Apricot Wood (Prunus armeniaca): Uses, Properties, Pros, and Cons

The apricot tree, or Prunus armeniaca, is a small, leafless tree that grows in northern China and is mostly grown for its fruit.

However, there are pure stands of trees in Tibet on mountain slopes in sparse woods at altitudes of 700 to 3000 meters. Most trees that grow wild have gotten away from farms.

Apricot trees, like many other fruit trees, are typically too small to be used for lumber. However, carvers and turners like to use them for small projects.

Apricot wood is hard and reddish brown. It is used to make bowls, crafts, key rings, pendants, and some jewelry.

Tools, decorations, and other small wood items can be made from apricot wood. Most of the time, apricot wood makes fires in North America.

It looks like cherry but has softer colors. It is easy to work with but can easily chip and break off small pieces along the edges.

This post will help you discover what makes these beautiful trees unique and what you can do with them.

Apricot is sold under other names

English: apricot tree

Portuguese: albicoqueiro, alpercheiro, damasqueiro

Spanish: albaricoquero, chabacano, damasco

French: abricotier, apricottier

Chinese: xing shu

Russian: abrikos

Aesthetics

Apricot has a dense treetop, but its trunk is usually not that big. Also with lovely white or pinkish flowers. Its warm reddish color makes a nice contrast with darker wooden materials.

Availability

Because of the trees’ small size, apricot wood is not available commercially as lumber. Instead, it is mostly used by hobbyists, small specialty woodworkers, and retailers.

Most often, turning blanks or other small pieces are sold.

Pricing

For a wood that grows in the U.S., prices are likely to be high.

Geography

The wild apricots in southern Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan) were used to make the apricots grown in southern Central and northern South Asia.

The wild apricots in northern Central Asia (Kazakhstan) gave rise to the cultivated apricots in the north of Central Asia, West Asia (including Armenia, which was once thought to be the place of origin), Europe, and North Africa.

Apricots were first grown in East Asia because they were raised in China. It had to do with the wild people from the north of Central Asia.

Also, the apricots that were grown in Japan had a small effect on that in Mediterranean Europe.

Sustainability   

The species of apricot wood is not on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species or the CITES Appendices.

Is apricot hard or softwood        

Wood type: Hardwood

The apricot tree, Prunus armeniaca, grows in Asia and Europe but has been planted worldwide.

The Janka hardness of apricot wood is 6,200 N, which means it is pretty hard. Wood is very soft, between 300 N and 2,899 N on the Janka scale.

Wood identification

The apricot tree is only 8–12 m tall and has a dense canopy that spreads out. The leaves are big, oval, and have a sharply serrated edge, pointy tip, and circular base.

The petals of the flowers are white to pinkish, and they grow alone or in pairs in early spring before the leaves do.

The fruit looks like a small peach and is a drupe. It can be yellow, orange, or sometimes even red on the side that gets the most sun.

The fruit’s skin can be smooth or velvety, and its hairs are very short. Typically, the flesh is hard and not particularly juicy. It can have a sweet or sour flavor.

The one seed is enclosed in a rugged, rocky shell that is generally smooth and grainy but has three ridges on one side.

Most of the time, the apricot is used for smaller, more decorative tasks.

Color and appearance

The color of apricot wood is a beautiful warm reddish brown.

Heartwood is light brown and can sometimes look reddish or orange.

Sapwood is thin and a little bit lighter in color than heartwood.

Endgrain

Semi; singles and multiples in rings.

Medium to small pores is sometimes arranged in broken earlywood rows. Mineral deposits are occasionally present, and medium to large rays are not visible.

Flower

The flowers are between 0.8 and 1.8 inches in diameter and are white or pinkish white. There are 4 to 5 petals on each flower.

Fruit

Sugars, organic acids, and amino acids are examples of macronutrients. Apricot fruit also has micronutrients like minerals and vitamins.

Apricots are also full of antioxidants and have many health benefits for people because of their wide range of biological activities.

Grain and texture

Fine and even, with a natural shine that isn’t too bright.

The single seed is protected by a hard, stony shell that is smooth and grainy everywhere but on one side, where there are three ridges.

Leaves

The leaves are ovate and 2.0–3.5 inches long, and 1.6–3.1 inches wide. They have a rounded base, a pointed tip, and a finely serrated edge.

The edge has teeth, and there are two small glands at the bottom of the blade.

Apricot tree

A little tree, Prunus armeniaca, can reach a height of 26 to 39 feet, have a trunk as large as 16 inches in diameter, and have a broad, thick canopy.

Apricot trees are smart and start to bear fruit in their second year, but it takes 3–5 years before they start to produce a lot of fruit.

