Hardy Apricot Trees?

mulberryknobAugust 30, 2008

Seeing the post about apricots makes me want an apricot tree. Ate them fresh from the tree in California this summer. Sooo good. Does anyone know names of cold hardy, late-blooming apricots that do well in zone 6b? We had one several years ago, but it bloomed too early and froze out more often than it produced. Dorothy

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Dorothy,

I love apricots fresh from the tree and one of my neighbor grows them here. Sadly, they are even less consistent than peaches and he gets a good crop maybe once every 4 years. So, I am not sure that any of the named varieties "do well" here, although I guess the more cold hardy a variety is, then the better the chances that it might do well occasionally. Research conducted by Texas A&M has found that apricots are very inconsistent and the inconsistency is NOT always related to weather (late freezes or chilling hour requirements). Furthermore, apricot seedlings grown from grocery store fruit's pits often do just as well, or better than, commercially-developed hybrids, according to TAMU.

The recommended variety for Oklahoma is Tilton. That's not the one my neighbor has. I think his tree is Moorpark.

Varieties recommended for the colder parts of Texas (including zone 6 areas) are (listed in order of ripening) are Bryan, Hungarian and Moorpark.

There ARE varieties developed for areas as cold as zone 5 and 4 but they haven't been tested/proven here in Oklahoma, as far as I know. Some of these include: Harcot (developed in Canada!), Hargrand, Moongold, Sungold (the two "golds" cross-pollinate one another), Goldrich, and Orange Royal.

If it were me, I think I would plant three trees and make one of them Tilton, another Moorpark and for the third, I'd go to the Stark Bros. website and read about the cold-hardiness of the varieties they sell.....and choose one that sounds appealing and try it. With several different varieties, you might increase your chances of getting a crop fairly regularly.

Good luck,

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: Stark Bros. Apricot Page

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 8:58AM
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mulberryknob

Thanks Dawn, since we brought home a half dozen pits from Calif, think I may just pot them up and see what happens. The Owens valley near Bishop gets very little rain, but the winter cold temps are similar to ours. Got nothing to lose. May also buy at least one from Stark's Dorothy

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 3:02PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

You're welcome Dorothy.

You never know. Since A&M's research shows that apricots grown from grocery store pits actually outperform hybrid commercial varieties in home gardens, the ones you raise from the pits from California might give you great trees. Wouldn't that be something?

All this talk of apricots is making me hungry for apricots. I froze a lot of them last year. I may just take some out of the freezer and make a cobbler or muffins or something with them.

Dawn

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 6:28PM
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