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Apricot rootstocks - zone 3

2 months ago
last modified: 2 months ago

I've ordered a Arctic Dawn apricot from Prairie Hardy nursery; they graft their apricots on Western Sandcherry. I don't know much about apricots but I know I had read years ago that it is not a very desirable rootstock for plums. I bought some plum whips a few years ago on western sandcherry and ended up planting the root ball on an angle with half the whip just under the soil, and staking the top of the whip upright. After a couple of years the plums had formed their own roots; it seemed to work really well.

Do you think I could do this with the apricot? Is there any reason that it shouldn't be on its own roots? I'm happy with the larger size - I partially want apricots for their ornamental value as a tree, with the added benefit of occasionally getting fruit.

How do apricots do on western sandcherry? Do they need to be permanently staked? What about vigor? The Prairie Hardy Nursery site states that the mature tree should be approx 20 ft tall x 16 ft wide. Does this sound right? I would have thought that on western sandcherry rootstock that it would be far more dwarf. If it ever did get that large, wouldn't it be very unstable on those roots? The whole reason I wanted my plums off that rootstock was because I was told they are prone to blow over as the tree gets larger; I would assume it is the same with apricot.

One last question (sorry, I know this is long): what rootstock do you think IS best for our climate for a semi dwarf or larger apricot? The Debbie's Gold I was planning to get from Whiffletree is on Mustang - I've read mixed results about that rootstock, too.

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