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Apricot Tree Dying?

Posted by valberry 9b SoCal (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 4, 12 at 17:08

Hello All! I really hope you can help me with this problem.

I have a 3 or 4 year old "Pixie-cot" Apricot tree in a 24-inch container on my balcony. It leafed out well last year but did not give fruit. After last season's mild winter (a "non-winter" here in the Los Angeles area) it came out of dormancy late and reluctantly-- probably lacking the chill hours it needed. It set a few fruits but they fell off after a few weeks. Since then it has been limping along in the scorching summer and fall heat. It has fewer leaves than it should and many of these look partly browned. The heat has already claimed my blueberries and raspberries--- I really want to save this tree if I can!

Tree Stats:
-Watered 1-2x a week, if soil seems dry
-Fertilized with cottonseed meal, coffee grounds, and general plant food every 1-2 months
-Potted in a custom soil mix with perlite and bark for drainage
-Gets absolutely full socal sun (poor thing), but I try to shade the pot to keep the roots cool.
-Pruned

I have no ground to plant it in, but I can do anything else, maybe an even larger pot with a different soil mix? Different fertilizer? You tell me!

Thanks so much!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Apricot Tree Dying?

valberry:

Watering 1-2x a week won't begin to work here. I need to water potted trees every day. And my trees are in a greenhouse with some shade. So I think you need to water much more. Also you probably need to repot this winter.

If you don't get enough chilling it really doesn't matter. You might want to start over with something adapted to your climate. Check with the Orange county chapter of the CA Rare Fruit Growers, CRFG. If you don't find variety recommendations there check for the San Diego chapter.

Here is a link that might be useful: CRFG Orange county


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RE: Apricot Tree Dying?

Thanks Fruitnut. From what I heard, my area is *supposed* to get enough chilling hours, so I suppose I will see this winter if that will be the case. I will do as you say. What sort of soil mix do you use in your pots? I know these guys like drainage.


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RE: Apricot Tree Dying?

Valberry:

"Pixie-cot" Apricot has an estimated chill requirement of 600 hours. That is pretty high for us Southern Californians. What location are you? There are several lower chill varieties that do great. You can check out:
www.davewilson.com/br40/br40_trees/apricots.html

You can look up chill hours in your area here:

Here is a link that might be useful: UC Davis Chill


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