[nafex] apricot hardiness

Alan Haigh alandhaigh at gmail.com
Fri Dec 20 18:11:50 EST 2013

Lee Reich wrote, "part of the problem is our fluctuating winter
temperatures causing de-hardening and increased susceptibility to such
diseases as valsa canker. I tell prospective growers that the trees die
either quickly or slowly.

And that is the conventional wisdom that has not been born out in my
experience.  Last season was the most gradual of turnings from winter to
spring in memory with no major thaws during the winter and yet apricot
death was rampant in the orchards I manage.  Over the decades I've not seen
any connection to fluctuating temps and apricot mortality and I believe it
is only a theory that hasn't even been tested by reviewing weather
patterns.  Common sense is not the same as researched information and this
is one case where I believe it leads nowhere.

When you see healthy hundred year old apricot trees in the high desert of
New Mexico where I think the weather is a lot more erratic than in southern
NY with equal or lower temps in winter followed by hot spells likely to
occur in winter and spring you probably have to come up with another theory.

I'm sorry if this reeks of a little too much attitude but I've been
frustrated in my attempts to acquire a rational explanation for the
relative tenderness of apricots in the northeast.  I don't think the
research is there, so an expert at translating research is unlikely to have
a useful answer.

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