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Apricot

The foliage of apricots is very healthy, but they only bear fruit in the right conditions. Grown next to a house wall and protected from rain and cold, they can even grow in fresher climates. Apricot espalier trees are often easier to grow than peach espalier trees in viticulture regions!

Lat.: Prunus armeniaca, auch Armeniaca vulgaris)

Espaliered apricot tree with ripe fruit

Requirements / Sources of Supply

The best place to grow espalier apricot is in mild climates that also allows for viticulture, and where there are no winter frosts below 20 - 25 degrees (celsius). Locations in partial shade are good enough in these climate conditions. Apricots are very sensitive to late frosts. Growing the apricot tree on a facade (with no insulation) should help, as the heat loss of the building will protect the tree in case of cold temperatures. Facades with an overhanging roof will protect the apricot from rain. The soil should be kept "open" - that is- free from any other vegetation; mulching the base of the tree is often beneficial. In colder climates, all apricot trees should be grafted on a frost resistant rootstock (such as "Hinduka") or on a plum rootstock (more information on grafting here). Apricots can be found in local nurseries or ordered online.

Characteristics and Pruning

When cultivated on an espalier, apricots are treated as a shaped/formed tree. Apricots will blossom with white pink flowers in early spring and ripen in summer. After the flowering, the tree should be watered regularly or it might shed its fruit. Diseases and pests are not a common problem with apricot. Too much fertiliser might compromise the taste of the fruit. The best known varieties in our latitudes are "Nancyaprikose" (sweet and aromatic) and "Hungarian Best" (frost-resistant, but more sour in taste).

Climbing Support for Apricot

Suitable trellis designs can be found at the bottom of this page. Choose a heavy or massive wire rope design; for a smaller tree, a medium trellis might suffice. Wooden trellises can also be used.

Apricot wood is stiff; it's therefore difficult to train the trees to a symmetrical shape. Apricots should be trained to a free "fan" shape, just like with grapevine. In milder climates, the trees are easier to shape, and a double "U" form can be attempted. There should be at least 80 cm between the vertical branches. The trellis should have vertical wires every 35 - 40 cm so that the fruit bearing shoots can also be bound to the trellis. You can find more details under shaped trees. The trellis needs to be sturdy enough to firmly anchor the tree to the wall or facade.

Suitable wire rope trellises

Click on the image to find a suitable facade trellis design.

Wire rope trellises for apricot trees

Please click on the graphics to see a detailed view of each design!

 = suitable         = partly suitable       = not suitable