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Bergeron apricot trees

Prunus armeniaca
Bergeron is the classic French apricot variety, and a common sight in French summer markets.

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Bergeron is the classic French apricot variety, and a common sight in French markets in early summer (although in England it will not ripen until August). However as with most commercial apricots it is invariably picked under-ripe, and the flavour is generally a poor comparison to what is possible with home-grown fruit.

Bergeron is one of the larger-fruited apricots, and often has an attractive orange-flushed skin.

Bergeron apricots can be eaten fresh, but apricots are also a versatile culinary fruit, and Bergeron is the perfect choice for a French-style "tarte aux abricots".

How to grow

Bergeron is one of the last apricots to flower, even so the blossom emerges very early in the spring and can be susceptible to frost, so choose a sunny sheltered site.  For this reason it is best to avoid west, east or north-facing positions.

It is also somewhat susceptible to plum pox virus (also known as Sharka virus). It is important to keep pruning to an absolute minimum, and only prune in late spring.

Like most apricots, Bergeron is surprisingly cold-hardy and with protection can tolerate very cold winter temperatures. However it is helpful to keep the rain off it over the autumn and winter if you can.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

History

Bergeron was found as a chance-seedling growing in the Rhone valley in the 1920s. Today it accounts for about 25% of French apricot production.

Bergeron characteristics

Growing

  • Gardening skillExperienced
  • Self-fertilitySelf-fertile
  • Flowering group4
  • Climate suitabilityTemperate climates

Using

  • Picking seasonMid
  • CroppingHeavy
  • Food usesEating freshCulinaryDual purpose

Problems

  • Disease resistanceAverage

Identification

  • Country of originFrance
  • Period of origin1900 - 1949
  • Fruit colourOrange