Apricot tree not bearing flowers/fruits - Knowledgebase Question

Temple City, Ca
Question by lilylee98732
May 20, 2010
Bought brand-new house in 2001; planted royal apricot tree in 2002. Each year until 2008, only several fruits grew. In 2008, 38 apricots. Last year, zero. So far as of this date, no signs of flowers to later bloom into fruits. Q: What did I do wrong? What should I do now? What should I do for next year? Someone told me not to daily water tree. Is this true?
If true, why not? THANKS

Answer from NGA
May 20, 2010


Royal Apricot trees have a low chill requirement and are self-pollinating which makes them a good choice for southern California and a single tree will produce a crop without the need of a second apricot tree for cross pollination. When they do flower, they usually set lots of fruits. If your tree is not flowering, there's something - either cultural or environmental - that's going on. Pruning at the wrong time of the year can cause your tree to stop flowering; water stress, especially during the summer months can also affect flowering capability. And, sometimes trees get into an alternate bearing cycle where they produce a large crop one year, take the next year off, then produce a large crop the next year. The buds of most fruit trees are set during the previous summer, and an especially heavy crop one year may prevent adequate bud formation for the following year. Biennial bearing is difficult to alter or correct. However, it is possible to induce a return to normal yearly fruit production by early and heavy thinning during the year in which the trees are producing their large yield. Thirty to 40 healthy leaves are needed to produce good quality fruit so within 30 days of blooming, thin the fruit by removing every other fruit or every third fruit. This should help your tree maintain vigor and still mature the remaining fruits on the tree. There's not much you can do for this year's crop so wait and watch and thin the fruits next year. Best wishes with your apricot tree.

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