Apricot trees are highly underrated as far as both fruit and ornamental flowering trees! But these trees offer gorgeous spring and summer flowers, lush emerald leaves, and deliciously healthy fruit. Add one to your property today and enjoy all the juicy delicious benefits of ornamental edible landscaping, food sustainability, and healthy treats!
Read on about how to best ensure you get a bumper crop of these velvety, sweet and luscious early summer treats every year!
Apricot trees are quite handsome trees in the summer, displaying the furrowed bark and heart-shaped glossy leaves any aficionado has come to recognize! Apricot trees have enjoyed a long history of cultivation, seeming to have originated in China and then propagated throughout central Asia thanks to their nutritious fruit and stately profile. From there, the Romans spread them into Europe.
The scientific name, Prunus armeniaca, derives from the Armenian language because Apricot trees were cultivated in Armenia since ancient times. It was thought the fruit originated in that land until genetic studies confirmed its birthplace in Asia.
Apricot fruit is very tasty, and they are now widely grown and consumed in the United States. Apricot tree flowers can be either white or pink, and are often very fragrant! The trees produce a stone fruit with soft flesh that ripens to orange-yellow color. The sweet or sweet-tart flavor and creamy soft texture are divine! Featuring a velvety soft skin that is as much fun to feel as it is to let melt in your mouth!
Apricots contain good amounts of vitamin A and potassium and are also an excellent source of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron and traces of sodium, sulfur, manganese, cobalt and bromine. Apricots do not store well, so they are typically eaten fresh, dried or frozen, plus Apricots are a staple of the jam industry!
Browse our inventory of Apricot tree varieties that are appropriate for a wide range of USDA planting zones.
Training your tree from day one to grow strong, straight and compact will not only boost your yield, boost health, but also prolong the longevity of your tree!
Pruning Apricot trees should begin at an early age. Most fruit trees produce better quality fruit and live longer and healthier if properly maintained and pruned. Fruit tree pruning does not need to be complicated or confusing.
Many times the nursery will do the initial pruning on the dormant fruit tree. If the fruit tree arrives already pruned from the nursery, plant it without further pruning except to clean up any stems or foliage broken during shipping, or if you have any special pruning needs such as dwarfing or Espalier.
If your dormant bareroot tree arrives with a long stem and is beginning to branch about 2-3 years of age. The mature root systems of our trees usually start producing fruit between 3-5 years of age. You can nip back the leader and cut the side branches back by at least two-thirds to promote vigorous new growth. Top pruning induces lateral branch growth in fruit trees, and this produces a more easily accessible tree branch and shapely form.
Pruning also diverts the expenditure of nourishment to form woody growth to that of buds and fruit.
Apricot trees generally have a moderate growth rate, but a few are faster and a few more can be on the slow and steady side. Prune in late winter when removing crossed, broken or potentially diseased branches, but prune in spring to maintain height and keeping a tree from getting any taller, if desired.
Tree height is a decision for the pruner. When there are vigorous branches above the chosen height, cut back or remove them. In late spring or early summer, pinch back all new growth. Size development and low fruiting wood are determined in the 3rd year.
Each branch should have at least 6 inches of free space around them. Remove all crossing branches that are too close together. Keeping fruit tree branches open to allow more light and freedom for bee movement is important. Sunlight and bees carrying pollen should increase productivity and create larger fruit.
All varieties of fruit trees can be maintained at a predetermined height if pruned consistently.
Sometimes a fruit tree produces more fruit than it should or produces lots of fruit that is very small. So thinning your crop is a heartbreaking task that should be done to reduce how many fruits are on each branch so more energy can go into fewer Apricots, therefore making them larger instead.
Apricot trees can be either self-pollinating or require a pollinator tree, and NatureHills.com lists suitable pollinators for every Apricot tree in our inventory on each plant's individual information page. However, for larger crops per tree, even a self-pollinating tree will have a much larger yield with a pollinator buddy!
Growing Apricot trees in the backyard are not much different than raising them in an orchard setting. Selecting a location for planting is important. There are at least two main requirements - soil and sunlight. Provide at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day for the best and the most fruit.
The Apricot tree blooms are susceptible to early frosts, so planting an Apricot tree in the lowest part of the yard would be counterproductive. It is best to select a high spot in the yard so the cold air can drain away from the trees when they are in bloom. The Apricot blossoms are very susceptible to frost, so a season's fruit production may be lost because of a few lower degrees of temperature.
Before planting the Apricot tree, prepare the soil prior to planting by adding organic matter if needed, and check the drainage and nutrient status should you be unsure if it’s lacking either.
The soil pH for Apricot trees should be around 6.5 and 8.0, so it is important to get your soil tested. Then lime and fertility levels should be modified based on the soil test results. If you suspect poor drainage, and water pools in the area frequently, you may want to choose a new location, or mound 18-24 inches of native soil or topsoil over the area and plant your tree into that mound. Effectively raising its roots above the water table.
Wait until your fruit is fully colored and has no green anywhere and usually displays a sunkissed rosy or orange blush. (unless you have the Canadian White Blenheim Apricot, which has its own beautiful and unusual coloration!) Typically ripening in June or July, there are only a few Apricot tree varieties that ripen later in the summer.
The fruit should be slightly soft to the touch, not rock hard, with a touch of give when gently squeezed. They should smell enticing as well! These fruits ripen on the tree and can ripen further off the tree - but do so VERY quickly. So Apricots are not good for long-term storage. You’ll have to give away your surplus to grateful friends and neighbors, preserve, dry or freeze your harvest within a few days after harvest. But these soft and flavorful bite-sized nuggets of goodness will make eating them fresh by the handful an easy task!
Delectable, juicy, and refreshing summer fruit can be yours with ease! Let NatureHills.com help you enjoy the best Apricot harvest possible for you! If you even have the slightest inkling to grow one of these highly underrated trees, you’ll be glad you planted one in your yard right away!
Large and small, columnar and dwarf varieties are on sale now, so give one a try! You won't be disappointed!
Homegrown fruit straight from your own tree is one of life's simple pleasures! Get growing your own orchard of juicy and delightfully fuzzy gems today by ordering your Apricot trees from NatureHills.com today!