Apricot trees can develop an extensive root system over the years so moving and transplanting an established apricot tree can lead to transplant shock if done while the tree is actively growing in the warmer months. However, an apricot tree comes out of dormancy early in the spring, so transplant an apricot tree soon after it loses its leaves in late fall, rather than in mid or late winter when it is safe to transplant other fruit trees.
Decide how much of the root base of the apricot tree will be dug up along with the apricot tree. You will need to dig up a root ball that is 1 foot in diameter for every 1 inch of diameter in thickness of the the trunk of the apricot tree. For example, if the trunk is 2 inches in diameter, you will need to dig up a root ball that is 2 feet in diameter. Deeply water the apricot tree one or two days before you plan to remove it from its existing location. Find a new location to transplant the apricot tree that has similar sun and drainage conditions as the original location.
Dig a circle around the root base of the apricot tree that is the correct size in diameter according to the diameter of the trunk of the apricot tree. Push the shovel blade straight down and as deeply as you can severing the roots of the tree. Then, loosen the tree by digging under the root base at least as far as the recommended distance, but dig deeper to get more of the root system if you are able.
Once the tree is loosened from the ground, gently pull the tree from the hole and lay on a tarp. Immediately wrap the roots with the tarp so there is no chance they dry out while you are preparing the new planting hole.
Dig the new hole wide enough so the roots of the apricot tree you are transplanting have enough room to fit comfortably in the hole and deep enough so that the tree will be planted at the same level it was in its previous location. Add water while you are refilling the planting hole with native soil so that the dirt will settle in around the roots, leaving no air pockets.
Add a 2-inch layer of mulch around the root base of the newly planted apricot tree to conserve moisture. Leave a 1-inch gap between the mulch and the apricot tree to prevent any diseases from spreading from the mulch to the tree.