Blenheim (Royal) Apricot Tree
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 covered with a red blush. The flesh is a light orange color. This freestone variety that is also self-fruitful, low chill, and easy to grow. Also, very aromatic and produces beautiful whitish pink Spring blossoms. Most home owners keep their tree small about 10 – 15 feet tall. However, they can grow larger if allowed. Plant in full sun, and water regularly during the Spring and Summer growing season. A deciduous fruit tree, so it becomes dormant in the Winter, and no supplemental water is needed at that time.
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General Plant Information
Blenheim Apricot Tree Information and Care
You will love all that your apricot tree has to offer. Blenheim Apricot trees are great for canning, dehydrating, freezing, fresh eating, jam/jelly, pies/cobblers, puree/sauce and much more. A live apricot tree also makes a wonderful house warming or wedding gift … what a thoughtful way to welcome someone to a new home or new life.
The Blenheim Apricot tree is a deciduous woody tree. Although it can grow larger that 20 feet tall, most keep their trees about 10 – 15 feet tall, and more narrow. The ‘Blenheim’ blooms early. Plant and grow your apricot under the full sun and soil that drains well. Water once to twice a week in the Spring to Summer until the tree is established. Reduce the frequency you water in the Fall as the temperature drop, and the tree lose their leaves. Provide little to no supplemental water in the Winter while the trees are dormant.
Prune your tree in the Winter, while it is dormant. This is the best for heavy pruning, since the tree is not actively growing, so the stress of the cuts are drastically less. Thin fruits, dry twigs, water sprouts, and growth towards the wrong direction or towards the center of the tree in the Summer.
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 the home orchard, plant trees about 10 feet apart, and trim them to stay between 8 – 15 feet tall. In a commercial farm, trees are spaced 15 feet apart with 20 feet rows are machinery. These trees are grow to 25 feet tall. Trees can become almost 40 feet tall in nature.
Standard and Semi-Dwarf Form: Our trees are grown in Standard and Semi-Dwarf forms. A Standard tree grows tall because the tip continues to grow. The tip of a Semi-Dwarf tree has been cut about 2 feet from the ground, therefore the tree has a shorter branching structure for easy picking.
Additional InformationBloom Color : White
Sun Exposure : Full Sun and Part Sun
Watering : Regular
Bloom Time : Spring
Harvest Time : Summer
Plant Type: Deciduous
Zones: 7-10, 7-9
Chill Hours: Less than 400 hours below 45°F
Pollination: Self-Fruitful / Self Pollinating
USDA Hardiness Zones: 7-10
Soil and Planting: Plant in soil that drains well. Dig a hole that is as deep as the tree’s roots and at least twice as wide.
Place the tree in the hole and backfill around the plant’s roots with a mixture of the native soil and high-quality planting mix that has washed sand and organic fertilizer.
Create a basin around the roots drip zone so that water collects. Water deeply until the roots and nearby soil is saturated and reaches field capacity.
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.
Limited Guarantee and Returns
The two factors that determine if a deciduous fruit trees will grow well and produce fruit in a certain area are the Chill Hour Requirement and the Cold Hardiness. “Chill hours” are the amount of cold a deciduous fruit tree need to produce fruit. This is measured in the number of hours below 45 degrees Fahrenheit a plant must experience during its winter dormancy. Paradise Nursery only grows Low Chill fruit trees that meet the chill requirements of all areas of the United States.
The second factor is Cold Hardiness. Cold Hardiness refers to the minimum temperature a plant can tolerate. The USDA’s Cold Hardiness Zones indicate the average minimum winter temperatures of areas. Based on the shipping zipcode, our website will only allow you to add plants to your cart that grow within your USDA Hardiness Zone, and tolerate your climate.
Pollination & Propagation
(Grafting/Cutting) Most of Paradise Nursery’s edible plants are self-fruitful. Self-pollinating trees do not require an additional tree to produce fruit. For your convenience, we have indicated which trees require a pollinator, and their associated pollinators. Only the sweet cherries, avocados, and some plums require a pollinator. All of our other propagated edible plants do not require a pollinator. All of our edible plants are either grown from cuttings, budded, or grafted. This way, we can ensure that our plants are high quality and fruit immediately. Plants will generally begin fruiting within a year of planting.