Stan's harvest diary 2019

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.


Fantastic report Stan! I really enjoy hearing first hand variety comparisons like yours! Thank you!

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Ok, its set now. I will plant another Orangered. My first tree on St. Julien A rootstock died after its first winter. Since my Harlayne on peach rootstock (Rubira) is doing fine I will try Orangered on peach rootstock this time. Thank you for the report.

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Thanks, Stan. Good stuff.

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Nice report. Thanks

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Thanks, Stan. Last year was my first time tasting apricots. Love tree ripened apricots. So worth it.
I love Orangered and Tomcot as well with Orangered has a slight edge.

I look forward to reading your reviews on later apricots.

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Very nicw cots @Stan! Thank you for the information about these!

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Another update on apricots. As I’ve mentioned in some other threads, I’m experimenting with seedlings of Anya apricot (check here if you are not familiar with this variety). The seeds came from a box of Anya apricots that we ate in June 2015 (that was the last year for commercial Anya production; the apricot trees in the commercial orchard in Modesto have been removed and replaced with almonds in 2016). We planted the seeds in Nov 2015 and transplanted the seedlings to their current location in February 2017.

This year some of the seedlings bore a sizeable harvest for the first time. We tasted fruit from about ten trees. There was a bit of variation in ripening time — from early to late June, with a peak of ripening in the third week of June. There was also some variation in fruit size (although most are small to below medium), shape (from round to ovoid), color (from uniform pale orange to strong red blush on the sunny side), and flavor (a bit difficult to describe, not a huge difference, but some were a bit better than others, perhaps, to some degree, due to difference in the ripening level). Overall, the flavor was very good and may also improve in the future since this was essentially the first crop for these trees. Brix levels were extremely high across the board — from 23-24 when the fruit was still crunchy (what commercial growers call “shipping ripe”) to 27-30+ when fully ripe. Also, we tried a few kernels and all were sweet.


My Lasgerdi Mashhad and Moniqui apricot trees are very heavy producers (much more productive than Afghanistan and Zard, in my experience). These trees have been planted in February 2017 and produced since 2018. Moniqui blooms about two weeks earlier than LM, and they both ripen in mid June here (LM starts ripening a couple of days earlier). Afghanistan ripens about a week later. Both I and my wife love the flavor of these white apricots, the flesh is so tender, juicy and perfumed.

(Moniqui in the bucket on the top of the photo, Lasgerdi Mashhad in the bucket on the bottom of the photo)


How does the flavor of the offspring candycots compare to their parent Anya?


It has been awhile since I tasted Anya, just remember that it was fantastic. :slight_smile: Some of the seedlings were very good, but we had to pick them a bit early since possums and ground squirrels went after them like crazy, even chewing through the nets. I would give these trees a couple more years before making conclusions. Also, this year we tasted fruit from just 10 trees out of 50+ seedlings.


Well, looks like in a few years you’ll be selling your own Candycot trees/scions. You still got some time to figure out what to name the fifty varieties that you got… :blush::blush:


Aside from apricots… The fig breba season has started in earnest. I’m not a huge fan of breba fruit in general but it goes great with some jamón or prosciutto.


Large Early apricot — was eaten so fast that no photographic evidence remained. :wink:

Large Early (a.k.a. Gros Précoce or Gros d’Alexandrie) is an old French variety. We had 7 or 8 fruits from a couple of recent grafts, picked June 15-17. Fruit is large, even by modern standards, oblong-oval, pale orange. Flesh is very tender and juicy, like in white apricots, but the flavor profile is different and unique. Very good to excellent.


Donut (Saturn) peaches — picked in the last couple of days (June 20-21). When they’re ripe, brix is mostly at 20 to 23 range and the flavor is great. Flesh is juicy, sugary, melting and aromatic. One big disadvantage is the tendency to crack in the middle; earwigs and other insects enter the crack resulting in many partially or fully spoiled fruit.


Stan, what variety donut is that?




Afghanistan apricot typically ripens for about a week starting Jun 20 (give or take a day). The fruit is pretty similar to other white apricots, with juicy, tender flesh and excellent flavor. Despite modest sugar level (brix 17-19), it is outstanding for fresh eating. The tree is a vigorous grower but stingy producer.

Spark’s Mammoth apricot ripens in the same window as Afghanistan. This variety was discovered as a seedling in W. W. Spark’s orchard in Ventura, California, in 1881. The fruit is remarkable — large, juicy, with delicate flesh, excellent rich flavor and strong floral aroma. Brix about 21. Despite being large, the fruit always ripens all the way through and never shows any sign of pit burn. One of the best apricots among those I had a chance to taste. Many sources describe SM’s flavor as very similar or identical to that of Royal/Blenheim, but for me SM is much better. The only disadvantage is that SM is a relatively shy producer.

Harcot apricot produces beautiful, large fruits, but for me they never ripen fully (remain firm and too acidic) even when they fall from the tree. Perhaps this happens because my graft is placed low on northeast side of a large tree and does not get enough sun. I should put another graft in a better location.

Afghanistan (top), Harcot (middle), Spark’s Mammoth (bottom)

Afghanistan (top) and Spark’s Mammoth (bottom)


Spark’s Mammoth


How big is your lot Stan? And how many trees do you have? And what’s the spacing between them?

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1.5 acres, with fruit trees on about 0.5 acres (didn’t really measure, just a guess). Every tree here needs to be irrigated in the summer, so this puts a restriction on how many you can plant.

About 260 (can be off by a few), if you count bushes like feijoas, pomegranates and bush cherries as trees. This does not include potted trees.

It varies from 4 ft to 12 ft, depending on location, plant type, purpose, etc.