Planting Apricot Trees
The best time to plant the apricot is early to mid-autumn, because it starts into growth so early in spring; late autumn is just possible and, if you are planting from a container and do it very carefully, winter can also be managed. However, planting during the early part of the autumn ensures that theis still comparatively warm when the tree is planted, it is moist without being waterlogged, and the weather is mild.
If you are planning to grow a fan-trained tree on a dwarfing stock against a wall, allow it a length of wall 4.5 m (15’) long and about 2.4 m (8’) high, and plant 15 cm (6”) away from the wall. A number of trees should be spaced 3 m (10’) apart. They will overlap but the ends of the shoots can be headed back towards their own trunk if need be. Trees on more vigorous root-stocks will need to be 6 m (20’) apart, with a 2.7 m (9’) high wall. Bush trees growing in the open will need 1.8 m (6’) in every direction.
Plant die tree so that the uppermost roots are about 7.5 cm (3”) below the soil surface, and make sure that the hole is large enough to take the roots spread out to their fullest extent. If any roots are broken or torn, cut them back cleanly to just behind the damage. If they became at all dry during transit, soak them for an hour or two in a bucket of tepid water before planting.
Once in the planting hole, cover the roots with a layer of crumbled soil, shake the tree a little to settle the soil round them, and then fill in the hole gradually, firming as you go. When you have finished, there should be a slight mound towards the centre of and round the tree stem. This allows for settling later on. If this is not done, the soil tends to sink down around the trunk and trouble may be caused by water collecting there.
Finish off by raking the surface so that it is not smooth and impervious to the entry of moisture and air. You can, if you like, put a light mulch of leafmould or gardenaround the newly planted tree.
Since fan-shaped trees are trained spread flat against a wall, it will be necessary to supply wires to which the shoots and branches can be tied. These wires should be spaced 15-23 cm (6-9”) apart, with the lowest one 30 cm (1’) from the ground, and can be secured with vine eyes so that the wires are held 10 cm (4”) away from the wall.
Bush trees will need staking in the first few years of their life and the stake should be put in position before the tree is planted.