Plant the seeds about 6 inches deep, or at a depth that is about twice the length of the apricot pit, and then water immediately to settle the soil around the seeds. You can place an inch or two of sand over the soil to protect the soil from crusting in the winter. Place the pots in full sun.
Can an apricot tree grow from a stone?
If you notice an apricot tree in your neighborhood that is heavily laden with fruit, it is worthwhile to take a piece of the fruit and establish a tree from the stone. To do this, remove any remaining flesh and put the stone on newspaper for around three hours to dry.
- You may extract the seed from the stone by carefully cracking it with a hammer on its side.
- The objective is to extract the seed from the rock without breaking it.
- If you believe you will crush the seed, you can plant the entire stone; however, germination will take longer.
- Allow the seeds to dry for a few additional hours on newspaper.
You may now place the seeds in a jar or plastic bag with a zipper in the refrigerator to stratify them for 60 days. Then, plant the seeds in potting soil and place them in a warm location to germinate. Although the majority of apricots are self-fertile, fruit production is enhanced when they are planted near one or two other types.
- In the third or fourth year, trees will produce fruit.
- Choose a spot with full sun.
- Apricots thrive on rich, humus-rich, well-drained, and ideally slightly alkaline soils.
- Before planting, incorporate a pail of well-rotted organic material.
- Plant bare-rooted trees in the fall, while the soil is still warm, or in early spring if the tree is in a bag or container.
Place trees with bare roots over a mound of earth in the center of the planting hole, then spread the roots over the mound. Determine planting depth by observing a shift in color from dark to light as one descends the stem toward the roots. Position the inside curve of the graft union away from the afternoon sun if the tree has been grafted.
Remove the tree from its container and remove surrounding roots by laying the root ball on its side and cutting through the roots using secateurs. Water newly-planted trees often throughout their first spring and summer, and prior to the beginning of drought, when established trees may also require watering.
This is especially crucial as the fruit begins to expand. In September and early October, apply a 5-cm layer of mulch to the root zone. When fruits are 1 to 2 centimeters in diameter, thin to 3 to 4 fruits per cluster to maximize the size of the remaining apricots and prevent over- and under-production.
Some types of apricot trees overproduce, causing their limbs to bow and break. These productive trees can be maintained by “crutches” fashioned by hand. The fruit is ripe between late December and February, when it is completely colored, its skin yields slightly when gently squeezed, and it readily detaches from the tree.
The harvesting season is brief. Apricots must be gathered with care since they are fragile fruits with a short shelf life. As apricot trees are strong and grow twice as rapidly as other fruit trees, annual pruning is required. To minimize bacterial infections in exposed pruning wounds, prune immediately after fruit harvesting.
With the arrival of winter, many choose to prepare soups and drinks with bitter apricot seeds as a source of nourishment. However, did you know that bitter apricot seeds that have not been thoroughly cooked in boiling water may contain natural toxins that could cause food poisoning or, in extreme cases, death? Raw bitter apricot seeds include cyanogenic glycoside, a naturally occurring toxin typically found in fruit seeds.
When a customer eats the fresh seeds or stone of a fruit, the cyanogenic glycoside in the fruit can be converted into the toxic hydrogen cyanide. Just a few seeds or stones can induce cyanide poisoning. In extreme cases of cyanide poisoning, death has been documented. Cyanide poisoning symptoms include constriction of the throat, nausea, vomiting, headache, etc.
A recent occurrence of food poisoning has been linked to the intake of beverages made from uncooked bitter apricot seeds. Before consuming or preparing beverages with bitter apricot seeds, the public is urged to first soak them in water and then cook them fully in boiling water.
- When bitter apricot seeds are cooked fully in boiling water, poisonous hydrogen cyanide is released.
- This reduces the amount of the toxin, making them safe for eating.
- In addition, the seeds of apples, pears, plums, prunes, cherries, and peaches contain cyanogenic glycoside and should not be ingested.
Detailed information: Risk Overview – Toxins Found Naturally in Vegetables and Fruits Focus on Food Safety – Toxins in Fruits and Vegetables? (88th Issue, November 2013) Focus on Food Safety: Natural Toxins in Food Plants (13th Issue, August 2007) Natural Toxins in Food Plants: Risk Assessment Study (March 2007)
At what age does an apricot tree begin to give fruit?
Two years after planting, you should be able to harvest fruit, however it may take up to six years for your apricot to produce copious fruit. It is fairly uncommon for an apricot tree to produce fruit only every other year. It is better to leave fruit on the tree until it is fully ripe.