Dig in one bucketful of well-rotted organic material before planting. The fleece or polythene must not touch the flowers. However, frost protection may still be needed to prevent flower damage. Trees grown under cover have to be hand pollinated. In late winter apply of sulphate of potash at 35g per sq m (1oz per sq yd) around the base of the trees. Apricots are generally propagated by grafting or budding. Apricots bear fruit on shoots made the previous summer and on short spurs from the older wood. Feed annually. The fruit is golden-orange with an attractive, crimson flush. Keep pruning cuts to a minimum, pruning regularly so cut surfaces are small. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. See our advice on tree and shrub planting for information on planting fruit trees. Pruning of young trees is carried out after bud burst in early spring; established trees are pruned in summer. Container grown trees are best overwintered under cover such as in a cold greenhouse. ‘Tomcot’:Reliable in cool climates, it crops early in mid-summer, producing large, orange fruits with a crimson blush. In early spring feed with a general fertiliser such as Growmore or Vitax Q4 at 100g per sq m (3oz per sq yd). Prune apricot trees in late winter or early spring as the new leaves and flowers begin to open. Cut out all cankered areas, pruning back to healthy wood and paint promptly with a wound paint to protect the wound from re-infection. Aim to prune to a strong existing shoot that is at least one third of the diameter of the branch that you are removing rather than leaving bare branch stumps that can be prone to dieback. Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm, Join the RHS today and support our charity. SoU: early August‘Tomcot’: Better for UK climate, fully ripe fruit has red tinges. However, young trees still require initial training and mature trees benefit from thinning of old wood on mature trees. Later in early summer, as the fruits begin to swell, thin pairs and clusters so that those left to ripen are spaced at 5-8cm (2-3in). 19 June 2019.  X Expert Source Steve Masley Home & Garden Specialist Expert Interview. Pruning mature bush apricots is the same as for pruning sweet cherries. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. Remedy: Prune from the end of June until the end of August or in early spring. Only prune in spring or from the end of July to the end of August or in spring when the sap is rising. 222879/SC038262. Join the RHS today and support our charitable work, Keep track of your plants with reminders & care tips – all to help you grow successfully, For the latest on RHS Shows in 2020 and 2021, read more, RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens, Free entry to RHS members at selected times », Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops, Our Garden Centres and online shops are packed with unique and thoughtful gifts and decorations to make your Christmas sparkle, General enquiries There are some naturally compact cultivars that are well-suited for container cultivation. Apricots can start flowering very early in the season. Let’s take a look at some apricot pruning tips. Fruit smaller, but well-flavoured. Pruning. Aim to prevent drought stress, especially in early to midsummer when the fruit is swelling. Fan trained trees need regular pruning twice a year in early summer and after fruiting. Apricots can only be stored for a few days so are best consumed immediately – straight from the tree. Harvest and transport apricots carefully, to avoid bruising. Good for eating fresh. the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9. RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team. Trees grown from seed or cuttings will be much larger trees than those grafted onto a chosen rootstock, and are likely to be slower to start fruiting. The fruit is ready from late July to August, when it is soft and detaches easily from the tree. Apricots are self-fertile. SoU: mid-August. This is also the best time to prune in order to minimise the risk of silver leaf disease. Remedy: Protect the plants from birds by covering them with netting or fleece. Apricots (and other stone fruit) should not be pruned during winter, to minimise the risk of infection by silver leaf and bacterial canker. Alternatively, they can be dried or made into preserves. This is particularly important when the fruit starts to swell. Mulch with organic matter, such as manure based soil conditioner in late winter to reduce moisture stress. Apricots fruit at the base of one-year-old shoots, and on two-year-old and older wood.
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