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Question: biricoccolo

I planted a biricoccolo plant about 12 years ago, which is now well developed and is covered with white and pink flowers every spring; unfortunately none of them turns into fruit, although I treat it like the other fruit trees (hoeing, fertilizer, water if necessary). Before deciding to cut it, I would like some suggestions. I live in Sicily, at sea level. Thanks

Answer: biricoccolo

Dear Elvira,
the biricoccolo It is a spontaneous hybrid between apricot and plum, meaning it is a plant that was not created by man; it produces fruits similar to apricots, but with a reddish color, which have the taste of plums; it is an ancient fruit, which is not found everywhere, and which very often manifests fruit set problems, as well as having a development of quite thin and not very vigorous branches. The problem of fruit production lies in the fact that the biricoccoli are self-sterile, that is to say, despite having flowers with male and female reproduction organs, their pollen itself does not pollinate the flowers, and therefore, if you have a biricoccolo full of flowers, you will have to find a pollinator to see them become fruits. The pollinators of the biricoccolo are usually trees of the species from which it derives, or you can plant an apricot tree or plum of your choice in the orchard; but not always this technique has effect, because the flowers of biricoccolo are quite picky in terms of pollen. Those who have been cultivating them for some time believe that the best pollinator of the biricoccolo is myrobalan (prunus cerasifera) or one of those thorns that in northern-central Italy are often used as road trees, very often in the purple leaf varieties. Given that in many areas these saplings are definitely widespread, it is likely that many small-beaked growers in family gardens have never had problems with pollination; only that in Sicily the myrobalans are not very widespread, and from this fact the problem with biricoccolo fruits probably comes from. In addition to this, the biricoccoli can also manifest problems with the wind, which often in spring causes a premature fall of the flowers, and often also small fruits. Given the place where you live, I believe that instead of problems of night frosts or spring cold returns are quite unlikely. Even correct watering, in case of drought in the period of flowering and fruit set, and correct fertilizations, favor the probability that your biricoccolo produces a good quantity of fruits