Apricots are stone fruits that are golden in color and mature to a size slightly larger than a golf ball. They tend to ripen all together and within a short period of time, and thus need to be monitored closely throughout the middle of summer.
How to Care for Apricot Trees
Apricot trees need to be pruned earlier than other fruit trees because they are the first to flower in the spring. Apricots are pruned from January to early March. We offer fruit tree pruning January through March in Salt Lake County.
Young trees need extra water to grow, while all fruit trees need additional water during periods of hot, dry weather. Thoroughly soak the soil around your fruit trees every other week. Mulching around the base of your tree can help retain soil moisture as well.
Apricots will ripen off of the tree, but will have better flavor if picked closer to being ripe. Handle apricots carefully when picking to avoid bruising the fruit. Apricots may drop before they are ready to be harvested, particularly if the tree produces a large yield of blossoms/fruit. Apricots bloom earlier than many fruits, which may leave them at the mercy of a late frost.
- Their base color will turn from green to golden.
- The flesh will be soft (not squishy, which indicates overripeness).
- A good time to schedule your apricot tree for harvest is when most of the apricots are close to losing their green hue and close to beginning to soften.
Schedule a Harvest with Us!
Apricot season is often our busiest time, and we may be booked up to three weeks out, so it is essential to monitor your tree and schedule it for the proper time.
We cannot harvest if...
- The load is too low. Must be at least 200 lbs of fruit.
- The fruit is overripe. (If the apricots are too soft or mostly falling off of the tree it may be too late for us to harvest. We have to stack the fruit in bins and then transport it, so the fruit must be able to hold up in those conditions.)
- The fruit is far too underripe. (If the apricots are hard like rocks or are still green, let them continue to ripen on the tree.)
Disease & Pest Control
Apricots often display signs of coryneum blight, the most noticeable symptoms of which are small brown specks that appear on the fruit. The blight does not impact the edibility of the fruit. Coryneum blight can also cause cankers on the twigs and buds and can contribute to a gummy substance exuding from the tree. This blight can cause damage to peach trees, so if peaches are present near afflicted apricots, the apricot trees should be treated. For more pest and disease information, click here.
- Underripe apricots can ripen on the counter or in a paper bag, while ripe apricots should be refrigerated (keep in mind that they will not ripen in the fridge).
- Apricots can also be dried, frozen, or canned. Click here for more information on storing and preserving apricots.
Join the volunteer team!
We love our volunteers and would love to have you join us! There are many ways you can volunteer–from picking fruit to helping in a garden to sitting on a committee.