Pollinating Apricot Trees
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated August 4, 2023)
If you have ever grown apricot trees, then you know just how wonderful their fruit can be when eaten directly from the tree. However, if you have a little problem with pollinating your apricot trees, then you can easily find yourself without any apricots. Relying on luck as the sole method for pollinating apricot trees can provide only a hit and miss crop. Instead, follow these suggestions for pollinating apricot trees, and dramatically improve your fruit yield.
- Know your tree. One of the most important aspects of pollinating apricot trees is to actually know your tree. Is your particular tree a self-pollinator, or is it one that requires outside forces to help in the pollination process? Believe it or not, there are apricot trees that can self pollinate, as well as apricot trees that require those outside forces to help produce the fruit we so love to eat. Be sure that you know what type of tree you have, since each will require different steps to pollinate. Admittedly though, the self pollinating trees require significantly less work on your part, so the information contained here is for those trees that don't self pollinate.
- Know your weather. Apricot trees tend to flower fairly early in the spring. So if you live in an area of the country, or the world, where there are still cold frosty nights, don't be surprised if the weather damages the flowers. Frost can quickly damage the flower on the tree to the point where it may not kill the flower, but will lower the chances that it will bear any fruit. Be sure that you know your local areas weather patterns, and take some steps to protect your trees from the ravages of excessive weather.
- Group trees. One of the best ways to increase your fruit yield, is to actually group a number of apricot trees together. The will help in a number of ways, one of which is to get the wind to help in your pollinating efforts. Simply plant a little apricot "grove" of three or more trees in close proximity to each other, and allow nature to take its course.
- Natural pollinators. Natural pollinators are usually the best way to go when pollinating your apricot trees. Natural pollinators, such as bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, and birds, are less likely to cause permanent damage to the apricot flowers than if you do the pollinating yourself. Make your tree, or trees, as attractive to natural pollinators as possible. Some of the ways that you can do this is to hang bird feeders, butterfly feeders, and other types of attractors on your tree, and also to plant other plants and flowers that attract such pollinators in close proximity to your apricot tree.
- Artificially pollinate. Perhaps the most time consuming, labor intensive, and potentially damaging method for pollinating your apricot tree would be to do the work yourself. If you artificially pollinate your apricot flowers in the same manner that you do with other flowers, then you will take a lot of time, be doing it by hand, and run the risk of damaging the flower. An alternate method would be to rent a "wind pollinator" and use it to help pollinate your tree. However, this method is only really suitable for large numbers of trees, at least five or more, and is not particularly efficient.
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