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Apricot Tree Help

 
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We moved into our house in 2016.  In the back yard is a very large apricot tree.  Before we moved in the city had to cut it back away from the electrical lines, if that gives you any idea of it's height.  We left it alone the first spring, and didn't attempt to prune anything until 2018.  We cut off a few smaller branches, but didn't want to kill the thing, and didn't have the right tools. (we just had a hand saw) Side note: Since we've moved here there's been a late frost that has frozen the buds, so we've yet to get any fruit.  But that first year we moved in in October and the ground was littered in pits, so I know it can make fruit.  This year it is once again full of blossoms.  I'm hoping we won't get another frost, but Utah is fickle like that.  I assume it's too late this year to prune it.  But is there anything I should do this year to help it?  Do I need something to protect it from bugs or birds?  And when it does come time to prune it, how much do I hack off?  It's got to lose a lot of height, and many branches.  I know something about not taking more than 50%, so is this something we'll have to do a little each year?  I don't have a picture tonight, but I will get one and post it tomorrow for sure.  Thanks!
 
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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My strategy is that the best time to prune, is when the saw is sharp. Now is a great time for pruning. That gives the tree a whole spring, summer, and fall to work on healing.

My strategy for pruning old trees is to dramatically lower the height -- cutting back to a major limb.  Doesn't do much good to have an apricot tree if the fruits are too high to pick.

I don't do anything to protect my trees from bugs, birds, or mammals.
 
pollinator
Posts: 214
Location: Australia, Canberra
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In Australia, we have all sorts of birds, possums, bats and rats eating our apricot. Last season I used large mesh bags to cover the branches with fruit. Bags also protected the fruit from Queensland fruit fly.

I also hung 5-6 bottles of sugary-vinegary mixture to each tree to attract flies. It worked.

I've heard that the best time to prune an apricot is right after fruit harvest while it is still green so that wounds can heal without the mushroom spores getting into them. I am also using SteriPrune spray and always wipe my tools with methylated spirit before and after cuts.
 
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Location: 7b desert southern Idaho
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I’m in southern Idaho, so we might have similar conditions. My Apricots grow with zero care, or pruning. They even self seed.
 
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