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Question: few flowers in the second year
I have an apricot tree in tuscany (reale di imola) purchased in a pot, 3 year old plant. It is now the third year since the transplant. He made very few flowers and all on top of the tallest branches. Last year it has flowered a lot and everywhere with 30 fruits brought to maturity. What should I do at the end of the season to prune more than the little I did this winter?
Thanks and best regards
Answer: few flowers in the second year
apricot plants generally do not require large pruning, they tend to produce flowers on the branches that are at least one year old, and therefore we try to avoid cutting excessively the branches already present, also to prevent the plant from producing so much resin to close the wounds; usually, at the end of winter, between February and March, the suckers are raised, that is the branches that develop erect towards the sky, and we tend to keep the foliage open enough, so that the sun's rays also penetrate between the central branches of the tree; to keep the foliage sunny, an older branch is often sacrificed, among those that grow towards the inside of the canopy. When it comes to very young saplings, like yours, more than anything else a training pruning is practiced, always removing the suckers, but also trying to give a cup shape to the scaffolding of branches, so that in the future the tree develop a well-opened canopy, and that it is easy to reap the benefits. That said, you don't have to worry in any way if this year's harvest will be poor, first of all because the weather was particular in the months of March and April 2013, with intense cold and temperatures much below average, and excessive rain. . Therefore, it may have been simply a problem related to the climate, with the cold that may have ruined the flowering, and the rain that may have inhibited pollination, resulting in a shortage of fruit. In addition to these two reasons, consider that your sapling is very young, and it is not uncommon for an apricot to produce almost no fruit until it has reached five years of age. It also happens very often that apricots bear fruit in alternate years, with a year characterized by a very abundant harvest, and the following year when only a few apricots are seen here and there. Just try to keep your plant healthy by providing fertilizer in autumn and late winter (manure or slow release granular fertilizer), which should be scattered and lightly buried near the stem. If necessary, check for any parasites with treatments based on copper or Bordeaux mixture to be practiced starting from the end of winter. As for fruiting, it could be a feature linked to your sapling, which in the next few years will tend to bear fruit abundantly one year, a little less the following year.
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