[NAFEX] Moorpark Apricot

rmelrose at danvilleVT.net rmelrose at danvilleVT.net
Tue May 12 13:39:03 EDT 2009

Doug wrote about Moorpark apricot:

Following Claude below I would like to be a little more positive about apricots in the cold northeast.
After killing many, many apricot trees in Zone 3b/4a Vermont  -- including one Moorpark -- I have finally had
a little success with a Westcot. I tried a(nother) different spot, this one is on an East-facing slope, quite
open but protected all along the North by pines, which are only about 30 feet away. It has been there, 
growing slowly, for 6 years now and flowered lightly for the second time this Spring. This is so encouraging
that I planted 3 more apricots this year -- Harogem, Harglow and Goldcot. We have deep snow cover until
early April at least which helps, but have brown rot, black knot and other scourges.

So there is some hope!


>Perhaps Claude Jolicoeur could comment.

Unfortunately, not much. All apricot trials I did ended rather rapidly. 

It seems that the "Prairie hardy" apricots that live well in much colder
places like Edmonton don't appreciate the climate in the North East. Doug
calls that "Dormancy problems"... These apricots usually are from the
species P.mandshurica or are hybrids that include this species. Examples
are Morden 604, Scout, Westcot, usually hardy to zone 3, but as far as I
know always a failure in the North East. If there is anyone out there in
Quebec, Ontario, Maritime provinces or New England who is having success
with any of these please let us know!

The other apricots (including Moorpark) - these that produce high quality
fruit and are used commercially, are from the species P.armeniaca, which is
not hardy here. I doubt that any of these apricots would survive in a
location where sweet cherries and peaches are not fully hardy.

There might be hope however with the Harrow series. These are apricots
released during the 1980's by the Harrow station in Ontario. Their name
usually starts by the letters HAR. Some of them do include some
P.mandshurica in their genealogy and hopefully this would make them hardier
without causing dormancy problems. The 2 selections that have been said to
be the hardiest are Harogem and Harlayne, with Hargrand and Harglow
following closely. I would try one of those. I know someone was growing
Harogem near Quebec, but this was quite a few years ago and I haven't had
news recently.


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