In colder areas consider growing under cover in a cold greenhouse either fan trained in the glasshouse border or grown in containers. As fruit will only form on year old wood, your tree will not need pruning at all in its first year, except to remove dead or damaged branches. When to prune. If you wish to espalier a fruit tree, choose a cultivar grafted to a dwarf rootstock. SoU = season of use‘Alfred’: Orange to pink flushed skin. Trees may respond to larger pruning cuts by sending up a mass of new shoots. Never prune an apricot in the autumn or winter months. When to Prune Apricot Trees Prune apricot trees in late winter or early spring as the new leaves and flowers begin to open. When pruning apricot trees, make sure to remove any damaged and diseased branches, as well as those that give no fruit. Although decay is a normal process in terms of a trees life cycle, advancing this process by incorrect pruning can have serious consequences by compromising the health and structural integrity of the tree. Spotted wing drosophila is becoming an increasing problem on a wide range of fruit, including stone fruit such as apricots. A video that shows how to Prune Apricot trees. Flowers are vulnerable to frost damage so frost protection with fleece or plastic sheeting is desirable. Pruning of young trees is carried out after bud burst in early spring; established trees are pruned in summer. Read more information on pruning mature fan-trained apricots. Prune only when the tree is naked. There are some naturally compact cultivars that are well-suited for container cultivation. If you are pruning it too late, you will lose blossoms and fruit. Because they are so fast growing, it's important to know how to prune them effectively. Less prone to canker. [2] X Expert Source Steve Masley Home & Garden Specialist Expert Interview. It won't make the fruit smaller or the tree less productive, but it will control its size. However, young trees still require initial training and mature trees benefit from thinning of old wood on mature trees. T: 01242 522152 | E: admin@trees.org.uk www.trees.org.uk Pruning – why, how and when Table 1 - Species tolerance to pruning and optimum time to prune. To encourage plentiful fruit production and healthy trees, though, it must be done annually. The guiding principle should be to remove dead, diseased or weak growth and ensure that branches are not crossing. Trees grown from seed or cuttings will be much larger trees than those grafted onto a chosen rootstock, and are likely to be slower to start fruiting. Container grown trees are best overwintered under cover such as in a cold greenhouse. However, frost protection may still be needed to prevent flower damage. On light sandy soils incorporate organic matter such as garden compost or manure based soil conditioner in the planting area to improve moisture retention. If you are pruning it too early the trees are more prone to getting diseases. © 2021 Suffolk Fruit and Trees - The Fruit Tree Specialists - Website by Business Web Solutions. Where this happens the shoots will need to be thinned in the summer to leave just one or two. It also corrects problems early, and your cuts will be smaller. Never prune an apricot in the autumn or winter months. Apricots are generally propagated by grafting or budding. To receive our free monthly newsletter with tips on care for a garden orchard, just fill out the form above. Summer prune fan or espalier trees in late July to force the plants energy into the fruit. If thinning is required, it should be done in stages. Apricots (and other stone fruit) should not be pruned during winter, to minimise the risk of infection by silver leaf and bacterial canker. times, RHS Registered Charity no. Apricots fruit at the base of one-year-old shoots, and on two-year-old and older wood. See initial pruning of fan-trained trees and established pruning of fans. Fan trained trees need regular pruning twice a year in early summer and after fruiting. Apricots can be prone to bacterial canker, honey fungus, blossom wilt, brown rot and silver leaf. The best time to prune apple trees is either late in the winter or early in the spring because that’s the time when the tree is entering a dormant state after shedding its leaves and before new buds appear. Winter Apricot: They require very little pruning. Apricots bear fruit on shoots made the previous summer and on short spurs from the older wood. But if you don’t prune your tree correctly, you can hurt it more than help it. As soon as branches are cut back or removed. Mulch with organic matter, such as manure based soil conditioner in late winter to reduce moisture stress. SoU: early August‘Golden Glow’: Tolerates cold winters and UK climate. SoU: late July ‘Goldcot’: Regular crops of golden-yellow fruit, good for UK climate. Species Tolerance to hard pruning Good, Fair or Poor Optimum time to prune Notes Deciduous trees Acacia Fair Spring (late) Living wood most obvious, dead can be easily identified Apricot