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University of California
UCCE Master Gardeners of Orange County
Cut back apricot trees to 24 to 32 inches above the graft union after planting. If wide-angled branches are well placed, cut them back to stubs, leaving one or two buds. Whitewash or paint with diluted interior water-based paint to protect from sunburn and reduce borer damage. Avoid water stress, especially in the first 2 years of development.
Read more about pruning the first year.
Apricots should be pruned in late summer before the wet season begins to avoid fungal infections in the wounds. These trees need regular pruning. Most fruit is produced on the twigs and branches that grew the previous summer - 1 year old wood. Depending on the type of apricot, the flowers may appear on the tip, the middle, or the lower section of these branches. The fullest (fattest) buds will produce flowers and the more slender buds will produce leaves and stems. Depending on where the flower buds appear, the 1-year old wood can be pruned back above this point.
Apricots are generally pruned to a fan shape - to allow even growth and sunlight penetration to all parts of the fruit-producing top of the tree. Remove shoots from the center of the tree and cut out interfering limbs and dead and diseased wood.
Read more about pruning apricots.
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