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Apricot

Why Is the Fruit Development Period Important in an IPM Program?

Apricot jacket split
Jacket split

Apricot mature fruit
Mature fruit

The fruit development period is vital for ensuring that the controls applied during the dormant and bloom seasons were effective. Pests that are especially important during this time are aphids, peach twig borer, omnivorous leafroller, obliquebanded leafroller (San Joaquin Valley), katydids (Madera southward), earwigs, shot hole disease, ripe fruit rot, bacterial canker, Phytophthora root and crown rot, and powdery mildew.

Aphids are not present every year, so it is important to look for them to detect them early.  Early detection increases the possibility that you can control a problem pest with a “soft” insecticide such as oil (for aphids) and avoid the conventional insecticides such as organophosphates or pyrethroids that destroy beneficial insects and mites and contribute to water quality concerns.

After flowers are fertilized apricot fruit generally go through three developmental stages.

  • The first is a rapid growth period that lasts about 30 days.
  • Pit hardening marks the beginning of the second stage, during which fruit size increases more slowly. The second stage lasts several weeks in early maturing varieties and longer in late-maturing varieties.
  • The final stage is the period of rapid fruit growth that usually begins 4 to 6 weeks before harvest.

Fruit drop may occur at any time during the season in response to environmental or physiological conditions. Fruitlets may drop shortly after bloom if their ovules were not fertilized. Sometimes a drop of young fruit, often called a “June drop,” occurs in April in the San Joaquin Valley and May in Central Coast areas. In apricots the fruit are usually ready for harvest in the Central Valley between mid-May and mid-June and in coastal areas, late June through late July.


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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