Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

Care of Apricot Trees

By Jennifer Loucks ; Updated September 21, 2017

The apricot is a cool-climate fruit tree that grows hardy in USDA growing zones 5 through 9. Apricot trees produce pinkish-white flowers in the spring and will fruit in early summer after the second year of growth. A single, healthy tree will produce three to four bushels of apricots each year. Apricot tree blossoms are susceptible to frost and should be planted in an area that warms early in the growing season to reduce the chance of frost damage.

Plant the apricot tree in a location that has a well-draining, nutrient-rich soil and full sunlight conditions. A loam-type soil is preferred. Provide a space that has a diameter of approximately 15 feet.

Water the tree once a week when the rainfall amount is less than one inch. Increase the watering to twice a week during the hot summer months if the tree is producing fruit. Decrease water application in the cooler winter and spring months.

Apply a balanced fruit tree fertilizer in late winter. Apply a second fertilizer treatment as the tree begins fruit production to prevent stress on the tree. Apply a half dose of nitrogen fertilizer in the spring season before blooming.

Prune the apricot tree to remove dead branch growth and branches that cross or rub on each other. Prune the tree minimally the first two years of growth as the fruit is produced on two-year-old wood. Prune the tree into a vase shape with an open center after two years. This will allow for easy access to fruit and increase air flow through the branches.

Pick fruit to thin out the clusters once they reach a size of one inch. Trees that have high production with produce small sized fruit and possible damage to the branches from excess weight. Remove the weakest-appearing fruit so three to four apricots are left on each growth cluster.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Water
  • Balanced fruit tree fertilizer
  • Nitrogen fertilizer
  • Tree pruning clipper


  • Apricot trees will self-fertilize and don't require a pollinator tree planted close.

About the Author


Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.