Sue Sanderson

Sue Sanderson – our horticulturist expert

Sue Says
Hi Lucy, I’d agree that the very cold weather may have contributed to your lack of fruit as the blossoms are susceptible to frost damage. Also in cool areas it’s quite common for branch die-back to occur with apricots so I wouldn’t worry too much at this stage. I would advise cutting the affected branch back to healthy wood using sterile secateurs or a saw. As a precaution, I’d make sure the dead branch is burnt or put in with ordinary household waste for disposal.

If you notice any more branches dying back then you may need to consider bacterial canker which especially affects plums, cherries, peaches and apricots. Cankers form on the branches in the spring along with an oozing sap and can rapidly kill any branch affected. Keep an eye out for small brown patches appearing on the leaves of the plant, which will disintegrate and leave holes in the leaf in early summer (referred to as ‘shotholes’). If you find that you have these symptoms, you can use a copper-based fungicide in late summer/early autumn to control the bacteria. Make sure any material you remove is burnt or disposed of in normal household waste and sterilise your pruning equipment. Good luck Lucy, let’s hope it is just branch die-back!

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