Joseph Lofthouse wrote:In the spring, I transplanted 1 year old apricot seedlings into my field. They were from 3 different mothers. A few days ago, we had a hard freeze. Today while weeding, I noticed that the leaves on the progeny of two of the varieties were killed by frost. The other variety was not harmed. I don't know that resistance to fall frosts is of any use in an apricot breeding project, but it was interesting to observe that there are differences between varieties.
I planted about 30 seedlings from 3 different mothers.They are currently in their 3rd growing season. The seedlings from one of the mothers were not reliably winter hardy. I yanked up about half of that sibling group this spring. I might yank up more. The sibling group that showed good frost tolerance last fall were reliably winter hardy. I lost one tree overwinter from the other sibling group that was more sensitive to frost last fall.
The trees didn't flower this spring. After they leafed out, I pruned them as if they are production trees. The nearby research station minimizes pruning of seedlings, so that they can observe the natural shape of the trees. I'm not, because I'm intending the trees for fruit production. I planted them 3 feet apart. I suppose that they will grow like a hedge. That allows me to trial a lot of trees in a small space. Close spacing was great for selecting for winter hardiness.
Someone sent me apricot seeds during the winter. Two of them have germinated already. I'm intending to plant them into the empty spots in the row.
The seed grown pistachio and hazel survived the winter.