Trees of Colorado: The Apricot Tree
Native to China, apricot trees can be grown successfully in Colorado at altitudes up to 6,500 feet. Depending on what you consider “success,” of course.
Appearance, Flowers and Fruit
Apricots are low-growing, wide-spreading trees, topping at around 20 feet high and 25 feet wide. They have attractive bright green,pointed oval leaves that turn yellow to reddish orange in the fall. They also have showy, one-inch white flowers that are among the first to appear in the spring. And therein lies a problem for Colorado growers.
Since Colorado’s spring days can be warm with nights falling below freezing, those early blossoms can be nipped in the bud—literally—making apricots one of the least reliable trees for setting fruit. But they are beautiful trees that make fine accents in landscaping, and even if the fruit doesn’t set, the spring flowering can be spectacular. If you get harvestable fruit as well, consider it a bonus.
Disease and Fungus Susceptibility
Apricot trees are susceptible to peach borers and cytospora fungus, and aphids can be a nuisance. Shop for later-blooming extra-hardy cultivars like Moorpark, moongold, scout, and sungoldfor best results in our climate.
If you’re considering planting apricots or other landscape trees and shrubs, or have ones that need maintenance, we offer complete planting and pruning services in the greater Denver area. Call us for a free estimate at 303-623-8733.