In what climate will Japanese apricot trees grow? Where can I find one? —Joon Kim, Spring Lake, NC
Japanese flowering apricot (Prunus mume, Zones 6 to 8) is a small ornamental tree that grows best in full sunlight in moist, well-drained soil that’s both fertile and acidic. Japanese flowering apricots are the earliest apricots to bloom. Sometimes they bloom from December through March, depending on the cultivar and the site. Trees produce white, pink, or rose-colored flowers—many of them double—followed by inedible yellow fruits. There are several hundred cultivars in Japan, but they’re difficult to find in the United States.