If you see apricot tree planting in your future, here are a few things you might like to know about this delicious, easy-to-grow tree. A native fruit tree of China, the apricot gets its name from abricot (French), and albaricoque (Spanish). A relative of the plum, apricots share the Prunus with that fruit along with cherries, peaches, and almonds.
Apricot trees grow anywhere from 15 to 25 feet tall with a densely growing canopy. A number of varieties exist for apricot tree planting in most areas of the United States where spring frosts are unusual and in other temperate parts of the world. A good rule of thumb is that anywhere peach trees thrive, apricot trees will grow, as well. Some of the better-known varieties include Goldrich, Perfection, Rival, Sundrop, and Tomcat, among others.
When and Where to Plant
When apricot tree planting, keep in mind you need to give these moderate-to-large trees plenty of room to grow. If planting more than one, space them at least 25 feet apart. When selecting trees from a nursery, look for those with good, vigorous root systems and at least four healthy branches spaced well apart.
Apricot tree planting can be done year round with most people preferring to plant in the spring. Some professionals argue, however, that fall actually holds the ideal planting conditions. When trees are planted in the early fall (before a frost), the tree expends its energy throughout the winter on developing its root system. Then, when spring arrives, the tree is robust, well-rooted, and ready to spend all the energy necessary to produce lots of branches and leaves, and later on, blossoms, which turn into fruit.
How to Plant
Dig a hole half again as large as the root ball to get apricot tree planting off to a good start. If any roots appear to be deformed, broken, or seem to be circling the other roots, trim them off. If the tree has come from the nursery in a plastic pot, hold the trunk with one hand and knock off the pot at the lip all around with the heel of your hand.
If it is balled and burlapped, there is no need to do anything except set the root ball into hole. Make sure the top of the root ball, whether from in a pot or balled and burlapped, is level with the top of the soil. Planting too deep with cause the tree to hold water and possibly promote root rot. Planting too high will cause water to run off the root ball and the tree will get too dry.
Sprinkle about ½ cup of bone meal around the root ball and then backfill with a mixture of compost, peat moss, and the soil you have removed when digging the hole. Tamp the soil firmly around the tree and water well with a hose set at a slow flow rate. Mulch can then be added on top of the soil and watered, as well. Mulch helps with apricot tree planting by helping to retain moisture and by keeping weeds in check.
Apricot tree planting, if done correctly, will reward you for years to come. The sweet, luscious, succulent fruit can be used in making preserves, jams, jellies, and is ideal in a host of different types of pastries. But perhaps best of all, you can simply walk out in your yard, pick one, and eat it right off the tree!