planting deep seems to be more of a problem with apples/peaches, etc. as the budwood may get compromised or subject to maladies when buried in soil.
if it is any consolation, the more difficult to dig due to rocks, the more likely for the bare-root tree to be stabilized if planted deep, since rocks won’t allow much lateral movements, even though the roots have yet no grip whatsoever. Much like a tall narrow-necked vase will hold a long-stalked flower erect more stably than a short and wide-mouthed basin. More good news is when the roots begin to mesh around the rocks, your trees will practically be anchored on bricks. In our windy desert, a deep and narrow hole is a valuable “commodity” if you’re a jujube grower-- as it is more difficult/time consuming to carve a 2’ deep cylindrical hole that has a diameter of 6" than digging a 2’ deep hole that is 16" in diameter or wider.
where we’re at, birds(little sparrows) can do considerable damage, but thankfully will generally raid fruits borne >8 feet high. Rabbits are known to gnaw on bark, which may result in lethal girdles. Out of state, i’ve come across an article which mentions of deer actually preferring to eat juju fruits first over apples when both are offered.
HJ and Shanxi Li(the round shanxi li, that is) are better than So, imo. At least basing on the So we obtained from burntridge. I received budwood from @BobVance last year which produced fruits that were similar in size, shape, and quality as burntridge so’s that we have, but intriguingly, this year, the one i grafted to sugarcane interstem(last year) produced considerably larger fruits that are roundish and dimpled at the bottom(like apples), whereas the one i grafted to Li interstem(also last year), is producing fruits of the same smallish size and ovoid shape that are not bedimpled as the ones we received from burntridge. Was actually going to ask if @BobVance may have sent me budwood from two different So trees. Since contorted’s produce viable seed, i am now suspecting that there’s more than one contorted jujube being sold as “So”. Moreover, contorted growth is also transmissible to seedlings, but from what we’re seeing, the contorted trait seems to be a recessive gene, as just two of our > 20 So seedlings seem to be exhibiting the trait, and we also have a seedling that was not from contorted but is presenting with the scoliosis feature. Our seedlings are quite young, so possible that some will exhibit the trait later, or those which exhibited the trait now will later lose it.
going back to fruit shape, i am still stumped and extremely intrigued as to why Bob’s budwood would produce differently after a year, and really curious if the interstem may have influenced this, or may just be a delayed developmental phase for both grafts(with the one on SC being ahead in development), and that it truly is a totally different cultivar of contorted. Bob’s may well be the same contorted cultivar posted by a european website i came across a few years ago. A french nursery if not mistaken. Anyway, will post pics when the fruits ripen.