed...I did not think she would survive this long... and the prunnings on the ground now flowering are over six months old, seriously large sawn off limbs, i thought were long dead, So thats great i can save her, by grafting some of these prunnings onto another tree.
Fantastic such good news,
Many Thanks Guys Much Appreciated.
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Victor G
East Coast Tasmnia
5th September 2011 8:39pm
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Victor G says...
PS Shaun your welcome to some cuttings, How do i send them, ???
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Victor G
East Coast Tasmnia
5th September 2011 8:52pm
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Liz says...
Hey Merilyn the peachcot ora A is probably the closest to an apricot you will be able to grow in Townsville.
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Juneli
 
9th September 2011 7:08am
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Merilyn says...
Hi Liz,

Many thanks for the name of the apricot relative that I might be able to grow in Townsville. I have had my husband read your response. Which nursery do you think would sell these peachcots? I have grown tropical apple, tropical peach, tropical pear, though not as well as I could have, since I didn't keep up enough water in the dry season.

At the water treatment plant at Douglas, an employee must have been keen on fruit trees, as there are/were (when I visited there 10 yrs ago) more than a dozen mature fruit trees in the grounds of the plant. I recently met someone else in Oak Valley who has a family member who is retired and they have lots of mature fruit trees eg almonds, fruiting coffee etc. Shows that if you tend gently, attentively and keep up the water, it is amazing what you can grow even when the environmental circumstances are not that conducive to growing plants out of their usual range.
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Merilyn
Townsville
18th September 2011 12:15am
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Merilyn says...
Hi Amanda,

You mentioned fungal infections and pollination. I do have a lot of trouble from time to time with fungal infections - currently downy mildew is on all the bushes and weeds and is now affecting my roses. I notice black spot is coming on my roses.

What fungal infections are likely to affect apricots?

About pollination, we have all sorts of bees, European honey bees, little black native bees, huge bumble bees - black and yellow 2.5 cm long, 1.2cm wide - I have never seen these before I came to Townsville from Brisbane; and blue banded bee - a black and blue bee which has a very loud buzz. I had it identified at the DPI in Oonoonba.

I have seriously thought from time to time of buying a native bee hive, so that we aren't stung. My son is quite allergic to bees and swells considerably. My daughter, wearing a big hat went to look at our neighbour's bee hive, and the bees chased her away. That gave her quite a scare. They are intelligent creatures I have discovered. My neighbour's bees came to drink water at the leaks in our rainwater tanks. He moved and took his bee hive with him. Later I found out that the hive collapsed with the force of Cyclone Yasi (probably cat 2 in his coastal town) and the bees didn't survive. He is thinking of buying another hive.

If ever I get serious and very active about an orchard, I must look into a native bee hive. I retired in July and more time in the orchard is now higher on my list of things to do. Lack of water is the big deal in Townsville from April to December. Jan to Mar is the wet season and usually there is too much water and some trees die from waterlogging.

I thought gardening was tricky in Brisbane, but that was nothing compared to Townsville and coping with dry and wet seasons and solodic clay soils where there is no top soil. It really is an all new ball game up here. I should say a challenge, as I do have a garden.

C'est la vie. Looking forward to your reply on fungal infections and pollination limitations.
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Merilyn
Townsville
18th September 2011 12:40am
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amanda says...
Hi Merilyn...gardening can be a tough job when you live in a climate of extremes can't it! :) My apricot sometimes gets 'shothole' and rust. If you google images for these you should be able check them out. We have times of the year when we get very heavy dews - I have to watch out powdery mildew then too...

My apricot flowers (but only lightly) and never sets fruit...I have seen bees on the flowers etc - but I suspect it's just too warm here for this particular variety...apricots are not grown further north than Geraldton. There is one orchard here - but it's further inland and in a valley - so I am guessing it gets colder for them there...I don't what variety she is growing but the fruit are very small and intensely flavoured.

Townsville would be a great deal warmer over winter than here..I don't if there is such a thing as a true low chill apricot yet...

