how is apricot tree pruning

How is Apricot Tree Pruning?

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    When an apricot tree is pruned correctly, it improves the tree's appearance and increases the number of fruits it bears. A strong, fruitful tree is the result of careful nurturing that begins at planting and continues throughout the tree's life. The yearly task of pruning the apricot tree can be tackled with confidence if you know what you're doing. Here are some apricot pruning suggestions for your consideration. If you want to prune your apricot tree, wait until the new leaves and blooms have opened in the spring. Pruning cuts heal rapidly when a tree is actively growing, reducing the risk of infection from diseases. You'll have less blood loss and less scarring if you catch issues early. The tree should be given its initial pruning not long after it has been planted. The tree's structure will strengthen as a result of this. Both preventative and corrective pruning of an apricot tree will yield fruit for many years.

    Before you begin chopping, find a few sturdy branches that grow out rather than up. The angle formed by the main trunk and the branch is large, and so are the crotches of these branches. Remember that these are the limbs you wish to preserve. Cutting a branch off at its collar, the enlarged junction of the main trunk and the offshoot, is the most efficient method. As a general rule, while pruning a branch, you should make your cut right above a bud or another branch. The following are the procedures for cutting back a young apricot tree:

    • Take off any limbs or shoots that are broken or damaged.
    • Cut off any branches that have a narrow crotch, or those that grow upward more than outward.
    • Get rid of any limbs that are lower than 18 inches (46 cm).
    • Reduce the height of the main trunk to 36 inches (91 cm.).
    • If more branches need to be pruned in order to achieve a distance of 6 inches (15 cm), that can be done. Reduce the length of the remaining side branches to between 2 and 4 inches (5 and 10 cm). A minimum of one bud must form on each twig.

    Pruning an apricot tree in its second year helps to further develop the framework you established in the previous year and makes room for some brand new, major branches to grow. Cut off any crooked or downward-growing branches as well as any that are growing in the wrong direction. Leave at least a few inches (at least 2 cm) of space between the branches of the tree. Reduce the length of the year-old year's main branches to around 30 inches (76 cm.).

    Tree Pruning For Apricots

    Pruning is a crucial component of fruit tree maintenance, although it can be intimidating for some. It need not be that way! Always remember these things:

    • You may rest assured that not everyone (not even "experts") will prune in the same way.
    • If you don't prune your tree, it will eventually die.
    • Pruning is important for a tree for several reasons, including its health, its aesthetics, and your own sanity.
    • A fruit tree needs regular pruning to thrive; without it, it may never bear fruit.


    Unfortunately, many of the tiny feeder roots that are essential for your tree to receive water and nutrients are severed when we dig it up from our fields and send it to you. Trees benefit from pruning because it allows the root system to rest and recover before the next growing season begins in the spring. If you order a bare-root tree from us, it will come with its branches and trunk professionally manicured. That means you can skip the second round of pruning before planting. Any broken branches or roots would be pruned now. Always wait until the fruit trees are dormant before prune them. Wait until late winter in Zone 6 and higher latitudes. If you have questions or need direction during the pruning process, a good reference book like "Pruning Made Easy" might be an excellent resource.


    • The remaining buds on the tree are stimulated to grow faster and stronger after being chopped back. When comparing two similarly sized trees, the pruned one will be larger after just one growth season.


    • It's much more crucial that you prune and shape your fruit tree. However, a fruit tree's natural form isn't necessarily optimal for yield. The trees you receive from Stark Bros. have already been pruned into shape in the nursery row, but you should continue this practise after you bring them home. When you maintain your shrubs and trees on an annual basis, you only make little, easily-healed incisions.

    Expert Advice On Pruning:

    how is apricot tree pruning (2)

    An Ideal Pruning Angle Is Ten O'clock.

    • Crotches that are too narrow and V-shaped are asking for trouble, especially if your tree is ripening a very large harvest. Select large 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock angles for your branches.

    Down To The Bud: A Process Of Pruning.