trees prefer a simple regime of cold dry winters (with at least 500-700 hours below 5 degrees centigrade) and hot dry sunny summers. Apricots fruit at the base of one-year-old shoots, and on two-year-old and older wood. When to prune . Apricots prefer deeper, fertile soils with pH 6.5 to 7.5 with good drainage. Also, keep an eye on branches that are competing with the main leader branches. During the training period of the tree is essential prune in green if we want to get: a rational distribution of skeleton of the tree; a larger volume and a rapid entry into production. Elsewhere prune apricots in late winter. One has the characteristic fungi of tree rot extending down one side of the main trunk. However, they flower very early in the season when few pollinating insects are around so hand pollination with a soft paintbrush or similar is usually needed. SoU: early August‘Flavorcot’: Regular crops. It is more practical doing this with apricots that have been fan trained. If the decision has been made to prune or remove a branch, then a decision has to be made when to carry out the work. When: November to early March. Espalier is the art of training a tree, shrub or vine to lie flat against a trellis or wall. 222879/SC038262. We value your privacy: we won’t give or sell your data to anyone else. Like any other deciduous fruit tree, apricots should be pruned only after it has shed all its leaves. 'Garden Aprigold': Golden yellow fruit, height about 1.5m (5ft)‘Apricompakt’: Medium-size, orange fruit, height about 2m (6½ft)‘Compacta’: Orange fruit, height about 2m (6½ft). SoU: early August‘Moorpark’: Pale yellow fruit with orange blush, best against a warm wall. Apricots (including compact cultivars) are usually grafted onto rootstocks to limit their size, but truly dwarfing rootstocks are not available. The time to prune apricot trees is during winter when the trees … Fruit smaller, but well-flavoured. Later in early summer, as the fruits begin to swell, thin pairs and clusters so that those left to ripen are spaced at 5-8cm (2-3in). Named cultivars will not come true from seed, but seedlings may produce worthwhile trees. Check out the video below to learn about pruning a newly planted bare root tree. Aim to prevent drought stress, especially in early to midsummer when the fruit is swelling. Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area. Pruning the newly planted Apricot tree It is wise to prune soon after planting; the main leader should be shortened by about a third of it’s current length and any side shoots reduced to 3”. In late winter apply of sulphate of potash at 35g per sq m (1oz per sq yd) around the base of the trees. Aim for a well-balanced crown, keeping the centre free from shoots to allow good light penetration. Stone fruit trees like dwarf plums, cherries, apricots and peaches grown in containers need little pruning. Apricot trees should be pruned in March or early April, when the tree is active, in full leaf and with buds starting to flower. Suitable for wall training as well as a free-standing tree. Apricots (and other stone fruit) should not be pruned during winter, to minimise the risk of infection by silver leaf and bacterial canker. Apricots can start flowering very early in the season. You can also prune overgrown apples and pears in summer. Young apricot trees are at high risk for damage from insects that bore into the main trunk. How to prune a two-year old fruit tree, ready for its all-important third year. To prevent this disease from infecting the tree, do the annual pruning at the end of summer about six weeks before the seasonal rains begin. Heavy pruning is best avoided, as larger pruning cuts often do not heal well. Trees grown under cover have to be hand pollinated. Apricots generally do not need fruit thinning. When considering growing apricot as a fan, bear in mind that wall space of 3.5-5m (11-16ft) wide and 2-2.5m (6½-8ft) high is needed. Aim to prune to a strong existing shoot that is at least one third of the diameter of the branch that you are removing rather than leaving bare branch stumps that can be prone to dieback. Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm, Join the RHS today and support our charity. These are from the rootstock the apple or pear trees are grafted onto, sending up new shoots. The critical aspect of peach tree pruning is timing. Alternatively remove the branch entirely. Fruit trees to prune in summer However, apricots are much less prone to disease than other stone fruit so they can be pruned in winter or summer. Start thinning when the fruit reaches cherry size in late spring and remove misshapen fruits first. Don’t prune in damp weather and keep the pruning to a minimum once a framework is established. Espalier is the UK’s leading Gardening charity or the tree less productive, but before they start flower. Are December through February general tips: see our advice on tree and shrub planting information. 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