How to Grow Apricot Trees
You love gardening and you love apricots. So, why not grow an apricot tree
or two right in your backyard!?
Apricot trees are easy to grow. They prefer cooler temperatures. They grow
better, and are more productive, in the northern part of the U.S.
Propagation of Apricot Trees:
Apricot trees are grown from seed... the "Stone" inside of the fruit. It
takes three or four years to go from the seedling stage to a
fruit-producing tree. Like other fruit trees, most people don't want to wait
that long. Rather, home growers turn to garden nurseries to purchase young
trees that can be transplanted in your backyard. Trees at your local nursery
are a couple of years old. A small, nursery-bought Apricot tree will still
need to grow another two years, before producing the first crop of fruit.
Important: Apricot fruit grows on second year wood. So, keep this
in mind, when pruning your tree, especially in its early life.
If you decide to grow your own Apricot tree from the stone, here's how: First,
soak the stone (or pit) in water for 24 hours. Then, place the stone in damp
paper towels, moist sand or peat moss. Put it into a sealable plastic bag.
Place it in your refrigerator for at least a month. Then, it will be ready
to plant and grow.
Planting Apricot Trees:
Select a location in your yard that receives full sun. Dig a deep hole. Add
plenty of decomposed compost, if available. Mix thoroughly with regular garden
soil. If the tree you have bought is inside of a peat pot, leave it in the
container. It is helpful (but not required) to slit the container to allow
roots to more easily exit the container. While making the slits, be careful
not to cut the roots, as you can do more harm than good. If your tree is
in a burlap bag, remove the bag. Gently spread the roots in the hole you
Bury the plant up to where it was in the container. Soak the soil thoroughly.
Add more rich garden soil around the tree, if needed.
How to Grow Apricot Trees:
Once your new Apricot tree is planted, it should grow quickly. We recommend
staking the tree in its first year of life. Strong winds can bend the young
sapling, causing the trunk to grow at an angle. Really strong winds, might
even cause the tree to sway and damage roots.
Fertilize plants in late winter-early spring, and again during the fruit
Tip: Fruit tree fertilizer spikes are a great way to boost the growth
of your new Apricot tree. The spike slowly releases a fertilizer specifically
formulated for fruit trees.
Each spring, before buds open, apply a dormant oil fruit tree spray. This
will kill a variety of insects.
We highly recommend a regular program of spraying for both insects and plant
disease. If you use insect and/or disease sprays, follow the directions on
the label carefully. Make sure to wear protective clothing and a mask when
More on Insects
Sometimes, birds will peck at the ripening fruit. Pest netting is an effective
Harvest fruit just before it turns completely ripe. Once it is picked, it
will soften and ripen quickly. The fruit will still be hard, making
it easier to handle and store. Store fruit in a cool, dry place, out
Pruning Apricot Trees:
Like other plants, pruning established trees is healthy for them. It
results in a bigger crop. Prune apricot trees annually in the early
late winter or early spring, before the new year's growth begins.
First, remove dead or unhealthy branches and limbs. Prune in areas where
growth is very thick. This will increase sunlight and air penetration,
to help the overall health and growth of the tree. You can also
prune branches to maintain a shapely looking tree.
IMPORTANT: As you prune, it is very important to keep in mind, that
fruit grows from second year wood. Prune lightly in the early years, to maximize
More Gardening Resources:
to Graft Fruit Trees
Buy Apricot Trees