I'm up in the hills at 2000 ft above sea level, in zone 9B.
I've got a lot of fruittrees (apples are doing great this year!) including peaches and plums. I've got at least 3 apricot trees that didn't even flower this year, and of course no fruit either. Didn't fruit last year either. They look good, they've had good growth this spring/summer...
In addition, my one more mature peach (maybe 12ft tall, trunk maybe 2.5" in diameter, also didn't really flower or fruit. (a new young peach did great). I do have Peach Leaf Curl, but have never seen that on the apricots.
So, any ideas? I think I did a decent job mulching, and I have drip irrigation on as well. (again, apples, figs, plums all doing super great...so I'm doing some stuff right)
Probably the better question is whether I should go hard on pruning this winter or go light.
I love apricots, and haven't had a good harvest in quite some time.
How much do you water these trees? If you're in 9B i assume you water them pretty much year round, in which case stop watering during the winter/spring/fall and see if that makes a difference. In my experience, most stone fruits do best with limited water once they're established. Especially during the time when they should be blooming, too much water can be a problem.
Zone 5b/6a, alkaline soil, 12 inches of water per year. For now the goal is a water independent urban homestead with edible landscaping and food forest.
Location: Northern California
posted 5 months ago
We have frosts, but not after flower buds. Like 3 times in February, that's it.
And, I don't have my watering system running year round, but turn it on when things start to dry up, which is after typical flowering time. HOWEVER, we have rain all winter, and this spring was a longer wet one. So, yes, 'too much water' in early spring might in fact be my problem.
If too much rainfall in March and April is my problem, what can I do about it?
I also am in 9B. Apricots are tough trees -- they do well almost anywhere.
I'd be curious how many chill hours you got last winter. Are your trees low chill varieties?
I'd encourage you to be patient. They'll eventually figure it out and give you a good crop.
"The rule of no realm is mine. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, these are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail in my task if anything that passes through this night can still grow fairer or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I too am a steward. Did you not know?" Gandolf
It sounds like your trees fell victim to the same thing a lot of the USA did this year.
The changing weather patterns have just about done in most of the early planting crops as well as the fruit trees.
I have a Young apricot that hasn't fruited yet so I looked up blossom drop. Did you get a bunch of rain?
"If you have an apricot tree not fruiting, it could very well be because of poor pollination. ... If an apricot tree receives too little or too much water at bloom time or while the fruit is maturing, this can result in no apricots on the tree." gardeningknowhow.com
I am no expert, but I live in a 9b zone and have 2 old apricot trees, and they had lots of fruit this year. I don't water as much as I should. I do remember being told apricot will only fruit on two year old wood so you have to be careful how you prune it. Also it seems to alternate one year you will get tons of fruit, and the next year you will get very little. I also read if it happens to be wet and cool during fruiting they pollinate better with two, or more. Good luck, keep trying it will be worth the wait.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, people are planting apricots and other early flowering trees on the north side of buildings. The shade triggers them to break dormancy later so the buds aren't hurt by frost. I'm no expert, but maybe that is what is happening for you, is that the buds are getting frosted off before they even open. It's nice having them break dormancy later because the weather is more dependable, though as Bryant mentioned it's pretty volatile nationwide now
When you reach your lowest point, you are open to the greatest change.
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