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If you think of apricots as an exotic treat grown in this country only in California, think again. The Harcot Apricot Tree, developed in Canada, lets homeowners in many parts of the U.S. enjoy the simple pleasures of growing sun-ripened apricots in their own backyard. You’ll find countless uses for these delectable all-natural snacks, and every year you’ll want to try new recipes. Harcot apricots are wonderful in sweet treats like cobblers, bars, muffins, smoothies, and preserves, as well as in savory dishes like pork and chicken. Of course, they’re also yummy fresh off the tree. Knowing that they’re rich in vitamin A and other nutrients and low in calories, you’ll be happy to snack away and to let the kids do the same.
- Hardiness Zone: 5-8
- Spacing: 8-10'
- Exposure: Full Sun
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Most Apricot Trees open their delicate pink or white blossoms in very early spring, making them vulnerable to late frosts, which can ruin the crop. Researchers at Agriculture Canada in Harrow, Ontario (about 25 miles south of Detroit) have worked on developing later-blooming hardy Apricot Trees as part of an extensive fruit tree breeding program. At least five different trees were used in breeding the Harcot to get all the characteristics the researchers were looking for. Besides being hardy to cold and a late bloomer, the new tree also showed resistance to three diseases that can afflict Apricots: bacterial spot, brown rot, and perennial canker. The Harcot Apricot was introduced in 1977.
Besides being a producer of tasty apricots, your Harcot Apricot Tree will also make a lovely addition to your landscape. Early in the season, it will grace your garden with pretty pink blossoms, painting a delightful spring picture. When summer comes, this small, upright-arching tree will create an intimate space beneath its branches to serve as a cool, shady retreat on warm days. As summer advances and you are able to reach up and pluck a ripe fruit from its branches while sitting in your cozy lounge chair, you’ll learn what it means to live the good life!
How to Grow
Although Harcot blooms later than other Apricot Trees, don’t plant it in a low-lying “frost pocket,” but in an open, slightly elevated position, just to be on the safe side. It is a self-fruitful tree, so no other tree is needed for pollination and good fruit set. Apricots enjoy lots of sun and warm summer weather, and they do especially well in rather dry climates. They do appreciate regular irrigation, but excess moisture must drain freely, as soggy soil will cause root rot. There are a fair number of diseases and pests that find Apricots as appealing as we humans do, and growing them does require some vigilance. However, the rewards are great, and know that the Bower & Branch grower support team is here to guide you at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any help.
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