I remember reading that it is now considered ok to prune fruit trees in summer “lightly”.   But I’ve never done any summer pruning because it’s so HOT!  And you can’t see what you’re doing with all the leaves.

Most of my trees need serious pruning, but fortunately not this week or next.

When do we prune?


When to Prune Apricot Trees

Just like cherry trees and other stone fruits, apricot trees are best to prune in the summer. They should never be pruned in the winter or on damp days because these trees are very susceptible to water-borne diseases. Pruning apricot trees in the winter prevents the cuts from healing correctly on the tree, leaving them open to dangerous diseases when rainy weather comes. Pruning in dry, warm weather is best to ensure a healthy tree.

As so often, the Arizona Extension is underwhelming:


… So when is the best time to prune? Just about any time is OK, but sometimes are better than others. The best time for most fruit trees is when the tree is completely dormant. In some cases, such as peach or nectarine, it is better to wait until the coldest weather has passed, as cut ends can be damaged by a sudden cold snap. Judicious summer pruning can promote even ripening of fruit and at the same time, have some dwarfing effect. …

This would be a good general pruning article if it only was formatted and rewritten.   As a former Kingman master gardener, I know how difficult the university is to deal with.

For an overwhelming article with fantastic pictures and drawings, and a reasonable explanation for pruning in late winter vs mid-summer:


When to Start Pruning Apricot Trees

The first thing to know about pruning apricot trees is that there is only one time of year you should do it. Late winter and early spring are the ideal times to prune the apricot tree. This is right as new flowers begin to open. Why do we start pruning apricot trees right when they are flowering again after winter?

This time is when your tree is actively growing. This means that your cuts from pruning will heal very quickly. Overall, waiting for late winter or early spring lets your apricot tree heal quickly from pruning and have the best chance at resisting diseases after being pruned. There are also gardeners who argue for summer pruning after the tree has fruited.

Pruning in the summer after the tree has fruited prevents new growth and helps to keep the size, spread, and shape of your apricot tree in check. If you have a particularly demanding pruning job, waiting until mid summer might be best.

  • Prune in late winter and early spring for most mild to moderate pruning jobs. Wait until the flower buds start opening.
  • Pruning apricot trees in summer inhibits growth and can be a good time to shape overgrown trees.

So we go from completely dormant to flowering to summer pruning.

Most Arizona winters are fairly dry, but there are exceptions.

I’ll do some serious pruning when they start flowering.  

Don’t want to risk promoting flowering and then it’ll freeze again.  Got no nectarines and few apricots last year as we had a winter storm come through when they were in full bloom.

It’s been so warm and sunny.  THIS is why I live here: