[NAFEX] Microclimate for ripening Che, Jujube, Kiwi, Figs, etc

Richard Moyer ramoyer at gmail.com
Mon Mar 20 15:00:02 EST 2006

Couple of additional considerations for Che, jujube, and other fruits that
may barely ripen:

1) USDA winter hardiness, though in the original question on Che range, is
not the operative issue of ripening its fruit as much as summer heat.  My
Sherwood jujube bears more fruit (though still shy) against a southern brick
wall and surrounded by asphalt, as compared to another Sherwood with late
afternoon shade, and on a northern slope.  Ditto for fig production, far
more fruit in a microclimate that maximizes heat.  This is perhaps the most
important reason why che and figs ripen on the tree some years better than
others.  So don't rule che out if in Zone 5-6, but do give it a warm

2) Climacteric fruits will continue to ripen after picking.  This appears to
be true for jujube, kiwi and kaki persimmons, fruits I sometime pick before
just hard freezes hammer them.  But che, being in the Morus family along
with figs and mulberries, does not ripen or even hold well after picking
underripe fruit.

3) Figs respond well to oiling the eye, I wonder if there would be a way to
keep more ethylene in Che fruit while still on the tree?  Granted that
che fruit structure appears inversed related to figs.

I'll be bringing some Che plants for the NAFEX meeting auction in August in
Lexington, KY.

Richard Moyer
Zone 6 east TN, where spring snow is on Nanking Cherry, plum and peach
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