Growing Apricot trees among fruit trees are the easiest. With patience and good care, you will have access to the juicy fruit in spring and summer. It begins as a small tree and quickly branches into a beautiful arch structure in which sweet fragrant flowers bloom after a few years. Like many other fruit trees, Apricot trees are a risky investment. Growing one requires time and patience, but results don’t always depend on expectations.
And while some fruit trees impose height the compensate for green leaves and modest crops, Apricots do not fall under this category. This makes delicious fruit more valuable. If you have Apricot trees or even an Apricot tree, you are likely to have made a special effort to grow a particular crop. Apricot tree diseases can end years of work in just a few days, but most diseases are recognizable, treatable, and sometimes preventable.
Common Apricot tree problems
The Apricot tree is losing its leaves
Severe shot hole
Shot hole disease causes holes in leaves, which eventually fall off the tree in spring.
Solution – Prevent it by treating it with a Bordeaux mixture such as fungicides. To avoid shot hole disease, spray the tree with prepared Bordeaux mixture with a gallon of water when the shucks on the blooms split.
The damage of sunburn does not just damage your skin. Throughout the sun, the Apricot tree can appear burning on the leaves, which then fall to the ground.
Solution – In the first spring water, fertilize every Apricot tree with 3 to 4 pounds of ammonia sulfate and water the fertilizer into the soil to avoid losing the benefits of nitrogen from fertilizer.
The damage caused by Apricot flooding is unlikely as much as other stone fruits such as Peaches and Plums, but if flood water or standing water stays around the tree for several hours, the damage can still happen. Signs of water-logged trees include yellow or purple leaves that fall from the tree.
Solution – A foul odor terminal from the tree’s base indicates root damage. To avoid this, plant your Apricot tree at a well-drained, especially if your land is prone to flooding or water accumulation after heavy rains.
Apricot fruits fall from a tree
Apricot fruit falls from your tree because most trees produce many more flowers than they need. The odds are that you will not successfully pollinate these flowers, so they are like insurance for extra Apricots. In a residential environment where it is easy to control conditions, these different flowers are regularly pollinated and have very high fruit sets. So much fruit stress causes Apricot trees to shed fruit, sometimes twice.
Solution – You can hand-thin fruits to prevent them from falling unexpectedly from Apricot trees. Hand-thinning is much easier than cleaning up the mess after a fruit shed. Remove the mature Apricots from the branches, leaving 2 to 4 inches between the remaining fruits. It may feel like being dramatically thin, but the resulting fruits will be bigger and meaty than if left alone.
In case you missed it: Apricot Gardening for Beginners – How To Start
Apricot not producing
One of the main reasons flowers are not producing fruits is that they have not been pollinated on time. Another reason could be insects that hunt small fruits, making the tree stand bare for the rest of the season. Lack of nutrients in soil and emphasis on trees with dehydration can also be part of the factors.
Solution – Pollination is as important for the blooming of Apricots as it is for all fruit plants. And while, in theory, other trees are not required to pollinate Apricot trees, growing a different cultivator nearby improves pollination and increases production. Also, plant flowering plants attract pollinators to the garden. Use neem oil to spray leaves if you find other telltale symptoms like larvae or small holes in leaves. Keep the soil moist throughout, and do not stress the tree with dehydration.
Splitting Apricot fruit
Splitting Apricot fruits does not affect the fruit’s taste and flavor. The reason for the opening of almost ripe fruit is poor water patterns. Other factors also contribute to this problem, such as pruning, too much or too little fertilizer, and lack of sunlight.
Solution – First and foremost, you should keep growing the Apricot tree in equally moist soil. Dry soil puts stress on the tree, preventing fruit from ripening. If you forget to water the tree, flood it with water when the fruits are almost ripe, causing the fruits to stress. This is because the stressed tree absorbs enough moisture to feed the fruits.
If the fruits are not fully ripened, they can stop ripening when they break down quickly. To prevent this problem, use an automatic irrigation system that keeps the soil moist until the fruits change color. Stop watering and let the Apricots ripe slowly.
Apricot tree not flowering
Apricot is notorious for its growing conditions; if something goes wrong, the flowering will stop. In the Apricot tree, there is more than one reason for not flowering. It may be that the tree is too small, not properly fed, or was not pruned properly last year.
A young tree less than five years old will carry flowers or not carry fruits. So, give the tree time to grow old.
Although Apricots thrive in rich soils filled with nutrients, you must strike a balance between leaves and flower-encouraging nutrients. Organic fertilizer and homemade compost in the ground and slowly feed the tree. But Apricots also need phosphorus to stimulate the abundance of flowers.
Pruning is also another balancing act. In general, the tree will bloom only on two years old branches. So, cutting old branches can leave the tree flower-free for a few years. Remember that the old branches are for next year’s production when trimming a tree.
Apricots not Ripening
Drought and lack of sunlight are two main reasons why your Apricots will not be able to ripen. And while it is easy to remedy the water situation, it is not easy to fix the green Apricots hidden in the shade.
In case you missed it: Apricot Growing Tips, Techniques, Ideas, and Secrets
Solution – The best way to avoid the green Apricots being raw until the end of the season is to be diligent about the tree’s needs. Do not let the top 2 inches of soil dry, and do not rely on rain to keep the tree sitting with moisture. Closely inspect the leaves and branches of the tree for symptoms of infection.
Symptoms such as yellow leaves, canker growth, branch wilting, and dying or leaking from a tree can all refer to the disease. Take necessary steps to tackle the problem to save the crop. Thin the fruit by leaving three per cluster. You should do it when the fruit diameter is less than an inch.
Problems with Apricot tree leaves
The common problems affecting the health of Apricot trees often show themselves in leaves. Insufficient water causes wilt and falls leaves. Incorrect fertilization results in yellow or other colors. Shot hole disease makes holes in leaves and then causes them to fall from the tree. Spider mites spin fine webs on leaves that then turn yellow and fall. Hot weather cause leaves to turn yellow and fall.
Solution – Apricot trees grow in moderate winter and summer temperature areas. Choose Apricot varieties to avoid sunburn and other problems best suited to your climate zone. Stone fruits like Apricots need deep water every ten to two weeks in the late spring and summer months to produce ripe fruits and stay healthy.
Ensure that trees are regularly watered up to the soil depth of 18 to 24 inches. Using dormant oil sprays planted on trees in winter can prevent many fungi problems affecting Apricot trees. Wait until the leaves fall, but apply the spray before winter rains using Bordeaux mixture, but do not use sulfur spray on Apricot trees.
Dusty conditions encourage spider mites, so keep the dust down by planting grass near trees and keeping it in water during hot months. Carefully prune and fertilize your trees every year. Apply a balanced fertilizer around the tree’s base every spring, including nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.
Prune the tree to remove the branches, allow the light to reach the center, and keep the fruitwood healthy. A simple way to prevent leaf coloring is to add 1 to 2 inches of compost 1 or 2 times a year. If you have tried fertilizer or compost, and your Apricot tree leaves are still turning red, consider getting soil pH and nutrients tested for more final results.
Sap-feeding insects are some of the common insects you will find in your garden, and there is a regular view of Apricot trees. As their name suggests, Sap-feeding insects drink juice from their tree. Other telltale symptoms of infection include sticking residues on stems or leaves or many ants around the tree.
Solution – One of the best ways to get rid of the sap-feeding insects is to apply neem oil and horticultural oil every week for the growing season after first seeing the insects. Insecticidal soap works well against some sap-feeding insects, including aphids and mealybugs.
Mites can cause massive damage to the Apricot tree. They drain it from important nutrients, causing the leaves to wilt and fall prematurely. If they affect a tree during new growth, they can wreak havoc on vulnerable new shoots, making spoiled or ruined fruits.
Solution – In light cases, you may only be able to hose them from your tree. You can also apply 1-2% insecticidal soap during spring when Apricots start bearing fruit for the first time.
The caterpillars not only attack and eat the Apricot tree leaves but also fruits. They can destroy the fruit crop by eating through the outer skin. Meanwhile, they cause your Apricot tree to be yellowed and leaves to fall prematurely.
Solution – The first and most fundamental step you should take is to remove any visible caterpillars by hand. Take them out of the area, so they don’t recenter your tree. Then, apply a pesticide called Bacillus thuringiensis. It is a highly effective poison that kills the caterpillars but does not affect the leaves or fruit of the Apricot tree. Since it fades quickly from the leaves, you must reapply it every few days to catch any new larvae or remaining caterpillars.
In case you missed it: Growing Apricots Indoors in Pots/Containers
Borers can cause severe damage to the Apricot tree. By tunneling inside the tree, they can extract its nutrients. Even an attack by a moderate borer can cause damage, preventing tree growth.
Solution – While borers find it extremely difficult to get rid of your Apricot tree after coming in, the good news is that they are very easy to prevent. Protecting your Apricot tree from wind and sun damage and keeping it well-nourished with good soil, water, and fertilizer will do a lot to protect your Apricot tree. Pruning your tree in winter will get rid of any eggs kept there. Make sure to remove and destroy pruned branches or leaves so that the larvae do not affect your tree again.
The aphids are a unique insect as they affect Apricot trees in spring, then move into different fruit trees in the summer and return to Apricots in autumn. In spring, their diet can slow the growth of new shoots. In autumn, they can cause fruit to be deformed or malnutrition. The aphids also leave behind sticky remains called Honeydew. It can attract fungi and mold, which affects your tree.
Solution – Your best action is to take care of the aphids before the population is too large. In a mild attack, spraying your Apricot tree with a jet of water from the hose to remove the aphids can only be enough. Avoid overwatering or over-fertilizing your tree, as it can attract insects.
The good news is that the leaf rollers usually do not cause huge amounts of damage. They cause cosmetic damage and can prevent the growth of your tree in severe diseases.
Solution – Generally, it is enough to remove the leafroller and cut the affected leaves manually. Apply Bacillus thuringiensis to kill the caterpillar if the attack is severe.
Oriental fruit mouth
Oriental fruit moth larvae can destroy the fruit crop by eating it from within. Early generations attack new shoots but can destroy the fruit tree as they continue to lay eggs.
Solution – The good news is that oriental fruit moth is usually enough time to recognize and eliminate pest attacks. Fruit damage is very rare for later generations. During early diseases, you can reduce infections greatly by meshing the pheromone traps.
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Among the most frustrating Apricot problems is the bacterial canker formation of dark, drunken sores based on canker buds and random trunks and limbs.
Solution – Once a tree is infected with a bacterial canker, you can do little to help it, although some farmers have seen limited success with high doses of copper fungicide applied at the leaf drop.
The bark is colorless and weepy, but unlike the bacterial canker, the leaves remain diseased or attached to dead limbs.
Solution – Ensure removal of at least 1 foot of healthy tissue with diseased limbs and treat pruning wounds with common purpose fungicides.
Phytophthora occurs mainly in gardens where drainage is poor, or plants are chronically more than water. Roots and crowns get damaged to varying degrees, but severely injured Apricot trees can fall immediately after the first part of the year’s hot weather.
Solution – If your tree survives the spring flush, spray phosphorus acid on leaves and fix the drainage problem, but know it may be too late to save your Apricots.
Ripe fruit rot
As the fruits ripen, produce small brown and water-soaked lesions that spread rapidly, ruining the whole fruit. Ripe fruit rot may also appear as a flower, twig blight, or branch canker, but the most common fruit rotting form.
Solution – At the end of the season, clean all the fallen debris and remove any fruit that lives on and around the tree, then starts treating your tree in advance on a schedule starting in spring. Fungicides like fenbuconazole, pyraclostrobin, protect fruits from ripe fruit rot.
Shot hole disease
Shot hole disease may affect the small, round, purple-spotted leaves. Spots sometimes dry up and fall, but infected leaves rarely die or fall from a tree.
In case you missed it: Vegetable Pests and Diseases – Control Methods
Solution – The application of fungicides during dormant weather can be enough to protect Apricots from shot hole disease. You can apply Bordeaux mixture or fixed copper spray to inactive trees or use ziram, chlorothalonil, or azoxystrobin on blooming or fruit trees showing signs of shot hole disease.
You should regularly check your Apricot tree to ensure it is growing well and free from pests and diseases. Meanwhile, learn the obvious signs of infection so you can find problems quickly and start treating them. Preventing measures will reduce your risk of losing your fruit crop or the entire tree. This article will tell you about the growing problems of Apricots and how to solve their problems.
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