Apricot (Prunus armeniaca) is a 2–10 m high spiny and hairless tree. It is in Prunus genus. Although apricot is geographically spread to most parts of the world, it has spread to Europe, Central Asia, America and Africa continents in countries close to the Mediterranean and has found habitats here. The leaves of the apricot tree are long and lanceolate, the edges are toothed, the tip is pointed or blunt. The flowers are white or pink and occur earlier than the leaves. Fruits are pubescent and yellowish-orange plums.
The English word of apricot first appeared as an “abrecock” in the 16th century. That name came from “aubercot” in Central French and earlier from “albricoque” in Portuguese. Its scientific name “armeniaca” was first used by Gaspard Bauhin in Pinax Theater Botanici (1623). He referred to these species as “Mala armeniaca”, that is “the Armenian apple”.
Apricot, which is widely grown for its fruit, has two different uses, for table consumption and drying. Dried apricots are marketed in light orange using sulfur dioxide and potassium sorbate, but there are also dark untreated versions. Like the apricot itself, the seed is used in many areas. The shells of its core are used in the production of activated carbon, cleaning the metal surface, and as an alternative energy source in furnaces. The inside is used in the nuts industry or as a cosmetic product by removing the oil.
Turkey ranks first in the world apricot production. after Turkey, Spain, Italy, CIS countries, Iran, France, Greece and the USA. The wet apricot production of these first group countries is over 100 thousand tons. The first group is followed by Morocco, Pakistan, Syria, China, South Africa, Hungary, former Yugoslavia, Romania, Australia. There are six regions in Turkey where the apricot is about 10-15% of the world apricot production.
The origin of apricot is controversial. It was known to have grown in Armenia in ancient times, and since it was grown there for a long time, it is generally thought to originate from there. During an archaeological excavation in Garni in Armenia, apricot kernels were found in the Chalcolithic age. Although a large number of apricot varieties are grown in Armenia today (approximately 50), the center of origin will be the region of China where domestication of apricot will take place, according to Soviet botanist Nikolai Vavilov. Some other sources say that apricot was first grown in India around 3000 BC.
It is said that the entrance of apricot to Greece was built by Alexander the Great. Apricot is an important fruit in today’s Iran, it has been grown in Iran since ancient times, and the dried ones have been an important commodity in Iranian trade routes.
Egyptians usually dry apricots, add sweeteners and then use them to make a drink called amar al-dīn. In the 17th century, apricot oil was used in the UK to act against tumors, swelling and ulcers. Almost all of the apricot’s commercial production in the USA is in California, and some are in Washington and Utah. Much of the modern American apricot production comes from seedlings transported to the west coast by Spanish missionaries.
Apricot fruit has numerous benefits. Vitamins in apricot contribute to the skin and renew the skin, which is worn more in summer. Apricot, which is the main crown of diet lists with its low calories, facilitates the intestines with its intestine-keeping effect and its full-holding feature. It helps to strengthen the immune system with its antioxidant, vitamin and mineral content. Especially thanks to vitamin A and C, it increases body resistance. Potassium, vitamin C and pulp have a protective effect against the heart attack of our age thanks to these three important components. It reduces blood pressure by reducing the pressure on blood vessels, and prevents the accumulation of excess cholesterol and relieves the burden of the heart.
Apricot tree grows very well in semi-hot and arid regions, on the south-facing skirts of the mountains, facing the sun, on the slopes that are deep and water-repellent, less inclined and slightly calcareous. Apricots grown here are generally disease-free, bright, delicious, sweet, fragrant and high in dry matter. Since apricot is affected by the late frosts of spring, slopes and ridges are preferred in the garden facility rather than the plain and hollow places. The trunk and branches of the apricot tree can withstand temperatures down to -35 ° C in winter, and temperatures down to -1 ° C, provided that the flowers are wet. Apricot trees are damaged more than frost as the cold air collapses on the slopes. However, as you go up, the trees are partially prevented from being damaged by frost.
Since the fruits of the apricot trees grown in the bottom and moist soils are juicy, large and dry matter is low, the cultivars grown in these soils are suitable for table use. On the other hand, since the fruits of apricot trees grown in barren soils are small and have high dry matter and low water content, such varieties are mostly used for drying. He likes apricot loam, sandy-loam and loam-lime soils. The groundwater must be at least 2-4 m deep, as its roots will go deep. The thing that the apricot tree is most affected is that the groundwater is close to the soil surface. Therefore, apricot garden should not be established in places where groundwater is high.
Saplings need to be planted in the soil in order to make easy and rapid gardening in apricot cultivation. Planting systems used in the garden facility are as follows. It is a square garden facility, a rectangular garden facility, a chess garden facility, a triangular garden facility. It is more convenient to plant the seedlings in the spring in regions with hard winter, and planting should be done on the days after severe cold and frosts. Apricot should be planted in autumn, where the winter cold is not much. Because it makes use of winter rains and the rate of retention is high and provides early development.
It is useful to open the pits of seedlings at least 2 -3 months before planting. Stone split etc. while opening the pit. Foreign substances such as are removed completely. If the bottom of the pit is calcareous, stony, gravelly and rubble, it should stop opening a pit here. Because the root part of the tree may come across when it comes across these parts in the following years. The size of the seedling pit depends on the type of seedlings and the nature of the soil. It is ideal for planting a pit with a width of 60 cm, length of 60 cm and a depth of 60 cm.
It is recommended that the average planting distances for seedlings be between 5×6 m and 10×10 m. Root and crown pruning is performed before planting the seedlings. In root pruning; wounded, broken, intertwined roots are removed. Long roots are shortened according to the size of the planting pit. In general, young and strong trees form stronger and longer annual shoots. Young and strong trees are pruned weakly, since severe pruning promotes strong shoot growth, while old and weak trees are pruned harder than they tend to form short shoots and form flower buds.
The most correct way to determine the appropriate fertilizer type and amount while fertilizing is to perform soil and leaf analysis. The soil sample to be analyzed must be taken from the crown projection before fertilizing. In gardens with homogeneous soil structure, it is sufficient to take samples from 3-4 different points. However, if garden soil is not homogeneous (such as barren and bottom land), it is necessary to take samples for each different soil region and analyze these samples separately. Leaf samples should be taken during the period when the exchange of nutrients in the leaf decreases, or rather, to a minimum. This period generally corresponds to the harvest period of apricot. During this period, the leaves that have reached full size in the middle part of the annual shoots are taken off with the leaf stems. Leaf samples should be taken to represent the entire garden. Leaf samples are collected equally from south, north, east and west directions. Generally, 80-100 leaves are sufficient for one leaf analysis.