Apricots in zone 5a?

fruitmaven.WIz5(5)April 23, 2012

I read about Goldcot and some other "hardy, late blooming" apricots, and wondered if anyone has tried to grow them in the colder parts of the country. I'm in southern WI, and our last frost date is about May 1st. I could plant a small tree on the south side of my house. If I espalier it, it might not get frost up against the house.

Has anyone successfully grown apricots? Are they worth it? What about the Chinese apricots with the edible almond-like pits? I welcome all opinions!

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They often do well here in Zone 5b; I've lost one or two to disease, one to overwatering, and had a potted one freeze out (the root was fine as I sunk the pot in the soil, but the top died).

I suspect that a lot of the successful 'cots here are seedlings, and that may be one of the clues: survivors that are genetically OK with our vicissitudes of weather and variable frost and such.

At any rate, getting a good crop of apricots off of your own tree is lovely. I had some success with "Mormon" or "Chinese" when I could keep the squirrels off of them.

Good luck,


    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 8:20PM
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Luckily we are in a ten year old subdivision, so there aren't any mature trees. I haven't seen a squirrel in the two years we've lived here, though I'm sure that will change with all the fruit I'm planting!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 8:36PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I would imagine as long as you aren't in a frost hollow, you should be fine. I'm thinking somewhere like Black River Falls, Wausau or Sparta/Tomah would probably not be good for apricot production.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 9:39PM
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Franktank and marknmt, what are your favorite varieties so far? I probably only have room for one tree, if it were you, what would you choose?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 6:43AM
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My most successful here has been Chinese (Mormon). Beautiful, large, decent out of hand and excellent preserves and stewed.

Tilton does well here, I guess. Tom, back east, loves Tomcot, and I want to try that if I can get budwood this summer. I hope others comment as my experience is really limited.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 8:50AM
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Konrad far north has posted that he grows cold-hardy apricots in Zone 2.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 9:26AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Tomcot by far. I have Puget Gold, Hunza, and Tomcot...I also have Harogem that flowered this year, but the freeze zapped all the fruit. Hunza is garbage...the fruit isn't that great and for the billion flowers it produces, its sets about 5 fruit (and I shouldn't be having pollination issues because I have several flowering all around the same time). Puget Gold produces big cots, but they have some skin disorder every year (i think I already see it on developing fruits). Tomcot sets a lot of fruit, has no disease issues (i don't spray for) and tastes/looks great. The "Har" series of cots may be worth investigating (Harcot/Harogem/etc).

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 9:40AM
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I have Harglow. The trees just aren't vigorous, but that could be the dwarfing rootstock, which, as they came from Stark's, is anonymous. Still young. They do, however, set [a small number of] fruits.

Flavor Delight set a good number of fruits, but it's dropping a lot now. One fell on my head as I was looking at the tree.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 10:31AM
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I'm convinced that I should try an apricot tree, but I'd like some advice on where to plant it. I have a spot on the north side of my house that gets full sun in the summer and shade in the winter. My daffodils on the north side bloomed weeks later than the ones on the south (same variety). The front yard can get windy, but in a few years that spot will be sheltered by other fruit bushes (gooseberries and juneberries).
I could also plant it in my backyard, against the south side of my house. It gets very hot back there, and I worry it'll be sun scalded and frosted. I'm zone 5a, but my backyard has zone 7 pampas grass return every year.
What do you think?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 11:28AM
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There was an informative discussion on this subject here recently.

Here is a link that might be useful: apricot discussion

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 1:08PM
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Yes, I'd seen that post earlier. After reading it more carefully, I think I'll plant it in my front yard, on the north side. I was a little unsure of myself, since I talked to someone at the nursery who didn't like the N idea. I'm going with the Chinese apricot, since it's rated for zone 4 and everyone has complimentary things to say. My second choice would be Tomcot, but the local nursery doesn't have that, and I'd rather have a higher chance of getting fruit every year! Maybe next year...

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 1:57PM
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