"Best" apricot for New England (6b)?


Hi All
Has anyone experimented with Hunza Apricots in usda 6 zone. I grew up eating them and i have never found any apricots sold in store here even close to hunza apricots (in sweetness).
I live the n pittsburgh pa.


Thanks Mamuang, by the end of this week I will have bagged more than 600 fruits! Even my tomatoes I bag them, including the cherries, otherwise the birds get most of them… It’s paying off, in three days I have picked about 60 Blenheims… but yes, it’s very tedious, specially from the top of the ladder trying to reach every cot on my 12’ high, 10’ wide tree!


That’s how I felt when I was on top of my ladder trying to bag those peaches. That’s one more reason why I need to keep my trees short.


I have grown some Hunzas, I have a couple ripening soon. They are definitely sweet but if you had any home-grown apricot you would be impressed. The ones in the stores in the east are total garbage.

My impression of the Hunzas I have tried is they are a bit more sweet but a bit less flavor than my other apricots. They are also a lot smaller. So, while I am keeping my Hunzas for now I may not keep them long-term.


Wait!!! Bagging cherries. Haven’t you gone too far? :smile:

I just net my cherry tree. I bagged over a thousand of apples, peaches and plums last year (all kinds of bags). This year, I probably bagged around 800 with 95% of them on peaches.


I meant to say cherry tomatoes… which is even more ridiculous :joy::joy:


You might have noticed that a bunch of varieties in the USDA collection have been actually grown from seeds brought from Pakistan in 1988. So they are different from the original varieties in Pakistan. More often than not, the fruit from a seedling will be smaller than that from the parent variety.


I purchased a Hunza from Raintree Nursery 6 or 7 years ago. It was a good tree and produced well, but I did not think the flavor was top notch, so I pulled it out and replaced with Canadian White Blenheim (I am a little enamored with white apricots right now). I believe that Raintree still sells them?


Are they sweet? As i have been trying apricots from every store and they are nothing but garbage. Just 3 weeks ago i bought few in nyc and after barely tasting the first one threw them in the bin.
Only last year there was an exception - i bought a box of “honeycot” from trader joes. They were really good. I went back n bought few more boxes. Never found them again.


I can’t find any good apricots in the stores, they all taste terrible as you describe. I am surprised that you actually found some good ones at Trader Joes. The fruits you grow yourself and tree ripen are very good. I have a white apricot called Sugar Pearls which is very good. I wanted to try another white which is why I planted Canadian White Blenheim. The Hunza I pulled out was also very sweet. (By the way, I am in zone 6 as well)
There are some great threads here with respect to apricots. I am really enjoying one from @Stan right now: Stan's harvest diary 2019
Orangered is one variety that everyone praises. I just grafted this variety to my two exising trees this year. I am eager to try it in the coming years.


This is my second years of home grown apricots. Yomcot started dropping yesterday and Orangered did today.

These are Tomcot. My unwillingness to thin (love tree-ripen apricots) resulted in differences in sizes.

For Orangered, ate the two that fell before thinking about taking pics, They are better than Tomcot. OR were sweet and juicy. Tomcot were not as sweet and on a dry side. I love juicy apricots.


Tippy these apricots look so yummy😋


You should try planting it in a pot. Get Orangered and graft other varieties on it. Tomcot is very productive. I like Robada, too.


Tippy I have both tomcot and otangered. But none had bloomed this spring


I got a few apricots in Ohio zone 6a this year. One Zard and one Tomcot from a container grown tree, and a few Jerseycots form an inground tree. The Zard was juicy and good. Tomcot was good but a bit dry. Jerseycot was a little better than I expected, somewhere in between juicy and mealy. We had tons of rain for a month prior to it ripening but about a week of dry weather right before it ripened. The jury is still out on Jerseycot but I wouldn’t say it is a bust. it shows some promise. I have a young inground Zard and based on my one small sample, I have high hopes. The Zard pit looks large compared to the fruit, but this sometimes happens with container grown fruit for me. In this case, I initially had five fruits on two small grafts that almost fully ripened but 4 were stolen by birds. I should have thinned down to two from the get go and protected them better.

Here are some pics:




I had one Zard last year. It was sweet. I liked it but it’s only one. This year it flowered but did not set fruit.

I am waiting for Robada and Hoyt Montrose to ripen. Last year, Robada tasted very good. This will be the first year of Hoyt Montrose. You need an Orangered :smile:

@IL847, Are your trees in ground? I don’t know how often apricot fruit buds will be cold damage in your zone. Even in my zone, they got wiped out the first two years by late frost.


Why do you use bags for birds instead of nets? It takes 5-10 minutes to throw a good quality net over an average sized bearing tree and secure it to the trunk. Are you retired by any chance?


So far my apricots haven’t been very sweet this season, but I expect that to change with the Alfreds which will start to ripen in the next couple days. I thought we’d had enough sun to sweeten my Tomcots, but they just didn’t get great. Good enough to eat, but not exciting. Didn’t bother to take brix but probably about 9 or 10. It was easier to forgive Early Blush because its fruit got very little sun, but Tomcot got over 2 weeks of good ripening weather.

Every year the small Alfreds get good sugar, even last, which was an endless monsoon, and they have a better texture for saucing than Tomcot, which really doesn’t cook into a nice smooth sauce for me. No matter how good they are, you can only eat so many fresh.

This year I decided to use only one insecticide spray for cots- my first apple petal fall spray and so far haven’t regretted it. PC and CM just doesn’t seem to get the larger fruit after first cover (10-14 days after petal fall) so the first spray is enough- maybe. Same for cherries.

So far good fruit and no worms, but Alfred will be the main test- it’s my main crop.


You’re right, it does not seem very practical, but so far I am able to manage, not sure in a couple of years… My Blenheim apricot tree was 15’ tall and about 10’ in diameter, tried putting a blanket on it once to protect it from spring frost but I couldn’t. The bags protect from insects too (OFM, JB, Stink bugs and hornets), and from falling to the ground when fully ripe, which the net wouldn’t.

[quote=“alan, post:237, topic:2404”]
Are you retired by any chance?
[/quote] So, you think I have too much time that I cannot find something better to use it for :joy:. I wish I was…


The Zard pit is always large. It is one of the minuses of the variety, large pit small fruit. Tomcot is also always on the dry side, it tastes a bit like dried apricots. If they ripen well the flavor should be really good though.