Blenheim apricots are a mid-sized, sweet-tart fruit delicious for eating fresh, drying or canning. Blenheim apricots are a good choice for mild climates and have been grown in California's Santa Clara Valley since the early 1900s. The fruit is ready for picking in early or late June, depending on the climate. Although Blenheim apricot trees are cold hardy, a late spring frost can nip the blossoms, which appear in late winter and early spring. Plant Blenheim apricots in USDA Hardiness Zones 7 to 9.
Things You'll Need
- Young Blenheim apricot tree
Purchase a healthy Blenheim apricot tree at a local nursery or greenhouse. Look for a year-old tree about 4 to 6 feet tall. The trunk should be straight.
Dig a hole for the apricot tree as soon as all danger of frost has passed. The site should be in full sunlight where the soil drains well. The hole should be no deeper than the height of the tree's root system, but at least twice as wide. Trees planted too deeply are at risk of rotting. Avoid loosening the soil in the bottom of the hole, as the tree can sink too deep into the soil.
Place the apricot tree in the hole with the roots evenly spread. Be sure the crown of the tree is 1 to 2 inches above ground level. The crown is the point where the trunk joins the roots.
Fill the hole with soil, tamping the soil gently around the roots. Water the apricot tree, using 3 to 5 gallons of water. Pour slowly so the water will penetrate the soil without running off. Give the tree 3 to 5 gallons of water every week for the first spring and summer.
Prune Blenheim apricots in late winter or early spring when the tree is dormant. Remove dead branches and branches that rub or cross other branches. Remove enough of the tree's center limbs to allow sunlight to reach all of the branches.
Tips & Warnings
- Use no fertilizer on Blenheim apricot trees, as fertilizer can cause the tree to be more susceptible to disease and insects. If the soil is poor, add a shovelful of compost to the planting hole.
- Photo Credit Nancy Nehring/Photodisc/Getty Images
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