Let’s start with early apricots.
My earliest is Apache, two fruits on a 2018 graft, picked May 12. Below average size, nice aroma, not very sweet or particularly flavorful, but decent for such an early season. Much better than nothing, which is the alternative.
Next is Royal Rosa, three fruits on two 2018 grafts, picked May 29-31 (one fruit a day). Nice looking fruit, medium size. However, low sugar, not very flavorful. And it’s just a day or two before the really good stuff starts coming in.
Nicole harvest started May 28 and is pretty much done by today (June 11), peak of ripening June 3-6. Fruit medium size, well colored, small stone. The fruit quality was subpar first two years (the tree was planted in 2016), but much improved by the third year, sweet (brix about 23) and flavorful when fully ripe. The tree is vigorous and a very strong producer.
Orangered is the king of early apricots, just head and shoulders above anything else. Great looking fruit, exceptional flavor, very sweet (brix 24-26). Harvest June 1 - June 8. The only disadvantage is that it’s a shy producer, the tree (planted in 2016) produced two fruits in 2017, about 8-10 in 2018 and about 35-40 in 2019. Since production increases a bit every year, I hope it picks up in the future.
Tomcot is an incredible producer, very reliable year after year. Harvest started Jun 1, peaked Jun 7-10, and still going strong. Fruit is nice looking, very clean and good quality, it has a bit less sugar than Nicole, but the flavor is more pronounced.
Gold Kist is a strong producer, large fruit, but the flavor is kind of watery and too low on sugar for fresh eating compared to other varieties in the same season. However, it makes a very good, aromatic jam.