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.
Thanks, Stan. Good stuff.
Nice report. Thanks
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.
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. 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…
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.
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)
How big is your lot Stan? And how many trees do you have? And what’s the spacing between them?
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.
That is really impressive Stan… how many hours a week do you spend on your orchard? It seems to me like it’s a full time job to take care of such orchard…
I have a very minimalist approach — only necessary pruning, almost no spraying, etc. A lot depends on season, most work is in the summer (putting on and taking off bird nets, collecting and sorting fruit), early spring (grafting) and mid-spring (fruit thinning). During those periods it can be 3 to 5 hours a day, but much less during other seasons. Also, my wife does a lot of work in the orchard, she maintains the irrigation system and takes care of weeding (which is the most time consuming task).