Which apricot varieties can be successfully grown in Iowa?

Question: 

Which apricot varieties can be successfully grown in Iowa?

Answer: 

Cold hardiness is an important factor when selecting apricot varieties for home gardens.  Many apricot varieties are not reliably cold hardy in Iowa.  However, a few varieties can be successfully grown in the state.  ‘Moorpark’ is reliably cold hardy in the southern two-thirds of Iowa.  ‘Moorpark’ is self-fruitful.  A single tree will bear fruit.  ‘Moongold’ and ‘Sungold’ (University of Minnesota introductions) possess excellent cold hardiness and can be successfully grown throughout the state.  ‘Moongold’ and ‘Sungold’ are self-unfruitful.  Plant at least one tree of each variety for cross-pollination and fruit set. 

Growing apricots in Iowa can be challenging.  Apricots bloom in early spring and are susceptible to damage from late spring frosts.  A late frost or freeze can severely damage or destroy the flowers, resulting in little or no crop.  In Iowa, gardeners can anticipate a good crop about once every 3 or 4 years.  Apricots are also short-lived.  Trees typically survive for 10 to 15 years. 

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