This growth is often at the expense of fruit production the following year. Late January is our best month for pruning deciduous fruit trees, since it’s well into the dormant season but before the buds begin to swell. Pruning apricot fruit tree. Pruning Prune the tops of the vertical branches to expose more of the tree to the sun, encouraging proper tree development. Dunn holds a degree from UCSF and formerly worked as professional chef. It’s easier to see what you are doing and removal of dormant buds (growing points) invigorates the remaining buds. Prune regularly. Read on to find out. Pruning can allow more sunlight and air to filter through the trees and shrubs, which can help keep them healthy. It is also important to remove any excess fruitwood, encourage budding and to remove any dead, broken or crossed branches. Her newest novel is a teenage Christian fiction titled, "Honey Sweetheart.". Don’t lace a citrus tree. Flower buds begin to swell on apricot trees when those trees start to awaken from winter dormancy and before new leaves are on the trees. Cut off all the side shoots to one bud. Pruning establishes a sound structure, promotes air circulation, balances shade and sun and encourages fruit production. University of California Cooperative Extension staff writer Fruit Trees: Training and Pruning Deciduous Trees There are many ways to train and prune deciduous fruit trees, and no single method is right for all situations and needs. To form an apricot fan, cut back the central leader of a feathered tree to two side branches low down on the main stem; these will form the ribs of the fan. With last years wind during blossom, it only had about two Apricots forming at the time, so that was a good time for drastic pruning. Read on to find out. Learn how to properly prune your California apricot trees so you too can harvest a great crop of fruit. Pruning is the only way to keep most fruit trees under twelve feet tall. There are several methods to pruning fruit trees. Do this before spring growth resumes. Pruning of deciduous fruit and nut trees is normally done when the tree is dormant—essentially any time after the leaves are off and prior to spring bud break. Common practice for pruning deciduous fruit trees say to wait until the trees are dormant before pruning, but in Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area apricot trees are … Trim trees year-round in areas such as Florida and California because of the growing environment. How to Prune an Apricot Tree Start by cutting away any water sprouts, which are shoots coming up from the base of the tree from the root stock. 1. When the trees reach full bloom, they are more susceptible than previously to freezing weather, and a temperature at or below 22 degrees Fahrenheit can cause 90 percent of the flowers to die. Pruning may invigorate a tree that consistently produces small fruit or is not vigorous. The only other important apricot producing state is Washington with a small fresh market industry. Cut off all branches bending down, and all branches growing down from a major scaffold limb. Harvest your apricots when they are ripe and hold off on pruning until you've completed your harvesting. There are plenty of bad reasons though. Pruning & Training - The California Backyard Orchard. Australian gardeners should prune apricot trees during the summer after they harvest the fruit. Keeping a tree small like my lime and shaping a tree like my Valencia are the only two good reasons I can think of for pruning citrus. California produces more than 95 percent the nation’s commercially grown apricots. If you need a ladder to pick your apricots, then your tree is too tall. After the first few years of pruning to establish size and form, the main objective in pruning is to produce adequate new fruiting spurs and remove old ones that no longer produce. Annual pruning should take place in January, in California, the same as corrective pruning. Peach trees that have been neglected, or that have been pruned incorrectly may need corrective pruning. Check your apricot tree for dead or diseased growth, which will be discolored or marred. Winter Pest Management in Backyard Fruit Trees (PDF 5.3 MB) (ANR 8368) Other: Thinning Young Fruit (PDF 109KB) (ANR 8047) Why Fruit Trees Fail to Bear (PDF 202KB) (EHN 68) Orchard Bee Nesting House (PDF 200KB) (GN 102) Videos. California's warm weather makes young apricot trees more susceptible to sunburn. This pruning stimulates growth and produces full, leafy trees with plenty of healthy fruit. Apply a coat of white latex paint to protect the tree from the sun. Quality apricots are produced when the tree's branches are exposed to lots of sunlight. At this point your tree should be trained into shape; pruning in subsequent years focuses on maintaining that shape. Keep your apricot trees at a height that allows easy access to the fruit. In fact, it's self-fertile, so there's no guesswork for you - just plant and wait for your own juicy apricots to pick! Heavily prune your apricot tree while it is young. Here are the steps in pruning a newly planted apricot tree: Remove all damaged or broken shoots and limbs. Unfortunately, these two goals are in conflict. Stone fruits (peaches, plums, and nectarines), apples, pears, and persimmons should all be pruned during their dormant season to keep them healthy and productive. The cuts heal slowly and are susceptible to apricot dieback fungus. Lacy is a graduate of Rhema Correspondent Bible School and has completed the first section of Berean School of the Bible. Check our calendar of events. 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