As it happens for many other widespread fruits in cultivation in Europe, also the apricot is collected on the plants of a species of prunus, called Prunus armeniaca; small tree, which reaches 5-8 meters in height, with deciduous leaves, originating in China, widespread for millennia throughout Asia, Europe and the Mediterranean area. It is a beautiful tree, with oval foliage, bright green, smooth and shiny; in spring, before the leaves appear, the Prunus armeniaca produces innumerable white or pink star-shaped flowers, followed by the fruits, oval, meaty, yellow orange, velvety drupes, which contain a large stone. The apricot fruits have always been appreciated, raw or dried, or used to prepare jams and fruit compotes; very appreciated also in oriental medicine, suitable for feeding even the smallest ones, it is a precious fruit, rich in vitamins and mineral salts. There are numerous apricot cultivars, with the production of fruits in different periods of the year, planting different varieties, we can have ripe apricots from June until the end of July - beginning of August.
Cultivation Prunus armeniaca
It is a vigorous tree, which does not fear frost, and is therefore placed in a sunny place in the garden; although not afraid of the cold, it is a plant with early flowering, which is therefore not cultivated in areas with a very cold winter climate, in fact the late winter flowering can be completely compromised by late frosts; the fruits of prunus armeniaca they also prefer sunny, warm and dry places, and tend instead to ruin, or even rot, in very rainy areas or with cold springs and summers.
It is generally satisfied with the water guaranteed by spring rains, but it may happen that a particularly dry spring forces us to water our apricot plant; plants that have recently settled down need watering at the time of implantation, and often even during the summer, to allow the young roots to develop.
Every year, in late autumn and late winter, we dig at the foot of the mature manure plant, to enrich the soil and improve the dough.
Apricot - Prunus armeniaca: Apricot pruning
Generally the major prunings that are carried out on fruit plants, and also on the apricot tree, take place on young plants, so as to choose the shape that the plant will have as an adult; in the production orchards the plants are pruned low, no higher than 3-5 meters, with a cup-shaped habit, to allow a more rapid collection of the fruits. In the home garden we can leave our apricot with a more "natural" trend, also allowing it to grow more, if we have the space to do it; nevertheless let's avoid letting it develop a flame, trying to favor the development of the branches that widen the foliage and that grow towards the outside, rather than those that develop straight upwards. So generally we proceed by shortening the longer branches and thinning out the excessively dense crown areas; we avoid drastic pruning on already grown plants.
It happens in particular years that the plant produces an impressive amount of fruit, to avoid that bringing all these fruits to maturity is an excessively heavy job for the plant, let's remove a good percentage, in this way we will also have bigger fruits.