    • Cut cleanly and precisely (approximately 1/4 inch) so that you don't end up with a clunky stub that will be difficult to heal over. Keep your distance from the bud to prevent it from dying. New growth will look great if you slant the cuts.
    • Diverse buds emerge from every branch. Make sure you prune above a bud that is facing outward from the tree's centre if you want vigourous new growth to radiate outward from the tree's trunk. If you do this, your tree will eventually extend outward.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    The law states that any branches cut off belong to the person on whose land the tree originally grew, so you should ask your neighbour if they want them back, or if they are happy for you to dispose of them.

    Vertical cracks, seams, dead branch stubs and large, older wounds suggest internal decay. Severe damage to the main trunk often warrants removal of the tree. If the damaged area is less than 25 percent of the circumference of the trunk, the wound could gradually heal over and no permanent injury should result.

    When it comes down to trimming tree leaves, you should not just pick any random day and start the pruning. Instead, it might be wise to wait until the start of fall or winter to do that, as the trees would be dormant and their growth rate would not be too high at that time.

    Grinding is much more efficient than stump removal, however, it does leave the tree's roots behind. If the stump is large, the chip pile produced can also be quite large, but the chips can be used as mulch for other plants in your landscape.

    How does stump grinding work? A stump grinder chews away at the stump wood that's left after a tree has been cut down. All stump grinders use a powerful, rotating blade that rips into the wood as it turns. The blade's teeth cut the stump wood into small pieces.

    Apricot Tree Pruning Instructions.

    how is apricot tree pruning (1)

    Apricot trees need to be pruned at least annually to stay healthy. Pruning your tree not only helps it appear better but also encourages new growth and helps the tree produce optimal amounts of healthy apricots each year. You may have a healthy apricot tree that produces a lot of fruit by removing dead or diseased branches, cutting back the length of the ones you wish to keep, and otherwise taking good care of your tree during the growth season.

    Getting Ready To Cut Back

    Your apricot tree will benefit more from being pruned in the late summer. While the winter dormancy of most fruit trees is ideal for pruning, apricot trees are particularly vulnerable to disease and should have their branches cut back before spring. When you prune your apricot tree in the summer, you're giving it the best chance to recover from your cuts without being subjected to the damaging effects of lingering dampness.

    • Quickly after picking fruit, prune your tree. The tree will be able to recover more quickly because it is still growing at this point.
    • If you prune your apricot tree in the late summer, it will have more time to develop new branches for next year's harvest.

    It's a good idea to invest in a pruning saw and a pair of honed shears. It's important that your shears have sharp, rust-free blades that can cut through even the smallest of branches. Larger branches are often chopped with a pruning saw. It needs to have a curved blade and large teeth. The hardware store is a great place to get older tools sharpened.

    • You'll also want a robust ladder if you can't climb to the top of your tree. Pruning is not a job for a folding or leaning ladder since they are unstable on the ground. Consider using a tripod-style orchard ladder instead.

    To disinfect equipment, use rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution. In order to prevent spreading illnesses to your tree, soak your shears and saws for at least 30 seconds. It's a good idea to re-wet your pruning shears in between apricot trees.

    Taking Away Dead Or Irrelevant Branches

    Remove any branches that are unhealthy, broken, or dead. These limbs will slow the development of the tree as a whole and may even spread illness to adjacent, healthy branches.

    • You should prune away any young branches that still have liquid or hardened sap. Disease and decay can manifest as a rubbery texture.

    Thin out any shoots that have emerged from the tree's main body. These sprouts will not bear fruit and may even hinder the development of limbs that do produce apricots. You should lop them off as low to the ground as possible, right up against the trunk or a branch.

    • "Suckers" are the tender shoots that emerge at the trunk's base. You can find them low in the tree, away from the main branches.
    • The "watersprouts" of an apricot tree are the vertical shoots that emerge from the main branches. Such perfectly upright new branches don't contribute to fruit production, but they can be a nuisance since they obstruct the sun from reaching the fruit on lower branches.

