Asked December 28, 2020, 1:22 PM EST
Good morning, can you tell me when is the best time to prune a young apricot tree?
When is the best time to prune a very old apple tree?
Thank you, Cecile Wood
Lane County Oregon
For all fruit trees, the usual time to prune is in the late winter, during dormancy. It is difficult to grow Apricots to fruit here - they bloom very early, so their flowers can be killed by frost. Since yours is young, the only thing you should be pruning it for now is the basic scaffold that will form the shape of the mature tree. Generally they only need pruning every couple of years.
Apples should be pruned every year, regardless of age. If yours has been regularly pruned and only needs maintenance, then late winter is a good time.
You'll find this OSU Extension publication PNW 400, Training and Pruning Your Home Orchard, https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/pnw400, helpful.If, on the other hand, your old apple tree has been neglected and is overgrown, it will need renovation pruning. Late winter is still a good time, but the process is more complicated. In this case, publication EC1005, Pruning to Restore an Old, Neglected Apple Tree, https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/ec1005, will be more helpful. You'll need to do the renovation in stages over several years, depending on how overgrown it is.