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Moniqui is an excellent white apricot for mid-atlantic

Posted by scottfsmith 6B-7A-MD (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 3, 12 at 13:20

I have tried a dozen white apricot varieties and have my first winner, Moniqui. It is not quite as tasty as the very best (Zard and Canadian White Blenheim), and its not as productive as most of the common commercial apricots today, but it is an excellent-flavored fruit that is looking to be very reliable in my orchard. I have had big problems with splitting, rotting, and other skin disorders on white apricots, but the Moniqui are looking nearly clean -- only a touch of peach scab. Afghanistan was the previous best, but it is less productive, smaller, and not as tasty as Moniqui.

Moniqui is not a late bloomer like Zard is so it is not so good for those with late freezes.

The production has been slowly but surely increasing every year. The white apricots seem to take longer to come into full bearing than other apricots, and patience is definitely needed if you are growing them side by side with a orange variety.

Moniqui has been growing in Europe for many years and most of the other white apricots you can find are directly central asian varieties; somewhere along the line the Europeans got (orange) apricots to withstand rotting better and to produce more, and Moniqui appears to have that benefit as well. My guess is it is a cross of one of the standard European orange apricot varieties with a white apricot - it also has the firmer flesh and larger size of the Euro cots.

The only white apricot I am growing that has not yet fruited is Sugar Pearls, it will be interesting to see how that compares to Moniqui. I think it is a similar genetic cross of central asian white cots with European orange cots.

Scott


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Moniqui is an excellent white apricot for mid-atlantic

This is great news Scott, I love white apricots.


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RE: Moniqui is an excellent white apricot for mid-atlantic

Is the taste significantly less acid than a traditional yellow apricot?

the only white cots I've had were delicious melting flesh very sweet very little acid. My poor tomcot got so beat up this year, only one I planted this year that got beat up bad. First by late frost almost killed it... Then while recovering deer went to town on it. Am nursing him for next year. Wonder if moniqui will cross pollinate a bit with tomcot.


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RE: Moniqui is an excellent white apricot for mid-atlantic

White cots vary a lot in acidity. The reason why I put Zard and CWB as #1's is they are quite acidic and flavorful - I don't like low-acid stone fruits very much. Moniqui is only a touch below them, slightly less acidic and slightly less flavorful. All the others are more mild: Afghanistan, Lasgerdi Mashaad, etc.

Shekar Pareh is usually called a white apricot but its a plumcot; it is sour but not quite sweet enough to balance the sour. On the plus side SP is extremely productive and produces unblemished fruits that look beautiful. This year they are more sweet than last year, I thinned them more and it helped. I'd also say it is worth growing, but it is hard to prune and needs tons of thinning.

Scott


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RE: Moniqui is an excellent white apricot for mid-atlantic

I'm with you, I usually do not appreciate low acid like typical white peaches either... but for white apricots the ones I had were amazing (in Iran) the best subacid fruits I've had. Maybe they had some acid that made them so good and I just remember compared to yellows they were definitely less acidic.

The moniqui's must be a notch or two less acidic though than Tomcots correct?


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RE: Moniqui is an excellent white apricot for mid-atlantic

BTW shekar pareh translates to bursting with sugar... so maybe they'll keep sweetening up for you if they're true to name.


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RE: Moniqui is an excellent white apricot for mid-atlantic

Right, Moniqui is several notches below a Tomcot or similar apricot. I think they would be called subacid. Even Zard is less acidic than Tomcot.

I'll keep some of the Shekar Pareh hanging extra long to see how sweet they can get .. given that name it makes me think I have been missing its full potential. One fruit that I had this morning was extremely good, much better than I remember in past years. It was also a lot bigger since I thinned much more this year.

Scott


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RE: Moniqui is an excellent white apricot for mid-atlantic

Bay Laurel also says this about their Shekar Pareh not sure if same as yours: A medium to large size apricot from Iran. The skin is white with a pink blush. Flesh is light colored and has a very sweet taste(*).

BTW Was this the first season of fruit for your moniqui? I wonder if it blossoms will freeze out 50%+ of the years here in northern Va but I can't resist. Thanks so much for trialing all these whites apricots BTW... makes us with less space have an easier time choosing.


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RE: Moniqui is an excellent white apricot for mid-atlantic

I have had a few Moniqui fruits for several years, this is the first year I had more. The tree is very early and the curculio will get all of them before I spray unless I remember to spray it early. Last year I had a reasonable crop on it except nearly all had curc bites and dropped.

