Few flowers in the second year

Few flowers in the second year

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Question: few flowers in the second year

I have an apricot tree in Tuscan (real imola) purchased in a vase, a 3-year-old plant. It is now the third year since the transplant. He made very few flowers and all at the top of the tallest branches. Last year it bloomed a lot and everywhere with 30 fruits brought to maturity. What should I do at the end of the season to prune more than the little I did this winter?
Thanks and best regards

Answer: few flowers in the second year

Dear Marcello,
apricot plants generally do not need large pruning, they tend to produce flowers on branches that are at least one year old, and therefore they try to avoid cutting excessively the branches already present, also to avoid that the plant produces so much resin to close the wounds; usually, at the end of winter, between February and March, the suckers are raised, that is the branches that develop erect towards the sky, and tend to keep the crown quite open, so that the sun's rays penetrate even between the central branches tree; to keep the sunny foliage often sacrifices even an older branch, among those that grow towards the inside of the foliage. When it comes to very young trees, like yours, more than anything else, a training pruning is practiced, always taking the suckers, but also trying to give a cup shape to the scaffolding of branches, so that in the future the tree develop a wide open head, and it is easy to reap the benefits. Having said that, you don't have to worry in any way if this year's harvest will be scarce, first of all because the climate was particular in the months of March and April 2013, with even intense cold and temperatures well below the average, and excessive rains . Thus, it may have been simply a climate-related problem, with the cold that may have ruined flowering, and rain that may have inhibited pollination, resulting in fruit shortages. In addition to these two reasons, consider that your sapling is very young, and it is not uncommon for an apricot to produce almost no fruit until it has reached five years of age. It often happens that apricot trees bear fruit in alternate years, with a year characterized by a very abundant harvest, and the following year in which only a few apricots are seen here and there. Try only to keep your plant healthy by supplying fertilizer in the autumn and late winter (manure or slow release granular fertilizer), which should be spread and lightly buried near the stem. If necessary, check for pests with treatments based on copper or Bordeaux mixture to be made at the end of winter. As far as fruiting is concerned, it could be a characteristic linked to your tree, which also in the coming years will tend to bear fruit abundantly for a year, a little less the following year.