Last summer we harvested maybe 40 fruits from a five year old apricot tree. And yes I did try to count all the fruits.Â The tree just started bearing fruits for the last two years.Â And the apricots have turned out to be one of the best tasting fruits I’ve ever eaten.
This spring I noticed we are getting more fruits.Â They are growing in clusters of at least 3 to 5 fruits. And many more of them are starting to fall off when the fruits are still green and young.
It turns out this is how the tree is “thinning” itself.Â Many stone fruits require thinning to encourage bigger fruits.
The more I researched “growing apricots” I found that it’s best to thin of the clusters and leaving only 1 or 2 fruits near each other. And it’s best to not let them touch as this could cause fungus to grow.
An interesting note, the ones that fell are a mixed bunch, some having dimples and markings while others are just normal looking.
These 2 fruits don’t look too healthy with the dark spot.Â I’m waiting to see if they will drop off on their own.
A tip on thinning from BC Ministry of Agriculture:
“If the tree sets a heavy crop and no thinning is done, the fruit will be small at harvest time. Thus, removal of part of the crop is necessary. To do this, space the fruits about 1 - 2 inches (3.8 - 5 cm) apart. Early thinning results in more uniform ripening.
Fruit on well-thinned trees will ripen several days earlier than on poorly or unthinned trees. There will still be mixed maturities, even on well thinned trees, so more than one pick may be necessary. Heat greatly accelerates maturity.”
Check out the harvest from a gardener in the SF bay area yard.Â And it doesn’t even look like they did any thinning of the fruits.Â Talk about bumper crop!