Eating this was an OMG! moment. Only one left to go… this year…
Nice seeing your fruit, Katy. If you thought your trees grew a lot this year, wait till you see mine!. I thought I’d show you all how well my jujube tree grew this past month…here it is:
hahahaha. OK…I confess (as if you didn’t know) that isn’t my jujube tree…looks like its more than 5 months old which is how old my 2 are! haha.
But boy was I surprised to find this tree growing just a couple miles from my house. The owners weren’t home but I asked a neighbor who owned it and they said a nice Korean man lived there and owns it- which makes sense in a way. He seems to have been using the tarp to catch the fruit.
Now for the bad news. THEY TASTED AWFUL!!! I understand taste is relative and subjective, but its hard for me to imagine anyone liking these things. Most of the colored ones had started to dry- both on the tree and the ones on the tarp. I tasted quite a few of them from both places and all were the same…AWFUL! The green ones were pretty bland and a little more tolerable than the ripe ones.
This was very disappointing to me. I really hope mine taste better than these. These were the first Jujubes I’d ever tried, and boy was it an unpleasant experience!!!
@jujubemulberry ,(or others) what do you think? Any idea what kind these may be? Hopefully this is just a variety that aren’t that great. There was almost no sweetness at all, which isn’t what I expected. The tree was very large and healthy, at least. Hope my Honey Jar and Sugar Cane are better than these things!!! I have 1 HJ and about 6 SC on my new trees, so hopefully I’ll get to try them in a few weeks for comparison. But Yuck on these guys in the photo! ha
Hey Kevin! Was thinking about trying to contact you ‘cause I thought your fingers might all be broken!!! You were awfully quiet for a long time!! I think your tree looks ab-fab and so sorry you don’t like the fruits—hehehe. After tasting the HJ on my tree I can’t imagine you not liking the ones that come ripe on your trees! I just ate my last Chico yesterday. . It’s over til next year and I hope next year we all have more fruit. I guess yours are about to ripen. Let me know what you think of them.
Thanks for the kind words. I’m so glad to hear that you think most people would like the Honey Jar and Sugar Cane Jujubes. Hopefully the ones on the tree I found and photographed were just some kind of unusual jujube or possible its even something like the rootstock for my tree, which Raf said wouldn’t taste good if I let them grow.
Anyway, I’ll certainly let everyone know about my own fruit when I pick it…that is if the birds dont beat me to them. I had several that got bird pecks! Like I said, I have about 6-8 fruit on one of my trees and 1-2 on the other so hopefully I’ll get to try both- though neither are ripe or even have any color besides green yet.
if it is just one cultivar on the tree, then is probably grown for medicinal/culinary purposes. Were the fruits on the tree all of the same size/shape/taste? I could wager it may have other cultivars grafted on it, considering that the owner is korean.
if you’ve heard of some medicinal stuff from asia— the nastier it tastes, then likely considered more medicinal than better-tasting ones.
the good news here is that your neighbor’s tree is fruiting in your area–apart from that tree being solid evidence of excellent health
It bodes well for your current specimens.
Now, if your hj’s fruits do not impress, there are many more cultivars you could graft on to your trees and should find at least one that you’d like.
There was 1 fruit on one of the HJ from EL. None of my other new trees had any fruit, but the small HJ was very tasty. I happened on it just after it turned brown and it was 27 brix and crunchy. Everyone likes the So that I bring in to work, and HJ are even better. But, for the 2nd year in a row, I’ve noticed that a lot of the early So are hit or miss (dry, sometimes wrinkling on the tree). Last year I thought it was the rain that made them better, but now I’m thinking that they may just get better on their own.
That tree could be a seedling tree and sometimes it does’t taste good. I grew a total of five jujube seedlings the last 3 years or so. Only one tasted as good as the parent Honey Jar.
WHEW! Every one of you guys have made me feel a lot better about the tree I discovered growing near me. I deeply disappointed after tasting these things because they were just plain AWFUL. Not bland or fair, I’m talking about just awful! Spit-it-out bad! haha. So glad to hear there are other possible explanations and that this is NOT representative of the better eatable varieties.
