My jujube are just about done and I’ve been going around clearing the last fruit from them…To (mostly) quote game of thrones:
I’ve declared this great summer done at last… the (best jujube) summer in living memory.
Looking at my notes, I ended up picking just over 300 pounds. That doesn’t include the massive amount I ate while picking, nor a few times where I forgot to keep track and didn’t start until a few weeks into the season, around Oct 1st.
In terms of per-tree production:
- Most productive tree was my oldest tree, a So planted in 2011, which produced at least 53 pounds.
- My most productive rental has 2 trees in the top 5
- 37 lbs from a Honey Jar with Bok Jo and Dong grafts
- 23 lbs from a So with Sihong, Fuicuimi, Sandia, and Sugar Cane).
- Shanxi Li with a Bok Jo graft produced another 27 lbs, with 10 lbs of that coming from the Bok Jo graft which looked close to breaking off due to the fruit load)
- Sugar Cane at another rental produced 20 lbs
In all, these top 5 trees produced 160 lbs, over half of the total, leaving the other 90-95 trees to produce less than half. The productive trees are generally among the older ones, though the 2 at the very productive rental (60lbs in 2 trees) were only planted in 2019. The 3rd jujube planted at that time is a Li, with a few grafts (Dong and Redlands), and produced about 10 lbs. Li just isn’t all that productive for me, compared to many other varieties.
The other trees in the top 5 were planted in 2016 and 2017. But there is quite a disparity in production. While the tree planted in 2017 produced 20 lbs, 3 other trees planted at that site in the same year produced 17lbs between them.
One Shanxi Li from 2016 produced 27 lbs (with some help from Boj Jo), while another Shanxi Li planted at the same time (same vendor too, ToA), but on the other side of the yard produced less than a pound. I think a large part of the difference is how much the tree has grown. I feel like happy jujubes pump out fruit, while slow growing ones are much more stingy. It isn’t like apples where a vigorous tree will hold off on making fruit for years. Not that there isn’t such a trade off. Some of my jujubes delayed setting fruit, as they kept putting on more growth. But heading the top branches off in June or early July seems to trigger fruit set. Then, that strong vigor got put into making a lot of fruit.
I stopped keeping track pretty early on, but gave away at least 60-80 sandwich bags full of jujubes (about .8lbs each), plus larger amounts to a few people.
- Honey Jar- always productive, crisp/crunch, juicy, sweet
- Sugar Cane- even crisper and juicier than Honey Jar. Sometimes off flavor, and can taste less sweet than the brix reading would indicate. Still a top choice and quite productive. Does crack badly if it rains close to harvest. A bit larger fruit than the other top choices.
- Black Sea- crisp, crunchy, juicy and sweet, more neutral flavor than Honey Jar, which can be overpoweringly sweet
- Fuicuimi-New addition to the top tier. Tender and very good, but production is uneven. Very productive (extreme branch bending) at good site, but very little production at 2 other sites.
- Dong- Great fruit, but ripens very late, around Nov 1st. Sweet, tender, crisp, and decent sized (almost as big as Sugar Cane). Can be eaten when underripe (even green), so it could still work in marginal area. In some years you may eat green, 20 brix, other years, half brown 30 brix fruit.
- Sandia- Basically the same fruit as Dong, but a week or so earlier. Neither I, nor my daughter could tell them apart.
- Confetti- Almost like a smaller version of Black Sea. Precocious and productive.
- Mei Mi- just by my personal taste, I’d have it at #2, but objectively, it is a step lower due to low production and cracking. But the flavor (a bit of tart) and texture are very good.
- KFC- A bit preliminary, but the fruit had good texture, even though you wouldn’t know it by looking at it’s bumpy/rough surface. I’m not sold on it’s production yet, as the original tree produced only 1-2 fruit, while a couple new grafts produced more, but not a heavy load.
- BV1 seedling- First seedling I’ve had with good fruit. Good sized (maybe similar to Sugar Cane, but pointier). Crunchy and some juice, but I really need a larger sample (3 fruit so far…) for it to deserve this spot. But I’m pretty optimistic. The fruit was larger and better than that from the Moonlight graft on it.
