Understanding apricot growth to make a fan

So despite having no good remaining planting spots I caved and ordered a blenheim apricot, oops. I’ve had good luck with my asian pear espaliers and was thinking I have just enough fence space for the apricot. It sounds like a fan shape is the way to go. I haven’t grown apricots before but am now reading different varieties fruit on spurs in different parts of the branches, tips vs. middle. Would the spurred branches come off the main “arms” of the fan? What about when those spurs are no longer productive in 3-4 years? Im really having trouble visualizing this. I don’t mind learning as I go but is this an awful idea? I could also cram it between a plum and peach but realistically there’s not enough space there. This is an addiction


@Girly Do you have any updates on your apricot espalier? It’s inspirational!

I just planted some stone fruits this year that I want to try to do fan espalier with. I have 7 espalier apples that are doing well, but the bearing habit of apples seems much more suited to espalier than a tree that only fruits on 2nd year wood. In an ideal world it seems like you could have new shoots coming up from the fan base and cut older ones off entirely, but from what I’ve heard stone fruits don’t like making new buds from very old wood, which eventually the base of the fan would become. I’m thinking I’ll pinch the ends of new growth as the get maybe halfway up the fan, then let them go the rest of the way the next year, then cut off entirely. But I don’t know; I’d love to hear from someone who has actually done this growing method with success.

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I just went into Girly’s profile looking for her apricot- she has a youtube! There’s a video showing the espalier apricot. Looks like it’s bearing just fine.

@Girly I’m just wondering, did you graft it yourself? Such a pretty tree.

I have a Montrose apricot that’s growing against my house. It made it through it’s first Minnesota winter. It will be a fan. Hopefully it continues to do well and I can report back as time goes on.


You might look at sources from the UK as fan against a southern wall or fence is a recommended approach there, from what I’ve seen. In my old copy of The Fruit Garden Displayed, the section on apricots recommends treatment generally similar to fan-training of peaches and nectarines with a few exceptions. I could excerpt or scan the relevant bits to you if you don’t find what you’re looking for elsewhere.

Thank you so much for the scanning offer. There are sites online that tell how to make the fan. I just have the same question as @HollyGates, how to promote growth of new spur forming wood once the initial ones are finished

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If anyone else is interested this is one of the best guides i’ve found so far online for maintenance


Here is a couple pages from the book RHS Pruning & Training:

Image zoom is not working well for me in viewing these screenshots, they look better if you right click and click “view image” or “open in new tab”.

(First years of training are as for a peach:)

(Once established prune as for a plum fan:)


Thank you @dimitri_7a! That is really helpful!

Hi @Katie_didnt_Z4b
Sorry for the late reply.
I bought the tree and trained it (did not do any grafting). Apricots are very vigorous growers so I was able to establish the structure in under 2 years. It’s a very easy beginners project - if I can do it you can do it too :slight_smile:


@Lids - Thank you :hugs:
I redid my yard and pulled out the tree. Sorry :slightly_frowning_face:
This is last years harvest https://youtu.be/nKueRdaQtOk

@Lids Oops sorry, missed to answer your first question on the fruiting spurs! Very Good Question!

I planted the tree in 2016. It produced a few apricots in 2017 and a bumper crop in 2018. But in 2019 the lower tiers barely produced any fruits. I feel that the fruiting wood moves up on the tree over time and wondered if over many years, I would run into an issue of adding more tiers on top just to have more fruiting wood. You can compare the 2018 and 2019 videos on you tube and see the difference… Sorry I wish I had the tree - then we could have had more metrics over the next couple of years…

I think going with a fan like you are doing may be better than the horizontal tiers I did. Have fun with the espalier! :slight_smile:

Hope this helps! Any other questions let me know.

Great info from @dimitri_7a on training fan espaliers!

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