apricot and plum trees
HAVE a three-year-old apricot tree, which I grew from seed. I think
it needs pruning as its branches tend to hang down. I also have
a plum tree, grown from seed. Can you tell me when they flower and
when to prune them?
take longer to reach flowering age than grafted or cutting-grown
trees, but you should get some flowers in the next year or two.
Pruning them will probably delay flowering even longer, so I suggest
you don't prune except to cut off any broken or distorted growth
or to try to improve the tree shape. Certainly don't cut back any
of the main shoots as you'll simply encourage vegetative growth
rather than flowering.
When they do eventually
need pruning, the best time to prune apricots is late summer during
sunny, dry weather as this will reduce the chances of silver leaf
disease getting in through the pruning cuts. You could do plums
at the same time or later in winter, though most plum trees can
go for years with little or no pruning.
One thing to bear in
mind is most plum and apricot fruit you buy in the shops are from
hybrid trees - that is, they are the result of years of cross-breeding
using a variety of parents with different characteristics. This
means the trees you have grown from seeds may not bear fruit exactly
the same as the parent tree, but you'll have the fun of waiting
to see what happens.
Gardener, Issue 192, 2005, Page 31
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.