    Remove any branches that are pointing downward or inward. In the long run, leaving these branches in place could prevent new, healthier ones from growing in their place. Leave just the branches that are spreading forth from the main trunk and developing upward. If two branches are fighting for resources, cut them both. Try to find the points on the stem where two branches are growing in parallel or where several branches are growing from the same node. Here, you should pick the one branch that appears to be the healthiest and cut off the rest.

    Taking A Hedge Trimmer To The Trees

    Pick out a few strong scaffolding limbs that you'd like to keep. Selecting 3-5 branches 20–40 inches (50–100 cm) from the ground will help the tree grow optimally. These limbs are where you'll be getting most of your fruit.

    • Branches that are growing straight up are more likely to break under the weight of their fruit than those that are extending outwards away from the stem. Keep the outward growth of your branches at a 2 o'clock or 10 o'clock angle, if you will.
    • To maintain a stable tree, the scaffolding's branches should be uniformly spaced around its trunk.
    • Use a piece of brightly coloured ribbon or string to mark these scaffolding limbs so they aren't trimmed by accident. Keeping these uncut will protect your apricot tree from being pruned too much.

    The remaining branches should be lopped off roughly 0.25 inches (0.64 cm) from the point where they join the trunk. Thinner, newer branches can be clipped using shears, but thicker boughs require a pruning saw.

    • The branch's collar can be found towards its base. That part of the tree where the branch meets the trunk has bark that is thicker and more ridged. The collar encourages the growth of new tissue, therefore severing the branch there can lead to tissue death and deterioration.

    Close to your scaffolding, 8-10 inches (20-25 cm) is where you'll find branches to prune. Leave a large clearance around your tree's main branches. This allows for better airflow and sunshine penetration to the lower branches, where apricots are grown.

    • The top, thinner branches of a tree can be pruned a little closer together than the thicker, lower branches, which require more room.

    Get rid of all the superfluous branches and thin out the whole tree. In general, you should try to cut off roughly a third of the tree's limbs. As a result of their rapid expansion, apricot trees require more frequent trimming than some other types of fruit trees. As a result, your tree's branches should be sparse yet uniformly spaced.

    • When pruning trees, remove more branches from younger trees and fewer from older ones. During the first three years of an apricot tree's life, it is more important to encourage growth than to encourage fruit output through pruning.

    Trimming The Last Of The Branches

    Don't worry about breaking the branches of your scaffolding. For maximum apricot yields in the upcoming growing season, you shouldn't prune your tree's principal branches. These scaffolds must be balanced carefully. If one scaffolding branch is noticeably bigger than the rest, it should be shortened to maintain a uniform height and width throughout the structure. Reduce the length of the other branches by 20% to 30%. This could necessitate cutting back anywhere from 2 inches (5.1 cm) to 4 feet (1.2 m) of the tree, depending on its size and how much it grew in the previous year (1.2 m). Cutting off the tips makes the branches grow shorter and bushier, which in turn stimulates the tree to produce more fruit on the lower branches.

    • By removing dead or diseased wood from the tree's crown, you can promote the growth of new branches and leaves and keep the tree from becoming too tall and blocking out the sun.
    • Removing dead wood from horizontal branches stimulates the growth of fruit-bearing wood.

    Remove dead wood up to 0.25 inches (0.64 cm) from the base of a bud, stub, or branch. Select a bud that is pointing away from the stem and other neighbouring branches, as it will continue to grow in that direction. Use a 45-degree angle to remove the bud.

    • If you need to prune a branch adjacent to another one, you should do so near a bud that is pointing in the opposite direction.
    • It's important to remember that when you prune a branch, the buds within an inch or two (2.5 to 20.3 centimetres) of the cut will flourish.

    Bring the tree down to a manageable height so you can get to every branch. If you can't easily access all the branches of your apricot tree, you won't receive as much fruit as you could. Since most tree growth occurs near the crown, you may need to shorten your tree again each year.