I never have had any apricots freeze out in eight years, I am in a good spot for cots. Its only a few days earlier blooming and only one in ten years will that few days end up mattering.

I got my Shekar Pareh from Bay Laurel and that makes me think the under-thinning was the problem. It is also pretty early in bloom but the productivity is more like a plum, way too many fruits and thin to desired level.

Scott


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RE: Moniqui is an excellent white apricot for mid-atlantic

Hm what rootstock are using for all these white apricots? Maybe Citation could have helped for the whites to increase production/make more precocious?

LE Cooke puts Moniqui on Marianna 26-24 which is semidwarfing but don't think it makes them precocious as Citation may?


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RE: Moniqui is an excellent white apricot for mid-atlantic

I don't know how much difference Citation makes on apricots but I have noticed it helps on Euro plums. My apricots are on a motley crew of rootstocks, the Moniqui is on peach.

Scott


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RE: Moniqui is an excellent white apricot for mid-atlantic

Scott does tomcot bloom overlap moniqui bloom at all? I ask to see if there's any value planting them near each other to possibly help fruit set. Tomcot is alone now and will be relying on partial self fertility otherwise. I've also read moniqui likes cross pollinators. And it sounds like yellow and whites can pollinate each other.


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RE: Moniqui is an excellent white apricot for mid-atlantic

Scott does tomcot bloom overlap moniqui bloom at all? I ask to see if there's any value planting them near each other to possibly help fruit set. Tomcot is alone now and will be relying on partial self fertility otherwise. I've also read moniqui likes cross pollinators. And it sounds like yellow and whites can pollinate each other.


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RE: Moniqui is an excellent white apricot for mid-atlantic

Scott does tomcot bloom overlap moniqui bloom at all? I ask to see if there's any value planting them near each other to possibly help fruit set. Tomcot is alone now and will be relying on partial self fertility otherwise. I've also read moniqui likes cross pollinators. And it sounds like yellow and whites can pollinate each other.


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RE: Moniqui is an excellent white apricot for mid-atlantic

I think Citation is excellent for upright, vigorous E. plums.

I've never tasted a Tomcot as I've only just begun to grow them but I have to say that Hargrand produces one hell of an impressive cot here in southeastern NY. CA sized and this year just the right amount of juice, sugar and acid. Any really good tree ripened apricot is a rare an unusual fruit in the east.


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RE: Moniqui is an excellent white apricot for mid-atlantic

Tomcot and Moniqui do overlap some. Most apricots overlap to some degree.

Glad to hear you are liking Hargrand harvestman, I put in a graft of it this spring.

Continuing the thread above, my Shekar Pareh are ripening now and they are still not all that sweet. They are also more mild in flavor. They ripen in the same time as Shiro plums and are similar in looks but the Shiro are sweeter and more flavorful. The Shiro are not strictly better, they have a bitter skin and the Shekar Pareh don't. Shiro also is too juicy, to the point they are hard to eat.

Scott


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RE: Moniqui is an excellent white apricot for mid-atlantic

How does the tree itself hold up against the onslaught of bugs and borers?

That's been my main obstacle with Apricots compared to peaches and cherries.... Peach trees don't seem to get eaten, Cherry trees seem to withstand the bugs.... Apricot trees get killed by bugs...

John


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RE: Moniqui is an excellent white apricot for mid-atlantic

John, I have much more severe problems with borers on peaches. Maybe it is related to the kind of rootstock you are using on the apricots. When I dig borers out of peaches I notice how soft the wood is compared to my apricots and plums. I am also now painting the lower trunks of all my stone fruits with undiluted latex paint in a very thick coat, and painting 3-4 inches underground as well. If you replant I would do that for additional borer protection. The plum curculio likes all, but the apricots can get it worse if you don't start spraying early enough. Early spray is key, the cots are way ahead and there is a temptation to wait until the peaches are also ready to dust off the sprayer. Resist that urge! I can't think of any other bug problem that might be worse on apricots. Along with the Euro plums they are prone to green aphid damage in May/June, but the Euro plums get it more severely than the apricots. Overall I find apricots one of the easiest and most rewarding fruits to grow, assuming you get good varieties like Tomcot. Early freeze is the biggest issue to deal with but I have near-perfect conditions for spring weather since I am on the side of a deep river valley. I added ten new apricot varieties this spring to find some other good ones besides Tomcot.

Scott


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