Apricots in Z 4 or 5

farmboy1(5)May 7, 2014

I've been trying to find a couple of Apricot trees for sale nearby (Chicago area), but nobody has them but one store. The local independent nursery doesn't have them. The one I bought appears to have died, and the rest of the group still at the same store also look to have pretty much died before even being sold.

I can take the one I have back with no problem, but I'm wondering if apricots are not quite cold hardy enough for Zone 4-5? Is there a certain cultivar I should look for, or vendor I should contact? Comments welcome!



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franktank232(z5 WI)

Apricots should do great around Chicago, especially if you are close to the lake. The problem is early blooming. At least in my yard, they are the first to bloom. Bad news for late frosts/freezes. If you want to try a good one, go with Tomcot (i believe Raintree has them, maybe others). I have Puget Gold (don't buy this...it doesn't like our wet springs/summers) and it even has flowers after this horrible winter here in southwest WI (several times hitting -20 to -22F)...

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 8:24PM
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Instead of looking in stores, look online in catalogs for dormant bare-root trees. You get a much better selection at a generally better price. Although it's getting late in the year.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 9:21PM
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From what Ive read a lot of them can survive in zone 4 or even 3, the problem is late season growth getting fried or more likely the flower buds getting hit by late frosts since they are so early flowering.

You can try to find manchurian apricots. They can survive up in manitoba and alberta and apparently fruit well most years. They are edible and taste ok, again from what ive read. They might be a good place to start.

Or for a project, you can try to grow a bunch from seed. They apparently grow fairly "true" from seed (although not exactly like the parent fruit) and germinate pretty readily. The more you plant the higher likelyhood of survival.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 9:48PM
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I live about 55 miles west of Chicago on the beginning of farm country. This past winter we saw -22 several times, brrr!

I will buy a couple bare-root trees asap, sounds like the way to go!

I tried a seed from an orange tree years ago...it sprouted....and kept indoors, it grew to about 8' before i gave it away on craigslist; the guy who took it moved to Florida and planted it!


    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 12:49AM
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IF you are going to grow apricots from seed there are two ways

1 - Clean the pits and very carefully crack it with a nut cracker or a vice. You just want to split it to help water get into the kernal inside the pit. Soak in water for two days then place in slightly moist seed starter or vermiculite about an inch deep in a baggie. Toss it in the fridge for two or three months. They should start to germinate in the bag. If they dont put the baggie outside in shade when the temps dont go below 4C (roughly40F)

2 - clean the seed and plant it outside a week or two before the ground freezes. Squirrels etc are good at finding them I hear so you might want to cover the are in mesh.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 2:43AM
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