Eight year old dwarf apricot trees 6ft tall and loaded with fruit

I’m pretty proud of these dwarf apricot trees that I think are on K9, maybe K1. I’m building supports for netting. Everything is going to want a piece of the action.

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Those look awesome!

If you’d ever want to compile the pruning strategy you’re using for these and your high-density stone fruits in general it would be a great resource. Of course one can find most on this forum already but the concept is really raising my hopes of figuring out a way to get decent personal production from apricots, gages etc. that are generally very difficult here.

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These trees don’t need much pruning. I occasionally take off overly long shoots just to keep them compact. Then a bit of renewal pruning. With the small tree size shading of the interior isn’t an issue. It’s grown as a bush not open center.

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I am interested in bush training, hard to find info on this method. I found a book where bush training is illustrated, is this the method you use for a fruit tree bush?

A bush works on a small tree. Will be too shaded on a bigger more vigorous tree. Peach and nectarine grow a massive amount of leaves and badly shade out the interior. Apricot less so.

With our intense sun I can grow most fruits other than peach/nectraine as a bush. Especially a dwarf or medium sized tree.

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Thanks, I will try growing apricot as a bush and drop the idea for peaches.

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Curious how much fruit a tree that size can successfully ripen. Will you need to thin much?

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I thinned a bit. Not much needed. I’d guess that there’s 100 fruit on each tree. I wish I had 20 trees similar to this of various stone fruits in my greenhouse. That would be heavenly.

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This seems to be outside, how did it survive west TX notorious spring freezes? Which variety?

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No late freezes this year. Alpine is better than Amarillo in that regard.

Tasty Rich, Orangered, Tomcot, and Robada. Maybe a surprise that hasn’t fruited before or I forgot about.

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I will be curious to know whether the cots (and really other stone fruits too) from your tree outside the greenhouse taste better, or more or less the same as those from inside.

The best apricots I’ve grown have been from my greenhouse. But in some ways, it’s harder to grow them inside. The watering has to be more precise inside. That’s because water use in the GH is considerably less than outside. So too much water in the GH really knocks down the quality.

Outside I only water every 3-4 weeks. If there were grass ground cover, I’d have to water more often.

Twenty years operating the GH and there still seem to be things I don’t understand.

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I feel that your greenhouse somehow reduces the amount of light available for photosynthesis on some fruits (could be the diffuse vs direct light, or the 10-15% loss in light), specially peaches. @fruitgrower is able to reach very high brix levels with his peaches grown outside, while you are not.

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Light inside is about 55% of outside. Humidity is sometimes higher and sometimes lower.

It’s just way easier to over water inside than out. And when run too dry in the greenhouse flower buds are severely affected on apricot, aprium, and sweet cherries. Peaches are never bothered by the excessive water deficit.

It’s also harder to get fruit set inside. This year I ran it too hot trying to help the mango. Next year I need drier soil for improved fruit quality, cooler temps during bloom, and possibly higher humidity for fruit set.

It’s a complicated puzzle.

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Is the usage rate low because less water evaporates and trees are photosynthesizing half the rate due to reduced sun exposure. How do you calculate how much water a tree would need so that fruit meets your brix criteria.

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I think the light level isn’t a limitation to photosynthesis or yield. The light is diffuse and penetrates the canopy better than direct sunlight. Plus fruits can’t utilize full sun anyhow.

Water use is reduced due to lower light/heat load and less wind. All I know is it doesn’t take much water. Last time I was setup like this I came up with about 20 inches of water for 10 months of warm growing conditions.

It’s not easy to manage especially during establishment when some areas are using more water than others. Right now the stone fruits are big trees using lots of water and the mango and citrus are barely established, using little, and way too wet. I’ve spent many hours this week modifying the drip system to allow differential watering between areas.

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These babies are locked, loaded and ready for anything short of bears… :grinning:

To my surprise my biggest shade cloth covered both trees. Giving me hope that later on it will cover my peach tree right next door. If not I’ll cut down the peach to fit.

I’ve been using the same piece of netting since the 1980s as shade cloth, hail netting, and critter deterrent.

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Did you find the OrangeRed took longer to fruit than other apricots? I have one in ground x 3 years, growing to be large tree but still not setting fruit. Others like Tomcot and Robada have set. Wonder if I should just remove it bc high chill hours. DFW prob down to 600 hrs now

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Those arcs are for placing frost cloth, aren’t they?

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It’s fruited like most other apricots over here. Both in greenhouse and outside. Our chilling isn’t much either. Maybe a bit more than DFW. I’ve had a couple of high chill apricots that didn’t fruit well.

Right now for hail netting bird cloth. But another year if frost is an issue then maybe a tarp plus heat source. That’s better than frost blanket if it’s an option.

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