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


@mamuang, those Tomcots look delicious! This is my best producing and tasting apricot here, although I have yet to try the infamous Orange Red. My brother in Fresno says Orange Red is slightly better than Tomcot, but is a shy producer. His graft is still small so time will tell.


I prefer Orangered over Tomcot. But in New England, one cannot be choosy. Any tree-ripened apricots that survive freeze, late frost and all critters are worth eating.

Some rodent has already taken 4 cots in two nights.


They look great!

I’m still waiting. I suspect it will be 2 to 3 more weeks. Mine bloomed 10 days earlier this year (and somehow survived the brutal day after Easter freeze), so maybe it will be 2 weeks instead of 3.


I noticed mine when I saw them on the ground, eaten by critters two days ago!!!

Apricots are usually the first fruit ripened in my yard, followed by cherries.


Last year the last two of my dozen or so Tomcots were picked after heavy rain; while I didn’t measure their brix, I liked them more than earlier ones because the rain made them more juicy… and yes, it is an excellent apricot.


In case you have not seen this thread.

I think @galinas, @HollyGates, @SMC_zone6, @BobVance are all within 1-2 hour drive from us and grow apricots.


“Grow” is a key word :grin:. Picking - not so much! For 10 apricot tree/years(I have/had more than one tree) I got 1 tolerable crop enough to eat fresh and make few jars of jam. Other than that - one year we had few fruit. That’s it. So if you have space you can afford to designate to a crop that had 1/10 possibility of setting fruit - there are choices!


About the same for me. I think I’ve gotten maybe 8 apricots, over the last 3-4 years. 7 or 8 years ago, I had a big crop, but animals got all but a handful. I think I’m down to 4 trees now, as one of the newest ones died after just 2 years. They have such a high mortality rate in my yard that I feel like it is a waste to plant more. I may just graft some on going forward rather than condemning more trees.


@jcguarneri/Jay is kindly gave me Manchurian rootstocks so I hope this rootstock won’t died as easily as those on peach rootstocks.

I will graft Robada, Orange-red and Florilege on them. I really like the first two and want to try Florilege.


Yup. I have 20+ trees and I have eaten one apricot so far. Zero this year. Waiting for that magical year lol


We went to Styer’s Orchard this past Friday for peach picking. I talked with the owner and he said they pulled up every apricot tree they had because of how poorly they produce. He thought they had 4 crops of apricots in the 20 years the trees were grown. Now they were all chopped out in a pile of wood. Sad.


So true! I planted a total of 6 apricot trees. Two died, lost my favorite in hurricane Sandy; had three left when I sold my zone 7a house. Waited three-four years for decent blossoms. Result, one apricot … Not a good zone for growing them, we just don’t enough dry heat! Now that I live in a dry zone 9a-b I realize how much serious heat apricots need to grow well and sweeten. The larger varieties appeared in the market this am…


Well, I’m on track to replicate the other poor apricot experiences described here for the northeast. I planted two a while back and both died in year two, despite being different varieties on different root stocks from different nurseries. But my family keeps telling me they want me to grow apricots instead of “weird and awful” berries like goumi, etc. So I’m going to try one more time in a different spot by grafting onto peach. Only one of my grafts onto a newly planted peach from this year made it, pretty sure it is Tomcot. We’ll see what happens but I don’t have high expectations.


4 varieties of my apricots were grafted on a nectarine tree and two on a peach trees.

@scottfsmith, up thread is right (again :+1:) that Tomcot is very productive and more reliable. When we had late freeze in early May, Tomcot was able to hold on to about 5 dozen fruit because it had a long blooming period.

A couple of Zard have survived as it bloomed later. However, Zard is on a bad l9cation. I don’t know they will ever ripen.

@SMC_zone6 - how are your apricots (both trees and fruit) this year?


Thanks! It was whether this thread or another that guided my initial selections of Tomcot, Orange Red, and Zard. I only managed grafts of the first two, but that’s probably what I can handle for now. I’m also hoping grafts on the Manchurian seedlings prove more resilient than what I’ve read about for apricots.


My one and only Orangered that survived the freeze ripened today. It had some damage but was not deep.
Brix was only 16, not as sweet as the previous two years.

The texture was firmer this year, too.

I have 3 fruit of Zard hanging. It may need a week or more before ripening.


Would you mind posting pictures of Zard? I have read so much about it here but don’t think I have seen it yet. When it ripens it would be much appreciated.


Dry yes, but I’m not sure they need as much heat (at least not as much as peaches/plums). In California, apricots do better on coastal areas with mild summer as opposed to Central Valley where the heat burns the flesh around the pit.


I have one, and only one, Orangered apricot as well, on a graft I made last spring. I am a couple of weeks behind you. We will see how it goes…


@californicus, That is true and why we in central valley prefer the early one’s. Orangered and Tomcot is early enough to not get pit rot at all in Fresno and here in Orangevale. But later apricots like Blenheim, almost always a bust here unless you have afternoon shade. Even then there are some lost to pit rot. You guy’s definitely have the preferred apricot environment, @Stan is living where we always bought 300lbs of Blenhiems every year as kids, to eat fresh and dry for later eating. We also made apricot leather with the extra, always a fun time picking fruits as kids in Tracy Ca, the apricot capitol of California at the time!