apricot bloom date and blooming issues

fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TXFebruary 15, 2012

The last of my apricots in the greenhouse are just starting to bloom, the earliest is shuck split. The latest bloomer is Tardirouge, sold I think by Fowlers. The next latest is Early Blush, full bloom or a little past. Tasty Rich is at shuck split and absolutely covered with fruit. The bees really liked it.

Bloom order earliest to latest:

Flavorella

Tasty Rich

Honey Rich

Cot-N-Candy

Bella Gold

Tomcot

Robada

Gold Kist

Early Blush

Tardirouge

Orangered aborted nearly 100% of it's bloom. This may be because I allowed the greenhouse to warm too fast. I'm now wondering if this isn't my issue with aborted/deformed sweet cherry bloom.

Gold Kist was supposed to be an early blooming pollinator for Flavorella but wasn't this year.

If Early Blush really is a week earlier maturity fruit than Tasty Rich it's going to need a 3-4 week shorter developmental period.

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franktank232(z5 WI)

How warm do you let it get in there?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 1:35PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Frank:

I've been letting it warm into the 80s by day still low 30s at night. I think I need to hold it in the 60s by day when the early stuff is blooming and no higher than 70s when bloom of the latest stuff finishes.

I checked out CA, MI, and WA. Though sweet cherry bloom they are 30s increasing to 40s at night and 50s increasing to low 70s by day.

I wish I could talk to the experts on high tunnel sweet cherry production to see if they've seen temperature issues related to bloom and fruit set. It can get very hot in a high tunnel early in the year unless well ventilated. I know you are thinking a little about high tunnels for potted trees. Temperature may be critical even early in spring.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 2:16PM
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questor3

Is nice to see that 2 of the overall preferred varieties by growers on this site seem to overlap blooms for cross pollination reasons. I'm referring to the Tomcot and Robada. Which might make for a nice 2 on 1 variety combo. Is this a correct assumption? I'm suddenly envisioning this 2 on 1 tree prospect combo on it for container use. Trouble is though, I seem to recall reading within this Forum that the Robada is quite hard to locate and acquire. Maybe scions are available out there somewhere?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 4:41PM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

Was Orangered on its way to blooming later than the others?

One DWN theory is that day/night temperature fluctuations interrupt apricot bloom. But straight high temperatures could be a cause, too. One spring we had a warm spell which aborted the bloom on my lone European plum.

To add to your list, Flavor Delight is always the first to bloom for me, though I have a Bella Gold still in the pot (just bought it) which is also blooming.

Royalty, with big, mushy fruits on wind-resistant spurs (nostalgic choice) blooms next. Then Harcot, along with the earliest blooms on Golden Amber. It blooms through the Blenheim season and usually has a few blooms on it if and when Canadian White Blenheim blooms here, though not all of the last blooms have pollen.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 11:27AM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

Questor,

Dave Wilson now carries Robada for commercial sales. Burchell carries it, and sells trees to nurseries sometimes. Golden Sweet is their other recommended variety, said to resemble Blenhiem with fewer problems. Other than that, Fowler is the only other source I know of for Robada.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 11:40AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

carolyn:

I think Orangered will be a late bloomer but don't want to say just yet. Flavor Delight was very early blooming for me as well. But both here and in CA the fruit wasn't special. Do you like it?

Thanks for the reminder about DWN theory on temperature and bloom. Last year I ran the greenhouse in low 40s at night and 60s increasing to 70s for highs through the bloom period, mid Jan to early March. I guess that's what I need to do again. It's just that it's more expensive and slows down first fruit.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 11:41AM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

I like Flavor Delight, but not as well as Harcot, which ripens at about the same time. Flavor Delight is very reliable for me, sets a lot of fruit and tastes best when it's ready to fall from the tree, or just after it falls. I think it's self-pollenizing.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 12:16PM
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AJBB(9b)

I have Tropic Gold and Flavor Delight. Both are self-fertile and are blooming simultaneously now in Zone 9b in Phoenix (the former 8b).

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 12:34PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

carolyn:

Flavor Delight is a great producer, no question about that. But I purchased both it and Arctic Glo nectarine both here and in CA because of DWN hype and was disappointed both times with eating quality. Neither gets sweet. Arctic Glo was just plain sour for me.

I just set my greenhouse on 60/43F. This will give nights cycling between 43-45F when it's colder than that outside. Days will run mostly 60-70F depending on sun and outside temperature. It's too late to help anything but the cherries. They are just starting to bloom, maybe not too late.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 12:35PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Sorry I ignored your questions. Tomcot and Robada would indeed be a good pair in a pot. I'm growing them in pots as small as 3 gallon and expecting fruit. I suspect both are self fertile but cross pollination won't hurt.