    • Be careful not to remove too much of the tree's height all at once if it's quite tall and overgrown; otherwise, it might have difficulties sending out new shoots through the thick bark of its lower trunk and branches. Instead, over the course of the next three years, prune the apricot tree down to size.

    Taking Care Of Your Tree While It's Growing

    Throughout the summer, you should remove young sprouts a few times. By removing some of the tree's new growth, you can ensure that each of the limbs is getting the sunlight it needs to thrive. Remove any shoots that are making their way towards the main trunk or other branches. By removing young branches before they become a problem, you can train your tree to maintain its desired shape and reduce the total number of huge branches that will eventually need to be removed. Remove any broken branches right away. If a branch falls due of stormy weather or because it is loaded down with fruit, cut it off immediately. Remove any sharp or broken edges from the break to ensure a healthy and speedy recovery. In the early summer, when apricots are approximately 1 inch in diameter, you should thin out the branches bearing fruit. This method enhances overall fruit colour and health while preventing the tree from producing too much fruit.

    • If you notice that a certain branch is growing too heavy from bearing an abundance of apricots, you should prune it back.
    • If your apricot tree is only bearing fruit every other year, you can address the problem by trimming down fruit branches during the years when the tree produces an abundance of fruit.

    As a general rule, apricot trees are best pruned when they are still young. Using this method, a gardener can guide the development of the trees into the desired form. How to trim an apricot tree is described in greater detail below.

    Where Should I Make My Cuts?

    It's recommended that the initial scaffolding limbs begin 18 to 24 inches off the ground. If the branches get any lower, cut them back. The main appendages that extend forth from a tree's main stem are called branches.

    Branch Angles

    Strong branches growing at angles of 45 to 60 degrees should be targeted by gardeners. These are the limbs they wish to grow rather than cut back. Thin out the other branches so these can flourish. If there aren't already enough crooked branches, gardeners can select appropriate locations for new ones and use homemade wooden splints to train the new growth to the required angle.

    Branch Placement

    It's important to look for non-overlapping branches when performing thinning. The best-case scenario would see branches ascending up the tree at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. These limbs need to be spaced 8 to 10 inches apart vertically.

    Your Assist Is Needed To Curb Apricot Tree Illnesses

    Primarily, we prune apricot trees so that they can remain healthy, but this practise also introduces new disease. You should clean your hand pruners, lopper, and saw after each use, whether you're switching from one apricot tree to another or from one plant species to another. As a result, you'll be able to keep plants healthier and disease-free. To be on the safe side, always clean your tools after removing diseased or dying branches. The target is a beautiful, fruitful, and secure apricot tree. You'll get a lot further if you put in the extra effort to maintain your tools clean.


    By shaping its branches in the right way, proper pruning enhances an apricot tree's aesthetics and stimulates fruit production. When a tree is actively growing, pruning wounds heal quickly and the likelihood of infection is low. Once the fresh leaves and flowers have appeared in the spring, it is time to do some light trimming. When you prune an apricot tree in its second year, you're helping it build on the foundation you laid the year before. Branches that are growing sideways or downwards should be pruned, as should those that are heading in the wrong direction.

    Maintain a distance of at least two centimetres (a few inches) between each branch. The natural shape of a fruit tree isn't always the best for production. Tree pruning not only improves the tree's appearance but also stimulates growth. Moreover, it encourages the tree to generate a high quality crop of apricots each year. Maintaining a healthy apricot tree requires annual pruning.

    Now is the time to prune your apricot tree so that it can grow new branches in preparation for next year's crop. If you can't reach the upper branches of your tree by climbing, you should purchase a quality pruning saw, sharp shears, and a sturdy ladder. The weight of the fruit is more likely to cause a branch to break if it is growing vertically rather than spreading outward from the main stem. If you want more air and light to reach the lower branches of your tree, where the apricots are growing, leave a wide space between the tree and its surrounding objects. When compared to other fruit trees, apricot trees need more regular maintenance.