I have low chill peaches and nectarines in the same orchard and they do great...the only other thing I can think of is that the tree is just not old enough yet maybe?...(it's about 5yrs old)

It's got me beat anyway!
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amanda19
Geraldton. Mide West WA.
18th September 2011 3:07pm
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Julie says...
amanda, the small apricot you mention sounds like Newcastle early, an old variety hardly anyone grows now. It doesn't need much chill. I have one,on its last legs, but doubt I could replace it.
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Julie
Roleystone WA
18th September 2011 7:27pm
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amanda says...
Hey Julie - they have a small patch of red blush on the shoulders - very tasty! She sends the larger ones to perth - and they are very early as they are some of the first on the market - and very expensive! :(

(I know they grow the earliest peaches and nectarines in Carnarvon - but not apricot)
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amanda19
Geraldton. Mide West WA.
19th September 2011 9:20am
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Original Post was last edited: 19th September 2011 9:21am
Julie says...
Yep, that sounds like it amanda. Absolutely the best apricot for jam, apart fom eating fresh. Has a real, old-fashioned apricot flavour you don't find any more.

Used to be ready around November, but the seasons seems to get later and later.
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Julie
Roleystone WA
19th September 2011 4:37pm
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Jason says...
Newcastle early makes very large fruit here at least. Apart from a couple of freak seedlings I've tasted around the place it's the best flavoured Apricot I've tried
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Jason
Portland
19th September 2011 7:07pm
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amanda says...
It's really sad how awful the new apricots taste isn't it.. :( Seems they are going the way of commercial tomatoes. There will be a whole generation of kids raised who won't know that food used to actually taste good.
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amanda19
Geraldton. Mide West WA.
20th September 2011 9:28am
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Jason says...
Well the couple of main commercial varieties Trevatt and Glengarry are pretty old but they are almost invincible to bruising. The only problem is they taste fairly junk compared to some other varieties. The gene for good taste in fruit seems to never occur along with the gene for flesh hardness :p
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Jason
Portland
20th September 2011 10:06am
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BJ says...
Amanda, what type of apricot do you have? I've been trying to get my father to try the Glengarry in the west of Brisbane. I've heard it's around 400 chill hours, which I'd imagine he'd get out there - its much colder than the northern suburbs where I am.
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Theposterformerlyknownas
Brisbane
20th September 2011 10:18am
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amanda says...
Mine is a Glengarry BJ....
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amanda19
Geraldton. Mide West WA.
20th September 2011 11:45am
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Julie says...
amanda says...
'It's really sad how awful the new apricots taste isn't it.. :( Seems they are going the way of commercial tomatoes. There will be a whole generation of kids raised who won't know that food used to actually taste good.'

Jamie Oliver said the same thing. Seems kids don't like strawberries, because they have only ever tasted the horrible, hard, tasteless shop-bought fruit. Yea, it is sad.
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Julie
Roleystone WA
20th September 2011 7:44pm
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Liz says...
Hi Merilyn,

Daley's are selling the Peachcot Ora A that is where I got mine from. I live just north of Mackay and got some blossoms on my very small tree { around knee high) this Spring but they were removed to allow the tree to grow. It certainly is a vigorous grower and can't wait to taste the fruit.

Like you I try to experiment with temperate fruit here. Have a few Japanese plums growing. Was surprised to find Satsuma plum tree with around 12 blossoms ready to bloom in the next couple of days this morning. Got one plum off Mariposa tree last season and it was worth the trouble of tending to the tree. My most successful plum is the Gulf Gold, should get loads of fruit this season as it is heavy with blossom. Strangely all of these trees survived all the excessive rain we endured last spring and summer.
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Juneli
 
21st September 2011 11:42am
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moving garden says...
Hi First time I have entered a blog site. I posted some information about an old apricot tree about a fortnight ago,that is in our back yard. I guess these are some of the replies. Would anyone know what type of apricot it is likely to be? Say over 50 years old. I am cutting out the large dead wood branches now and even cutting back some of the height. I don"t think this tree has been pruned for many many years and we thought it was dead until spring blossoms appeared.I am going to weed around the bottom and give the tree some fertilizer.
Am I doing the right thing?
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Sydney
13th November 2011 3:25pm
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Julie says...
moving garden, you posted in 'Old Apricot Tree', not this thread. There are a couple of replies.

Go down to the bottom of the page and go back through the titles till you see 'old apricot tree'.
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Julie
Roleystone WA
13th November 2011 7:48pm
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peter says...
I planted about 5 years ago an Apricot tree,evrey year it blossomes but no fruit. There are 2 of them. But that one has fruit. They have same water. I fertilize it every year about 3 times. Please tell me what i should do. Thank you.
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peter43
Los Angeles
21st November 2011 1:24pm
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People who Like this Question bobmunro2
alan says...
Some apriciots neeed X-fertilization . Check if yours do.
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Brisbane
23rd November 2011 10:45am
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Julie W says...
My apricot and peach didn't get pruned this year (long story) and now they have just started blossoming.

