Jujube 2022

I’m a Jujube n00b…so I have 2 questions? I read that a lot of Jujubes are thorny, especially when seedlings? How bad is this, and how do these varieties rate in thorniness, especially when mature?

I’ve also read that a lot of Jujubes sucker aggressively for maybe even 100’ to form thickets. How bad is this problem, especially for different varietes?

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This seems to differ by poster (or climate area). For me, Chico has really nasty thorns, even after several years.

For Tony, he reported big thorns on Bok Jo, but I hadn’t noticed any. After looking closely, I eventually found a few large ones, but there were only a handful on the whole tree, unlike Chico which covered and can be a bit of a pain to pick…

I think this also differs by region. Areas without a lot of water seem to generate more suckers, as the trees search for water. I get a few, but don’t mind them. I either pull/dig them for new rootstocks, or mow them down.

The variety you are growing shouldn’t matter as much as the underlying rootstock (which aren’t known/identified, unlike apple rootstocks). Most jujubes are grafted, though it is a good thing if you can find one on its own roots. Just not very common. Then, any suckers will be of a known cultivar and not need grafting. And if there is an unexpectedly cold blast, you are one step closer to getting back in production as the tree grows back from below ground.

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I admit not knowing about PBR in Australia. First result was Professional Bull Riders, which didn’t seem relavent :slight_smile: But, later down the search page I found Plant Breeder Rights, something related to plant IP. I would refer you to professor Yao for this.

One thing I would suggest- if you have trouble getting Sandia, try to get Dong. From what I’ve seen they aren’t all that different. Dong seems a bit later, but I wasn’t able to tell the fruit apart.

Here’s a pic of some Dong from the fridge, which was still decent after 3 weeks.

I think you are on the right track for growing jujubes. I remember seeing a video of a guy growing jujubes in Australia and he had good luck growing them with a ton of compost. I suspect that the reason is that Australia provides plenty of sun, so the main issue is getting the ground to hold enough water to support the jujubes.

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Some pics, starting with the early season…

Sugar Cane at a rental. Even though it was after a rain and drooping with weight, I don’t see any cracks yet.

A week later and some of the riper fruit started to crack.

Some other early season jujubes

More early season jujubes, including my new seedling (now called BV1, until it distinguishes itself enough for a real name):

Starting to get some higher brix:

Sugar Cane was by far the biggest early producer:

The first few of some of the other good varieties are ready. But only a few, unlike Sugar Cane. Most of the Honey Jar, Black Sea, and Fuicuimi ripened in October.

Most of these Honey jar were ripe in the 2nd-3rd week (a bit later for the Bok Jo):

Fuicuimi are not quite ripe yet either:

A large proportion of Sugar Cane (at least the first wave) are ripe:

Starting to get some other ripe ones:

Moonlight vs Maya/Massandra. Look and taste about the same to me…

Even cracked, these Mei Mi were very good:

Last one from my seedling:

These early Ant Admires were not very good. The ones from a few weeks later were better.

Which brings us through September…

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I’m still working may way through 2022’s jujubes.

At this point, 3 months after picking for most, they are edible, but not great. Here are some Shanxi Li, including one I took a bite out of.

That batch came through pretty well, with only a few bad ones in the bag. Other bags (stored in gallon bags in a garage fridge) are in much worse shape. I only salvaged 10-15% of this bag.

While some it could be variety, I think a larger factor is if there was any imperfections on the fruit when I picked it.

My wife ate most of the Shanxi Li from the first picture, while I only found them iffy.
So, I tried drying some and they turned out better. I had my wife try one and she said I should just dry the rest.

She had just gotten a 7-in-1 appliance that she said would work as a dehydrator. But. the electronics in it seem designed to frustrate me. I can have it act as a “fermentor” at 100F, or a convection bake at 215F or more, but nothing in between. So, I bought a dehydrator, which has seemed pretty good so far.

These Li have been drying at 125F for about 8 hours. They look pretty good, but are still too wet in the middle. Anyone have suggestions about timing an temp for drying jujubes?

Here’s what the Li (picked on 10/18/2022 at a rental) looked like after I washed them, removed the bad ones, cut them in half and removed the pits.

