The apricot tree is a deciduous bush tree that is largely self-fertile. This early bloomer presents its flowers in the early spring, generally between February and March. Native to the Mediterranean area, the apricot tree can grow up to 18 feet tall with a spread up to 10 feet wide.
Select a planting location for the apricot tree. Choose a location with loamy, well drained soil that receives at least 8 hours of full to partially shaded sunlight each day. Ensure that the location’s soil is only mildly acidic with pH levels resting between 6.0 and 7.5 and that the location provides approximately 25 feet of free space for a mature apricot tree.
Complete a soil test if unsure on the soil’s acidity. Purchase a soil test from the local nursery or home improvement retailer. Dig a hole at the selection location and take a sample of soil that is six to eight feet below the surface. Use this sample to the complete the test and follow the instructions closely.
Purchase an apricot sapling that is approximately one to two years old. Choose a tree with a healthy root system that is not excessive in size. Remove the tree from its bindings and gently remove the excessive soil from the root system. Gently comb out the root system. Trim back any damaged roots as close to the root base as possible.
Plant the apricot tree in the late fall. Prepare a hole at the planting location. Dig a hole that is slightly larger than the root system’s width and depth. Position the apricot tree in the center of the hole and fill the hole with soil so that the completed area is slightly elevated from the surrounding surface. Make sure that there are no roots showing from the surface. Gently press the soil around the base of the apricot tree to secure its upright position.
Water the newly planted tree with 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water. Continue to irrigate the tree once each week with the same levels of water. Adjust the watering schedule to ensure that the soil is not saturated as the apricot tree will not tolerate wet feet.
Feed the apricot tree in the late winter just before its growing season begins. Use a well balanced, slow release fertilizer and dispense it evenly around the base of the tree. Use a granular application such as 20-20-20 or 40-40-40. Water the feed thoroughly into the soil.