This deciduous fruit bearing tree is the parent of most modern apricot cultivars. Native to Northeast China, and introduced to cultivation there more than 3,000 years ago, the apricot reached southeastern Europe via Armenia or Persia in about 70 BC. It was later introduced to Spain by the Arabs. It arrived in England and the eastern United States in the seventeenth century; Spanish missionaries brought it to California in the eighteenth century. Few selections were made until the nineteenth century.
Apricot trees are small to medium-sized, with spreading branches studded with short spur-like branchlets. The oval, bright green leaves have serrated edges and reddish purple petioles (stems). In late winter or early spring, pinkish white five-petaled flowers are borne on the spurs and on one-year-old wood. The slightly flattened, spherical, pitted fruits mature about 3 or 4 months after the flowers bloom, ripening to orange or yellow, often with a red blush. Most modern cultivars are self-fruitful, requiring no cross pollination. Apricots are usually grown as standard-sized trees, although genetic and grafted dwarf trees are sometimes cultivated.
Although apricot trees are quite cold hardy, their early flowers are susceptible to freeze damage, and their flower buds may be killed if mild winter spells are followed by bitter cold. Additionally, the fruits of many varieties are prone to rot in cool or damp summers. Plants do best in full sun, mildly acidic to mildly alkaline soil, and an exposure (such as an east slope) not subject to strong winter sun and late frosts.
Information source: Learn2Grow.com.
Genus - Prunus
Species - Armeniaca
Variety - Mandshurica
Common name - Manchurican Apricot
Pre-Treatment - Required
Plant type - Small Tree
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Hardiness zones - 4 - 8
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Shade
Height - 4,50 - 11 m
Spread - 4,50 - 11 m
Growth rate - Medium
Bloom season - Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Green / White
Soil PH - Light (sandy), medium (loamy), heavy (clay)
Soil type - Well drained, moist
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Edible, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Shade Trees
1. Soak the seeds in a bowl of cool water overnight. Lay the seeds on a flat surface to dry for several hours.
2. Stratify seeds in a plastic bag full of moist sand inside the refrigerator for 90 days. Keep the sand barely moist during the cold stratification period.
3. Sow the seeds the following spring once outdoor temperatures rise above +18C during the day and +8C at night. Or sow indoors in the propagator or pots
4. Prepare a pot for each seed. Fill 15-20 cm plastic pots with garden soil taken from the bed where the trees will eventually be planted. Sow one seed in each pot at a depth of 2-3 cm.
5. Water the seeds to a depth of 8 cm after planting them. Maintain moisture at a 8 cm depth during the germination process.
6. Place the pots outdoors in a sheltered spot where they will be exposed to direct sun in the morning and afternoon. Protect the seeds from direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day since the soil will warm too quickly and dry out.
7. Watch for sprouting one month after sowing. Maintain the same light and moisture conditions provided to the seeds during germination until they grow to 10 cm in height.
8. Plant the seedlings into a sunny, sandy bed at least 75 days before the first frost in autumn, or shelter the seedlings in a cold frame until the following spring if it is too late in the year for planting. (info source: eHow.com)
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