Very Consistent and Productive Apricot
The large, orange fruit is firm and the flesh is sweet. The Tomcat Apricot will be ready for harvest, 2-3 weeks before Wenatchee Moorpark and 4 days before Goldstrike and Goldbar.
This fruit tree is partly self-fruitful but they will produce larger crops if cross-pollinated by another apricot. The fruit ripens in early July, 2.5 weeks before Wenatchee and 4 days before Goldstrike and Goldbar. The skin is a light-orange color and slightly glossy. A trace of blush develops on the side that is exposed to the sun. The pit is medium-large and free from the flesh.
Dependable Setter of Great Tasting Fruit
High quality apricots can only be grown in a few growing regions in the country. Outside of those regions, only a few choices have been available.
The Tomcot Apricot was developed in the 1970's by Dr. T.K. Toyama at Washington State University in Prosser, Washington. Tomcot was selected in 1974 as a seedling of the original cross of Rival x Goldrich.
The early season variety evaluated well and matured ahead of popular varieties like Goldbar, Goldstrike, and Castlebrite. It was 18 days earlier than Wenatchee. This gave Tomcot a potential place in the commercial market.
Finally patented and introduced in 1989, Tomcot was picked up by many bare root nurseries on the West Coast and saw a limited amount of commercial interest. However, the attributes of the Tomcot shone in test plantings done around the world.
One such quality that became evident was the Tomcot's long bloom period as an early bloomer. The extended bloom period made it more likely that some fruit set would occur. Along with this was the fact that the blooms, once out during spring frost periods, seem to have some tolerance and would survive short, mild frosts.
Tomcot caught on quickly in the home garden market where the demand for a dependable setting apricot was high. The fact that the Tomcot was also partially self-fruitful added to the attraction.
Planting recommendations for the Tomcot began to appear throughout the US in the early 2000's with the success of many home growers around the country.
Today, the Tomcot, though still not a household name, is one that fruit growers around the world are familiar with. In recent years, the Tomcot has become a recommended variety in the UK, appearing on most of the popular retail nurseries lists.
The Tomcot can only continue to grow in popularity, as more become aware of this unrivaled, early season fruit. Few apricots are this early, and almost none exhibit the Tomcot's high quality, or are as adaptable to as wide a range of climate zones today.
|Brand||Nature Hills Nursery|
|Botanical Name||Prunus armeniaca 'Tomcot'|
|Mature Height||15 - 25 feet|
|Soil Type||Widely Adaptable|
|Sun Exposure||Full Sun|
|Fruiting Time||3 - 5 years|