The Q&A Archives: Small Shoots Off The Apricot Tree

Question: Thanks for the library of previously asked apricot questions. They were very informative. I have one more. Our smaller apricot tree this year does not even have leaves but there are approximately 6-8 additional shoots coming from the ground right next to the trunk that are full of leaves, standing about 8-14" tall. Do we cut/prune these out? The tree itself looks like it did all winter - bare.

Thank you so much.

Answer: You didn't say how old the tree was so I'm guessing young - perhaps only planted one year. The suckers growing near the trunk are sprouts from the roots, which indicates the root system is alive and well. However, if your tree has not yet leafed out, it's probably dead. Maybe drought stress or winter damage? In any event, I'd check for signs of life in the stems and branches on the original tree by scraping the bark away to expose the tissue just underneath. If you find green tissue, that part of the tree is alive and there is hope and you can cut away the suckers from the trunk to direct energy to the tree. If you find no green tissue, the tree is dead. If this is the case, I'd dig it out and replace it with a healthy new tree. Best of luck with your tree!

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