Apricots are a favourite fruit in Australian home orchards. One of the older varieties that is still going strong is ‘Moorpark’, a versatile apricot that is used widely for making jams (preserves). Two Moorpark varieties are available, the traditional one and ‘Early Moorpark’ which fruits 2-4 weeks before the other one. This is a freestone apricot.
A small to medium sized tree reaching around 9m, apricots are are a relatively hardy tree that will grow well and produce good fruit in many areas of southern Australia. Although they thrive in areas with dry summers they do require some moisture in spring to produce good fruit.
Best in a frost free area especially during the flowering period they will fruit around mid summer. Most varieties are self pollinating, and these are the best types for the home garden.
Best grown in temperate climates, apricots do not perform well in humid or tropical areas. A winter chill is essential for good fruit set, this relates to the number of hours where temperature is low (below 6 C). So from 400 – 1000 hours chill time, without hard frosts.
Apricots fruit on last years wood, so pruning is minimal, restricted to pruning back old growth and shaping new growth. Apricots can be grown in a number of ways, simply as a tree, pruned to a vase shape or on a trellis.
‘Trevatt‘ is a versatile apricot that can be used for both jam and eating as well a for bottling. Best not left to over ripen. Excellent for the home garden is ‘Divinity’ heavy cropping and an early variety. ‘Tardie de bourdonel’ is a heritage french variety.
If you live in Tasmania, try ‘Tilton’, probably the variety best for a cool climate
Dwarf Varieties are also available and these are well suited to the smaller garden and even growing in containers. These are grafted plants so you will see them for sale under the following names
- Dwarf Apricot ‘Bulida’
- Dwarf Apricot ‘Fireball’
- Dwarf Apricot ‘Moorpark’
- Dwarf Apricot ‘Trevatt’
You can find Apricot trees for sale online at the following nurseries
Mail order fruit tree nursery with over 200 temperate climate fruit trees.
Heritage varieties and dwarf fruit trees. Apple Trees, Stone Fruit, Nut Trees and Berry Fruit.
Carey Gully, Adelaide Hills.
Family business selling a large range of deciduous trees in pots 1-4m high. Crepe myrtle specialist. Includes Ornamental pears & plums, Red maples, Japanese maples, Gingko, Cercis, Ash, Birch, Crab apples, Weeping cherries, Gleditsia, Liquidambar and more. Hedging plants, evergreen trees & fruit trees.