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The Tomcot Apricot Tree and Delicious Tomcot Apricots

There is nothing like a fresh, delicious apricot from your own backyard. But if you are looking into growing apricot trees, you might not know which variety to plant. 

The Tomcot Apricot Tree is quickly becoming one of the most popular apricot trees for home growers. This is due to its early harvest, dependability, and durability.

Tomcot Apricot Tree

The Tomcot apricot is one variety that is becoming more popular among home gardeners, especially in cooler climates. This tree is all about dependability. If you provide basic care, you can rely on getting a significant crop of fruit every summer. 

History of the Tomcot Apricot

The Tomcot apricot was developed through the cross-breeding of the Rival and Goldrich varieties. It was first introduced in 1970 by Dr. Tom Toyama at Washington State University. Since then, it has grown in popularity and is now grown in many regions around the world. 

The Tomcot received a patent in 1989 and made some forays into the commercial fruit market. However, the bulk of its staying power has been in home gardening. 

This variety is becoming more popular among home gardeners because of its dependability and low-maintenance needs. It is now featured in many gardens in cold and coastal regions. 

Tree / Fruit Characteristics

The Tomcot apricot tree is known for being a reliable fruit producer with minimal maintenance. The tree is a full-sized apricot tree, meaning that it can reach up to 25 feet at maturity. Despite this, some gardeners plant them in large pots to help control soil drainage. 

The fruit is large and bright orange, often with a pink blush. During the flowering season, the tree produces beautiful blooms that last for many weeks. 

Planting Zones

The Tomcot apricot can be grown in regions five to nine. Although it does well in colder climates, it can suffer in overly moist regions, as too much water can cause it to develop bacterial canker. 

Size and Spacing

The Tomcot apricot tree is large and can reach between 15 and 25 feet in height at maturity. Space it between 12 and 15 feet apart from other trees. This is enough room to promote healthy growth while keeping the trees close enough to encourage cross-pollination. 

Pollination

Bee Pollinating An Apricot Tree
Bumble bee on apricot tree flower

The Tomcot apricot tree is partially self-pollinating, which means that you will get a fruit crop even if you only plant a single tree. However, most growers prefer to plant multiple trees. This is because cross-pollination will both increase your fruit yields and improve the health of the trees.

Some growers also prefer to pair the Tomcot apricot with another type of apricot tree to encourage cross-pollination. This will increase your fruit yields and you can expect a good crop of medium-sized, bright orange fruit. 

Tree Care

Tomcot apricot trees need a moderate amount of maintenance but thrive with sun, water, and basic pruning. 

Sunlight

The Tomcot apricot should be planted in full sun. Although this tree does well in colder climates, it needs as much sunshine as possible. For best results, the tree needs at least six hours of sunlight every day. 

Watering

Tomcot apricot trees need a moderate amount of water. Avoid over-watering, as this can promote the growth of unhealthy bacteria and cause the tree to develop diseases. Make sure the tree is planted in an area with good drainage.

Pruning 

Make sure to prune your Tomcot apricot tree into a goblet shape. This will encourage healthy growth with more fruit. 

Prune the tree in the first part of the summer if there is a large crop of fruit. Thinning the fruit will promote healthy growth. Avoid pruning the tree if it does not produce fruit. During a light fruiting year, prune the tree after harvesting to promote better growth. 

Pruning and training are vital for apricot trees of all varieties.

Common Uses For The Fruit

Apricot Jam
Jam from apricots in a glass jar on a wooden surface

There are many ways to use Tomcot apricots. They are most often eaten raw, but can also be dried, canned, preserved, or used in cooking. 

What Do Tomcot Apricots Taste Like?

Tomcot apricots are large, bright orange fruits with firm flesh. They are sweet and mellow. They are often described as having an “old-fashioned” or “classic” apricot flavor. 

Most people prefer to eat them raw, although they can be cooked if you prefer. They are also an excellent choice for canning, preserving, or drying. 

Cooking

Like many varieties of apricot, Tomcot apricots can be used in baking and cooking. Some people prefer not to cook this variety, as they are delicious raw. 

However, just because they are less commonly used in cooking does not mean that they can’t be. Tomcot apricots may be used in glazes for meat or bread as well as either fresh or dried in baked goods and pastries. 

Eating Raw

Tomcot apricots are popularly eaten raw. They have a mellow, classic apricot flavor that is perfect right off the tree. They are also delicious mixed into yogurt or smoothies or added to fruit salad. 

Canning / Freezing / Drying 

Canning, drying, or otherwise preserving apricots is a great way to store excess fruit, especially if you have an especially large yield. This is often the case for Tomcot apricot trees, which tend to produce large harvests. 

The fruit also freezes well. Frozen apricots keep for many months and can be used in baking or preserves long after harvest.  

Apricots are especially good choices for jams, marmalades, and other types of preserves. Less commonly, some home gardeners may use them for syrups or homemade liqueurs. 

Recipes

[No recipes listed for apricots on Minnetonka Orchards website] 

Health Benefits of Tomcot Apricots

Harglow Apricot Tree in Sunset

Tomcot apricots, like other apricot varieties, have many health benefits. The fruit is rich in vitamins, especially antioxidants. These have been shown to improve eye health and increase skin elasticity, which might reduce wrinkles. 

These antioxidants include beta carotene and lutein among others. In addition to improving eye and skin health, some research suggests that these vitamins can aid your digestion. Apricots are also full of fiber (especially if you eat the skin) and water, both of which improve digestive health. 

It is also possible that regular consumption of these vitamins can have an anti-inflammatory effect. They may reduce your risk of developing inflammatory diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. 

Where To Buy Tomcot Apricot Trees?

You can find Tomcot apricot trees on the Nature Hills Nursery website. The rootstock offerings vary by year. You may be able to find full-size or dwarf varieties depending on the season. 

Where To Buy Tomcot Apricots

Although Tomcot apricots are growing in popularity, you may not be able to find them in a grocery store near you. Commercially grown apricots are usually one of just a couple varieties, most often Blenheim apricots. 

If you want to buy Tomcot apricots, you may need to visit a local farmer’s market, produce stand, or another local grower. However, as the fruit grows in popularity, you may have more luck finding it in a commercial supermarket. 

FAQs

When Are Tomcot Apricots Ready to Harvest?

Tomcots have an early harvesting season that falls before most apricot trees. You may be able to expect to pick your fruit as early as June. Generally, the harvest for Tomcot apricots falls in the mid-season, which means any time from June through August. 

How Long After Planting Will The Tree Bear Fruit?

Most apricot trees take two to four years to start bearing fruit after planting. This depends on a variety of factors. But in general, you can expect to have a harvest in less than five years after planting your Tomcot apricot tree. 

Conclusion

If you are looking forward to enjoying large crops of fruit, the Tomcot apricot tree may be a perfect choice. The tree is known for its reliability, providing good harvests in return for a minimal amount of care. 

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