Bottom 5 (leaving rootstocks off):
- Lang- poor texture, only iffy production, but I don’t really want more anyway
- Tigertooth- very late season, but not very good, dense, OK crunch, and not much juice
- Huping- Very dry when I tried it a few years ago. This time was better than sawdust (or it would have the #1 spot), but still wasn’t great. Not very productive either
- Russia #4- Fairly productive, even in not-great years, small size, poor soft texture
- Ant Admire- Past years and the first ones this year had poor texture and were dry. A few later ones right after a rain storm weren’t bad. But, very low production (only half a dozen fruit from a very large branch- probably bigger than the Bok Jo branch which produced 10 pounds of fruit)
I’ll include GA866 as dishonable mention, since I haven’t actually been able to sample any fruit from it. It had fruit for the first time this year, even into September, but something happened to it before it ripened. Not sure if an animal took it, or if the tree just dropped it. It was planted in 2016 (same time as the Shanxi Li which produced 27 lbs) and is only ~20 feet from it. At least the Dae Sol Jo graft on it is productive (13 lbs).
I thought about listing the 10 worst, but decided to stick with 5, as I felt most confident in dissing them. There are still a few in the 6-10 spots (Orange Beauty, Allentown, etc) where I have some hope.
Top 3 producer, which really stand head and shoulders above the rest (both quantity and consistent production):
- Bok Jo
- Honey Jar
- Xu Zhou
I have a strong suspicion that Midnight and Maya/Massandra are all the same cultivar. Prof Yao’s genetic testing showed Maya and Massandra to be a single basepair off from each other, effectively the same.
Black Sea and Russia #2 were shown to be identical in her genetic testing.
I’ve been compiling a large spreadsheet, though I’m not sure how well it will display.
Here are a few cultivars which didn’t make it into the speadsheet:
- Texas Sawmill- no production in 2nd year
- Dragon- no production in year #3, but tree hasn’t grown much
- Porterville- made a few fruit, OK, but likely not Porterville
- Empress Gee- made a few fruit from potted jujube but knocked one off early (OK texture) and animals got other 2
- GA866- see above- massively non-productive
- New grafts with no fruit
- Hunan Egg
- Elk Grove
- Ying Lo
Sweet Tart- single small fruit on new graft. Need to compare in future with Texas Tart
- Texas Tart also has a tart acid flavor, but was much more productive, with both new grafts producing and one even making a 2nd crop on new growth. But TT did have a high proportion of fruit where the texture softened while on tree.
- Priest- Made one fruit, but was a tiny graft on a transplanted tree (which often impacted texture)
- Vegas Booty- Big branch, but stubbornly non-productive in year #4
- Vegas Glitzy- 2nd year, small graft
Sorted by season:
|Sugar Cane||Earliest||Top||Crisp, crunchy, light, juicy+||Medium+||Stretched round||Great||Sometimes doesn’t taste as sweet as brix indicates, cracks|
|Mei Mi||Early||Great+||crunchy, juicy, light||Med-small||long||Fair-||High brix, good flavor (some kick). Cracks|
|BV1 seedling||Early||Great||crunchy, juicy||Medium+||long pointed, thick||Fair||Young seedling, so very preliminary|
|Autumn Beauty||Early||Good||crunchy||Large||oblong||Good||One guy really liked it|
|Fuicuimi||Early- end||Top||Crisp, juicy, “fluffy”||Medium+||Stretched round||Great-||Tender, good, cracks some|
|Black Sea||Early- end||Top||Crisp crunch, med-light, juicy||Small+||short pointed||Great+||Crisp, crunch, juice and productive. What’s not to like|
|Maya||Early- end||Great-||Dense crunch, a bit crisp||Medium-||long double pointed||Great-||From genetic tests Maya and Massandra are almost identical|
|Coco||Early- end||Great-||Crunch, juice||Small+||slighly stretched round||Good+||I don’t notice any coconut flavor|
|Moonlight||Early- end||Great-||Dense crunch, a bit crisp||Medium-||long double pointed||Good||I suspect that Maya and Moonlight are related/same|
|Tsao||Early- end||Good+||Dense crunch||Small+||long pointed, thin||Good+||Better in past years. Crunchy with juice|
|Ant Admire||Early- end||Fair-||Somewhat dense, no crunch||Small+||long pointed||Poor||High brix, sweet, later ones improved|
