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Tomcot apricot trees

Prunus armeniaca

Tomcot is a modern large-fruited apricot variety, and one of the best-suited to temperate climates. It can be grown with some success in most southern and central areas of the UK.

Unlike shop-bought apricots which are usually picked slightly under-ripe and tend to have a yellow skin, home-grown apricots will usually have an orange/red colouring - and Tomcot will become a dusky red colour when fully ripe.

Tomcots ripen from the middle to end of July in the UK. If it looks like the fruit is not going to fully ripen, leave as late as possible and then pick and ripen indoors.

If you are looking for something a bit different for your garden or home orchard, Tomcot makes an interesting choice. For the best results train it as a fan against a south-facing wall.

Tomcot apricot trees for sale

Pot-grown

All pot-grown trees are suitable for planting out in the garden, some are suitable for growing in containers.

  • PG12-year 7L pot-grown tree Wavit rootstock £40.00
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
  • PG22-year 7L pot-grown tree Torinel rootstock £39.50
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
    Out of stock

Bare-root

  • BR11-year bare-root tree Wavit rootstock £25.45
    Medium tree (2m-3m after 10 years)
  • BR21-year bare-root tree Torinel rootstock £24.95
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)

How to grow

The main challenge for growing Tomcot in the UK is that it flowers (like all apricots) very early in the spring, at a time when there are few insects around and there is a risk of damage to the blossom from frost. A good spring is a big help, but if you are growing against a wall you can help protect the blossom by covering with a frost-protection fleece if frost is forecast overnight (remove it during the day).

Tomcot is self-fertile so does not need a pollination partner, although cropping is improved if there is another apricot variety nearby. In a good spring Tomcot can produce a lot of blossom and a heavy fruit set, in which case some thinning may be useful - this ensures larger fruit size of the remaining fruits, and, more importantly, maximises the flavour.

A mature tree will produce several hundred fruits in a good year. As the fruitlets form, thin the clusters to 2-3 fruits per cluster.

Tomcot prefers well-drained soil, and does not tolerate water-logging (but is drought tolerant).

Whilst most apricot varieties are hardy trees, bacterial canker is a potential problem. However the simple precaution of keeping pruning to a minimum and only pruning in late spring will minimise the risk.

Training and Pruning for 1-year old trees. If you are planting a 1 year-old tree  in open ground, start by cutting the stem back to about 30" / 75cm above the ground immediately after planting. This will encourage branches to emerge the following spring and summer.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

History

Tomcot was developed at Washington State University, USA, in the 1980s and released in 1996.

Tomcot characteristics

Using

  • CroppingHeavy
  • Picking seasonEarly
  • Keeping (of fruit)1-3 days
  • Fruit persistenceNormal ripening
  • Flavour qualityGood
  • Flavour style (apples)Sweeter
  • Food usesEating freshCulinaryDual purpose

Growing

  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Self-fertilitySelf-fertile
  • Flowering group2
  • Pollinating othersGood
  • PloidyDiploid
  • VigourVigorous
  • PrecocityPrecocious
  • Bearing regularityRegular

Problems

  • Die-back / GummosisVery susceptible
  • Disease resistanceAverage

Climate

  • Climate suitabilityTemperate climates
  • Summer average maximum temperaturesCool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)Hot (>30C / 86F)

Identification

  • Country of originUnited States
  • Period of origin1950 - 1999
  • Flower colourWhite
  • Leaf colourGreen
  • Fruit colourOrange