[NAFEX] delaying bloom

Alan Haigh alandhaigh at gmail.com
Sun Jan 2 16:23:14 EST 2011

I'm in Z6 southeastern NY and delaying bloom here is more than about saving
the crop but also saving these fragile trees.  Harsh winters don't seem to
be what kills the Har series apricots here so much as hard freezes after
warm spells.  Purvis told me that the Rutgers program is using hardier
strains than what the Harrow Station breeders worked with when they
developed harcot and all the others.  I'm growing Early Blush, from Rutgers,
which Adams County Nursery carries but is sold out on for 11.  From sampling
the first few fruit it seems a tasty variety and wonderfully early.

The only research that I've seen that successfully involved white paint to
delay bloom involved painting all the wood, including the small bud wood
which I suspect is most important of all.  White paint on the trunk seems to
be mostly about protecting from southwest injury but I'm not at all sure it
would be helpful in protecting apricots from being killed by fluctuating
temps in early spring.  Show me the research!

As far as quality, I find site makes a difference as much as variety around
here where some sites seem to produce dry fruit while others produce fruit
with good juice.  I haven't figured that one out at all, but if the fruit is
juicy all of the Har series should be real good- at least as grown around
here.  Hargrand is the only one that I grow that can give you CA sized fruit
and it's probably been the most hardy.  Alfred (from Cornell) is a reliable
cropper, maybe hardier that the Hars, but tiny and prone to scab.  Pretty
tasty though.
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