How to prune the apricot tree

Although we already know from the article about the cultivation of the apricot tree, the most important things about this fruit tree, we cannot ignore the pruning, which will condition the growth of the tree, the way it produces fruits and absorbs water and nutrients. Our task now is to know some techniques regarding the pruning of the apricot tree to guarantee that our fruit tree grows in the best conditions.

WHAT OBJECTIVES DO WE PURSUE WITH THE PRUNING OF THE APRICOT TREE?

When we can any tree and not just the apricot tree, what we are achieving is regulating its growth. This translates into achieving a balanced tree with a new setting for fruit production and new ways of assimilating nutrients and water. This is because when we have a fruit tree (for example) that has not been pruned for many years, there are many unnecessary woody parts for the development of the crop but that consume nutrients. In this case we can say not that we are wasting nutrients but that we are not growing efficiently.

As you may have seen in other tree pruning articles, when we prune the apricot tree we pursue these objectives:

  • Improve the lighting of the tree, as well as the correct insolation of all parts.
  • Increase air traffic inside.
  • Reduce the chances of being affected by pests and diseases.
  • Get a visual balance of the tree.
  • Control volume and facilitate collection.
  • Increase the size and quality of the fruits.

We get all of these benefits just by spending valuable time with our apricot tree, so let’s get started right now.

KNOW WHAT DARTS, TOASTS AND MIXED BOUQUETS ARE

DARTS

A species of very small, pointed woody spikes that give rise to woody bud and flower bud formations that will produce good fruit bearing branches. It is important not to remove them unless they are located in a bad area.

Plum dart

TOASTS

They are thin and short shoots with a length of between 10 and 30 centimeters. The first year they are woody and from the second year they become flower and woody bouquets, producing quality fruits.

Toast in flower in apricot tree
Source: ivia

MIXED BOUQUETS 

The mixed bouquets in the apricot tree are long and strong shoots that can reach lengths of 2 and 3 meters in a matter of 1 year. These mixed bouquets will produce the highest quality and size fruits.

Mixed bouquet in plum

PRUNING TRAINING

First of all we have to say that pruning is simple when it is logical. By this we mean that visually and by locating the different elements of the tree (suckers, darts, toasts, mixed bouquets, anticipated bouquets, etc.) we can eliminate what we do not want from these 3 premises:

  1. Eliminate the vegetative organs that intersect.
  2. Eliminate the branches that do not let the light pass through.
  3. Eliminate parts of branches that go out of the geometric shape of the tree.

THE FIRST YEAR

In the first year, the branches that are to constitute the main branches of the apricot tree will be defined. This can be 2, 3, or 4 branches. We do not want secondary or superficial branches, just the main structure of the tree.

AFTER THE FIRST YEAR

We will continue to eliminate superfluous branches and suckers that may begin to grow, branches that cross or go towards the interior of the tree. When it begins to bear fruit, the pruning of the apricot tree will focus on removing parts that can “consume” resources such as suckers, dry branches or wounds, etc. We will also break off branches that are too long that may make future harvesting difficult.

REJUVENATION PRUNING

As you all know, a tree goes through 3 stages in its life. Juvenile, maturing and old age stage. In the latter the production is considerably reduced, but good productions can still be obtained if a rejuvenation pruning is carried out. If our apricot tree still has a lot to say and years of production, we can cut all the branches (including the main ones) at a height of 0.75 and 1 meter from the end of the main trunk. If you consider that it is too much because the apricot tree is not so advanced in age, another way to rejuvenate is to reduce the secondary branches to 20 or 30 centimeters from the base.

WHEN TO PRUNE?

It is interesting to carry out pruning once the period of greatest frost has passed . As a general rule it can be in February or March but it will depend on the area where we are. If you have the slightest suspicion that the frosts will continue at that time, it is better to wait.

Welcome to The GardenPure! My name is Ryan Heagle, and I’m the founder of The GardenPure, I spent the first part of my adult life teaching and then living in Australia in various business ventures, the first of which was a business devoted to the sale of house plants.  I am now a full time blogger. I am a self taught gardener.

Ryan Heagle

Welcome to The GardenPure! My name is Ryan Heagle, and I’m the founder of The GardenPure, I spent the first part of my adult life teaching and then living in Australia in various business ventures, the first of which was a business devoted to the sale of house plants.  I am now a full time blogger. I am a self taught gardener.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *