When to Prune Moorpark Apricot Trees


The fruit of the Moorpark apricot tree is used for desserts, preserves and canning. It bears fruit on old wood from July to late August and spreads to 20 feet high at maturity. A new tree may take a couple years before it begins producing its fuzz-free fruit. The Moorpark apricot tree grows into a round shape and loves full sun. Always prune when the tree is in dormancy in the early spring.

Step 1

Cut tree down to a height of 33 to 36 inches at planting time if the tree is one year old. Cut branches down to only four strong branches if the tree is two years old. They should be well-spaced and able to support heavy fruit. Shorten each branch by one-third. A pruning saw may be used for larger cuts.

Step 2

Prune in early spring when the tree is dormant using sharp shears and cut down to a side-growing branch. Cuts should be short and clean and at a 45 degree angle facing downward to keep rain from collecting on the cut.

Step 3

Remove the center lead to provide light and circulation for the tree and remove dead wood and broken branches at this time, cutting just above the bud.

Step 4

Remove vertical branches, keeping horizontal branches for fruit-bearing. A dense tree can produce a poor crop.

Step 5

Remove shoots from around the base of the tree and any shoots that are crossing into the center of the tree.

Tips and Warnings

  • Four-legged ladders should only be used on level ground as they fail to provide stability on uneven surfaces.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Pruning saw, if necessary
  • Orchard ladder, if necessary


  • Arbor Day Foundation
  • Utah State University
Keywords: orchard, pruning fruit trees, moorpark apricot

About this Author

Based in Baltimore, Maryland, Karen has worked four years as a professional writer and editor, writing for the online source eHow with articles such as "How to Make Chocolate Chip Biscotti" and "How to Make Marshmallow Fondant," and editing scripts for A Work In Progress, an inspirational radio drama.