Apricots (Prunus armeniaca) are a type of fruit grown on trees. They are fruit trees in the Rosaceae family. This tree has a big and dense crown, despite its diminutive stature. Flowers are pink or white, and the fruit is a juicy yellow-orange drupe with a finely serrated border. There are a number of nutrients and vitamins in the fruit, including sugar, proteins, phosphorus, calcium, sulfur, and magnesium (A, C, E, P). It originated in Asia and was transported to Europe by the Romans, who brought it from Asia to Europe. This tree has a snobbish attitude toward its surroundings. To grow correctly, it needs light and warmth. Without these, it will be stunted. If the culture technology is correct, it will bear fruit three to four years after planting and maintain a steady output for the next fifteen to twenty years.
The apricot tree is native to southwest Asia and southeast Europe and was first cultivated in Iraq about 7,000 years ago. Apricots are usually oval with smooth skin, and they range in color from light pink to deep orange. They have a sweet flavor reminiscent of peach or nectarine, and they are used primarily for their edible flesh, which contains high levels of vitamin A (beta-carotene).
The apricot tree yields small fruits that mature between April and June. Once the fruit has ripened, it will fall off the tree naturally or can be hand-picked using bladed tools.
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How to Grow an Apricot Tree
Most apricot trees start to bear fruit between three and four years after being planted. Make sure your tree gets the care it needs to have a better chance of a good harvest.
When it’s windy, tie your tree down. If you live in an area with strong winds, stake your apricot tree in its first year to keep it from falling over.
Apricots need enough water to remain green all summer. They won’t produce fruit if they don’t get the same amount of rain, dew, or irrigation that you give your other plants. You should also provide a regular supply of compost and mulch to keep any weeds away from your tree for it to be healthy. Keep up on these things year-round because more than one person has given their tree summer of water and forgotten to change it again.
The amount of sunlight your tree receives can determine how fruit-bearing the tree is. Apricot trees need at least six hours of direct sunshine throughout the day to produce their best yield and fruit quantity.
3. Soil Types & pH Levels
In general, you’ll want to plant a cultivar with deep taproots, which will be helpful when trying to control soil erosion around your new apricot garden so your tree can thrive. A type of soil that produces good fruit is loam, acid mine drainage, and sand:
Peat: Peat-rich soils hold an acidic pH level of around 4.5, making the trees available for insects to attack them more frequently, causing dwarfing because of poor root development. Avoid growing peat in places where your apricot plants will get full sun exposure on their leaves as it tends not to go through the longevity of the season.
Acid Mine Drainage: If you live in an area that has acid levels, adjust your soil pH level to a proper number where it perfectly matches what the begonias and fruit trees need (between 5.5-6.0) but doesn’t go so low as to make it susceptible towards parasites or other minuscule threats like insects attacking them because they won’t be able to promote growth if their environment is too messed up.
Sand: If your soil’s pH level is lacking acidity at the end of the season and you find to be plagued by pests in general, try planting sand instead of peat or other types that are acidic because it will provide a steadier supply for both insects and weeds as well since there won’t be much ground for them to set up their homes on either pre or post frost. Remember, though, that not all sandy soils produce good fruits. You find in these areas soils that very well provide roots. Still, they aren’t acidic or drained adequately to prevent the growths of weeds and other pests, so you’ll end up with something akin to weakly developed root systems when planted into a fruit garden because there is plenty for it, not enough for your plants.
Add fertilizer at the end of winter and end of summer. A fertilizer with less nitrogen can help your apricot tree stay healthy. One easy way to fertilize a tree is to use fruit tree fertilizer spikes. Just stick these spikes in the ground around your tree to give its roots a steady supply of nutrients.
Every year, prune to get rid of dead or sick branches. When you prune your apricot tree, it gets more sunlight and airflow. Make sure to prune every spring before the new growing season starts. Generally, if the top of your apricot tree is full of green leaves, but the bottom is wilting, and the bottom layer isn’t getting enough sunlight, you should prune the top. Always cut back branches that are older than six years or that are no longer producing fruit.
When you need to, thin out your apricot fruit. If you see small groups of apricot fruits growing close together, pull out the ones that are damaged, misshapen, or sick so that the healthy apricot fruits can get more food and water.
6. Plant Problems and Solutions
Check for signs of diseases. Brown rot, which is caused by fungi, and bacterial canker are two common diseases that affect apricot trees. Brown rot can be stopped with a fungicide spray. Avoid soils that don’t drain well to avoid bacterial canker.
Don’t let pests damage your tree. Peach twig borers and aphids are the worst pests you have to worry about. Peach twig borers are a common pest that attacks stone fruit trees like peaches, apricots, nectarines, and plums. To get rid of them, spray insecticide on your flowers right before they bloom and again when the petals fall off. You may eliminate aphids from a tree by spraying them with a garden hose.
In the middle to end of summer, harvest. Carefully twist and apricot fruit to see if it’s ready to be picked. If the fruit comes off the stalk easily, it’s ready. If you have to pull too hard, you should wait longer.
How Big Can an Apricot Get?
Your apricot tree will reach 16 to 20 feet with your skilled care. These small trees are manageable for a backyard orchard. Small but mighty apricot trees produce an abundance of fruit despite their diminutive size.
Your apricot tree is one of the earliest bloomers of the season, as it produces blossoms in early spring. Something is satisfying about seeing one of your apricot trees blossom. The joy of harvesting gorgeous fruit touches every home gardener’s heart. Other varieties can be harvested as late as August, while early types are ready to be picked in June. Planting two distinct apricot varieties will lengthen the growing season.
Since apricot trees are small, they can be successfully grown in containers, making them an attractive option for gardeners with less land. It also gives you more control over the soil’s moisture, as they prefer consistent watering in well-drained soil.
Feeding and Watering Apricot trees are simple to care for and will reward you with an abundance of orange fruit.
Which Zones does Apricot Belong?
The USDA hardiness zones for Apricot trees are 5 through 8. Your apricot tree will produce sweet and succulent fruit for many years with well-composted soil, consistent watering, and full sun. If your mature tree is not gaining 8 to 10 inches of new growth per year, your soil may require a slight nitrogen boost. Only after the tree has begun bearing fruit should this be applied. A nitrogen-based fertilizer can be used during the blooming season to promote healthy root development and fruit production.