Here’s where size matters for jujubes. I can remove pits for the big ones, but there is no way I would go through and remove the pits for Honey Jars or other small jujubes. For fresh eating, the small ones are fine. Just pop it in your mouth and spit out the pit. But for processing I value the big ones, like Li, Shanxi Li, Dae Sol Jo, etc.

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Did you grow Lang or any of the “drying varieties” according to (I think) UofArizona? I’m wondering if the drying ones are just kind of “lousy fresh…so dry them?” or if they’re actually better dried than the ones people like for fresh eating (Li, Shanx Li, etc) if you dry both. My first tree (Li) is ~18" tall and (hopefully) dormant, so I haven’t gotten to try any yet.

I’m growing Lang and Huping, neither of which is impressive when eaten fresh. I haven’t tried either dried, though I did come across a few Lang a week or two ago. I tried one is comparison with some Contorted/So, which can be pretty good fresh. By this point in the season, they were about the same. If anything, the Lang was slightly better, probably because it was half-way dry to start with, so it doesn’t get as off/slimy in storage.

But, I doubt that Lang will be better dried than many of the other varieties. Maybe the “multi-purpose” ones on NMSU are also good for drying, leaving only the “fresh eating” ones as unsuitable for some reason. But both Li and Shanxi Li are listed as “fresh eating” and seem fine for drying. Better than fine even, as their large size cuts down on processing.

I haven’t finished going through the fridge and will be sure to dry any more Lang that I find.

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I’m going to declare this batch done, even though the middles aren’t entirely dried. Still seem pretty good to me. I’ll store them in bottles in the fridge just in case.

The one thing which needs more time is the large whole jujubes. I tried one (a Shanxi Li) and it was only somewhat dried after 16 hours at 125F (last 4 hours at 130F).

One interesting finding is that I like dried Chico better than the others I’ve samples so far. That is noteworthy because NMSU lists Chico as “fresh eating” and because I wasn’t thrilled with Chico when it was fresh. It was OK, but not very juicy.

When dried, my daughter and I both thought that Chico had more flavor than the Li. My wife said Li was sweeter, though neither of us agreed- I think she is confusing “less acid” with “sweeter”, as at least some of the tart comes through with Chico.

I bet Texas Tart would make very good dried fruit, as it has a far sharper flavor than Chico. But TT are so small, it wouldn’t be worth it to remove the pits. Maybe I should be breeding a large-fruited sour jujube.

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This is some amazing information! I’m about to put in an order for my first Jujubes, a honey jar and a sugar cane, sometime this week. based on your info I’ll probably also try and get a black sea to start.

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Thank you! Appreciate all of the info. Just planted my first 2 jujube bareroots, edible landscaping suggested honey jar and sugar cane so went with that. I asked them about Ga66 and they said it produces prolifically for them and they didnt notice any issues. But he was nice enough not to sell it to me :wink:

Not trying to advertise for edible landscaping but their bare roots are pretty big. Sugarcane was over 5 ft and honey jar at 4 with good roots, $50 each.

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Their jujube trees come from Dave Wilson wholesale nursery in California, the largest producer of grafted jujube trees in the US. Dave Wilson is large enough to make sure that all of their trees are pretty good. Many nurseries sell the Dave Wilson trees. These are the jujube trees Dave Wilson produces -

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I just went to their web site and only see 1gal and 7gal options, and the 1gal won’t ship until May 2023. When did you get the bare rooted ones from them? Thanks.

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Call them, and ask for bare roots. They are actively planting so I would call quickly before they are all planted. I got it last week.

Too late, just called and they already potted them up and won’t be available until May.

For anyone looking for a sugar cane jujube, I just found Stark Bro’s is selling 3-4’ bare root for $34.99, add some small item to get it over $35 for free shipping. Unfortunately, I just received a sugar cane from Womack for $80 including shipping, wish I had waited…still looking for a decently priced honey jar jujube though.

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The easy solution is to buy a sugar cane and contorted for $70 shipped and graft the top of one

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I thought of that but honey jar scion wood also seems very scarce online.

Fruitwood Nursery is sold out of Honey Jar already but you could look for next December when they start sales again or select the Notify Me link. You would have a season of growth before then.

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I bought all of my jujube scions from Cliff England. Just received a package from him. I wonder when is the time to graft them. It’s still cold here, low 40s and high is about 62.