Friday, 03 June 2011 03:00

Lorna Apricot

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Today I drove over to the U.S.D.A. research station in Parlier to photograph the Lorna Apricot.  I wanted to get good photos for our point of sale pages and picture tags, but our trees got their normal hard winter pruning (butchering) to force new vegetative growth for summer budwood.  Thus no Lorna Apricots to take pictures of this year.

Craig Ledbetter - the researcher who bred this and many other Apricots - took me to the trees in their research orchards.  The tree I chose to photograph (the ladder was there) was loaded:

Our weather, like much of the country, has been cooler than normal.  So most fruit varieties are two or more weeks behind.  Normally the Lorna Apricot would be ripe in our climate around mid May. This makes it one of the earliest to fruit. It ripens just after Castlebright which is the earliest commercial apricot but Lorna is twice as large.  These were impressive apricots.

The fruit that was exposed to the sun, like those in the photo above, exhibited a nice red blush.  Most of the fruit inside the foliage was an attractive yellow.

New foliage also showed a red tint before turning green.

Based upon bloom date, we are conservatively estimating 400-450 hours of chilling.   I'll bet it goes lower but will have to wait for the cadres of Rare Fruit Growers and other fruit hobbyists to plant them in lower chill areas and report back on their successes.  It is self fertile.

Lorna Apricot is a winner if you live in the right climate to enjoy its bountiful harvest.

Ron Ludekens 6-3-2011

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