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Apricot spread depends on its rootstock

Question: Before I plant my apricot tree this spring, I would like to know how much space I should allocate for it. Does a Blenheim apricot lend itself to close pruning?

The size of an apricot tree depends on the variety and what roots it is growing on. An apricot on its own roots can be large, more than 20 feet tall. When a variety is grafted onto a rootstock, there is usually some dwarfing. But in the case of apricots, the rootstock is not usually chosen for its dwarfing characteristics.

The amount of space you allocate for your apricot depends on how you manage it.

We keep all of our apricots at the orchard at 6½ feet tall and 7 feet in diameter all their lives. This size control is mostly done by pruning. You can do this with any apricot, but some stay naturally small more than others.

Bob Morris is a professor emeritus in horticulture with the University of Nevada and can be reached at extremehort@aol.com. Visit his blog at

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