i can’t say everyone initially naive to jujubes learn to like them on the first try(myself included–but i blame it on store-bought jujus i got initiated to, and not homegrown), but like your accounts i have similar results with my homegrown fruits, as the feedbac is surprisingly positive for most i introduced the fruits to. Even more exciting is that they are looking forward to plant their own trees, having learned that jujus are extremely fruitful yet 100% pesticide-free and require little water and thrive on neglect. If i were a billionaire, i will buy everyone who has a yard a jujube tree. A grafted juju is generally more expensive than other fruit trees, but bearing fruits more nutritious than oranges and kiwis, and for several hundred years, the initial cost and the minimal upkeep(if any), already paid for itself in exponential terms.
probably for the younger generations to appreciate, who are likely subject to more challenging droughts, blights, fruit moths, late frosts, etc.
My exposure to eating them has been somewhat limited, and maybe thats the issue. I had some fruit off a tree in my growers nursery that was either Lang or Lee I think. Spongy and dry. Ive bought some from the Asian grocery and they havent been much better.
So what cultivars are the ones worth eating?
Get a Honey Jar. It has texture like an apple and taste like a date.
Lang is supposed to be for drying, so that could be why it wasn’t any good fresh. I also remember Roger Meyers saying that if they are short of water, they take it from the fruit, so you may need irrigate to keep them at their best. A third thing to remember is to pick them before they are 100% brown/red. Once they get to that stage, they start to dry on the tree. They are interesting dried (my wife likes them a lot that way), but I much prefer them fresh. Dried, they are like a big raisin.
My wife used to get them from the Asian grocery store all the time and they were horrid. 10-12 brix and spongy. I planted the first tree mostly for her, not expecting to want any for myself. But, getting crisp fruit with 22-30 brix makes a big difference.
So (a dwarfing variety with zig-zag branches) was the first one I planted and the fruit has been very good. That is what I was giving out to co-workers, as it is the only one I got more than a handful from. Sugar Cane and Honey Jar both gave me samples for the first time this year. Both were very good and crisp, with SC being a bit less dense, Both were 25+ brix.
Scott, I remember you saying good things about ShangXi Li. I know it is supposed to be bigger than most others. How does the taste/texture compare to Honey Jar?
explains your stance towards jujus.
li and lang are the most common varieties for now, and what lowe’s and home depot, and most other nurseries sell, so it goes without saying that the fruits being sold in most asian grocery stores aren’t the good ones.
lang, most especially is a curse when eaten fresh!
Li jujube tree in Greensboro, NC (photos from a friend)
Another photo of the same tree.
The Greensboro friend that sent these photos to me wrote: “I think the photos should put to rest any doubt that jujubes are difficult to grow around us. Besides cutting back the suckers that grow around the base, we do absolutely nothing with our Li Jujube.” The tree doesn’t belong to him, but I think he’s been harvesting fruit from it for about three years.
My latest guess as to why others in the eastern US haven’t had the best fruit set is that trees just need to reach a certain size and level of maturity before they fruit heavily. I did get a similarly full crop as the Li in the photos from my Sherwood tree this year, which I planted as a second year from grafting tree in the fall of 2008. My Li is younger than my Sherwood and hasn’t give me a lot of fruit yet, but the quality has been excellent.
awesome pics and provenance!
quite amazing that li is just as fruitful in moist and humid regions as they are in desert conditions. And i agree, jujus fruits improve in taste as the trees get bigger. Radically better on a year-to-year basis, sometimes.
Thats “music to my eyes”
While Greensboro is not Maryland it means I can do better. My trees are 12 years old but I think they lacked sun where I had them. I already have one new jujube in a sunny spot and hope to get several more going for next year.
My take on most reliable varieties at this point is Li, Redlands, So, and Honey Jar are all pretty good of the fresh-eating ones.
Great paper. I might try them next summer.
was wondering if you have pictures of your sherwood tree and/or sherwood fruits. Please pardon my curiosity and just ignore this request if you’re not up to it, it is just that quite intrigued sherwood is productive over there, and with fruits less appealing than li’s.
I thought I had taken pictures, and I tried to find them yesterday, but apparently I never did. My Sherwood was terribly unproductive until this year, but it was covered in fruit this year. My Lang, for comparison, which was planted about the same time, started giving modest crops three or four years ago, and it has cropped pretty consistently, but it hasn’t ever been covered in fruit like the Sherwood this year. The Lang is sometimes really good for fresh eating, by the way. It seems to vary pretty randomly, even with fruit picked at the same time, but I definitely enjoy Lang as a fresh eating type. It’s very different from Li (which seems similar in type to my one taste of Sugarcane), but I’ve definitely enjoyed it and would want to include it in a mix of fresh eating types. Even the best Sherwood I had – at the very end of the season they did sweeten up a little better – isn’t something I’d ever want if I could choose a Li instead.
Nice to see all these Jujube photos.
I’ve moved and left my multi grafted Jujube. I took cuttings in attempt to regraft the varieties I got but the scions weren’t in good condition, I pruned them in dead of winter and didn’t survive.
At my new place I planted 3 trees so far, Coco, Shanxi Li, Silverhill (which I plan to change over to something better) I did plant one by my dad’s place and his was loaded.
So Jujube is worth growing in cold climate, considering you have long enough season to ripen the crop and hot summers will certainly help.
Looking for some scions of other varieties if anyone has to trade?
that you actually have lang–it just made me even more curious, and i apologize in advance…
am beginning to suspect the vendor may have mislabeled lang as sherwood and vice-versa. Considering the discrepancy in taste(sherwoods are supposedly much better tasting than lang), and considering that both are nearly thornless, and that sherwood will bear a good amount of pear-shaped fruits per crop, which is the standard shape of lang. Sherwoods are quite unique–they come in many shapes, and will bear slender fruits just as will also bear pear-shaped ones.
of course this is all hypothetical, as there’s a higher probability your sherwoods and langs are true-to-label but simply half-way in readiness/maturity of producing their best fruits, which explains the taste-discrepancy.
I have noticed in this forum, the trees that seem to produce well grow in areas with alkaline soils. My soil is neutral to acidic, with only Silverhill producing a sizable crop. This fall, I have limed some of my other varieties, and will be adding wood ashes (for the potassium), to see if low fruit set has any relationship to soil pH.
Let us know how it turns out. This jujube report
states that it doesn’t effect fruit set, but thats just one opinion.
QUESTION: I noticed this year that my Li, Ant Admirer, Ga-866, and Sugar Cane all flowered very sparingly, and hence, set very few fruit. On the other hand, my Silverhill produced an abundance of blooms AND FRUIT, and is still producing blooms two weeks after the others have stopped. My question is this: In areas that those varieties produce amply fruit, do they ALSO produce ample blooms? Is there a linear relationship between the number of blooms and the number of fruit? Also, the Silverhill flowers glisten with nectar; I didn’t see much nectar on the others.
It’s been my experience more blooms usually means more fruit; but sometimes lots of blooms mean no fruit. My Winter Delight and Shihong and Li are covered with flowers, I normally get lots of fruit. My Tigertooth, probably the same as your Silverhill, has the most flowers of all and usually provides the most fruit, albeit mediocre. My GA866 has almost no flowers and in 7 years I’ve gotten 1 fruit. Otoh my Sugarcane normally flowers a lot but doesn’t produce a lot.
There was a poster in Oklahoma 7-8 years ago that claimed he got no fruit from his 2-3 trees until he added ashes and they then bore profusely. Timing? Or a mineral deficiency?