I know it is too late, but does anyone know how it affects the tree if you prune this late? What actually happens?
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Julie
Roleystone WA
8th September 2014 10:53am
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BenW says...
It's too late for heavy pruning (large diameter branches) but not at all for smaller branches...

Stone fruit should mainly be summer pruned - heavy winter pruning means you didn't do it right over spring - summer - early autumn.

If you've waited this long, I'd wait till you see the fruit set and can thin / prune in one go.

You can summer prune again after fruit is harvested and in early Autumn (no later or new growth won't harden of before winter). Growth in bad directions can be pruned off any time in that window. You can also change the growth in a branch by tying it more or less upright to influence sap flow (be careful not to go too far or stone fruit branches can snap)

That way, there shouldn't be much to prune in winter at all. And less vigorous growth, more fruiting wood and no big cuts to promote disease.

Of you can be like the bloke at my work that brutalizes his apricot every winter, which responds with vigorous water shoots and no fruit ;)
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BenW
Kinglake West,3757,VIC
8th September 2014 2:33pm
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srt says...
The party line is "Don't prune apricot in winter at all as apricot is prone to fungal infections and, in winter, healing is delayed.
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srt
giraween
8th September 2014 3:54pm
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Julie W says...
Thanks guys, I think I'll leave it till it has set fruit. Though if the weather continues as it is now - cold, windy and wet - there may not be any.

I have had a couple of years with no fruit when we have had a cold, wet spring. Maybe lack of bees?



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Julie
Roleystone WA
8th September 2014 7:34pm
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BenW says...
My area was pretty badly burned out a few years ago and there were no bees at all for a while. Hand pollinating 20 peach trees with a paint brush is not fun...
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BenW
Kinglake West,3757,VIC
9th September 2014 1:03am
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Julie W says...
Crikey, you're keen Ben! So you knew ahead of time they wouldn't get pollinated?

I had no idea what was happening till it was fruit time and no fruit. Then I assumed it was the weather. As it has happened a couple of times I think I'm right.

It seems to depend on the variety, as another, later apricot copes OK and produces lots of fruit.
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Julie
Roleystone WA
9th September 2014 10:48am
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VF says...
Hmm, is winter pruning a no-no in all areas? I have a Cot-n-candy Aprium, but I'm not sure if autumn pruning is best as it's generally rainy and warm here, and I would guess it may be prone to fungal infections if I pruned in those conditions? (I'm in cool subtropical area.)
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VF
Wongawallan
9th September 2014 10:29pm
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Jo/nikki says...
I grew this apricot from seed 4 years ago , this year there has been a lot of new growth. How dshould i prune it , and what are my chances of it bearing fruit?
The seed came from an old tree ,at least 20 years old . Please and thankyou .
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Jo/nikki
Bunbury wa
12th April 2018 1:39pm
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Fruitylicious1 says...
Hi Jo/nikki

Normally apricot trees are pruned during late winter or early spring when they start to grow to avoid fungal diseases and to allow faster healing of the cut wounds.

Aim for a vase shape tree structure with 3-5 well spaced outward growing branches. Prune inward and middle upright growing boughs to keep the center open for better sunlight penetration and air circulation.

Seedling grown apricot trees are known to fruit between 3-5 years. Of course there is always an exception to the rule either earlier or later than the usual norm.

I have uploaded a well balanced pruned apricot tree for your perusal.

Happy gardening :-)

Pictures - Click to enlarge

Picture: 1
  
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Fruitylicious1
TAMWORTH,2340,NSW
14th April 2018 2:03pm
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Original Post was last edited: 15th April 2018 7:53pm
David01 says...
Hi Jo/nikki,

It depends on how big your Apricot tree. But you should have small crop next year. Most seedling stone fruit trees start about 4 years old while grafted 2-3 years old. There are 2 ways of pruning the Apricot (or stone fruits).
1. Prune in June. See attached link for details.
2. Prune in summer. This technique to control the size of the Apricot tree when it grows too large and does not apply to your case at the moment. Cheers

http://www.handpruning.com/pruning-apricot-trees.html
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David01
CRAIGIEBURN,3064,VIC
14th April 2018 2:14pm
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