Saturday, March 24, 2012


The apricot tree was already full-grown when we moved into our Topanga home. That first summer, it was like an unexpected gift to have a tree full of fruit.

And aren't fresh apricots the rarest pleasure of all fruits? No green-tinged fuzzy round grocery-store rock approaches the succulence and tart rush of flavor as a ripe apricot plucked from the tree.

As the years went by, no crop ever approached the bounty of that first summer. I've read that apricots grown in warm climates sometimes have a 2-year pattern - one year a good harvest, one year a poor one. But the real reason is probably simpler than that - fruit trees need expert pruning and training to maximize yields. We have been neglectful gardeners. Last year, the apricot had less than a dozen fruits.

But this spring the tree has surprised me. The blossoms are more abundant than they've been in years. Was it that this winter was more dry, more cold? Was it something we did? Is the tree giving one last burst of fertility as it ages?

We'll take it as a gift - the promise of summer fruit that counts.


Cassi Renee said...

Wow, that sounds fabulous, fresh apricots. When we moved into our house, we had a 2 or 3 year old peach tree. This was very optimistic of the former owner, up here in northern Illinois. It had two major branches. It lost one in a storm, but we were lazy about cutting it down, so it spent the winter that way, with a large wound where the branch had broken off. The next spring that branch was so covered in blossoms, you couldn't see any bark. Definitely a swan song. The second branch fell because the abundance of ripening fruit was too heavy!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I always loved dried apricots.

How nice to have your own tree!

smalltownme said...

My mother's house had an apricot tree behind the garage. It produced bountifully for many years, driving her crazy because she felt she had to can all the fruit. As her energy declined, so did the tree's, but I think she outlived it.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

We live in an area where fruit trees should grow and produce but we have none. They've been selling them at Costco, of all places! I'm trying to convince my husband that we have room to plant a couple of them. Cherry, apple, plum... those would probably do best here, but a fresh, ripe, warm apricot would be a taste of heaven!

cactus petunia said...

Beautiful, sweet little flowers! A sure sign of spring.

Gilly said...

I hope you get a really good apricot harvest this year! I do love them, especially straight from the tree and warm from the sun!

I'm drooling at the thought.....!

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

I think an apricot tree would be heavenly! One of the major selling features for me when we bought our house was the beautiful od grapefruit tree. Every year it keeps producing even when all the other similarly aged trees in our neighborhood are gone. We've added a lime tree and a tangerine tree. I suppose it sort of makes up for the lack of other good gardening here.