Bella Gold 2nd leaf in 3 gal pot and I do expect fruit.

Robada 3 gal pot and it had great 24 brix fruit last year. The green lower in pot is a seedling that sprouted from a discarded seed.

Robada in a 15 gal pot.

Fruit forming on Tasty Rich.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 1:05PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Might as well be complete and post a picture of Tardirouge. The blossoms on it look something like the sweet cherries. Not completely formed and perhaps lacking pollen. I'm not sure it will set fruit. And bloom might be delayed because of the temperature issues or ???? not because it is inherantly a late bloomer.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 1:13PM
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fabaceae_native

Thanks for putting up such an interesting and informative thread, and pics, as usual...

My question is what was the difference in bloom time between the earliest, Flavorella, and the latest, Tardirouge?

Also, I noticed some mention in the post about differences from year to year. How dependable is the bloom time data given that the age/condition of the tree, variation among individuals, and geographic location might also be playing a role? In other words, what has been your consistently latest bloomer that you think would behave similarly in other areas of the country?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 1:47PM
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boizeau(7a)

Wonder if you have any seeds of one of your late blooming apricots- Tardirouge, available. Our big problem in the PNW is that Apricots try to bloom as early as February when it is still cold wet and frosty.
Montrose is about the most reliable in our region, but I cannot find a seed source either.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 3:47PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

native:

The difference outdoors in our climate from earliest to latest might be 3-5 weeks. However consider that much of the difference is on the way too early side. For instance there seems to be interest in the Montrose variety from that town in CO, a climate very similar to yours. That would be a great candidate for you. And if one found anything even a week later than Montrose you'd have something. I can name several weeks earlier but finding one later will be much tougher.

I plan to plant all of the later blooming varieties outdoors this year. In a few years I'll have better info.

boizeau:

Sorry no seeds right now but I'll collect some if I can figure out how to grow these suckers.

Carolyn:

I think you've probably put me on the right track here. Thank you very much!!!! I've struggled with the sweet cherries about 6 years. Apricots have been the second most difficult, plums and pluot less so and peach/nectarine least. Apricot and pluot abort the buds just as they begin to swell. Sweet cherries bloom but often with reduced or deformed anthers and stigma. Also the self fertile sweet cherries have been the most affected. It makes sense that temperature might affect them most. I've thought I had the answer several times. Hopefully this is it.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 7:21PM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

These trees can be persnickety about setting fruit.

Concerning Flavor Delight: For me it is not up to the standards of the best apricots. But picked up off the ground in the morning chill after it has fallen in the night, it has some complexity to its flavor, and it also seems to improve if you leave it on the counter for a day. In contrast, many apricots taste best straight from the tree.

Eaten a little while after picking, Flavor Delight is much better than your run-of-the-mill apricot, and local problems like pit burn are not an issue. It's not a blow-your-socks-off fruit. But I could recommend it for beginners or those who don't spend a lot of time spraying or tending their trees. As long as they are in a climate where frost during their early bloom season is not a big issue. Those who want the best of the best should maybe choose another variety.

:Looking forward to your evaluation of Bella Gold.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 8:34PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

My experience is most apricots have to be fully ripe to be at their best. Even a day or two makes a huge difference. Pluots have a much longer harvest window. Flavor Treat can be picked over a month or more and they're all the same. Sweet cherries hold 10-14 days on the tree. Nectarine harvest window for highest quality is a few days to a week. Some blueberries can hold for weeks if it's not too hot.

I'll know soon if there will be any Bella Gold this year.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 8:54PM
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sautesmom

For me Orangered blooms with Robada, as does Tardirouge.

Goldensweet is my FAVORITE apricot and I practically buy the whole lot when they show up at the Farmer's Market. I have wanted a tree for years, but it is only sold wholesale by Burchell, and I never seem to get my act together in time to place a commercial order to pick up in spring. I think it goes off patent next year, so hopefully we will start seeing more of Goldensweet!

Carla in Sac

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 9:45PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Carla:

What do you think of Orangered and Tardirouge fruit? What is it about Goldensweet that you like?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 10:11PM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

If Orangered blooms with Robada for you, Carla, winter chill must make a difference between the Fresno area and yours. The patent for Robada, if I recall correctly, said there was a 20-day difference there. Fowler's, which is nearer to you than to me, also describes them as good pollination partners. I think it's pretty safe to say that OrangeRed is not a low-chill variety.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 10:32PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Here is the plant patent for Goldensweet. It lists brix as 17-22 which is pretty high compared to what's listed for most. Maturity is on the early end of Robada so that would be between Tomcot and Robada for my operation.

I wonder if I'd have to buy 10 trees to order from Burchell?

