Tree pruning is one of the most essential maintenance jobs for tree owners. Here, we’ll be more specific by discussing the right time to prune apricot trees.
If you own an apricot tree, you’ll definitely be interested in learning about the ‘how’ and “when” of pruning your trees.
You’re likely reading this article right now due to the interest you have to learn more about timing. We’re going to make every moment spent worth your time by giving you the right answers.
So, when is the right time to prune an apricot tree? What is the trimming process like?
Our discussion begins right here!
When To Prune An Apricot Tree
Not every time of year is ideal for apricot tree pruning. This tree maintenance job is best carried out in late winter or early spring. The reasons are simple!
Tree pruning is best done when the weather condition supports the quick healing of the cut area.
Such isn’t possible in damp weather conditions. As such when an apricot tree is pruned at the wrong time, it increases the risks or exposure of such a tree to diseases that may affect its growth.
Apricot trees sprout new leaves in late winter to early spring. At this time, the trees are emerging from the dormant tree season and are most active. Hence, cuts are likely to heal fast when pruned at this time.
Plus, any issues which had led to its pruning are corrected early.
How To Prune Apricot Trees
Apricot tree pruning is a delicate task that must be carefully performed. Without knowing how to go about this task, pruning at the right time will only be a waste of time as the job won’t be properly done.
You’ll need to prune your apricot trees soon after it’s planted. This is necessary to help create a strong structure. This is only the initial pruning as subsequent pruning will be necessary. The first three years after planting your apricot tree is crucial.
There are two main pruning periods for trimming an apricot tree. The first involves pruning during the first year while the second involves performing the task in the years following the first year.
Apricot Tree Pruning After Planting
The quality of pruning done on the tree gives it the right structure which it grows or matures into.
At this young stage, you might have to cut out or remove a brand completely or shorten it. If a branch needs to be cut, the cutting should be done close to the collar.
The collar is the area of the tree where the branch meets the trunk. It’s the thickest are between the branch and trunk. In a situation where the branch needs to be shortened, consider cutting just above the side branch.
All broken apricot tree limbs should be taken off or removed.
Next, you want to find and get rid of branches having a narrow crotch. These are mostly branches that shoot up more than they grow out. All tree limbs or branches growing within the 18-inch mark from the ground should be removed.
Now, your young apricot trees will have a main trunk. These trunks should be shortened to about 36 inches in height. Apart from the trunk, branches should be well spaced out at about 6 inches apart.
Subsequent Pruning of an Apricot Tree
Having succeeded in pruning your apricot tree during the first year, this activity doesn’t stop. It needs to be performed whenever the need arises.
The second-year is another crucial growth period that needs to be closely monitored. What you do here will either firmly reinforce the previous pruning activity or make it ineffective.
Observations will reveal some irregular branch growth. In other words, certain branches of your apricot tree will tend to grow at odd angles. Such angles may be sideways as well as up or down.
Whatever it is, some corrections will be necessary. These branches determine the shape of your apricot tree. As such, they should be trimmed in a way that they stay several inches apart. Some further trimming will be necessary for branches from the previous year. Shorten to about 30 inches.
As mentioned earlier, the first three years of pruning activity will determine the structure of your apricot tree.
Subsequent pruning activity won’t be as thorough as the first years. It will only be targeted at odd shoots that grow taller than the main trunk.
This pruning activity determines how much it fruits and helps prevent common tree diseases.
Treating the Cut Area
Pruning an apricot tree involves a lot of cutting. After this activity, it leaves open wounds or cut areas.
Therefore, as soon as you remove or cut back branches, seal up all such wounds with an antifungal paint. This is a special paint designed to prevent infection.
Signs That Tell When To Prune Apricot Trees
A lot of people are oblivious to the fact that their apricot trees need pruning. These trees show certain signs that should call for pruning.
These signs include misshapen trees, broken branches, diseased or dead limbs, excess growth, damage caused by storms, weak branches, crossing branches, and cracks in the bark.
Misshapen Apricot Trees
When apricot trees are left untouched, their structure may get affected, thus resulting in an awkward shape.
You’ll need to shape them into the right form. An arborist can be contacted for this task if you don’t know how to go about it.
Broken branches are common reasons for pruning apricot trees. The areas or wounds resulting from such breakage need to be treated to prevent infection and rot.
Diseased or Dead Limbs
Diseased or dead limbs are among the signs that show the need to cut or prune them off. For your apricot trees to grow better, you’ll need to be on the lookout for such branches.
Excess growth may affect tree fruiting and the adequate distribution of sunlight. As such, excess foliage and limbs will need to be trimmed off.
Damage Caused by Storms
There’s likely to be damage to your apricot trees after a storm. If there is, proper pruning must be done to treat the exposed parts. Damaged or broken limbs need to be properly cut and the area treated.
Weak branches should have no place and should be done away with help to establish a solid structure for your tree.
If you’ve been confused about the best time for pruning apricot trees, the information here should prove highly beneficial.
Apart from stating the ideal time for pruning, we’ve also discussed other related information such as when how to prune, treating a cut area, and signs that show the need for Apricot pruning.