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Hope for severely pruned apricot tree?

Posted by Mama_Otter ID (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 8, 12 at 18:05

This large tree is owned by a renter who physically could not keep up with massive amount of cots on her two trees, and the resulting mess in her yard. A new trailer was moved in onto the lot next to hers that had been vacant all year, and the tree towered over it, the branches scraping the sides, windows, etc.

Many of us picked as many as we could reach, and then she decided to have it pruned so that "all the green was gone".
The mgr wasn't too pleased, and she was worried that she had killed it. I told her it would grow new green in Spring.

A month later, it has new growth so we know it's not dead. But I would like to know how it SHOULD be pruned, and WHEN?
She would like to see it only about 8ft tall.

Actually, you can see in the background the other cot tree that she also would like to see manageable.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Hope for severely pruned apricot tree?

No hope of 8ft when it's already closer to 10. But you could cut it back to 4ft next spring and try to hold it to 8ft after that by severe summer pruning. It would be easier to maintain 8ft if you started with a new tree.

The other tree needs severe pruning also. But looking at the trees would indicate a pretty vigorous site. And 8ft is a pretty small tree. It might take pruning every 6 weeks all summer to reach that goal.

RE: Hope for severely pruned apricot tree?

Well, obviously that tree doesn't want to die!

There's going to be a lot of lush, thick new growth that will have to be dealt with, but much of it is going to be higher than eight feet. It would be easier to keep it at 12 feet, though, and that's a manageable height. Either way it's going to take a lot of direction and correction.

As for the one in the background, I think it wants about 50% of the green removed, but I may be wrong- it might be as high as 75%! But I'll let somebody who knows what they're talking about address it in more detail. It looks to me like somebody whacked it off pretty hard three years ago or so and now it's past ready to be simplified and put to use.

What about that young growth in the foreground of the picture? If that's a sucker from the first tree (the one that is so severely cut back) it might well be fruiting in two or three years, and could be a well-behaved alternative to keeping the bigger tree, which is going to take a lot of work.

I may be out of my depth here, and others should know to say so, but that's the way I see it for the moment.

Good luck,


You have a lot of material to work with, so be prepared to haul off a lot of waste.

RE: Hope for severely pruned apricot tree?

The poor thing!

RE: Hope for severely pruned apricot tree?

I didn't see that Fruitnut had commented when I posted, and didn't mean to try to "outpost" him.

Fruitnut's one of the go-to regulars and I'm years behind him.

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