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The Best Apricot Cultivars for North Dakota

Ripe apricots on a tree branch

Apricots are loved for their delicate blossoms in spring and their golden fruits in summer.

Apricot trees bloom very early so keep them out of frost pockets and plant them in a protected site.

We want to delay the blooming as much as possible. A north- or east-facing location will be slower to warm up compared to a south- or west-facing location.

Apply wood mulch under the trees to keep the soil insulated. This will delay the soil from prematurely warming up in spring and delay the opening of flower buds.

The following cultivars are naturally dwarf and can be planted 10 to 15 feet apart.

The Canadian cultivars are self-fruitful but produce better yields when more than one cultivar is planted. They are hardy to Zone 3.

The Minnesota cultivars ‘Moongold’ and ‘Sungold’ should be planted together and are hardy to Zone 4.

The following cultivars are listed in order of ripening:




Large, light orange fruits. Sweet, sprightly flavor. Good quality. Blooms in late April and ripens in late July. Use ‘Sungold’ as pollinator. From Minnesota. Zone 4.

Debbie's Gold

Yellowish-orange fruit with firm texture and less sweet flavor. Freestone. For canning and fresh eating. From Alberta.


Gold fruit blushed with red. Flesh is tender, sweet and juicy. Freestone type. Good for desserts, canning and drying. Blooms in early May. From Manitoba.


Large, freestone fruits. Mild, sweet flavor. From Manitoba.


Yellowish-orange with a red blush. Flesh is juicy with good flavor for fresh eating or canning. Semi-freestone type. From Alberta.


Golden fruits with orange flesh. Freestone. Sweet, mild flavor. Blooms in late April and ripens in August. Use ‘Moongold’ as pollinator. From Minnesota. Zone 4.


Source:  and Kathy Wiederholt of North Dakota State University Extension; Charles Elhard and Jamie Good of North Dakota Department of Agriculture. Reviewed 2019. Starting a Community Orchard in North Dakota.  Photo courtesy of Max Westby.