There is nothing like a sweet, juicy apricot, especially from your own garden or orchard. There are many varieties of this beautiful golden fruit. One of the most well-known varieties is the Harglow apricot tree.
This self-pollinating version is easier to grow and cultivate than you might think. It is naturally resistant to many types of blight and rot and blooms late, which helps you avoid the destruction of late frosts.
The small, low-maintenance tree is ideal for tight spaces. Despite its small size, it produces large yields. You may have more fruit than you can handle from one of these hardy, productive trees!
History of the Harglow Apricot
The Harglow apricot was cultivated in Ontario, Can., in the early 1980s. Since its introduction, it has gained popularity in cool, wet regions, such as the Pacific Northwest. This is mainly due to its ruggedness, which can handle lower temperatures. However, the tree also thrives in some warmer regions.
Harglow Apricot Tree Characteristics
The Harglow apricot tree is smaller than average, reaching a maximum height of about 12 ft. It was bred to resist brown rot and some types of bacterial cankers, making it a hardy tree that is easy to cultivate.
It is also fairly resistant to pests and insects and thrives in temperatures as low as -25 degrees Fahrenheit. A single tree may produce 50 lbs. of fruit or more in one season.
The Harglow apricot is bright orange and medium in size, with sweet, firm flesh.
Recommendations for the Harglow apricot tree vary, with some sources putting it in zones four to six and others as far as zone eight.
Generally, apricot trees are recommended for zones five to eight, as they may suffer in areas with late frost. The Harglow apricot may be more resistant to this due to its late blooming and fruiting seasons.
Size and Spacing
The Harglow apricot tree is a small tree that does well in compact spaces. This places it in the category of dwarf apricot trees, which are usually between 12 and 15 feet tall (as opposed to full-sized apricot trees, which can reach up to 25 feet).
If you choose to plant more than one Harglow apricot tree, space them between 12 and 15 feet apart. This is close enough to enjoy the benefits of cross-pollination while also giving each tree enough space to thrive.
The Harglow apricot is self-pollinating, which means that you will have a harvest even if you plant just a single tree. Many gardeners, however, prefer to plant multiple trees to increase their yield.
Planting multiple trees may also improve their health by promoting cross-pollination and increased diversity.
Harglow apricot trees should be planted in full sun in loamy soil with good drainage. Because these trees are fairly resistant to sickness and insects, they do not require a huge amount of maintenance. They may benefit from treatment with copper spray or another fungicide on dry days throughout late autumn, winter, and spring.
Make sure to prune apricot trees regularly to improve healthy growth. With the proper care, the trees should grow from seedlings to mature, fruit-bearing trees in two to three years.
Harglow apricot trees should be planted in full sun. Although this variety also thrives in cool, rainy regions, it benefits from as much light as it can get.
Harglow apricot trees need a moderate watering system, about an inch of water in a week. This should be applied to the roots, particularly when the tree is in bloom or actively fruiting.
A drip irrigation system may be best for this variety to avoid soaking the flowers or fruit. Doing so can cause the fruit to rot on the branches.
Pruning is important for many types of fruit trees, and Harglow apricot trees are no exception. In addition to pruning, make sure to train the branches once a year.
The best time to prune an apricot tree is in late winter or early spring. During this time, the trees are beginning to bloom. This means that any cuts will heal quickly, reducing your chances of infecting the tree.
Pruning is complicated when the tree is young. During this early stage, you will need to cut off any broken branches as well as ones that are close to the ground. Prune branches so that there are at least six inches between each.
After this first season, pruning in subsequent years will be simpler.
It is important to learn the specific methods of training Harglow apricot trees. Training helps shape the tree in a way that improves its health and fruit-bearing capabilities.
Check out this post for more on Apricot Tree Diseases.
Common Uses For Harglow Apricots
Harglow apricots, like other apricot varieties, can be enjoyed raw. They are also popular choices in baking as well as preserves and jams.
What Do Harglow Apricots Taste Like?
Harglow apricots have a sweet and mellow flavor with a slightly firm flesh. When cooked or preserved, they release sugars that lend themselves beautifully to cakes, pastries, and jams. They are also often eaten dried. Dried apricots retain their sweetness while staying soft and pliable.
Harglow apricots are popularly used in baked goods, especially during the summer. These may incorporate them either fresh or dried. They are often featured in pies and cobblers as well as traditional recipes like apricot couronne.
However, baking is not the only way that you can enjoy cooked apricots. They are also often used in glazes and chutneys paired with meat dishes, including ham and chicken.
Harglow apricots are delicious when eaten raw. They have a soft, fuzzy peel and sweet flesh. While many people enjoy eating them exactly as they are, there are also many ways to incorporate raw Harglow apricots into your diet.
These super-sweet fruits are perfect for adding to fruit salad, yogurt, parfaits, or smoothies. If you love making your own ice cream at home, consider adding some of your apricot yield for a fruity and sweet summer treat.
Canning / Freezing / Drying
Many people also enjoy dried apricots. These can be eaten on their own or incorporated into raw snacks like trail mix. Dried apricots are also popular into baked goods like breads and pastries. They are traditionally incorporated into fruitcakes along with raisins and nuts.
Many people also can apricots or preserve them in other ways. This may be a particularly good choice for Harglow apricots, since the trees yield a large amount of fruit each year.
With their soft flesh, apricots are ideal for jams, marmalades, and other preserves. This may also be a good idea to avoid wasting excess fruit from a large yield, as preserves have a long shelf life and can be easily transported.
Health Benefits of Harglow Apricots
Harglow apricots, like other apricot varieties, have many health benefits. In particular, they contain antioxidants including beta carotene and lutein as well as vitamins A, C, and E. It is best to eat them whole, as the skin provides important fiber.
Many of the vitamins found in apricots promote eye health and reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Others also promote healthy skin, especially skin elasticity.
What is more, apricots are naturally high in water, which means that they help you stay hydrated.
Where To Buy Harglow Apricots
If you want to try this specific variety of apricot, you may need to find a local grower. Most apricots in commercial stores are the Blenheim variety. But you can find many different varieties of apricots at Nature Hills Nursery. If you want to try Harglow apricots before deciding to grow them yourself, you may have better luck inquiring at a local farmers’ market or nursery.
There are many varieties of apricot. But with its large fruit yield, compact size, and hardy nature, the Harglow apricot may be perfect for your garden. These trees are ideal for any gardener and will produce delicious fruit with a moderate amount of care.