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  • From: Spidra Webster <>
  • To: mailing list at ibiblio - Northamerican Allied Fruit Experimenters <>
  • Subject: Re: [nafex] Carob trees in commerce
  • Date: Tue, 8 Nov 2016 07:55:22 -0800

You don't know how happy I am to see someone ask this! I've been studying
carob as an independent project for 3 years now! Unfortunately, no one
cared about carob much in this country and the many named varieties that
were imported into Southern California weren't cared for properly. I know
of two nurseries that claim to have cultivars and neither of them do mail
order, to my knowledge.

If you ever go on a trip to SoCal, Papaya Tree Nursery in Granada Hills
says they've had 'Santa Fe'. In Vista, CA near San Diego, Exotica Nursery
claims to have 'Santa Fe', 'Tillyria' and 'Sfax' last I heard. I say
"claims" in both cases because carob cultivars have been so thoroughly lost
in botanical gardens and in USDA holdings that unless someone provides good
provenance, I can't be 100% sure that what they're carrying is what they
say it is. That said, Vista, CA was a hotbed of carob research so there's
a good chance that they have superior eating varieties surviving there.

'Santa Fe' is self-fertile. 'Tillyria' and 'Sfax' are female and would need
a male or 'Santa Fe' nearby.

The USDA only has seeds in its holdings and it's not even really holding
those (they're at the Desert Legume Project). Carob is pretty hard to
graft. People who grow carob commercially do it, but it's not something
easy like grafting apples. The slow growth rate that makes carob so
drought-resistant also makes it slow to heal grafting wounds. I know of no
scion wood sources in the US other than going to a carob street tree with
good fruit and cutting wood yourself.

Since few have carob cultivars in the US and import laws make it extremely
difficult to reimport the material we lost, there's a lot to be said for
asking people who live near carob street trees to see if they know of one
with particularly good fruit. Self-fertile ones are rare (plus or minus 1%
of all) but I have run across a couple self-fertile street trees in my
time. None with amazing fruit, but I've only looked at about 200 specimens
so far...

Megan Lynch

On Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 7:28 AM, Patrick O'Connor <> wrote:

> Hi All,
> I'm looking to order good fruiting varieties of carob. So far I've only
> been able to find carob for landscaping, nothing sexed or with a named
> cultivar.
> Can anyone recommend a mail order nursery that sells carob for production?
> Are there any sources of scionwood for carob out there?
> best,
> Patrick O'Connor
> Hollister, CA zone 9b
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