[NAFEX] figs,mulberry and jujuge oh my!

Mark Lee markl at nytec.com
Tue Jun 24 12:31:22 EDT 2003

Jujubes are displaying quite a diverse range of traits for you (size, vigor,
fruit production, flavor versus ripeness).  I live in an area that is in the
same minimum temperature range as you (USDA zone 7B/8A), but our summers are
cooler and more overcast.  I have looked into growing jujubes in the past,
but decided against it since we just don't have the heat.  I'm now thinking
it would be fun to grow some of these just for whatever blossoms manage to
open in the late summer when things heat up.  The fragrance and insect life
sound interesting.  Any suggestions on a jujube that might actually ripen in
a cooler climate?
-Mark Lee, Seattle

-----Original Message-----
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of Needham Greg
Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2003 8:21 AM
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] figs,mulberry and jujuge oh my!

     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
>Atlanta Fruits Club
>North American Fruit Explorers (NAFEX)               www.NAFEX.org
>Southern Fruit Federation (SFF)                      www.NAFEX.org/SFF
>Southeastern Palm and Exotic Plant Society (SPEPS)   www.SPEPS.net
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