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Apricot Tree

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by LandOfOz on May 17, 2006 05:22 PM
I have an apricot tree that I know nothing about. It is fairly young, looks relatively healthy but in need of care. It is about... 20 feet tall or so and looks like at one point someone took good care of it by pruning and whatnot. Anyway, last year the tree went crazy with fruit and the neighbors said that it only happens about once every 7 years. Well, lightening struck twice--we've got gobs of round green balls on the tree. [grin] They seem to have started to fall off--lots of them. What can I do to prevent this? I'm thinking, and this is purely an uneducated guess, that maybe the tree needs to be pruned to improve air circulation? Maybe too many branches rubbing on the fruit when the wind blows? That is all I could think of! Also, what can I do to prevent the little icky worms (bug larvae?) that are in the ripened fruit? Any help would be marvelous! [kissies]

Thank-you!!!

Sarah

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Sarah - Zone 5b/6
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by DeepCreekLake on May 18, 2006 01:19 PM
The reason why the fruit may be dropping is due to those worms! More than likely Oriental fruit moths, or Plum Curculios. DO the fallen fruit have a small spot on them or burrows in them? You need to clean up ALL fallen fruit under the tree, or the cycle will start again! Once the worm ridden fruit falls, it hatches and start all over again. Get rid of the fallen fruit,best by throwing them in the garbage collection away from the tree. In the Late winter before the tree leaves, and blooms out, spray it with Dormant oil Spray. At bud swell spray it with a fruit tree spray such as Bonide fruit tree spray. Follow the spray schedule listed on the bottle. Spraying is essential to have good fruit. Prune the tree in late winter before it buds out prune out crossing branches, and prune to an open center/vase to allow light to penetrate. Also Apricots are like peaches and nectarines, in that they only bear on 1 year old wood, meaning that the branches that grow this year, will be the ones that will bear fruit next year. Its a good idea to prune out old wood, but keep a good structure for new branches to grow off of.
by LandOfOz on May 18, 2006 02:58 PM
Okay, I'm thinking I need a little education in fruiting trees. What is bud swell? And how do I know which branches are the appropiate age to keep and cut, aside from the obvious big branches? I will go out tomorrow morning and see about raking up all those green apricots tomorrow, bag 'em and toss 'em. Because they definately have little burrows in them, I had a problem with them last year on ripened fruit! Thank you so much for the info!!

Sarah

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Sarah - Zone 5b/6
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by DeepCreekLake on May 19, 2006 06:02 AM
Bud swell is what happens, before the tree leafs, or blossoms out in Late Winter/Early Spring. You will see "bumps" on the branches, which indictates the tree is close to blooming, and leafing out. Those bumps are where the buds and flowers are. You can tell new branches, there generally green looking, old branches are woody and hard. You do need some woody branches, those will be the supports for the green branches that will grow, and produce fruit.You want to use the woody bracnhes as "Scaffolds" DO not spray when the tree blossoms, as you dont want to kill bees, or other pollinators. Once the bloosoms fall, usally is time for another application. Take a look at a Fruit Tree Spray made by Bonide. Its very common in most nurserys, and is an all in one spray. It treats for both diseases, and insects. It is not recommended for Pear trees though. get yourself a pump up sprayer, and follow the mix directions on the bottle. If the tree is 20 feet, you will need a ladder!
by LandOfOz on May 20, 2006 02:33 AM
Thanks!! I'm going to copy all this down and put it in my folder so I remember it come fall!

Sarah

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Sarah - Zone 5b/6
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by DeepCreekLake on May 21, 2006 12:00 AM
Only thing you need to do in Fall, is rake up the fallen leaves, and pick up any fallen fruit that may still be laying around. Also make sure your mulch is still good- keep the mulch a few inches from the trunk you dont want it touching, as usually rodents like burrow into it, and chew on the trunks.Dont not use the fallen leaves from that tree as mulch (or any fruit tree)- get rid of it too, as again it can start a disease cycle. Good sanitation is a must for fruit trees. Ideally burn the leaves or let the garbage pick up collect it. Do your pruning, and dormant oil spray in late winter. Ideally you can prune, and spray it the same day!

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