Here is a link that might be useful: pp goldensweet

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 10:47PM
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strudeldog_gw

You might try looking at your Lowes for Golden Sweet. I bought one there last spring and I just checked the tag to verify and it shows the USPP 8932 I was actually trying to obtain some Tomcat scion to graft the tree over on a different current thread, mainly because I had not heard anything regarding it and knowing where I purchased my hopes were not real high. It was from their Supersweet line from Berry Family nurseries and it appears Golden Sweet is the only apricot in that line so maybe it will actually be true as labeled as not mismarked. Still looking for a couple Tomcat scion if someone has one. Be glad to pay.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 9:43AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

dog:

Thanks for that info, maybe Goldensweet will be widely sold soon. Also it's Tomcot not Tomcat. There was a typo on here once and it seems to have stuck.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 10:24AM
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strudeldog_gw

I keep making that name mistake, I posted it wrong prior as well. I guess a litter box trained tree is little optimistic. I might have to go write TomCot a 100 times on the board to retrain myself.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 10:43AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Fruit-

I'd get a few pillows and a blanket and just sleep inside that greenhouse.

Everything looks great. Got to be a wonderful place to spend on a chilly winter day.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 2:51PM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

Has anybody tried drying or cooking the best varieties described above? We seem to use all of ours fresh, but have a friend who is interested in mulit-purpose fruit.

And Carla, I'm interested in a more detailed description of Golden Sweet, too.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 12:23AM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

Fruitnut - Every time I read one of your posts about apricots I start wanting one again. Even peaches are tricky here because of late frosts so I've never gotten an apricot tree. But - I'm going to get one anyway. : ) I think I should try keeping one in a big container on my patio on the south side of our house so I can rescue it easily if we get a late frost/freeze. There's a large balcony above my patio that would help it stay warm.
Do you have a suggestion for a dwarf apricot and what it should be grafted onto to do well in a container?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 9:53AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

christie:

You don't need a big container, a dwarf variety, or a dwarf rootstock, look at the pictures above. A big container won't hurt but can get heavy. Just be certain to use a mix that drains very well.

Most of mine are on Citation rootstock. And if you are going for the plunge you might as well go all the way and try a Robada. Tomcot may be a better choice because it may be less prone to brown rot and such but it's not quite as tasty.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 10:18AM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

The Berry Family Nurseriies' supersweet line of fruits (by the same outfit that does Proven Winners nursery stock, etc.) apparently got some of its varieties from Bradford Farms. Their Australian subsidiary has a nice summary on the characteristics of its cultivars. Goldensweet apricot is one of them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bradford Farms

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 9:20AM
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sautesmom

I'm sorry folks--I just saw the comments about Goldensweet.

I'm not that great at describing food--I guess I would say is they are really sweet with a hint of tart. Sweet like a Blenheim without the "candied" flavor an overripe Blenheim can get. (Is that what they mean by "vinous"?) Or maybe sweet like a Cot-N-Candy aprium but with more complexity and a little tartness.

All I can say is every year I wait for the only grower who has them at the Farmer's Market to get them in (they are among the latest) and the first one I taste I always say: "They ARE as yummy as I remember!" (OK, now you all have me dying for an apricot!)

Oh and to correct my above post, my Tardirouge has NOT bloomed yet--it is way later than Robada or Orangered, which now have fading blooms. And for those of you looking for late bloomers, one of my newest apricots, an Autumn Royal, still has not bloomed yet either!

Carla in Sac

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 11:38PM
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john_in_sc

You guys are like crack dealers....

Was wandering thru Lowe's this afternoon.. Happened upon a new shipment of fruit trees - with this 1 sitting alone in the back.... Yep - it's a Goldensweet and it came home with me today....

Anyway, hopefully, I will have something useful to report in a year or 2.

Thanks

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 10:09PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I picked up a potted Golden Sweet recently also. It has flowers so I'm hoping for fruit this year.

My Tardirouge finally bloomed very late and is setting fruit. The very late bloom maybe related to temperature issues specific to my greenhouse. We'll see about that next year.

I'm planting all my collection outdoors. It's time to see when they bloom outdoors and what the fruit is like on the rare occasion of an outdoor harvest.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 10:30PM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

My Canadian White Blenheim is finally starting to bloom. I often get little or no bloom here. I think I am at the edge of its chill requirement. Golden Amber still has some bloom, so I might get a few CWB fruits this year.

Stark Sweetheart also has a few blooms opening. It usually doesn't have viable bloom. When it does bloom, it usually blooms several days before CWB. I don't know what was different this year.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 11:21PM
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RSivulka(6b)

I couldn't find Golden Sweet on Lowe's site. I did find: http://www.lowes.com/pd_29760-64676-NURSERY_0__?productId=4284425. Is there any difference between a Golden Sweet and a Super Sweet?

    Bookmark   December 31, 2014 at 6:14PM
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