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For a fairly long time, only semi-wild apricot varieties with oblong-shaped fruits and a sour taste grew in Russia. Today, new varieties have been bred, successfully grown in the Russian Federation and Ukraine, and, in terms of taste, are not inferior to those that grow in countries with more favorable climatic conditions. Recently, gardeners have been of great interest to the columnar type varieties of the mentioned fruit trees.
The tree has a non-standard “column” shape with small branches extending from the trunk. Apricot tree is a close relative of roses and peaches, therefore its pink or snow-white flowers are distinguished by aroma and beauty, and flowering occurs in the spring months - March and April. The leaves can be of various shapes - round, in the form of a heart or an oval, but always have a pointed tip.
In fleshy apricot fruits, there is one seed with a hard shell, but often having an edible kernel. The fruit ripens in August, and the weight of each ripe fruit is from 3 to 19 grams. Ripe fruits, depending on the variety, may have:
- pale or bright yellow;
- the black;
- red-orange color.
Column-shaped apricot trees can be grown in small garden areas. This plant is resistant to pests and diseases. Perhaps, the only drawback of such trees is the specific care:
- all ovaries should be removed in the very first spring;
- side branches should be cut annually.
Grade "Prince Mart"
This apricot tree is frost-resistant (withstands temperatures up to -35 ° C) and practically not affected by diseases and pests. "Prince Mart" is suitable for cultivation in central Russia and gives a plentiful harvest. The tree is low, grows up to 2 meters, and caring for it will not be difficult even for novice gardeners.
Apricot fruits ripen in the second half of August, they have an original taste and a bright orange color, with a slight red “blush”. The mass of each fruit varies from 30 to 60 grams. The peculiarity of plant care is the complete harvest of flowering in the first year. If this requirement is met, you can enjoy the fruits already in the second year of tree growth.
The fruits of "Prince Marta" are tasty in fresh form - the pulp is sweet, easily separated from the stone, and in the processed one - from apricots, amazing compote jam, jam, juice and other preparations are obtained.
Column-shaped apricots: features of the species
This variety is characterized by increased resistance to frost, it is practically not sick and is not susceptible to invasion of parasites. The "star" variety can be grown almost everywhere, caring for apricot trees is simple, and they produce a plentiful and large-fruited crop.
A feature of this variety are quite large fruits - by weight they can reach 100 grams. Apricots have a pleasant sunny yellow color, a delicious aroma and are universal for consumption - they can be eaten fresh, dried, used for conservation.
Plant care consists in harvesting flowers in the first year, and in subsequent years - in timely pruning of branches. With proper care of the apricot tree, it will begin to bear fruit in the second year after planting on the site.
Apricot planting in spring
Decorative trees - an undoubted advantage of the columnar varieties of apricot. It is recommended to plant this type of plant at a distance of no more than a meter from each other. As a result, the plants will be comfortable, they will bring a significant harvest, and you will get a beautiful garden.
When planting in spring, the following algorithm is required:
- Preparing a landing pit. Its size and depth should be such that the roots of the plant fit flat there. Pay attention to the place of grafting of the seedling - it should be above the ground.
- Before the seedling will be placed in the soil, it is necessary to put phosphorus and potassium fertilizers into the dug pit, mix them with loose earth and only then place the plant at the planting site.
- It is important to ensure that the apricot grows evenly, not leaning to the side.
- After planting, apricot trees are watered abundantly, but so that the planting hill does not rinse off. In the future, watering is recommended by digging holes near the roots of the tree and pouring them with water.
Care for planted apricots
Care for seedlings is necessary regularly. Feeding is carried out three times during the vegetative period, for this, purchased fertilizer, slurry 1/10, saltpeter or chicken droppings (in proportions 1/30) are suitable:
- the first top dressing can be done after planting;
- the second - how the first leaves appear (after about 2 weeks);
- the latter - after a similar period (14 days) after the second.
In the first year after planting, care should be taken to clean all the flowers from the seedling in the spring, and in the future it is necessary to dive the extra branches in a timely manner. Preventive spraying from pests can be carried out with preparations intended for apple trees - this will preserve the health of trees and increase yield.
The weakest point of apricot columnar trees is the apical bud - in case of freezing or death, the plant will give several vertical shoots. These shoots can be saved. If it is necessary to form a strict column, then the shoots are nipped, no more than 3 buds should remain at their base. This action can be repeated next year.
Plants, especially young ones, should be protected from frost. For this purpose fit:
- coniferous spruce branches;
- also, after falling snow, they can spud trees.
When covering plants from frost, make sure that mice, hares and other rodents do not gain access to the trunk and roots of the apricot tree.
How to grow apricots in the northern regions
Apricot is a thermophilic culture, but you can grow this beautiful fruit tree in the northern regions of Russia. In order for the tree to take root, it did not die in the cold and began to bring a consistently high yield, gardeners are recommended to purchase varieties adapted to the climate. As a rule, zoned tree varieties are purchased from local nurseries.
Apricot trees are not particularly demanding on the soil, they have a powerful root system and bloom in early spring. If during the flowering of apricots there is a danger of freezing, then gardeners create a smokescreen to preserve inflorescences and, accordingly, the future harvest.
Planting apricot trees in the northern latitudes practically does not differ from the planting procedure elsewhere:
- the seedling is placed in a pre-fertilized pit;
- monitor the evenness of its installation;
- water abundantly and periodically fertilize.
Before the onset of cold weather, the trees are covered with improvised means, and as snow falls, they are earthed out by it.
You may also be interested in an article in which we talk about columnar peaches and nectarines.
How to plant an apricot
Column-shaped apricot trees are loved by many gardeners - these plants do not take up much space, do not require particularly complicated care and bring a great harvest. Reviews about apricots speak for themselves:
Sonya: "I have been growing apricots in the garden for the 8th year and I can’t get enough of them. For 6 years I get an excellent harvest at the end of summer - I have enough fruit from five trees for both food and conservation."
Michael: “I planted 3 apricot trees last year, but only one survived the winter - I didn’t take care of the plants warming for the winter, and our frosts were more than 40 degrees. The surviving apricot has already blossomed and now I'm waiting for the fruit.”