Prunus 'Early Moorpark' | Apricot Tree
Small and compact, this tree can grow happily in your garden, but can also be just as rewarding in a pot, say, on a balcony. The tree is fully winter hardy, but will like full sun, against a south-facing wall, to give it protection from wind and rain. The fragrant blossom will help pollinate your tree, and you may get 200-300 apricots per tree after a good season. The fruits are large and yellow, and take on an attractive red-orange tinge when fully ripe. 'Early Moorpark' has been awarded the Award of Garden Merit given by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), which helps gardeners make informed choices about plants.
- Flower Colour: Light pink
- Foliage Colour: Green
- Approx. Growth Height: 4-5m
- Rootstock: Myrobalan - Semi-Dwarfing
- Comes in a: 9L polypot (not a rigid pot)
- Approx. Height on Arrival: 130-150cm
- Tree is approx 1 year old with a 2 year old rootstock
- Flowering Period: Spring (April - May)
- Harvesting Period: August
- Season of Use: August - September
- Growing Habit: Bush, cordon, espalier, fan
- Uses: Eating fresh, cooking, jams
- Hardiness: Fully hardy
- Exposure: Exposed, sheltered
- Self pollinating: Yes - (see 'Pollination' section below)
- Rate of Growth: Fast
- Scented: barely
- Wildlife friendly - Attracts bees and other pollinating insects
Fruit trees are generally budded or grafted onto a rootstock by the nursery, this means the roots of the tree are a different plant to the trunk, branches and fruit. Effectively sticking two plants together, one that has good roots and one that has good fruit, ensures that you get what you pay for. Plants raised from seed will vary from the parent plants and there will be a wide variation in the size or shape of a tree and the quality and quantity of fruit it produces. Another result of budding and grafting a variety onto selected rootstocks is the ability to control the size of the tree to a certain degree. However, the size that a fruit tree ultimately grows to is dependent on a number of factors:
- The fruit variety ( i.e. Apple Braeburn)
- How it’s pruned
- Soil type
- Its rootstock
Where you grow your fruit tree and the soil it is growing in also impacts on its ability to grow and thus eventual size. Most fruit trees need a good amount of sunshine to grow well and for the fruit to ripen with high sugar content. Trees growing in cold, open spots will grow slower than those that are protected and warm. The same is true for the soil, with trees growing in light sandy soils generally growing more slowly and not reaching such a large size as those in rich fertile soils which will be more vigorous and taller growing.
- Pollination Group: Self pollinating
The pollination groups are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6, according to flowering time. Best results will be obtained if one variety is planted near another apple tree of the same group. In the UK, because of our longer spring, you can also choose a partner from a group on either side (so an ideal pollination partner for group 3 would be one in group 2, 3 or 4).
We have developed an eco friendly polypot that is currently in use across our 9 litre range. This polypot has less than 20% of the plastic used by a regular pot, and is importantly recyclable. Polypots also prevent root spiraling, encouraging a healthier root system.
All trees arrive in an extra thick cardboard box with a clamp to hold their pot in place. This prevents them from moving around on their journey.
Nursery staff will wrap the roots of our bare root trees and use compost to keep them moist during transportation. This extra protection prevents them from drying out, allowing for a flying start. We also use the same specialised box that our potted trees have to keep them nice and secure as they make their way to your home.
Water young trees regularly until roots are well established. Trim annually from mid to late summer. Apply some fertilizer in spring in order to promote healthy growth and a good crop. Optionally, mulch in spring. Check tree ties regularly and loosen any if necessary to avoid rubbing of the stems.
- Light Requirements: Full sun
- Soil Requirements: Neutral, clay, loam, sand
- Moisture: Moist, well-drained, moderately fertile
- Planting Distance: 1.5m with 3m between rows
Before planting your tree, clean up all wandering weeds and keep a clean ring around the tree base. Water well during the first year until well established.
Autumn is the best season for planting fruiting trees, as the soil moisture and heat allow easier and faster root establishment and regeneration of damaged root systems.
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