Jujubes- my new Adventure


No squirrels issue with jujube so far maybe the thorns that they don’t like. You can’t go wrong with that good line up.



For me, so far, squirrels have not paid attention to jujubes. I think because peaches, plums and apples are more attractive to them, juicier, more fragrant, etc.

If they have nothing to eat, I believe they would prefer jujubes to acorn. Of the three trees you mentioned. I like HJ, (and Sugar Cane) more than Shanxi Li. I plan to water all my jujubes more this year hopefully it would improve the taste esp. of a rather dry Shanxi Li.

For productivity, it’s SC, HJ and. shanxi Li (quite behind the first two).

I just planted So last year. It is flowering now. The tree has not shown much contortion yet.

People with more experience of the three varieties you are interested in like @jujubemulberry, @tonyOmahaz5, @BobVance, @scottfsmith, etc., would be able to give you much better answers.


I didn’t measure, but I think it was 1.5’ to 2’. I did it in my usual way- making the hole first by jabbing a 6’ iron bar into the ground. Once it is deep enough, the metal post slides in. Then, I packed fist-sized wedge-shaped rocks on each side of the post and drive them in with the heavy iron bar. It makes the post reasonably solid at holding up the tree, but not too hard to remove (unlike if cement was used) if I need to pull it up someday. In fact, that’s what I did with this post. I needed one right away (can’t let one of my babies fall over…), so I went and pulled up a post I used support a tarp a few winters ago. It came right out when I pulled straight upwards.

It can be hard to make the hole here as well. This time I got lucky. When I started making the hole, I hit rock about 6" down. But when I wiggled the pole to the side, I got around the rock and the bar practically fell another foot. It also means that there is a rock along one side of the post, which will help support it.

I have trouble with animals eating practically everything in my yard. Squirrels, raccoon, chipmunks, birds, etc. I’ve noticed very few, if any jujube disappearing. Of course, now that I say that they will become something’s favorite snack.

I’m a fan of Honey Jar and So, but I’m not sold on Shanxi Li yet. While I’ve gotten a few fruit, it doesn’t seem to produce for me the way the other 2 do. And when it did make a few fruit (from 2 different trees), they were medium-small and not that impressive (less crisp).

I don’t have a ton of experience with most of the other varieties, but Sugar Cane and Massandra have both produced very tasty fruit. I’ve been planting a lot of trees in several different places (all in SW CT), so maybe I’ll be able to give you a better answer in a few years.


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.


Yes, I should have included, rabbits, groundhog, and skunks. In the last year, deer have come in a few times too. The birds were my most recent nemesis, chowing down on my boysenberries. I managed to save 1.5 pints from them, which I mixed with sour cherries from the farmers market (birds ate all mine) to make a batch of jam. I should call it “Bird’s Delight”.

Nope- it’s all from my oldest jujube, planted from JFaE in fall 2011. I have other So/Contorted (2016:2 from JFaE and 1 from Sanhedrin, 2018: 2 from Englands and 1 from Bay Laurel) but none of them has produced fruit yet.

I think all my seedlings are from So. Though part of that is the relative abundance of So fruit and thus seeds. I know that some of them have the zig-zag growth, but I haven’t paid too much attention yet. I’ll care more when they can start producing fruit :slight_smile:

Mine has always had the more round version. Maybe the inconsistency is indicative that it is weather/climate which is driving the shape? That would also explain why my Shanxi Li are smaller and narrower. Eventually, the So from the 3 other sources will produce (hopefully) and I can compare all 3. But it takes a while here.


thanks for verifying, as that whittles down the possible permutations. All need to do is graft burntridge’s contorted to the same SC where i grafted your budwood, and wait if burntridge’s fruits will stubbornly retain its characteristics or if it will ultimately develop the quality and characteristics of fruits from your budwood.

so for now, looking to determine whether or not the bigger and rounder fruits will be considerably different in taste and quality relative to burntridge’s. Our jujus should be ripening at about this time, but the darned late frost and cooldowns we had early this year delayed our juju’s leafing out a month late :smirk:


Haha- I’m happy to see fruit setting, let alone ripening. I was pretty excited the other day to see some Chico sets for the first time in a 2016 tree from Burnt Ridge.


you got me there…
totally guilty of whining about a once in a decade late frost/protracted cooldown – the desert denizen typing this :grin:
i hope you agree though that am not totally incapable of empathy, as am at least as excited as you are about your chico fruitlets! It is an excellent juju with an amazing marriage of sweet and tart, especially when ripened in cooler weather. It is not an apple, but at its prime it is the sweetest apple you will ever come across.


Other than Honey Jar, which jujubes do you think taste the best for fresh eating?


Sihong, Sugarcane, Autumn Beauty, and Li


as @tonyOmahaz5 replied, and will add to his a few more: chico, black sea, winter delight, priest, r4t3, la fleur.

taste is quite subjective and an individual thing though, apart from being influenced by climate/soil conditions, so probably best to try growing or grafting as many cultivars which may suit your preferences. Will also be determined by how productive they will be in your climate.


England’s did a recent Facebook post on staking their jujubes, noting that they have shallow root systems. I had never heard that before.


That’s interesting. I know for sure I need to stake Shanxi Li. May need to stake the other two in ground, too.


I may count chicken when they have just hatched. But I am excited to see signs of tiny fruit from my new varieties this year: Autumn Beauty, Dong Zao, Jin, Massandra and So. Not sure if any of those fruit will hang on but one can only hope.

I also have fruit from HJ, SC, and Shaxi Li.


I will follow your report of Chico. I’d like to know if they will ripen in time in our zone. Ripening time is one of big factors I take into considering when acquiring new varieties. What the point of growing something that will not ripen in time for me, right?

Glad there are more and more people growing jujubes and we have more input from people from various climates and locations.


It’s only when they are ripe that they have hatched, You’re still counting chickens before they’ve hatched :slight_smile:

I think the 10+ days of hot sunny weather we had recently helped the set a lot. Hopefully the week of off and on rain we’re in now doesn’t make them drop.

I just checked and was happy to see fruit on Sugar Cane, GI-762, Dong, Bok Jo, and September Late. The last 2 were new grafts last year on an old bust small Sugar Cane which was dwarfed by spending years in a pot. I grafted them at suckers near the ground and they shot up quite a bit and are almost as tall as the host tree now, making a nice bush form.

The old So is covered in fruit now. I need to spend some re-identifying the grafts on my big So (barely readable tags, etc)- I bet that there are some other interesting varieties fruiting too, given that I grafted so many on there over the years. The Honey Jar graft (I know that one from memory…) is particularly dense with fruit.

I’ll let you (and everyone!) know. But, I bet they will be fine- there is still plenty of time left.


It is an adventure, alright!,

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that a branch of SC started to wilt. Now, it is on the way out. Not sure why. The rest of the tree appears healthy.

I cut a top part of this branch off. The cross section still had green cambium. It’s not dry or brown.

Anyone know how common is this occurrance, please?


Not sure why but once in a while my Sugarcane had just a few long leaves dried up. I just removed them. No big issue.



This is a whole branch so it is a bit disturbing. Hopefully, it is not diseased that was contagoius.


Tippy, that would be very upsetting. Any weed whacking going on there by mistake? It looks like shock. Check the entire branch for a cut . So sorry!!!