Apricots of all varieties are known for producing dependable harvests while resisting cold, pests, and disease. But if you live in a particularly cold area, you still have the option to plant an apricot tree in your garden. The best choice might be the Perfection Apricot Tree.
The Perfection Apricot Tree produces larger-than-average fruit that lives up to its name. You’ll also enjoy large harvests from this variety, which can grow more than 50 pounds of apricots in a season. The fruit has incredibly tender, juicy flesh, so it is best enjoyed right off the branches. And there’s nowhere better to do that than your own backyard!
History of the Perfection Apricot
The Perfection apricot became widely known as a hardy tree that thrives even in cold regions. These days, it is one of the more popular varieties for commercial production, so you may be able to find it in your local supermarket. Its hardiness allows it to endure occasional temperatures as low as 25 degrees below zero.
Tree / Fruit Characteristics
The Perfection apricot is larger than most varieties. It has a bright orange skin that may range from firm to soft, but may become much softer. It is also freestone, which means that it is easy to separate the flesh from the stone.
The Perfection apricot tree is fairly small in comparison to most varieties. Reaching about eight feet at full maturity, the tree blooms with beautiful pink blossoms in March. It will not produce fruit until much later in the season, usually in August.
The tree is highly resistant to cold and is not prone to pests or diseases. For this and many other reasons, it is prized by home growers, especially those in cooler climates.
The Perfection apricot can grow in zones four through eight. It is known for being fairly resistant to cold. However, because it is an early bloomer, it may suffer during an unseasonably cold spring with later frosts. This has led to the tree developing a reputation as a tree of “feast or famine” depending on the conditions of the spring.
Size and Spacing
Perfect apricot trees are smaller than average. At full maturity they reach about six feet tall with a canopy between six and eight feet across. As a general rule of thumb, plant them at least six feet away from any other structures or trees.
The Perfection apricot is self-pollinating, which means that it will produce fruit on its own. However, it is much more productive with a cross-pollinator of a different apricot variety. The best choices are Goldcot, Rival, and Robada, unless you are in a colder zone. In zone four, cross-pollinate only with Goldcot.
The Perfection apricot should be planted in well-draining soil that allows the roots to stay moist without retaining excess water.
Perfection apricot trees should be planted in partial to full sun. This translates to about half a day in full sunlight, or about six hours.
The Perfection apricot needs a moderate amount of water. This means making sure that the soil surrounding the roots is moist, but not soaked. Check the soil every few days to see if it is dry. The best way to do this is to put your finger into the dirt, down to two or three inches below the surface. If it is dry, it is time to water.
Pruning is an important part of care for almost any fruit tree. It is especially important for apricot trees, as it helps improve circulation and direct nutrients toward fruiting branches.
For the best results, prune your Perfection apricot tree in the spring after it begins to flower. Make sure to remove any crossing branches and dead limbs. Thinning the branches is the best way to promote growth in the remaining parts of the tree, but make sure never to remove more than a third of the limbs at a time.
Common Uses For The Fruit
Perfection apricots are very large fruit, with each tree producing 50 pounds or more in a given year. This means that you may find yourself looking for ways to use up all that fruit! Luckily, there are many ways to enjoy these delicious apricots.
What Do Perfection Apricots Taste Like?
Perfection apricots are sweet and juicy with extremely soft flesh. Larger than the average apricot, they are perfect for cooking, preserving, or eating right off the tree.
There are countless ways to cook apricots. Most often they are used in baking, either fresh or dried. You can find them in many traditional recipes like apricot pies, crisps, crumbles, and couronne.
But baking is not the only way you can use apricots in the kitchen. They are also a popular addition to syrups and glazes, especially ones that are paired with meat. The sweet, mild flavor of apricots is a unique and delicious pairing with chicken or pork.
Of course, sometimes you just can’t beat a raw apricot picked fresh off the tree. Perfection apricots are perfect for eating raw, especially since the flesh comes easily away from the stone. You can also cut the fruit up and add it raw to other dishes.
Raw apricot is delicious added to:
- Homemade juice
- Fruit salad
To reap all the health benefits of apricots, make sure to eat it unpeeled. The skin contains important vitamins and minerals, including fiber.
Canning / Freezing / Drying
Apricot preserves are famous, and there are endless ways to make them. Perfection apricots lend themselves well to jams and jellies. If you are a home canning enthusiast, an apricot tree is a must have.
To continue enjoying the fruit throughout the winter months, you can freeze it either whole or in pieces. The easiest way to do this is to slice the fruit, remove the stones, and store it in a large plastic bag.
Health Benefits of Perfection Apricots
Apricots are full of important vitamins that can be extremely beneficial to your health. In particular, they have high levels of antioxidants. These have been linked to reduced rates of certain inflammatory conditions like heart disease.
They may also promote good cholesterol and improve collagen production in the skin. Because of their high water and fiber content, Perfection apricots help with hydration. This means that they also play a role in improving your intestinal health.
Where To Buy Perfection Apricots
Perfection apricots are one of the most widely-grown varieties commercially, so you will likely have no problem finding them in your local grocery store.
However, if you want to try the freshest and ripest of the variety, you may want to visit a local farmers’ market. Perfections are difficult to ship when ripe, which means that the ones at a supermarket may either be bruised or immature.
You can also buy apricot trees online at Nature Hills Nursery.
How Long Does It Take Perfection Apricot Trees To Bear Fruit?
Perfection apricot trees take an average of two to three years to produce fruit. During these early years, they still need regular care. This ensures that they are in the best possible health for when they are mature enough to provide a harvest.
What Pest Control Does This Variety Need?
Most apricot trees are fairly resistant to pests and rot. However, to avoid disease like bacterial canker, spray your tree with copper periodically. This is best done through fall, winter, and early spring whenever the weather is dry.
How Much Fruit Can I Expect From This Tree?
Perfection apricot trees are a prolific fruiting variety. A full-size, mature tree is likely to produce at least 50 pounds of fruit every year. It may even grow more. However, this depends on many factors, including the soil quality, amount of sunshine, and weather conditions.
Perfection apricots live up to their name, both in the taste of the fruit and in the simplicity of their care. These tolerant trees are ideal for growing in cold regions. With basic care, they will flourish — and you can bank on having a good crop of fruit every year.