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


Of the one that I have eaten two years in a row : Orangered, Tomcot and Robada (only ate Zard last year and Harcot this year).
For their fully ripe condition with a ranking 1-3
Sweetness: OR (23 brix), Robada (21 brix), Tomcot (20 brix)
Firmness: Tomcot, Robada, OR (very soft)
Crack resistance: OR, Tomcot, Robada
Size: Robada, Tomcot, OR
Color (if you care about look) : Robada, OR, Tomcot
Growth: Tomcot, OR and Robada.

It’s hard to say. Robada holds it firmness enough but not as firm as Tomcot. OR is very soft when ripe.
Robada’s size tends to be bigger. It could be that there were fewer fruit so they grow bigger.
Robada cracked more than TC and OR. OR was least affected by lot of rain (lot in the spring)
Robada has some tartness to its sweetness. OR is just sweet.
Robada does not grow much at all, grafted in 2017.
Tomcot grows like weeds. OR grows vigorously, too.

This is just my experience in my yard and climate. I would choose Robada and either OR or TC.

You’d be better off listen to @scottfsmith because Scott is a very experienced grower, has eaten tons of different apricot varieties for many years and is closer to you.

I look forward to eating Florilege (another Scott’s recommendation) and hopefully, will graft some white apricots in the coming year.


Are you talking bushels of cots or just several dozen?

I can’t really gauge varieties until trees are in full production. When that happens, productivity becomes very important. Often best flavored fruit is that way because it bears so lightly. That said, my evaluations about apricots in general is limited in usefulness. Only Alfred has been productive long enough to really know what it’s about here.

Well, not really, because I have many customers with productive trees of several varieties, but I don’t get a chance to test their flavor much and when I do, quality is highly dependent on the given season as well as site. It is strange how at one site a variety tends to be dry, while at another, juicy.

Here, over time, I find that the ability to survive is actually the most important component. Hargrand has been my best survivor.


As I stated only dozens and I do not have an apricot tree. I have apricot grafts on peach abd nectarine trees.

I would be interested in buying a Robada tree if I had a space.


Alan, Hargrand is a variety that I attempted (unsuccessfully) to graft this year. I see you are happy with it’s productivity, how do you rate it’s quality?


I rate any tree ripened apricot as delicious, with a lot of fluctuation season to season here, because of our variable amount of blue sky days season to season along with the actual amount of precip. Weather conditions even have different affects of cots depending on if they are early or late ripeners, but you want to span the harvest season if you love cots.

What the precip levels are in the several weeks before ripening affects peaches and nects a great deal as well.

Hargrand produces a large and flavorful apricot- not as good as Orange Red but at least on par with Tomcot, based on my experience. It’s not as big as Tomcot, but that may be because it is more productive. I don’t have enough experience with TC to be able to say for sure.

All this is based on east coast conditions, but if you are having trouble keeping cots alive, Hargrand should be worth a shot.


And you’ve been a marvelously successful grafter, for which I’m envious. I just think some qualification has to be applied to the effort of evaluating varieties. Every year it becomes more apparent to me how long it takes to evaluate varieties, although snapshots are interesting. I just want to be sure we all know the difference just to help those who are purchasing trees to choose wisely.


Believe it or not my one and only Hoyt Montrose, grafted last year, just fell yesterday, 8/15/29. It was in a shade area of the tree. It is hard to believe it hung on this long.

It was not well developed. One side was riper than the other. Brix was only 15. Hope it will improve next year.


I grew s Blenheim Apricot on the 10 feet between the street and the sidewalk. Every winter I scoop the snow and pile it around the tree. There is a Flavor Delight Aprium in the same place about 15 feet apart. They are on the north side of the east/west street. I keep the roots cool this way to prevent it from blooming too early. Cover it with a white tarp. It’s produced every year. I love it, itdoesn’t get diseases and the birds aren’t very interested in them. The fruit ripens on the tree. Got zoysa grass under it and let it grow more to cushion any fruit that falls off. Very few every get wasted.


My late blooming variety is Zard. it started blooming today, 4/14.


My Zard is a small graft but at least it is on the same tree as other apricot grafts.

To be sure, I use a small paint brush to help pollinate it with other varieties esp. Hoyt Montrose which was grafted to another tree, away from the rest.


Beautiful pictures Tippy!

I was pretty happy to see mine begin to bloom on the 8th. Not so happy about it after waking up to 23 degrees on the 13th…


Beautiful pictures Tippy!


Zard is about 14 days behind Tomcot, Oeangered and Robada here.

Their flowers seem to have pink tint to it than other apricots I have.

These Moniqui flowers were white like all others but Zard.


We did have soaking rain a few times during Tomcot/Orangered’s full bloom and followed by 29F (which could be colder) twice these past 14 days.

I checked the earlier varieties today. They do not look good. I probably won’t be able to tell for sure how much damage they’ve got until a week from now.


I am wishing you luck! Like you, I plan to hope and wait and see.


That seems really promising for an apricot! My Toka plum started blooming today. My Superior plum started blooming at the same time as Red Haven peach, about last Wednesday or Thursday. Are your plums on the same schedule?


I have answered your plum questions in the Plum Heaven thread.


Thanks! I’ve been wanting to buy an apricot tree but haven’t due to my zone and advice from others in this area about them not fruiting most years. If Zard blooms on par with my plums, than it may actually fruit regularly. It’s hard to find any nurseries that sell that variety though. Maybe I’ll try to trade for or buy scionwood next year to get it.


One of our members here, @TurkeyCreekTrees, has a nursery and sells Zard. Sold out now, but bookmark his page for future reference:


A few of my apricots have survived the late freeze. Most are Tomcot.

The last 4 days of pouring rain likely has contributed to its diluted taste. Brix was 16 from the 3 apricots that I measured.