@jujubemulberry The medicinal angle hadn’t even entered my mind, but as soon as you said that it made sense. The only time I’ve ever seen jujubes for sale was at an “international” store in Nashville, and when I asked about them the manager-who seemed to know about them- didn’t mention eating them as a fruit/food. He ONLY talked about their medicinal uses and said that is what his customers used them for. Those were dried and come to think of it, looked just like the ones on the Korean fellow’s tree. I’m also glad you commented on the general health of the tree- I too took inspiration from that. It was a quite large tree in perfect health and absolutely packed with fruit. So I was also thinking that it bodes well for my climate being well suited for jujubes. OH…to answer your question, every single jujube on the tree looked identical. They were fairly small compared to photos I’ve seen of other fruits. They were all solid maroon(ish) and while I didn’t inspect the tree extremely closely, I gave it a pretty good look and don’t think there were any grafts. HOWEVER, I learned a bit more news. I ran into the owner of that tree’s neighbor and asked what he knew about the tree. He told me that the guy actually has 2 of them- the second one being behind the house (which wouldn’t be too far from first one). So now I’m even more excited about talking to the people who own it. I hope I can show up with 1 or 2 of my own jujubes- I bet he’d be as excited to know about my trees as I was to find out about his.
hopefully your neighbor’s other tree is a fruit-quality juju.
while i agree that jujus are superior to most conventional fruits in antioxidant activity and overall nutritional value, i am a bit skeptical of most claims about their medicinal value(but not necessarily dismissive of). The only relatively promising medicinal component have seen so far is the high level of cyclic AMP(naturally-occurring substance in plants and animals) which–when used as a food supplement-- helps metabolize/burn fat. It is a good thing, considering that jujus have way too much sugars
forgot to add @thecityman , will be headed to post office next week and figured including you on the errand.
pm me your address and will send you a few stragglers of juju fruits. Our final ‘juju broadcast’ for this growing season
Kerry Bone in the 2nd edition of his tome Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy lists the traditional uses of Zizyphus spinosa (Spiny Jujube) as antidepressant, anxiolytic and sedative.
the rootstoc juju does appear to be more concentrated with naturopathic substances. Spinosa-type fruits are generally more intense in taste and far less fruity than domesticated cultivars.
So jujus are definitely safer(apart from being more nutritious) to use as antidepressant, anxiolytic, and sedative than prozac and valium
So the ‘principle’ used in one supplement, of which I’m aware, actually uses the seed
Jujube seed 10:1 extract from Ziziphus jujuba var. spinosa seed 900 mg
which is known to provide
flavonoids and dammarane-type saponins called jujubosides.
Haha so the fruit may not be so hot but the seeds help you ‘chill’.
i agree, it is the seeds that seem to have more medicinal properties.With a slew of biologics hard to pronounce/spell. Have heard of folks planning to use it for their kids with ADHD.
juju fruit pulp/peel does have high levels of flavonoids as well, and is one component which makes it topnotch in antioxidant activity. Am actually curious which-- between seed and fruit pulp has higher amounts.
There is this university in greece that did a comparative study of antioxidant activity between conventional and novelty fruits, and jujus rated 2nd only to Cornus mas. With at least twice the antioxidant level of blackberry, which most of us are aware is far ahead of apples and peaches.
First, a huge thank-you (again) for taking the time and effort to send me a great selection of jujubes. As I told you, when I first got them we had lots of fun at work sampling them, but I wanted to go home and re-try them carefully. Here is what I decided.
SO everyone knows, I got to try honey jar, sugar cane, contorted, Li, chico, “vegas baby” (which i suspect is one Raf has developed?)
First, I was very relieved to find out that none of these were anything like the ones I took off the tree I found growing near my house, so I’m more confident than ever that the Korean owner of that tree grows those as medicinal and they are therefore not one of the good edible jujubes.
Second, I found the taste in general to be more apple-like than I expected. I haven’t often seen jujubes described as apple-like, but to me they are very much like a really sweet apple with a hint of raisin flavor. Thats not a perfect description by any means and I don’t want to suggest they are extremely similar to apples, but its a fairly good comparison I think.
