As you know, in the fall and winter time it is time to prune many fruit trees. And among them, stone fruit trees such as apricot. This fruit is one of the protagonists of summer and has many benefits. But, to get them, you need to do some cared for in the tree, such as the pruning of the apricot tree.
If you have one in the garden or are going to plant one, then we are going to talk about this tree, when you should be able and how to do it, and some more care that you should provide so that its fruit production is greater.
Where does the apricot tree come from?
The apricot tree is native to Central Asia and China. It did not reach Europe until Roman times and at first the natural habitat of this tree was almost cold winter temperatures. However, over time, and the evolution of varieties, the apricot has been “mutating” and it is now possible to find these trees in temperate and even subtropical climates.
You should know that the apricot tree it is not a tall tree but can reach 3-10 meters. It is deciduous, that is, it loses its leaves and even some branches in autumn and winter. It is curious because in the youngest specimens you will find that the branches go from their usual color to a reddish color, a characteristic that it loses in its adult stage (although in this one you will see some branches twisting).
Despite that blooms in February or March, With flowers that can be white or pink, the truth is that not all of them will give rise to fruits. According to experts, only 20% of those flowers develop into them. These flowers can appear individually or in groups of 2-6 flowers.
As for the fruit, it is between 3 and 6 cm in size, between yellow and orange, and has a sweet flavor. You eat everything except the bone, of course, but it can be used for cosmetics (because a special oil is extracted from it).
When to prune an apricot tree
Apricot tree pruning is usually carried out in winter. However, it is not the best because this fruit tree does not admit drastic pruning, that is, if you prune it too much you will be damaging its health. For this reason, it is usually carried out just when the summer ends, in the period between after harvesting it and when the leaves begin to fall.
The reason why this is so is because the tree is given time, before the winter and cold, to heal better, and you will also prevent it from creating an ugly gum that remains on the trunk or the branches. tree branches. In addition, it also allows the new shoots to be prepared with more time and they will come out much faster.
However. Not only at that time should we do the pruning of the apricot tree. Maintenance pruning can be done throughout the year, but mainly in April or May. It is done on that date to help the fruit tree to become oxygenated, to control its size and to prioritize the quality of the fruit over the quantity.
How and when to prune an apricot tree
Something that you should keep in mind about the pruning of the apricot tree is that it is not the same if you have a young specimen or one that has already been established and has been several years old. In fact, During the first few years, the apricot tree has to be pruned to give it the desired shape. Later, with time, that shape will no longer be lost and therefore a more common pruning can be done in all the specimens.
To prune the apricot it is necessary to have the necessary tools. In this case, gardening scissors, saw and gloves would suffice, although, if large cuts are made, it would be convenient to have a sealant on hand to prevent diseases or pests from entering the tree.
Before you start pruning, you need to assess the state of the tree, that is, if it looks healthy, which branches may be the worst, if there are parts in poor condition, what shape do you want it to acquire, etc. All this is better to take into account before starting to cut to avoid future problems, and because this way you will be cleaning the tree and giving it more vitality.
Steps to prune the apricot tree
If you have an apricot tree and want to prune it, the steps you should follow are the following:
- Begins removing all the branches that you see in bad condition, that look dry or are deformed. The only thing they do to the tree is to take away energy, and it is better not to lose it there and in branches that are productive and adequate.
- Be careful with the pacifiers. Like the above, they are energy-stealers, and if not, they are much better. Therefore, try to locate them and cut them from the roots, to prevent them from slowing down the growth and development of the tree.
- Another part that you have to cut is the branches that overlap, intersect or entangle the whole. Not only will they prevent the fruits from developing well, but with the leaves, they can prevent the tree from breathing. That is why it is better to cut them and leave only one of them.
- If your apricot tree is already big, the usual thing is that some branches have grown in length, sometimes too long. The problem is that, with the fruits, they can be defeated and even broken. Or they can grow so tall that it is impossible to reach the fruits. If that happens, it is best to cut them a little, even if they are productive, but they will not be of any use to you with that length and they harm more than they benefit the tree. If this happens, it would be necessary to remove up to 30 cm to those branches.
Don’t be afraid to prune without knowing. Sometimes you just have to use common sense and observation to do a good pruning. Also, keep in mind that, unless you cut a very large branch, you can always fix it and get the desired shape. You have doubts? Contact us and we will help you with the pruning of the apricot tree.