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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Should I Cut Back Bareroot Apricot After Planting and Leafing Out?

Q. I planted several bare root fruit trees about three weeks ago.   They were shipped to me about four foot tall. I did not want to trim them until I could see some growth. They have started to leaf out except for the apricot. The apricot is the one that concerns me. It has no branches below the 2 ft level, six branches above 2 feet, and no visible growth yet.  Everything else looks good. My question is will it harm them if I cut them down to the 2-1/2 ft level at this time.  Or, should I leave them alone to establish themselves, then prune and cut them down to size in the winter when they are dormant.

A. They all appear like they can handle being cut back somewhere between your knee or no more than a foot above the knee. Use your judgement as to the exact location as it should be just above a branch or a bud.

                     It would have been better to cut them back before they leafed out.

            Limb up branches at the bottom that are too close to the ground (bend the branch and if it can touch the ground then eliminate it). On spur producing fruit trees (pear and apricot) cut the branches back to about 18 inches in length or no closer than 18 inches to the closest spur if any have been produced.

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