The Puget Gold Apricot is one of America’s favorite varieties of apricot. This fruit is not only very resistant to disease, it also has an extremely consistent flavor. This makes it a great choice for cooks and farmers alike!
If you’ve been thinking about planting your own Puget Gold Apricot Tree or just make the most out of this amazing fruit, then check out these tips.
History of the Puget Gold Apricot
The Puget Gold Apricot will have a familiar history for anyone aware of how most American fruiting trees got their start.
The Copeland Family were the first to develop the Puget Gold Apricot Tree in Anacortes Ferry Landing. This tree got its start out in Western Washington and after people realized it not only tasted amazing, but was very easy to grow, they named it “Puget Gold.”
Puget Gold Apricot Characteristics
These apricots have a sweet taste that just can’t be beat. Really, when it comes to apricots Puget Gold are near the top of every list. However, they are also very difficult to ship once they’ve ripened.
If you wanted to plant one in your backyard, here’s what you should do.
The Puget Gold Apricot Tree is one of America’s favorite fruiting trees. This is partly because it grows readily in zones 5 through 9. This means that nearly every state in the country has some areas that can happily grow these trees.
If you’re looking to try your hand at growing Puget Golds indoors, then check out our handy guide to growing apricot trees inside.
Size and Spacing
These trees grow to somewhere between 10 and 15 feet tall with some reports of giant apricot trees being considerably taller than that. There are also dwarf varieties that can be much smaller.
When it comes to spacing, it’s best to give these trees some room. Giving them upwards of 16-feet between their neighbors will ensure that they have enough room to produce delicious fruit without having to compete with the apricot trees around them.
You’re in luck here as the Puget Gold Apricot is a self-pollinating tree. This means that you only need to plant one of these trees in order for it to pollinate. As with most self-pollinating plants, it does do better if you give the self-pollination a hand by either placing the tree outdoors or by aiming an oscillating fan at the tree.
In order to take care of this apricot tree, you need to know the three basic requirements for any plant: sunlight, water, and pruning.
The Puget Gold Apricot Tree loves sunlight. This is a full sunlight tree. If you’re growing outdoors, make sure it has enough space around it so nothing is crowding out its sunlight.
If you’re trying your hand at indoor apricot farming, make sure to keep this tree near a window or somewhere where it can get the most sunlight possible.
This tree requires its soil to have a medium moisture content. This means that you should keep the soil damp. Most climates will give it enough rainfall to sustain it, but indoor trees need to be monitored.
This tree is susceptible to being over watered or can fall victim to root rot if left in wet soil for too long. Make sure your soil has the right amount of drainage in order to keep your apricot tree happy.
Set your calendars for an annual summer pruning.
Unlike other trees that need to be pruned either early in the season or closer to winter, this tree likes to get pruned right as summer is wrapping up.
Make sure to prune away any dead or dying branches as well as pruning for overall growth and shape.
Common Uses For The Fruit
The humble apricot often gets overshadowed by other members of the Rosaceae family like peaches and apples, but whatever they can do, it can do better!
What Does This Fruit Taste like?
These are sweet apricots with a very pleasing taste. Not overpoweringly sweet, but invitingly so. They have been described as having a buttery quality to both their taste and texture. The Puget Gold is the most consistent out of all apricot varieties so the Puget Golds you get this year should be the exact same as next years.
You can cook a Puget Gold Apricot however you’d like. No, really, these apricots are ideal for pretty much any cooking application.
If you want to use them in a desert you can try an apricot crumble, ice cream, or even snacks like fruit leather.
They are also great in savory dishes when grilled and served with salads or cooked alongside chicken. These fruits also make great sauces and preserves that can be paired with everything from cakes to steaks.
When cooking a Puget Gold, think about it as somewhere between an apple and a peach. It’s in the same family and cooks a little like both.
What if you just want to snack on one right off the vine?
Go for it!
These apricots are made to be eaten raw. They have an amazing taste and texture when eaten right off the vine. Just make sure to look out for those pits! They can be a real pain when eating these things raw especially if you aren’t used to eating stone fruits raw.
One tip is to cut raw apricots into pieces before eating them raw. You can also slice them in half and pop out the pits if you want to just bite into apricot halves.
If you’re looking to store these for the long-term, they are great for canning or freezing.
Canning / Freezing / Drying
The answer to all three of these is yes, yes, and of course, yes.
These apricots handle freezing, canning, and drying extremely well. The only thing they can’t handle is transportation after being picked. That’s why they are usually only sold where markets can get them locally.
Canning either sliced or as preserves is an easy choice for this stone fruit. Drying them as slices is also a great choice. When it comes to freezing, the only thing to keep in mind here is that freezing changes the texture of these fruits. After freezing, you might want to use them in sauces, preserves, or cooked into other recipes rather than as free-standing snacks.
We keep mentioning delicious Puget Gold recipes, so what are some?
Puget Gold Apricot Recipes
One of the cool things about the Puget Gold Apricot Tree, is that this fruit can be swapped around with other stone fruit. The flavor of the recipe will change, but the results will still be incredible.
Take this plum crisp recipe, for example. All you need to do is substitute the plums for the same weight of apricots, and you’ve got yourself an apricot crisp. Recipes that call for peaches, and even some apple recipes, can also be switched out with apricots. This is especially true if you’re making some kind of jam or preserve.
All this talk of eating a fresh apricot means we should probably mention the health benefits.
Health Benefits of the Puget Gold Apricot
Get ready for tons of health benefits. The Puget Gold Apricot is a powerhouse of health. This little stone fruit has the potential to reinvigorate your personal wellbeing. Here are just a few of the health benefits associated with apricots.
- Improved eye health
- Clearer, healthier skin
- Digestive health
- High in vitamins and minerals
- Low calories
- Great alternative to processed sweet snacks
Where To Buy This Fruit Tree?
Looking to plant your own Puget Gold tree? Nature Hills Nursery has apricot trees in stock at very reasonable prices.
These trees can sometimes be found in local garden shops, but you need to be in the right region for this to really pay off. Some fruit trees are only able to be found online as they aren’t as readily stocked by local shops.
Luckily, the fruit is much easier to buy.
Where To Buy The Fruit
You can buy Puget Golds in your local produce shops providing that they are in a region that produces this fruit.
These apricots can also be found preserved, canned, and otherwise prepared in markets all over the world.
If you’re looking for the freshest you can get, you need to keep your eye out during June and July. These are the months when the most fresh apricots start to hit the market.
Whether you’re about to tuck into a delicious Puget Gold Apricot crisp or you’re currently planning to plan a Puget Gold Apricot Tree and harvest your own fruit, we hope that this guide has given you all you need to know about one of the best varieties of apricots out there!