Apricot Tree: Care, Growing Guide, & Facts
Table of Contents
Apricot Tree Description
The apricot tree (Prunus armeniaca) is a fruit tree that produces excellent fruit, as well as a flowering ornamental that provides a sensory feast for the eyes and nose.
People who establish apricot trees, on the other hand, are frequently disappointed to learn that most conditions in North America do not sustain ripening. This is likely to be the case unless you reside in a region where temperatures are consistent throughout the year.
Apricot blossoms are particularly hard on spring frosts. The good news is that the trees are beautiful in their own right; you’ll just have to accept the fact that you’ll have to buy your apricots from the shop.
By including this delicate Asian native into your landscape design, you may lengthen the bloom season of your garden while also adding aesthetic interest via the use of form and negative space.
When other plants are still sprouting and have yet to produce new leaves, the apricot tree blossoms in early April. The delicate flowers are highlighted by the early blooming on bare branches against a barren backdrop, allowing them to take centre stage until other plants blossom or a later frost forces the delicate blossoms to slip off their branches.
When it comes to apricots of the genus Prunus, it’s vital to remember that not all apricots are made equal. The Japanese apricot (Prunus mume), which is commonly referred to simply as an “apricot,” is a distinct species entirely. Although the flowers look similar, they are distinct.
The Japanese apricot blooms significantly sooner than the American apricot. It grows up to 20 to 30 feet tall and wide.
How To Care Apricot Tree?
Growing the tree in a hotter climate or near a structure in full light will help the blossoms last longer, even during frosts. You might also consider one of the numerous cold-tolerant varieties on the market.
Prunus armeniaca has hundreds of varieties available in the nursery trade. Prunus armeniaca, whether cultivated as an ornamental or for fruit, is a high-maintenance plant with finicky soil and water requirements.
The positives, on the other hand, include a beautiful tree in your yard and, if you’re lucky, excellent fresh apricots.
How To Grow Apricot Tree?
Make sure that the apricot tree is grown in a location that receives full light for the optimum fruit and bloom output.
Apricot trees thrive in soils that are loamy, well-draining, and organically rich. They like neutral to slightly alkaline soil, and it’s a good idea to test the pH of the soil before planting to determine if any amendments are required.
To keep the soil moist, fully developed trees will require additional water. Drought is not a friend of the apricot tree. In the warmer zones, more irrigation will ensure optimal bloom and fruit production. At least once a week, soak the tree’s soil with a drip, sprinkler, or other watering technique.
iv. Temperature and Humidity
Because apricots blossom early in the spring, site selection is critical for frost management. Apricots should be planted in high-elevation regions with sufficient ventilation to avoid low spots.
Warm air rises as the temperature lowers, whereas cold air settles at lower elevations. The region can become a microclimate and an artificial frost zone can be created.
Otherwise, the apricot tree may be grown in Zones 5-8 and thrives and produces fruit in climates with little variation in winter and spring temperatures.
Apply fertilizer along the drip line of your apricot trees in the early spring before new growth begins. For these trees, a low-nitrogen fertilizer is recommended.
Varieties of Apricot Tree
One of the advantages of producing so many different varieties of the plant is that producers may now breed for form and shape as well as hardiness and fruiting. Dwarf cultivars grafted on dwarf rootstock are obtainable, such as Prunus armeniaca ‘Homedale’, STARK SWEETHEART, and Prunus armeniaca ‘Wilson’s Delicious.’ This enables a landscape designer or homeowner to place the tree in a much more compact space.
Harvesting Apricot Tree
If you’ve found the perfect spot for your apricot tree to produce fruit, it’s time to harvest when the fruit has a lovely blush but is still firm to the touch. Handle the fruits gently and remove them from the tree with the stem intact.
Fresh ripe apricots are preferable, but they may also be prepared in a variety of ways. They are better canned than frozen uncooked, which toughens the skin, so peel the fruit beforehand if freezing is needed.
Pests and Disease in Apricot Tree
Apricots are resistant to a lot of the pests and illnesses that peaches and nectarines are susceptible to. Frost is the most significant stumbling block to a successful apricot harvest.
Once the tree has developed itself and the blossoms have survived the frost free period in your zone, good cleanliness in the orchard, sufficient fertilisation, and watering may be all that is required.