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Increase your chances of harvest: how to prune apricot correctly

Yulia PoteriankoLife
The juiciest apricots can only be obtained from a properly pruned tree

The popularity of apricots as fruit trees for a summer cottage or garden is simple: they bloom earlier than others in spring, which greatly cheers you up after the winter cold, and in summer they delight you with wonderful juicy fruits. But for a tree to look and feel good, it needs to be pruned properly.

Moreover, the approach to pruning should be different for young trees, adults and overgrown trees. OBOZ.UA has collected all the gardeners' tips on this subject.

When and how to prune apricot

The best time to prune an apricot tree is in late winter or early spring, when the tree begins to grow actively. This makes it different from apple and pear trees, which need this procedure during the dormant period.

The tool for caring for the plant should be as sharp as possible and pre-disinfected. It can be secateurs, loppers, or a saw. You will also need a ladder if the tree is already quite tall. Don't forget gloves to protect your hands and safety glasses.

How to prune a young apricot

Trees less than 4 years old require a separate approach to pruning. The purpose of the procedure is primarily to give them shape and structure. This will ensure the future health and good fruiting of the tree.

Pruning should begin with the removal of all damaged or broken branches. And only then proceed to remove branches that grow at the wrong angle or rub against each other. Special attention should also be paid to removing any shoots that are growing too low. A mature tree should have a bare trunk.

Rules for pruning an adult apricot

After 4 years, the apricot tree is considered to be well rooted and fully formed. From this point on, pruning it becomes easier. Now the main task is to maintain its health and fertility.

First of all, dead, diseased and damaged branches should be removed from such an apricot. Of course, you also need to take care of those that rub against each other or grow in an undesirable direction. The damage that such branches cause to each other becomes a gateway to infection. If two branches cross, always remove the one that is weaker.

Experienced gardeners recommend thinning out shoots that grow toward the center of the crown. It is also worth removing branches that no longer bear fruit - they take away a resource from the tree in vain. This, in particular, will improve the access of sunlight to the crown, which is necessary for fruit ripening.

However, keep in mind that you should not remove more than 25% of the tree's branches at a time. After such a radical procedure, it will take a very long time to recover.

How to prune an overgrown apricot tree

Based on the 25% rule, tidying up an overgrown apricot can take several years. Start by removing dead, damaged, and misplaced branches. Then take a closer look at the oldest parts of the tree. Remove at least a few of these branches. This will open up the center of the crown and help control its shape. Repeating this procedure every spring, you will greatly rejuvenate your apricot in a couple of years.

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