Apricot, Nectarine, & Peach Garden Guide

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Apricot, Nectarine, & Peach Care At A Glance

  • Easy to grow, and self-fruitful, but plant with another similar variety for cross-pollination.
  • Tree sizes vary by type & variety but on average 12 to 20 ft. tall and wide.
  • Stone fruits bear in 2-4 years from planting on average.
  • Cold hardiness varies by variety, but all prefer higher ground rather than low, cold air sink spots.
  • Well-drained, organically rich soil in a fully sunny location is best.

Planting Instructions

Follow the same planting instructions, as you would for other bareroot trees.

  • Amend existing soil appropriately with organic material to help improve drainage.
  • NOTE: Proper drainage is critical for fruit-bearing trees to do well in the long-term. Do not use potting soil.

  • Soak roots for 8-24 hrs. prior to planting.
  • Prune the tip of the main leader by removing a couple of inches to promote side branching.
    • With clean pruners, cut at a slight angle, just above a visible bud.
    • Any side branches should also be pruned back by 1/2 their length.
  • Properly water newly planted trees using the 1 inch per week rule for the entire first growing season.
    • 1 inch of water equates to about 2.5-3 gal. every other day.
    • Remove competitive grass & weeds to form a 3-4 ft. tree well and add 2-3 in. of compost or mulch.
  • Cage or wrap tree trunks to prevent predation from deer or rodents.
  • NOTE: DO NOT rely solely on rain events to provide enough moisture to newly planted trees.


Several rootstocks are utilized for different Prunus sp., but all are vigorous, with strong root growth. All are cold-tolerant and can cause early fruiting. Most tolerate moderately wet soil, are fairly pH adaptable, and offer some disease resistance.


Prune as needed starting the second year after planting. In the second spring, remove branches too low on the trunk, as they will not grow any higher on the trunk. Leave the first branches where you want the tree's crown to start. Pruning should be done in spring, usually February to March when buds swell and turn pink. Follow all basic fruit tree pruning techniques. Stone fruits are typically pruned into strong Vase shapes to promote an open canopy with emphasis on promoting 1-year-old wood, which produces the best fruiting potential.


Like all fruit trees, maintaining proper nutrition is important for trees and fruit development. Fertilizing should be done in early spring, just prior to the tree leafing out. Apply a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or use an organic food with complete 3-5-3 formula according to product label instructions.

NOTE: Although all plants require some nitrogen for proper growth, too much nitrogen fertilizer can lead to improper growth and limit or halt flowering entirely.