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 growing apricots near Portland 
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Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 419
Location: SW Washington
Post growing apricots near Portland
I absolutely love apricots and the ones from the store suck. We used to have a tree in our yard when I was a child in Yakima.

I just got into home orchardry in the last couple years and was quickly put off of the idea of growing peaches or apricots in this area (I live in Vancouver, WA) .

I've seen the variety "Puget Gold" touted as doing well in the PNW. What would be the concerns with one of these in this area, and how would that compare with say, a European plum?

The main concerns I seem to recall are:
1a. early blooming which can cause the blooms, or young fruit to get damaged
1b. early blooming before pollinaters are active
2. Wet weather fosters Peach Leaf Curl (is it a problem on apricots?)
3. Bacterial Canker - Does Puget Gold resist it?

I think it would be worth planting a tree if it bore a decent amount of fruit at least once every few years.

It wouldn't be worth it if were likely to die or be heavily diseased.

Are HOS members growing apricots in the Portland area? If so, what is the secret?


Thu May 10, 2007 2:13 am
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Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2004 9:09 am
Posts: 138
Location: Canby, OR Z8
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I was put off of apricots too. Although when I moved into my current house 5 years ago there was a reasonably healthy 10-year old apricot tree there. It had only a few fruits one year and none the next. Then I had to remove it to get a well dug, but have never put in another. I never saw any evidence of Peach Leaf Curl on it, and I was told that one year it produced a bumber crop. That was probably a highly exceptionally warm late winter and early spring.
Here's a place that specializes in late-blooming apricots, which I don't know will help or not, since we get freezes here thru the first week of May. Heck, it frosted at my house on the morning of 5/9/07. But the freezes are usually quite mild, but I don't know how apricots would deal with them.

http://www.oakcreekorchard.com/id71.html

Where I live there are several large peach orchards nearby. No apricots. I cannot recall seeing an apricot orchard anywhere in the North Willamette Valley. Although the are some in Eastern Washington. My guess is that growing apricots is just not worth it here.
Peaches are another story, if you can control PLC, which isn't too hard to do, then peaches are quite viable.


Thu May 10, 2007 11:19 am
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 5:24 pm
Posts: 126
Location: Puyallup, WA
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I planted two apricot trees near Puyallup in 2003, a Moorpark and a Puget Gold. One died after two years, the other died in 2006. I think they had verticillium wilt or something - they were growing fine,all leafed out and then just died mid-summer. I have a Manchurian apricot seedling planted in 2003 that is growing well but has yet to bloom.

My Frost peach tree and two european plums (Brooks and Italian) growing a few feet away from the apricots are doing really well, these were planted in 2003 too. I grafted a Flavor King Pluot into my Italian plum this year and hope to see pluots in a couple years, the grafts have leafed out and look very good so far. I wouldn't recommend planting an apricot here in the PNW.


Tue May 15, 2007 8:57 pm
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Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 419
Location: SW Washington
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Dubyadee,

Yeah, I haven't seen much encouragement for the apricots beyond that offered by nursery catalog descriptions. Its funny, you'd think that if Puget Gold grew OK anywhere it would be in Puyallop

When did your peach tree begin yielding fruit, and what measures do you have to take against disease and pests for it?

You'll have to let the world know how your pluots turn out. I'd gotten the impression that they require a lot of heat to sweeten up so that put me off of trying them.

I'm beginning to warm up to peach again though :)


Wed May 16, 2007 11:15 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 5:24 pm
Posts: 126
Location: Puyallup, WA
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My Frost peach began fruiting in 2004 (planted in 2003). The tree is very small, only about 6 feet tall but sets a lot of fruit. I have to thin it a lot - I was out last weekend doing my "preliminary thinning" already. I don't know the rootstock but I think it is on a dwarf rootstock. When I planted it I pruned off extra branches and stuck them in my planter, two rooted. One that I transplanted in 2004 is now a 10' tall tree. It had two peaches on it last year and this year seems to have set a lot more, not enough to have to thin it though. I haven't had to spray the peaches for leaf curl, they get a few twisted leaves here in Puyallup but I just pluck them off or leave them. I haven't had pest problems with this peach like with my apples. The ease of growing this peach made me want to plant more peaches this year so I put in an Avalon Pride and a pumiselect rootstock to graft something else onto later.


Thu May 17, 2007 10:32 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 5:24 pm
Posts: 126
Location: Puyallup, WA
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My Frost peach began fruiting in 2004 (planted in 2003). The tree is very small, only about 6 feet tall but sets a lot of fruit. I have to thin it a lot - I was out last weekend doing my "preliminary thinning" already. I don't know the rootstock but I think it is on a dwarf rootstock. When I planted it I pruned off extra branches and stuck them in my planter, two rooted. One that I transplanted in 2004 is now a 10' tall tree. It had two peaches on it last year and this year seems to have set a lot more, not enough to have to thin it though. I haven't had to spray the peaches for leaf curl, they get a few twisted leaves here in Puyallup but I just pluck them off or leave them. I haven't had pest problems with this peach like with my apples. The ease of growing this peach made me want to plant more peaches this year so I put in an Avalon Pride and a pumiselect rootstock to graft something else onto later.


Thu May 17, 2007 10:32 pm
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Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 419
Location: SW Washington
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Wow, that is very encouraging. I assume you are happy with the fruit from your Frost peach as well.


Fri May 18, 2007 12:02 am
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