There is an old apricot tree in nearly every old farmstead landscape in Kansas. It is one of the trees I best remember from growing up in North Central Kansas. Along the lane to the back my parent planted an apricot tree-the first thing to bloom in the spring. Apricots since then have always held interest to me.
Growing apricots in Northern Kansas and Nebraska can be a challenge, our late spring frosts and freezes often catch the early-blooming apricots. We tend to get only 1 decent fruit set in 5 years. There is little you can do about the weather patterns we have, the best way to circumvent the weather is to find a plant late-blooming cultivars. However, this is a challenge too, there are only a few that say they are late blooming. I have found some plum-apricot hybrids with plum skin and apricot flesh that may be a good try for late blooms-but they have not fruited yet in my garden.
Apricot trees grow well in Kansas and Nebraska despite not setting fruit very often. They make excellent landscape trees with interesting bark, branch structure, and fragrant blooms. Apricots usually grow 18 to 40 feet tall and wide and can be trained into shapes, espaliers, and cordons. Instead of planting a row of invasive, reseeding callery pear along your driveway, consider planting apricots. The few years that you do get fruit, you can always share with neighbors.
There is nothing like the taste of a fresh pricked apricot!
One thought on “Growing Apricots”
Elwood, Kansas, for many years had several large apricot trees in front yards. They were fairly reliable producers and were free to anyone bothering to ask permission. Many people thought the fruit a nuisance. They must have been planted after the ’52 flood but they were wiped out by the standing water during 1993. One survived on the old road between Wathena and Elwood until the 2011 flood. I really miss them.