Third, for all the discussion of the different varieties, I found all 6 of these to be quite similar. Raf, I hope you aren’t disappointed to hear me say that, and I readily admit that I don’t have a sophisticated pallet by any means. And certainly there were some discernable differences- its just that for me none of those differences were all that great. My least favorite was probably contorted or “Vegas Baby”. The VB were by far the smallest and also were a little softer- which may have just meant they were over-ripe. The small size and softer texture made them rate lower for me. The contorted were the least sweet of all of the 6 I got to try, and thats why I rate them a little lower. But once again, they were only slightly less sweet, so not a big difference.
My favorite was Honey Jar. It was, I felt, the sweetest and also had a little hint of something different that I liked. The other favorite was a big surprise based on what I’ve read about jujubes…it was LI!!! I’ve seen a lot of people say that LI is one of the least favorites. I must confess that a big part of LI’s attraction to me was its size. It was almost double and even triple the size of most of the others. That large size made it a lot more attractive to me. Even when considering taste, there is just something nice about being able to take big bites. But it wasn’t only the size. I found it to be one of the sweeter jujubes as well. But because it was at least equal in taste to most others, its large size led me to rank it near the top.
I’m pretty sure people (like you, Raf) are going to disagree with a lot of my remarks. All I can say is as a person who never before tasted a sweet jujube, these were my opinions and were arrived at with careful serious evaluation.
Anyway, thank-you again, @jujubemulberry for your generosity and for taking the time and effort to send me such a large sample of jujubes! THanks.
Sooooo…how many more trees do you want now??? !
a prime li is an excellent juju, and we actually prefer it over hj(and many here will probably disagree with my remarks as well ) HJ happens to be more consistent in fruit quality whether or not harvested in the heat of July, or harvested in nippy november.
the reason why li is often a disppointment is because many juju orchards are located in desert areas, and the first crops ripen in early august(in oven-hot weather) so the first li jujubes sold are far from being prime, since fruits of this cultivar are sensitive to hot temps
also important to note is that most jujubes bear larger fruits, and more of them, on the first crop(height of summer), since it is when trees get the most sun, so our advice to li growers in super-hot regions of ca-nv-az-nm-tx etc would be to thin the first crop to zero as fruitlets appear in spring(painful as this might sound). This way, the trees will have a surplus from photosynthesis and will be ‘itching’ to produce larger fruits later when the weather is milder(beginning mid sept to november here in vegas). So while it is true that jujubes revel in hot weather and produce plenty fruits in hot weather, the fruits which ripened in very hot weather are not really the best.
as for ‘vegas baby’, it is just a whimsy on my part-- i won’t even recommend it. Grew that from a rootstoc seed and merely happy to produce what may well be best-quality juju with wild-type parentage.
the li’s have sent you are actually tiny compared to the li’s harvested last july-aug. They may be small, but of better eating quality when harvested this time of year. The li cultivar also happens to have one of the highest brix ratings of all deciduous fruit trees, easily exceeding 30.
i don’t think sent you enough samples to achieve reliable findings, but more importantly, jujus don’t really need serious evaluation. They are happy-go-lucky trees. While they are somewhat similar to apples, it is best to continue growing one’s apple trees and ignore your jujus for awhile. You just need to plant a couple juju trees without expecting much, and once you find the cultivars which tickle your palate and which happen to be productive in your region, you could move forward by adding more trees.
That’s how i started with jujubes, and crazy as it seems-- i now have more juju trees and hardly any conventional fruit trees
Greetings from Phoenix. Just bought a GA866 from a local nursery. Doing some research and found this thread. Very informative! Thinking of adding a few others but wanted to get your advice on what varieties might do well here. Thinking of planting on the west side of the house, so morning shade and blast-furnace sun and heat (in the summer). In particular, looking at SO, HJ, and Sherwood. Thanks much! Bob
Great to hear. Phoenix is a dream location for growing Jujubes. Almost identical climate to Las Vegas and that’s an outstanding location.
i agree. And i think phoenix might even be better a location to grow jujus than vegas, since the growing season seems to be longer there. Only drawback is that many juju varieties bear sub-par fruits on the first crop(when summer heat is at its most intense), which include li, contorted, chico, etc. Of the common cultivars, HJ seems to be immune to heat and will produce good quality fruits even at the height of summer. The others i mentioned would best have the first crops thinned, to facilitate more fruit production later in cooler weather.