Apricot Seedling Question

canadianplantApril 12, 2012

I somehow managed to get an apricot seedling to survive outside, in a small pot. it has some top kill, but its alive and well.

Here is the problem. Im well aware that growing from seed is a guessing game. I believe that I am on the edge of its hardiness. This makes me think of the obvious choice: Plant it near a south facing wall, so that the north winds dont hit it. This leads to the problem that they tend to flower early, and this may lead to me constantly loosing flowers, therefore no fruit.

I have read that the best way to get around this is to plant it in a northly location, to offset supplimental heat from buildings and such. This again leads me to the hardiness problem.

I also have a question about sunlight. Seeing as theyve been cultivated in the middle east for thousands of years, I would assume they need full sun. Im starting to learn that "full sun" is relative. Does it need at least 6 hours of direct sun, or does it need all day sun ( say, over 10 hours), or a combination, 12 hours of off and on sun? Im up 48 degrees latitude, same relative latitude as Paris, and VAncouver BC.

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You're obviously thinking this one through really well from the beginning... I hope I can answer some of your questions.

-- First of all, apricots are known to come "fairly true" from seed, in other words, it's not at all unusual to get good quality fruit from a seedling (same with peaches supposedly)
-- The location, and especially the amount of sunlight will impact the fruit quality most. I would go for the maximum amount of sun for your area, and avoid the northern exposure idea -- it only buys you a few days anyway. But an apricot in your climate will be much happier in a hot spot with reflected heat. Here apricots seem to take shade very well, but will then flower only rarely.

A note about hardiness... Apricot trees survived our record cold in Feb 2011 here without trouble. Most of Northern NM saw -15F or lower, with a few places going down below -30F.
HOWEVER... there were no apricot flowers and thus no fruit last summer due to that cold spell. So if you get down into the -20'sF each winter, especially late in the season when the trees are beginning to come out of dormancy, you'll probably never get flowers or fruit.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 6:01PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

It all depends what you've got, some seedlings are hardier then others. There is a fairly high chance that the fruit is descent.
We have some apricot trees here that still give fruit at -35C/-31F cold snap. There are several the City of Edmonton planted over 50 years ago, some of the fruits are really good.
I wouldn't plant it close to the south facing wall of a building, about 10 meters away or on the north/west side of the house.
We have long day's in the summer and the sun is high enough to give the tree lots of sun.

This from DNA Gardens, [about the Edmonton Capilano Apricot]
..not in business anymore..

Parents: Unknown
Growth: Specimen has multiple stems and is open and spreading
Fruit habit: The lady of the closest house says it fruits every second year. Many people pick them. Size: 4 x 4.2 x . 3.6 cm
Shape: flattened ventrally; higher at shoulder
Suture: deep ending at beak
Stigma: small flattened beak
Color: very dark yellow with red blushes on exposed skin.
Aroma: good
Maturity: end of July
Texture: soft
Taste: juicy, very sweet
Uses: excellent dessert type
Stone: free
Thean Pheh remarks:

City of Edmonton could not determine whether it was a seedling or selection as it was planted in the 60's and the lile could not be traced. There were three apricot plants on the same buffer strip and each is completely different from the other in growth habit, fruit maturity, size, shape and taste leading me to think that they are open pollinated seedlings.

I had a small tree in the backyard and had fruit, grafted to a plum seedling, ..I killed it by the transplant!
Have now many seedlings from these Edmonton trees growing outside of the city, which is about another zone colder, they're going into the 3rd. season,...time will tell if any good.
My hope is that some will be OK and I have some early flowers/pollen for the bees.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 11:24PM
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Thanks guys.

Ive also heard Apricots (and peaches) have a a good chance at growing true to type, or at least close to one of the parents. I am also paranoid about the buds freezing some years, which is a good possibility.


Its a lot harder to grow things in edmonton then it is here in NW ont.

Heres the thing. I want to plant it in the front. There is one problem. There is a large lilac blocking some sun (untill it gets taller, it will get more sun). There is also a tall ash planted on the boulavard.

There are to options: One is to plant it on the property line (neighbors are ok with this, quite delighted in fact). It is a south/soutwest facing wall of my house, but the area is about 6 feet away, maybe 5. When its small, the apricot will get abotu 4 hours ofdirect, and a few more of dappled light. The taller it gets, the more light it will recieve.

The other is in the front. The problem is, there is a small Elderberry plant there, which can grow fast and take over a spot. I dont want it out growing the apricot. The spot aslo tends to get ice build up in spring, which means standing water, for short periods of time. That is bad for apricots as far as I know.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 1:06PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

>>Its a lot harder to grow things in edmonton then it is here in NW ont. That's possible but that doesn't mean you have a hardy Apricot...are you zone 4? Please state your zone in member page.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 7:46PM
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Yes, Im zone 4, maybe zone 5 depending on the source (that is my area of town NOT the general zone of my city, which you will see rated usually zone 3a, but sometimes even zone 2b, (which is way too cold).

And youre right, that doesnt mean that my seedling is hardy here. IT made its first winter in a small pot outdoors all winter, so to some degree, thats an indication of its hardiness IMO.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 7:54AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

How can a city be colder then a town?

I'm in town, about zone3, the city of Edmonton is more of a zone 4.
My nursery is out in the boonies and more of a zone 2.

Don't forget, Canada had a mild winter...you need to evaluate your plant in about a 5 year average,...time will tell.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 1:35PM
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Town/city is meant to mean the same thing in that context. We have 100 000 people here, so its far from being a literal "town".

My area is right near the lake, so it moderates the temps. I get cooler weather in the summer, and warmer weather in the winter, then someone even 5 KM away from me. You go 16 km away from the lake, you go from zone 4, all the way down to zome 3. Any further away your going way higher in elevation, and obviously, its colder. Basically, there are 2 or 3 zone bands within the city.

Ive also lived in Calgary, so im familiar with the micro climates, and heat island effect there (I love That part of the country :D )

We did have a mild winter. But 2 outta the last 3 here have been like this, and its been crazy for a decade or more. That is why my first instict was to plant it on the south side of a wall (not next to it per se, but close enough to block the north winds).

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 1:21PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

OK..a large body of water near by is ideal, it smoothes out temp. fluctuations.
Calgary is allot worse then Edmonton in this respect,...known to have the extreme highs and low temp. called Chinooks.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 1:52PM
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CHinooks are awesome - if you can handle migraines... 15C in January is pretty nice, but we all got a taste of them this winter id say !

Im pretty sure I can get the tree to survive. FLowerbuds, is a matter of trying IMO. The only thing im really having problem is light. Id like to know how much direct sun is needed to get fruit set.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 2:11PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

This is the Capilano Apricot tree I killed after the transplant, it grew in the back yard, north/west and didn't get much sun.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 9:09PM
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Wow Konrad that looks pretty good. I guess being so far up north makes it easier to place them in the north (NW, NE) spot, due to the higher/longer sun we get. Thats some good fruit set concidering it didnt get "too much light".

THanks for the help. Its going to be planted today!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 9:06AM
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