    About a third of the tree's branches should be removed as a general rule. Never trim the main branches of your apricot tree in preparation for the next growing season. As a rule of thumb, apricot trees benefit most from being pruned when they are young. Young branches can be pruned away before they cause any issues, helping you train your tree to keep its ideal shape. The gardener can shape the trees into the desired shape by using this technique.

    The major outgrowths of a tree's trunk are known as branches. Gardeners should focus on thick branches that are growing at 45 degrees to 60 degrees. After each session of pruning or thinning, you should clean your hand pruners, lopper, and saw.

    Content Summary

    1. By shaping its branches in the right way, proper pruning enhances an apricot tree's aesthetics and stimulates fruit production.
    2. Assuming you have some experience with pruning trees, you should feel comfortable taking on the yearly duty of trimming the apricot tree.
    3. Wait until spring when the leaves and flowers on your apricot tree have opened before performing any pruning.
    4. Initial pruning of the tree should be performed soon after planting.
    5. This will help the tree's framework hold up better.
    6. An apricot tree will continue to produce fruit for many years if it is pruned both to avoid disease and to fix existing problems.
    7. It's important to keep in mind that these are the appendages you're trying to save.
    8. The most effective way to remove a branch is to cut it off at its collar, the expanded juncture between the main stem and the offshoot.
    9. When pruning, it's best practise to make your cut just above a bud or another branch.
    10. Amputate any broken or damaged branches or shoots.
    11. Remove any stems that have a small crotch or that grow vertically rather than horizontally.
    12. Pruning an apricot tree in its second year allows for the development of new, large branches and further refinement of the framework you constructed in the first year.
    13. Branches that are growing sideways or downwards should be pruned, as should those that are heading in the wrong direction.
    14. Spread out the tree's branches by at least 2 or 3 centimetres.
    15. To maintain a healthy tree, primary branches should be shortened to around 30 inches from their original length (76 cm.)
    16. Pruning is a necessary part of keeping fruit trees healthy, but it can be a daunting prospect for some.
    17. Eventually, if you don't prune your tree, it will die.
    18. A tree's health, appearance, and your own sanity are all improved by regular pruning.
    19. To ensure the tree continues to thrive and produce fruit, it must be pruned on a regular basis.
    20. As a result, you won't need to perform a second round of pruning before planting.
    21. This is the time to cut back on any overgrown roots or brittle limbs.
    22. To avoid damaging the trees, fruit trees should be pruned only while dormant.
    23. In Zone 6 and higher latitudes, you should hold off until late winter.
    24. Pruning and shaping your fruit tree is significantly more important.
    25. However, the natural shape of a fruit tree isn't always the most productive.
    26. Choose prominent angles of 10 and 2 o'clock for your branches.
    27. In order to encourage vigourous new growth to radiate outward from the tree's trunk, it is important to cut above a bud that is facing away from the tree's centre.
    28. Instructions for Trimming an Apricot Tree.
    29. Keeping an apricot tree healthy requires annual pruning.
    30. The aesthetic benefits of pruning are secondary to the practical benefits of stimulating new growth and increasing the number of fruitful, disease-free apricots your tree will produce each year.
    31. Late summer is the best time to prune your apricot tree.
    32. Apricot trees, which are especially susceptible to disease, should have their branches trimmed back before spring, even though the winter dormancy of other fruit trees is excellent for pruning.
    33. Your apricot tree will have more time to grow new branches in preparation for next year's crop if you perform the pruning in late summer.
    34. Pruning shears and a saw are two tools that will come in handy.
    35. A pruning saw is used to cut larger branches.
    36. It's important to soak your shears and saws for at least 30 seconds to kill any bacteria that could bring disease to your tree.
    37. When moving between apricot trees, it's a good idea to re-wet your pruning shears.
    38. Discard of any branches that are diseased, broken, or dead.
    39. Remove any tender young branches that are still dripping or hardened with sap.
    40. Remove any new growth that has sprung from the trunk.
