[NAFEX] plumcot - hardy almond

Richard O'Barr aatopgunaa at mindspring.com
Mon Jul 12 20:03:31 EDT 2004

Re: [NAFEX] plumcot - hardy almondSpeaking of apricots; the kernels are reliably reported to shrink many cancer tumors.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Lon J. Rombough 
  To: North American Fruit Explorers 
  Sent: Monday, July 12, 2004 1:30 PM
  Subject: Re: [NAFEX] plumcot - hardy almond

  The old "Hall's Hardy" was really a peach-almond hybrid and you haven't missed anything by not getting nuts from it.  The nuts look like a slightly smoother version of a peach pit and they are as hard to crack.  Also, the kernals are bitter.  The main reason they never set (at least for me) was that they bloom way too early.  The few times I got nuts was when we had unusual warm dry spells during bloom time.     Almonds themselves bloom so early that commercial production is only possible in places like California.  
     HOWEVER, there is a very wide range of almond germplasm out there, and good, cold hardy, disease resistant almonds could easily be bred.  Tom Plocher in Minnesota has a bush species (species name escapes me) that has set nuts after -40 winters.  And not just a few - over 300 to a bush.  
     Dr. Maxine Thompson did plant exploring in central Asia where there are many  types of almonds and described a lot of them that could be good breeding material to produce late blooming, self-fertile, dwarf almonds.  Ironically, the people of the area didn't grow almonds.  The soil was so poor they grew apricots with sweet kernals so they got two crops from the trees to make use of the limited soil they had.
  -Lon Rombough

    >   Good thing the tree has a good shape and is
    >healthy or I would have yanked it out years ago.
    >-Mark Lee, Seattle z8

    Mark's reply to my question about plum/apricot hybrids in a maritime 
    climate reminded me of my 35 year old almond which has bright pink 
    flowers which look as though they are starting to grow almonds, but 
    have never done so.  Well, not quite true - I think I remember there 
    were three almonds once about 25 years ago.

    It is a nice looking tree, with shiny narrow green leaves (9 cm long, 
    and 3 cm at the widest part - 3.5 inches by 1.2 inches). Very big, 
    even though I have removed large branches occasionally. I just walked 
    out on an upstairs balcony to pick one of the leaves to measure.  It 
    is above the roof of my two storey house, and equally wide as high.

    Back in the 80s, there was an article in Pomona about Hall's Hardy 
    Almond, with the suggestion that people should grow its nuts to 
    develop some better varieties.  I wonder if anyone did that.  I also 
    wonder if my tree is a Hall's.
    The article said it was self-fertile.

    Any ideas as to why my tree doesn't produce nuts?


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