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- Prunus armeniaca 'Royal Blenheim' Blenheim Apricot is the most popular in California and Los Angeles. In the Summer, the Blenheim Apricot tree produces medium size fruit that are juicy, sweet, and have excellent flavor. The skin is orange to yellow color...
- The Flavor Queen Pluot is a very delicious hybrid of plum and apricot. These pluot fruits have green skin with a yellowish green flesh. It is very juicy and have an amazingly tasty flavor. Flavor Queen Pluot trees require ...
- Prunus armeniaca 'Royal Rosa' Sweet, juicy, and very tasty apricot with low acid. This great home orchard apricot tree provides early and Summer harvest. A very strong and disease tolerant tree. Produces heavy at a young age. Less than 500 hours. Self-...
Although Apricot trees are native to Armenia, there are many great varieties growing in the United States. However, in Southern California, there are only a few low chill types of Apricot trees that will produce fruits. The most popular Apricot tree in Los Angeles is the Royal Blenheim because their sweet juicy delicious and very consistent flavor.
An Apricot tree is a woody deciduous fruit tree. An Apricot fruit is a drupe, similar to a peach, but about 2″ in diameter. The skin is yellow to orange color, and usually blushed with red tinge on the side facing the sun. The surface of the skin can be smooth, or almost like velvet. The flesh of popular varieties such as Blenheim is sweet and juicy with a pleasant flavor. Apricots have a single seed is called a stone, an encasement in a shell that is hard with a grainy and smooth texture surface. An apricot tree blooms white flowers in the Spring, and the fruit is ripe in the Summer. Eat an apricot fresh, dried, used in cooking, medicine, and deserts. Apricots are a healthy snack that is low calorie and high in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants.
Growing The Apricot Tree
Trees can be kept small, 10-25 ft tall with a full and wide canopy. deciduous trees that grow to a moderate size. Trees are self-fruitful, aromatic, and produce white to pink Spring blossoms.
Grow Apricot trees in the full sun and well soils that drain well. Water once to twice a week in the Spring to Summer until trees establish. Reduce frequency in the Fall as the tree loses its leaves. Prune Trees and Provide little to no supplemental water in the Winter while the trees are dormant. Use organic winter dormant sprays, horticultural, and fungicides to manage pests. Thin in the summer to manage size, form, and plant energy. Summer thinning is important but Winter is when the majority of pruning should occur.
In Southern California, Low Chill Apricot Trees such as Blenheim, Royal, and Tropic Gold grow well and produce lots of fruit in mild winter climates like Los Angeles. They also do well in other areas of Southern California such as Orange County and San Diego. Grow your own Apricots in the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Burbank, Encino, Tarzana, Sherman Oaks, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Malibu, Long Beach down to Anaheim, Newport, Laguna Beach. These will produce fruit in all other areas of the US above Hardiness Zone 6.
Plant Care Information
How To Water - Frequency and Duration to Irrigate
Newly planted trees should be watered regularly to establish well. The frequency of irrigation and quantity of water mainly depends on the season of the year, soil type, and size/age of the tree.
Frequency to water
Discontinue watering in the Winter while the tree is dormant.
Begin to water weekly as the tree breaks bud and leafs out in the Spring.
Increase the frequency of water to twice per week in the Spring.
Water 2-3 times per week during the hot Summer months.
Reduce irrigation frequency to 1-2 times per week in the Fall.
Stop watering your tree in the Winter while it is dormant.
You may need to water sandy soils more frequently but less quantity because of sand’s lower water holding capacity.
Water Duration – Quantity of water
Drip System – 30- 60 minutes
Sprinkler – 15 – 25 minutes
PVC Bubbler – 5 – 7 minutes
Hose – Flood the trees watering well until the soil surrounding the tree’s roots reaches field capacity.
Fertilizer and Plant Nutrition
Fruit trees and edible plants need nutrients to grow. This is called fertilizer and it comes in different forms. Use organic manure, bone meal, blood meal, and humus based fertilizers. Apply fertilizers like manure along with a bone meal, humus based phosphorus fertilizer (1-2-2) NPK ratio in the late Winter, right before spring growth. Reapply with organic high nitrogen (2-1-1) or fertilizers with a 1-1-1 NPK as directed by the label during the Spring and Summer growing season. Do not fertilize in the Fall, new growth at this time will be thin, lanky, and weak.
Winter Pruning and Summer Thinning
Prune fruit trees in the Winter to maintain size and shape to prepare for Spring growth. Thin the tree in the Summer, and remove excess fruits. Remove any dry twigs and branches. Cut off any new growth below the graft or very low in the tree, this will direct the plant’s energy to its main branches. Thin your trees during the Spring and Summer seasons to ensure the plant’s energy is directed as desired. If the plant provides an overly large quantity of fruits for that branch, reduce the quantity of fruit so that what remains grows larger. This will also prevent broken limbs. Harvest ripe fruit to prevent undesired pests.
Harvesting and Pest Management
The basics of integrated pest management is cleanliness and the use of a combination of methods. This means we use an organic pesticide when the pest population reaches a threshold that requires action. Horticultural oils such as Neem oil is an organic pesticide that controls tiny, soft bodied insects. Use organic Bordeaux and Liqui-cop to manage fungus causing diseases such as powdery mildew, rust, and leaf-curls.
Keep a clean environment, free of weeds and dropped fruit that host insects or attract animals. Harvest when fruit reaches size and store indoors. Use repellants and bird netting to protect your harvest from other animals.