[NAFEX] figs,mulberry and jujuge oh my!

Needham Greg needhamgr at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 24 11:21:22 EDT 2003

     Jujubes are one of my favorite plants!  I have put together a modest 
collection over the past several years; here are some of my observations so 
far that might help:
I have a mixed planting of cultivars I hoped might succeed in the humid 
southeast and provide pollen for each other- Sherwood, Silverhill, 
Fitzgerald, Abbeville, Admiral Wilkes, Li, Honey Jar, GA866, Suan Tsao, and 
Sugar Cane.  I also let a rootstock grow up for comparison.  Each cultivar 
seems to have its own personality, so for example, in terms of which are 
more productive,  each year since it was very small Honey Jar has put on all 
the fruit it could hold, while Sherwood (on its own roots) which is a couple 
years older is just now setting a few fruit.  My Li usually has a very 
modest crop, though I have had it the longest, while Fitzgerald, Abbeville, 
Silverhill, and Admiral Wilkes will set an unbelievable number of jujubes.  
Vigor really varies too- Silverhill, Admiral Wilkes and Fitzgerald shoot up 
each year like crazy, but Honey jar and GA866 have been much slower (I 
should point out that it has usually taken a season of getting 
well-established for all of my jujubes before they really are happy and 
start to grow well).  They like a lot of sun and to be fed and also watered 
if it is dry- this will help ripen a full crop!  Once established they are 
pretty tough!  My jujubes attract the most incredibly diverse collection of 
pollen- and nectar-hungry insects!  We see all kinds of ants, miniature 
bee-like creatures, flies in all sorts of irridescent colors, and some 
insects so small I can't tell what they are...
It is a fascinating show to watch, standing among the jujubes on an 
afternoon and breathing in the grape soda smell produced by the flowers.  
Honey bees, etc. don't go near my jujubes, but the other little helpers do 
the job nicely.  I have had zero problems with insects, disease or even 
birds eating the fruit, but my children and I eat all we can hold every 
year.  Flavor varies among cultivars and with some tasting better at 
different stages- some need to be red-brown, others are good when just 
turning yellow, etc.
This turned into a long message as I was trying to piece together an answer 
to your question of how to get the tree to fruit better!  I would say plant 
the cultivars that have been really productive for me (Silverhill, 
Abbeville, Fitzgerald, Admiral Wilkes, Suan Tsao, etc.)  But I wonder if 
there is some pollination magic happening that I am unaware of?  What if my 
most productive cultivars are able to be so because of pollen from one of 
the others?  This is one reason I tried to plant enough different jujubes to 
make sure there was plenty of pollen for all.  As for dwarfing, some of my 
plants grow smaller and others larger, though I don't know about the 
eventual mature size of any of them- to me it looks like GA866 will be 
pretty dwarfy.
I hope this helps!  Besides my own experience, my source for info on jujubes 
(and the source for most of my plants) is Roger Meyer- thank goodness he has 
done so much work with jujubes, rescuing material from the Chico Research 
station (like GA866!) and writing his Jujube Primer and Sourcebook!

zone 7/8
coastal plain of North Carolina

>From: rob hamilton <lostman_amiga at yahoo.com>
>Reply-To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
>To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
>Subject: [NAFEX] figs,mulberry and jujuge oh my!
>Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2003 12:38:50 -0700 (PDT)
>I was going to wait till the SFF meeting next month to
>ask some of these question, but maybe some people here
>may be able to help as well.
>    Has anyone tried growing different fig varieties on
>Blackjack fig rootstock to see if it will dwarf the
>	  How do you get the tree to fruit better?
>   	What are the pollinators?
>   	Has anyone tried a variety called "GA866"?
>	  Can this tree be dwarfed as well?
>    Has anyone tried to dwarf with Garaldi rootstock?
>   My che tree seems to be doing fine with a good flush
>of leaves, but there is very little growth on it these
>past two years.  What can I do to help it along?
>Zone 7b  Atlanta, GA
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