Apricots in a Cromwell orchard have been picked in November for the first time in its 103-year history.

Webb's Fruit owner Simon Webb said high temperatures over the past fortnight, ranging from 27degC to 33degC, and temperatures of about 29degC-30degC on Wednesday  had ripened apricots to picking stage that day.

The orchard had about 70 trees of a new "beautiful" early ripening apricot, developed by Crop and Food, and known as NZ Summer 4, he said.

In the past, the earliest apricots would have been available from about the tenth of this month.


The heat that had contributed to the likely earlier ripening of other fruit was also improving the flavour.