    41. The vertical shoots that develop from an apricot tree's main branches are known as "watersprouts."
    42. The downward- and inward-facing branches should be cut off.
    43. Only the outward-growing, upward-developing branches should be kept.
    44. You should prune both branches if they are competing for the same nutrients.
    45. Search for the nodes on the main stem where multiple branches emerge from the same location.
    46. The best course of action here is to select the single branch that seems the healthiest and remove it.
    47. Choose some sturdy scaffolding poles to preserve.
    48. Choose three to five branches that are 20 to 40 inches (50 to 100 cm) off the ground for best tree growth.
    49. The majority of the fruit will come from these branches.
    50. Maintain a 2 o'clock or 10 o'clock angle, if you like, for the outward development of your branches.
    51. The branches of the scaffolding must be evenly placed around the trunk if the "tree" is to remain sturdy.
    52. Your apricot tree will survive excessive pruning if you leave these intact.
    53. All remaining branches should be cut back to within 0.25 inches (0.64 cm) of where they connect the trunk.
    54. There is a collar at the bottom of the branch.
    55. Cut back branches that are 8-10 inches (20-25 cm) from your scaffolding.
    56. The major branches of your tree need a lot of space surrounding them.
    57. Cut down the tree and remove any dead or unnecessary limbs.
    58. About a third of the tree's branches should be removed as a general rule.
    59. Consequently, the branches of your tree should be few in number but evenly spaced.
    60. The rule of thumb for tree trimming is to cut back more on younger trees and less on older ones.
    61. You need not fret with the limbs of your scaffolding snapping.
    62. Never trim the main branches of your apricot tree in preparation for the next growing season.
    63. The stability of these structures requires careful balancing.
    64. You should cut the length of the other branches by about 20% to 30%.
    65. Trees can be kept from becoming too tall and blocking out the sun by removing dead or diseased wood from the top, which encourages the growth of new branches and leaves.
    66. Taking off the horizontal branches' dead wood encourages the growth of new, fruit-bearing wood.
    67. Cut away up to 0.25 inches (0.64 cm) of a branch's base if it is dead.
    68. Reduce the height of the tree to an accessible level.
    69. Instead, thin the apricot tree out over the period of three years.
    70. Several times this summer, you should pick off the tender new growth.
    71. By cutting back on the tree's expansion, you can make sure every branch is getting enough light to flourish.
    72. Cut back any new growth that appears to be heading for the tree's trunk or other branches.
    73. Training your tree to keep its desired shape and reducing the overall number of big branches that will eventually need to be removed can be achieved by the selective removal of young branches before they become a problem.
    74. Any shattered limbs must be swiftly removed.
    75. To promote a rapid and healthy healing following a break, it's important to smooth down any rough spots caused by the damage.
    76. If your apricot tree is only fruiting every other year, you can encourage more consistent fruit production by removing branches that bear fruit when the tree is fruiting heavily.
    77. As a rule of thumb, apricot trees benefit most from being pruned when they are young.
    78. The gardener can shape the trees into the desired shape by using this technique.
    79. Find below for a more in-depth explanation on how to prune an apricot tree.
    80. It is suggested that the first scaffolding limbs be erected 18–24 inches off the ground.
    81. Remove any lower branches.
    82. Gardeners should focus on thick branches that are growing at 45 degrees to 60 degrees.
    83. These are the branches they hope to develop instead of having lopped off.
    84. If you want these to grow and thrive, you'll need to prune the others back.
    85. While performing thinning, it is essential to search for branches that do not overlap.
    86. These limbs should be set at a vertical distance of 8-10 inches.
    87. Whether you're moving from apricot tree to apricot tree or from one plant type to another, your hand pruners, lopper, and saw should be cleaned after each usage.
    88. When working with infected or dead branches, it's important to disinfect your instruments after each removal.
    89. An attractive, productive, and safe apricot tree is the objective.
    90. If you take the time to keep your tools clean, you'll be rewarded with much better results.
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