Et Tu Apricot?

I have an apricot tree.

It has bloomed and set fruit for 5 years. I have never gotten a single apricot from it.

Invariably it blooms, sets fruit....and then it freezes.

This year I threatened to cut it down if it doesn't produce a harvest. We didn't prune it, just left it be this spring. It had thousands of blossoms which are now little apricots....and it's supposed to get to 30 degrees three nights in a row. The tree is too large to be covered.

I have not let myself be hopeful for a harvest, although apricot jam will be in the makings if there is.

So, the next three days will be telling.

If I do cut the tree down, is the wood good for anything? Wooden spoons? Is it a hardwood? A baseball bat perhaps?


  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin

    Apricots don't grow in my area so I am not speaking from experience here.

    As a Prunus species, I think the wood would be similar to Cherry for carving, although I have read that it is heavier and harder to work.

    At the very least, you could chip it and use it in a smoker. Cherry and Apple woods make good smoking material so I don't see why Apricot wouldn't give a similar flavour.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,361 admin
    edited April 2021

    I'm not sure if this would be an option, since I have never tried this. But, they grow a lot of peaches in the sandhills of NC. When a frost is expected, they spray down the trees several times with water to protect them. DO you have a sprinkler you could use, even a lawn sprinkler might work. Also, a barrel full of water under the tree, next to the trunk is sometimes used - it absorbs heat from the sun, then radiates it out through the night. If you can block any wind, that may create a little heat pocket of a few degrees. Sepp Holzer grows peaches and apricots in the Alps using heat pockets - planting on a sunny slope, protected from wind... like in little nooks. He uses stones around the plants to absorb and hold heat.

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭

    If you couldn't cover the whole tree, could you cover part of it? Like throw some sheets over some of the branches? I don't know if that would work or not.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 995 ✭✭✭✭

    Similar to @judsoncarroll4 said where I live they spray strawberries when a freeze is expected. I believe they keep the water spraying the strawberries all night.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,413 admin

    @naomi.kohlmeier here it happens all the time and this is the moment when I see my neighbours covering apricots with sheets. Many grow them next to house walls, so that they get warmth from the wooden wall. Plus a cover from the outside.

    the farmers, whose income is apricots spray the blossoms with water. It is tricky, as they spray when it is freezing so that ice covers blossoms. If it freezes only during the night, they have to spray during the night. But, if you already have fruit, they might be resistant to frost. Here, they say the critical time is when apricots blossom....

    I have also heard of bonfires under trees, so that the smoke warms the fruit. But one has to be careful not to burn down the whole garden 😉

  • MissPatricia
    MissPatricia Posts: 318 ✭✭✭

    My apricot tree is many years old now, but it produces little fruit, no harvest. I don't know what to do to get a good harvest of good apricots. The most I have ever had was a bite or two of apricot, and it was delicious. This maybe needs to be a new thread or topic as I grow vegetables and some fruits with moderate success, but tree fruits and nut trees are an area of no training, no expertise.

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,318 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have a pomegranate bush like that! Last year I told it I was going to cut it down if it didn't get flowers next year. It played a joke on me and got 7 or 8 flowers but they all fell off!