I'm helping some family set up an orchard in upstate NY Zone 5b and am trying to expand the selection of what's going in the ground. I keep seeing all sorts of supposedly hardy apricots and peaches. I was wondering if anyone has grown these and if so, what varieties? Also, we're there disease challenges? Thank you!
When you reach your lowest point, you are open to the greatest change.
We had an ancient heirloom apricot that was likely over 100 years old in NE KS . It had actually grown to shade tree proportions over the decades and was KS grand champion apricot tree, likely one of the largest in the USA. It produced a bumper crop of golf ball plus sized very sweet flavorful fruit roughly every 5 years largely because it wanted to break dormancy with spates of early spring warmth there and a lot of the fruit was killed by subsequent freezes.
The tree survived -15 degree winter temperature drops, searing heat, drought, harsh relentless winds and had few if any pests. We were so impressed that we grew seedling trees from the fruit hoping that it had self pollinated as locally there were no other apricots (or early blooming trees) around that we could find. We transported one of those seedling trees with us when we moved to southern CT two years ago. It's growing slowly but well. Insect critters are eating my cherry and other tree leaves but not the apricot. It has had mild deer predation. It comes out of winter dormancy slower here which bodes well for fruit production. We are waiting for the first blooms to see what we get. Fingers crossed. If nothing else we'll have a beautiful blooming tree eventually.
I would think that apricots could be grown successfully in upstate NY. Northern KS were that tree had grown for nearly a century was a zone 5 and a rough zone 5 at that.