Re: [gardeners] Re: Sunday in the garden

George Shirley (
Tue, 07 May 2002 13:39:43 -0500

IIRC there are some new varieties of apricot that take a lot less chilling hours than the old
standards. Let's see, where did I put that Stark's catalog, hmmm.


Margaret Lauterbach wrote:
> Ron, I'm mindful that your growing conditions are vastly different from
> mine. I have four seasons, you have cold and rainy or hot and windy.  Not
> always windy.  But Kourik's "Designing and Maintaining Your Edible
> Landscape Naturally" quotes the author of the One-Straw Revolution as
> saying "trees will bear fruit every year and there's no need to
> prune."  Kourik does say that the reference is primarily to citrus, all of
> which are terminal-bearing trees.  Flowers only form at the terminii of
> shoots or branches, and fruit there.  Persimmon is one of the fruits that
> bears in this manner.
> In general, pruning is done to open a tree to sunlight, because without it,
> fruit buds wither and die.  If a tree only bears on the tips of its
> branches, there's no need to open the tree.  He does refer to alternate
> bearing years for apples, and he (Kourik) says "thinning young fruits
> during the heavy crop years helps unpruned trees bear fruit the next season
> and lessons the tendency for alternate bearing."
> I never tried to grow apricots in Southern California.  In Idaho, they
> would bear every year if they could survive late frosts.  I'm surprised
> that you can grow them at all in So. Calif., though, because they require
> over 700 chilling hours (below 45) per year.  BTW, when our neighbors'
> nectarine tree was loaded with almond-sized fruit, it was a distress
> signal, just prior to its premature death.  Margaret L
> > From everyone I know who grows apricots and persimmons, they bear
> >heavily, alternate years. Last year we harvested about 700 'cots from
> >our semi dwarf tree, all fruit of good commercial size. With the
> >persimmon, from what I have read in CRFG's  Fruit Gardener," persimmons,
> >especially the Fuyu, do so, as well.
> >
> >I have been considering thinning our Panamint nectarines, but will enjoy
> >eating/canning them, no matter what the size. That tree is 3 years old
> >and is so loaded that it's branches are beginning to sag, even with
> >fruit no larger than a good sized olive. We shall wait and see. First we
> >need to get about netting the apricot and nectarine, so that the birds
> >do not devour every last they did, last year, the day our
> >blueberries ripened:( Needless to say, they are netted this year!
> >
> >
> >Happy growing!
> >
> >Ron