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The apricot tree, also known as the apricot tree, is one of the most popular fruit trees in Germany and a welcome guest in the garden because of its juicy fruits. The cut and the time at which it is cut are particularly important when caring for the apricot. This is the only way for the apricot to retain its vitality, which primarily affects the fruit and the potential harvest yield. Cutting should not be neglected by you.

apricot tree

Why cut?

Like many other fruit trees, the apricot tree (bot. Prunus armeniaca) must be pruned in order to provide the flowers, fruit and leaves with sufficient sun, air and light. The annual pruning thins out the crown to make room for new shoots and to keep the shape. wild growth, which can reduce the yield in the long term, is prevented and you can look forward to the sweet apricots from the beginning of July to the end of August. The roots can only supply a certain number of branches with the necessary nutrients, which can lead to puny fruit and possible diseases if not pruned.

Tip: Is the location of your apricot tree very loamy? Then the annual pruning is even more important, since the growth of the apricot is extremely fast due to the high nutrient supply and can quickly lead to problems.

Prune the apricot tree at the right time

Best time

The timing of the cut is particularly important so that the apricot tree has enough time to recover and grow enough plant parts again. There are actually two dates a year when the cut can take place.

After harvest

Typically, an apricot tree is always cut after harvest. More precisely, this means the period from the beginning of August to mid-October. The exact time depends on the harvest. The later you pick the apricots, the tastier they will be because they are extremely ripe. However, the shelf life of the fruit increases the earlier they are harvested. It is important to note that this cut must be done early enough. This means that there must be no danger of frost, otherwise the cuts can no longer heal properly and the tree will become diseased.

harvested apricots

winter pruning

Winter pruning is often offered as an option when summer or fall pruning is missed. The period here would be mid-March to mid-April on frost-free days. However, winter pruning should be carried out with a great deal of caution, as rapid frosts in spring are unfavorable for the apricot tree. In itself, this cut may only be done if it is an emergency and the apricot tree is so large that its health would suffer from the amount of plant material.

First Frost

If you prune your apricot tree immediately after harvest and pay attention to the first frosts, you will send the tree perfectly prepared into the winter. If you harvest the apricot tree, the wound will heal faster and Prunus armeniaca will thank you with numerous flowers and fruits in the following year. The cut should also be done early enough if the apricot tree is close to a house wall. Because it grows quite quickly, important plant matter can be damaged if it comes in contact with the wall, severely affecting the plant's growth.

Care cut: instructions

Maintenance pruning is the be-all and end-all for the preservation of the plant and the apricot tree will not take it amiss if you prune it annually. The pruning of the apricot can be described as more than thinning out, as it does not really need pruning. This is because the species has adapted well to the living conditions in Germany and grows extremely vigorously. The most important thing for the cut is the right tool.

  • Pruning shears or pruning shears, depending on the age of the plant
  • ladder, depending on the height of the plant
  • wound closure agent
Use pruning shears to cut trees

You don't need gloves or similar with this fruit tree, but make sure to close the scissors before use disinfect. If you don't do this, pathogens from previous cuts can spread to the apricot tree and cause it to become diseased. The wound closure agent only used if larger wounds occur during the cut that need to be treated. For small wounds this is not necessary and can even be harmful due to water retention which in turn could lead to fungal growth. Proceed as follows for the cut.

1st step:

Start looking at the tree. What's the shape? Where are branches growing against the form? When pruning an apricot tree, it is important that it retains a shape that does not restrict growth. This means that branches that are too long and that could bump into fences, walls or other trees or simply do not fit into the image of the tree must be removed or cut down to the actual crown. Cut these off just above buds.

Apricot tree - maintenance pruning, cut off annoying and dry branches

2nd step:

Then remove all shoots and branches that are either dead, dried up or too weak and only use up nutrients unnecessarily. These should be cut completely down to the main shoot or the next side shoot.

3rd step:

Now look for the shoots growing inside. These are also annoying because they curb growth and hardly get any light. Especially in dense crowns, these branches are often too weak and use valuable energy that the apricot tree could use for flowering and fruiting. Also cut this completely down to the next larger branch.

4th step:

Crossing shoots should also be removed. These can stand in the way of the fruit-bearing branches or impede them due to their weight. Also remove up to the next larger shoot.

Apricot tree - care cut, remove crossing branches

5th step:

Don't forget about the competitive instincts. These are large shoots that run parallel to the trunk and, if neglected, grow so much that the tree has two trunks. This creates nutrient problems for everyone, as the roots end up feeding two stems.

Apricot tree - pruning, remove large, parallel shoots

6th step:

An apricot tree often has water shoots. These are shoots that resemble a broom and must be removed in any case.

Apricot tree - maintenance pruning, eliminate water shoots

7th step:

You can trim the rest of the crown carefully to keep the shape. It's best to aim for a compact crown supported by many branches that somewhat resembles a roof. With this pruning measure, make sure that you really only remove a small part of the branch and shoot tips so that the apricot tree appears airy.

8th step:

It is best to use the foliage as a guide. The trimmed branches should still have enough foliage, since they are not completely removed. Less is more with the apricot tree! Always keep this in mind.

9th step:

Finally, look at the interfaces and treat particularly large ones with the wound sealant. Then dispose of the cut parts of the plant and continue with the usual care measures.

trellis cut

Cut the apricot tree on the trellis

Apricot trees are often grown on a trellis because, like apples and pears, they are perfectly suited to this form of cultivation. The cut is carried out differently for this purpose in order to meet the requirements of the plant. Several types of pruning are carried out at different stages in the life of the plant.

education cut

The training cut is the first cut with which the apricot tree is brought into the right shape for the climbing aid. This will be applied for the first two years at the beginning of July. With this, pick out the strongest shoot that will grow as a trunk from then on and shorten the tip and all weak side shoots. Leave only the strongest shoots that grow from the main shoot. However, shorten this back to a length of four to six sheets.

Raise the apricot tree as a trellis

maintenance cut

The maintenance cut is mainly used to remove dried and old shoots. In addition, the desired form is initiated via this. With this pruning, you ensure a good balance between the leader and fruit shoots that start from the main shoot. This cut can also be considered a grooming cut.


The pruning takes place from the third year and here you make sure that the side branches of the apricot tree grow horizontally and keep this shape. To do this, cut off strongly branching shoots.

With these cutting measures you can effectively shape your apricot tree on the trellis and have a decorative plant with you lots of harvest potential be happy. In addition, you ensure that it does not get too big too quickly, which is not good for the growth of the apricot at all.

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