Apricot tree


Features

The apricot is a plant of Chinese origin, although according to a good number of sources, it would be a plant that would have originated in the Persian and Armenian areas.

Apricot is a plant that is characterized by having an average size, since it never goes beyond 5-7 meters in height and, at the same time, can count on the development of leaves that have a typical heart-shaped shape, as well as be particularly thin and smooth.

The flowers that are produced by this Chinese plant have a typical pinkish white color.

The apricot is characterized by the production of fruits that have a typically ovoid shape, while the skin is characterized by having a color that can also change considerably according to the variety that is taken into consideration, since it ranges from a light yellow until intense orange.

The apricot pulp is characterized by being very tender, in addition to the fact that it is also very juicy and with a rich amount of vitamin A.

The fruits of this plant of Chinese origin are obviously intended for fresh consumption, but a large part is also used by the industry for the production of juices, syrups, jams and many other products that have been immediately successful on the market.

In most cases, most varieties of apricot they are characterized by being self-fertile, even if it must be emphasized that the simultaneous presence of several varieties increases fruit production exponentially.

The apricot is a fruit tree that prefers development in all those areas that are characterized by a rather temperate climate, even if it is widespread and is also cultivated in many areas with a much colder climate.

One of the main dangers for the correct development of this plant is certainly represented by strong winds, which can cause very important damage, in particular, to the flowering, since the apricot produces its flowers prematurely.

Another important danger comes from late frosts, which are able to combine various damage especially to flowering and, obviously, also to fruit production.


Ground

As for the fertilization operations, as for many other plants, also for the apricot fruit tree it is suggested to use organic fertilizers, such as manure or manure during the period defined as "vegetative rest" .

During the period between spring and summer, NPK fertilizers can be used: in practice, it is a compound made with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, without then exploiting these elements during the seasons characterized. from a warmer and drier climate.

As with many other species, apricot pruning is also based on the fruiting habitus. In fact, we are dealing with a stone fruit and, for this reason, it has flower buds on the branches.

There apricot plant it develops perfectly in places where it is directly exposed to the sun's rays, but is placed in a sheltered area from the winds; this fruit tree is suitable for any type of soil, as long as it is quite fertile and with a good level of drainage.

Apricot is a plant that does not present particular needs from the water point of view.


Rootstocks

This plant has the characteristic of being able to graft onto a good number of plants: the franc is often used as rootstock, but the myrobalan plum, peach and almond trees are also widespread.

In any case, it is important to remember and underline that the rootstock that is most used in the cultivation of this plant is certainly represented by the myrobalan plum, which is characterized above all by not having specific needs from a climatic point of view and related to the soil in which it is inserted.

The mirabulous plum is also characterized by having a good affinity and a particularly fast development, while the plants always denote a good vigor, are very long-lived and have the particularity of producing fruits early.

As for grafting on peach trees, however, it must be emphasized that plants are obtained that are certainly not characterized by high vigor and high longevity, but at the same time are characterized by being decidedly productive, in addition to the fact that a good number of apricot varieties are characterized by having a decidedly higher quality and, at the same time, also a faster ripening process.


Forms of cultivation

Among the various forms of cultivation of this fruit tree, we certainly find three that are much more important and are used more frequently than all the others.

The apricot, in fact, is one of the best plants to be grown in full wind (meaning, therefore, a completely natural growth).

There is the possibility of forming the crown on a medium trunk at a height of about 120 centimeters, while the alternative is represented by the formation of the crown with a high trunk, at a height of about 180-200 centimeters.

This explains the reason why you will have to plant the sucker for about a year and then you will go to perform a cut at the desired height. The next step, in the following year, will be to keep at least three branches which will have to be reduced to a length equal to 20-25 centimeters from the starting point.

Obviously, this system will allow these branches to produce, in turn, still other branches, which will develop subsequently and will be enough to constitute what will be the definitive crown of the apricot fruit tree.

During the following years, and especially when the tree is facing the vegetative period, only the internal thinning of the foliage will have to be carried out, in order to then provide for the elimination of dry branches.

During the following years, when the vegetative rest will have to be faced, only suitable interventions will be sufficient to thin out the foliage internally and to provide for the removal of dry branches.

Another form of apricot cultivation is represented by the technique that takes the name of "A vaso nano".

In order to make the pot, you will have to plant a one-year-old sucker and then make a cut about 40-50 centimeters from the ground.

When the second year of life of the fruit tree begins, at least four very vigorous branches must be shortened by about 30-40 centimeters (at least), trying to keep them as far as possible from the central part, which then they will give other branches of which only the external branches will have to be kept.

At this point it will be necessary to make these branches shorter in such a way as to make the plant even more robust: from that moment on, the growth will be kept free, intervening only with some pruning operation going to thin out by removing the branches that are too messy.


"Palmette or espalier" cultivation

Another alternative in the forms of apricot cultivation is certainly represented by the technique called "palmette or espalier".

In all likelihood this is the most important and suggested plant formation technique to be used also in the garden, since, among its main characteristics, it has that of being optimal for the seal of walls and fences and, since the apricot fruit tree is particularly sensitive and suffers the strong cold winds of the winter season, the preference goes to plant it in the southern part of the garden, in order to obtain the best results.

This explains the reason why a one-year-old sucker will have to be planted after making a cut at a height of about 50 centimeters from the ground, while during the following year, at least four branches must be kept, with the The goal is to arrange them two on each side and one that must be allowed to develop vertically.

The whole structure must be fixed to a trellis or an alternative that guarantees good support. During the following year, it will be necessary to intervene with pruning, in particular with the aim of sprouting and strengthening the lateral branches, while a more intense pruning must be performed on the vertical arrow in such a way as to guarantee a good replacement with the branches of new growth.


Diseases and parasites

It is important to highlight how the main dangers for this fruit tree are essentially represented by animal parasites that are able to attack the apricot with good consistency: the main animal parasites are represented by aphids, which develop, in particular, on the most extreme parts of the shoots.

It may happen that apricot plants are also often attacked by scale insects: if these parasites occur uniformly and in large quantities, then there is the possibility that they cause an overall weakening of this fruit tree, with the consequence that the damage also extends to the fruit.

Another particularly annoying parasite, able to attack the apricot plant, is represented by the moth, which is characterized by insinuating itself inside the buds and inside the younger shoots, with the consequence of their extremely rapid drying.

The apricot is also often subject to pathogens of fungal origin: we are talking, in particular, of the corineum, which is characterized by the production of spots that appear on the leaf and which have the main consequence of necrotizing the tissues, causing small holes.

Another pathogen of fungal origin is certainly represented by the monilla, which causes damage to the branches and fruits: once the latter are infected, the main consequence is that they rot very quickly.


Apricot: Use in the kitchen

The apricot, a small fruit with a yellow-orange color and a spherical shape, is the product of the apricot tree. Its delicious flavor and the many properties it possesses make apricot one of the most popular fruits of all.

The fruits of the plant are used in the kitchen for the preparation of various recipes: from jams to cakes, from juices to sorbets and parfaits, from meats to focaccia.

Apricot is a tasty, nutritious and vitamin-rich fruit: for this reason it is good to introduce it in the daily diet to take advantage of its qualities and improve our health and our physical shape. A supply of vitamins is always useful for our body to better face the days. In addition, apricot allows us to help us when states of nervousness, insomnia arise or if we find ourselves having to spend periods of convalescence.



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