The apricot tree doesn’t like the cold, so it grows best in the Mediterranean. To stay strong and healthy and produce lots of fruit, apricot trees must be pruned often.

Apricot wood bark

The bark is very bitter. Bitter almond and apricot seeds can make you sick if you eat them. The inner bark and root are used to treat this (which contain hydrogen cyanide).

Hydrogen cyanide can be made harmless by making tea out of the outer bark.

Apricot wood pros  and cons    

Apricot wood is a hard wood with a reddish-brown grain valued for its beautiful look, fine texture, and softness, as well as its ability to keep its beautiful finish over time.

The natural qualities of apricot wood make it perfect for any indoor space. But before you buy one of these beautiful pieces, read this article to find out the pros and cons of using this type of wood.

Rot resistance

Diseases include brown rot, root rot, and bacterial leaf spot are all potential hazards. Bugs like plum curculio, borers, and aphids could be a problem.

Mites can be a problem as well. Even though good sanitation is always important, pests must be controlled by spraying chemicals.

Strength and Durability 

Apricot wood has a Janka hardness of 6,200 N, so it is rated as rather hard, with moderate water resistance.

Allergies and toxicity

Aside from the usual health risks of wood dust, apricot has not been linked to other health problems.

Workability

Places with straight and clear grain are easy to work with by hand or machine.

When sanding uneven grains or knots, you must be careful not to tear the wood.

Apricot is easy to glue, turn, and finish.

Apricot wood is easy to work with but can easily chip and break off small pieces along the edges.

Apricot wood uses

learn about some other uses for Apricot wood.

A few good uses for Apricot wood include turned objects, musical instruments, carvings, knife handles, firewood, candle holder and many other small projects.

Apricot wood for woodworking

Apricot wood is very pretty and can be used for many kinds of design. It has a dense structure and colors that are soft and reddish brown. Apricot wood can be used to make many different things.

Apricot wood has a tight structure, a fine texture, and a natural sheen. It also has a lot of knots, so you have to be more careful not to pull them out.

Apricot wood is easy to carve and doesn’t dent or scratch easily, making it a good choice for wood carving.

Fresh apricot wood is pale but gets a patina and darker over time.

Its warm, reddish color goes well with jewelry, pendants, earrings, and rings made of darker wood.

Apricot wood firewood

Apricot wood is one of the best wood for making a fire. Probably just as good as oak! It’s very thick, burns hot, and even smells good.

Apricot wood burns like hardwood, which burns longer and cleaner than other types of firewood.

Apricot wood is the best for heating and cooking because it costs the least. When you buy a log of apricot wood, you get a natural fuel that is clean and easy to use for a very good price.

Apricot wood burns quickly and evenly, giving you heat quickly.

Apricot wood for smoking

Apricot is a smoke flavor that smells great and tastes sweet.

Try it with pork, especially ribs, chicken, turkey, fish, and vegetables. It goes well with pink and white meats, too.

The smell of apricot wood is also sweet and delicious. It burns with a rich, fruity smell, which makes it a good choice for smoking meats.

Apricot wood-related species

The apricot tree, or Prunus armeniaca, grows in southwest Asia and the Caucasus mountains. It has flowers.

It has become a naturalized species in some parts of North America, Europe, Central America, and South America. The apricot is a good source of food, oil, and wood, and it also looks nice.

This post has useful information about the species in the genus Prunus and some other closely related species.

Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)

Even though it is called a “black cherry,” it is not very similar to the sweet, sour, and Japanese flowering cherry grown in gardens.

Both North and South America have a lot of this species. Instead, black cherry is in the Prunus subg. Padus group, which also includes chokecherry and Eurasian bird cherry.

Plum (Prunus domestica)

The European plum, or Prunus domestica, is a flowering plant in the Rosaceae family.

Most of the time, the pulp is sweet (dessert plum), but some varieties are sour and need to be cooked with sugar to make them taste good.

As with all Prunus fruits, it has a single large seed, called a “stone,” that you throw away when you eat it.

Sweet Cherry (Prunus avium)

Prunus avium is a type of cherry called wild cherry, sweet cherry, gean, or bird cherry. It is in the rose family, Rosaceae.

It is indigenous to the British Isles south to Morocco and Tunisia, as well as to Anatolia, the Maghreb, and western Asia.

The species is grown in gardens in many other places, and it has spread into the wild in North America and Australia.

Japanese Apricot (Prunus mume)

Chinese plum, Japanese plum, and Japanese apricot are all common names for this fruit.

Prunus mume is a tree that loses its leaves in the fall. It starts to bloom in the middle of winter, from January to late February in East Asia.

Even though most people in English call it a plum, it is more closely related to the apricott.

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