|Huping||Early- end||Poor+||Dense, no crunch||Medium||long||Poor+||For drying|
|Honey Jar||Middle||Top||Crisp, crunch, denser than SC||Small||Squarish round||Top||Large pit for its size, good sweet flavor|
|Confetti||Middle||Top-||Crunchy, crisp, juicy||Small-||Short, pointed||Great+||small sample, but top-tier fruit|
|Dae Sol Jo||Middle||Great-||Light crunch||Large||Wide oblong||Great-||One of the better large-fruited varieties. Cracks some|
|So||Middle||Good+||Dense crunch, some juice||Medium-||round and elongated round||Great||Wide range in fruit size. Late, large fruit good, with acid bite|
|Chico||Middle||Good-||crunch, not too much juice||Medium||Flattened round||Good||Acid flavor. Many/most without pit. First time fruiting (not fast)|
|Hetian Jade||Middle-end||Good-||OK, for large fruit||Large-||Stretched round, wide||Great||Small sample|
|Shanxi Li||Middle-end||Good-||Crunch, middle texture||Large||Stretched round, wide||Good||Cracks. Early fruit can be pitless|
|Li||Middle-end||Good-||OK, for large fruit||Large||Stretched round, wide||Good||OK, some are very large|
|Russia #4||Middle-end||Fair-||soft, poor||Small||Stretched egg||Great||Not impressive. Eliminate?|
|Churchpoint||Late- start||Great-||crisp crunch, juicy||Small||Flattened round||Good||Some tart, but large pit, small fruit|
|Sihong||Late- start||Good+||OK+, not great, fine grained||Med-large||Cylinder||Good-||Good flavor, variable texture|
|Tae Sang Wang||Late- start||Good||above average for lg fruit||Large||Stretched round, wide||Good+||Large, OK, and productive.|
|Dai Bai Ling||Late- start||Good-||OK crunch||Large+||Round||Good||OK, especially large|
|Norris #1||Late- start||Good-||Some crunch||Medium-||pepper, thin curved pointed||Good||Not bad, but not thrilled with pointy pits (tips break)|
|Redlands||Late- start||Good-||OK, for large fruit||Large||Stretched round, wide||Good-||Can be very large. Didn’t produce too well this year|
|Bu Lu Shu||Late- start||Good||OK+||Medium||Stretched round||Good||Small sample, but promising|
|Orange Beauty||Late- start||Fair||OK-, little crunch||Medium||Cylinder with point||Fair+||OK flavor, poor texture, cracks|
|Lang||Late- start||Poor||poor, no crisp, dense, dry||Medium||Fat bottom cylander||Fair+||not very good for fresh eating|
|KFC||Late||Great||Crisp, very good||Medium||Long round||Good||bumpy rough skin, fruited on new grafts, so may be earlier|
|Winter Delight||Late||Good||OK+||Med-small||Stretched round||Fair||Small sample|
|Xu Zhou||Late||Good-||Dense, OK crunch||Medium||Long round||Top||Cracks easily, needs to be very ripe to be good (or at least ok…)|
|Yahzoo Li||Late||Good-||OK, for large fruit||Large||Stretched round, wide||Fair+||Standard large fruit|
|R4T3||Late||Good-||Dense, some juice||Small+||Long, thin||Fair+||Only 3 fruit on tree- Not bad, but not impressive either|
|Bok Jo||Late||Good||Crunchy, some juice||Medium-||Stretched round||Top||Good sweetness and massively productive|
|Fruitful RS||Late||Fair+||some crunch, OK juice||Small-||Stretched round||Great+||A bit of tart and juice. Always productive. Cracks|
|Texas Tart||Late||Fair+||Dense, some crunch, softens||Small-||Stretched round, wide||Great+||Very tart. OK eating, like lemon drop. Large pit, not a lot of flesh.|
|Allentown||Late||Fair+||OK crunch||Medium+||Cylinder||Fair||Small sample|
|R1T4||Late||Fair||Dense, not very crunchy or juicy||Small+||Long, thin||Good||Young tree in shaded area produced quite a bit of poor fruit|
|JFaE So RS||Late||Fair-||Dense, some crunch, not juicy||Small-||Round||Great+||A bit of tart, dense flesh, produces even in poor years. Doesn’t crack|
|Sandia||Late- end||Top||Crisp, light||Medium-||Round||Fair+||Very good fruit even when mostly (entirely even) green|
|September Late||Late- end||Fair+||Dense, OK crunch||Medium||Long round, pointed||Fair+||OK, not that impressive|
|Sherwood||Late- end||Fair+||Very dense, OK crunch||Medium||Long round||Fair||OK, not that impressive. Especially dense|
|Tigertooth||Late- end||Poor+||Dense, not very crunchy or juicy||Small+||Long, thin pointed||Good+||Poor texture, there are better late season…|
|Dong||Xtra Late||Top||Crisp, light, moderate+ juicy||Medium-||Round||Good-||Very similar to Sandia, but a week later.|
I’m planning to add some pics to this thread and when I do, I may tweak the speadsheet, especially if I find that I’ve missed some.