Apricots tend to bloom very early so the blossoms are killed by early spring frosts. They grow best in deep, fertile, well-drained soil. They are not recommended for northern Illinois.
Plant two different varieties for better fruit production although some varieties are self-fruitful. Standard trees or trees that are grafted on Manchurian rootstocks are recommended.
Apricots are trained to either central leader or open center system. Mature trees need to be pruned every year during the dormant season. They require more pruning than standard apple trees but less than peaches. Control brown rot and other stone fruit diseases such as bacterial canker using recommended fungicide sprays. Suggested varieties include 'Earli Orange,' 'Superb,' and 'Wilson Delicious.'
Pruning Apricot Fruit Trees
Apricots may be trained to either the central-leader system or the open-center system. For the central-leader system, use the specifications and training suggestions given for standard apple trees. For the open center system, train and prune apricots in the manner suggested for peaches.
Bearing apricot trees, whether trained to the central-leader system or the open-center system, require a little more annual pruning than standard apple trees, but less than peaches require. Most of the fruits are borne on short spurs that are productive for up to 3 years. Considerable thinning-out pruning should be done to induce annual production of new fruiting spurs.