Jujubes- Our New Adventure

I’m about 7 miles from the sea, so we will not be as hot as Sacramento or Las Vegas, but we share the same dry heat, so less bugs, no spraying for anything.


Believe it or not, I read this whole thread from the beginning to the end, but it’s such a long thread, I really forgot what I read, lol.
Anyway this morning I sent Cliff an email ordering 5 scions, Orange Beauty, Dong Zao, Bok Jo, Black Sea, Massandra. He said Dong Zao might be dead, so I ordered 4 only. This will give me some practice at grafting. Plus I plant to graft HJ, GA-866, and Shanxi Li. I like all of these varieties.
When OGW opens up for ordering, I will get Empress Gee, Autumn Beauty, and maybe Winter Delight. Still debating on Winter Delight.


It will be interesting to see how GA866 does for you. In Sacramento County it didn’t get enough heat, or maybe it was the occasional cool nights from Delta breezes that messed it up, but even in a good year at least 1/4 or 1/3 of the fruit never ripened properly. It needs a LOT of heat to mature the fruit properly and reach peak sugar levels. And without high sugar levels it’s a very mediocre jujube.

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This is my first year with GA-866, I did pick some brown ones early one, but lately even the green ones are pretty tasty, so I ate them too. Anyway I still have 3 small ones out there. This year I had maybe 15-24 fruit already. I need to know how to cut it back, it has a tall shoot, might topple the container if I don’t cut the top off.

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Mine was a very erect grower too.

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Now, there are at least a few other long jujube threads to brush up on…








So, you are 2676 down and 6617 to go!

The last one is the smallest at 59, but I highly respect the guy who started it and made most of the posts in it, so I included it :slight_smile:

Uh-oh. I thought it just needed a lot of sun and heat to set, not to ripen. If she has trouble, I’m in an even worse situation. If it is a late variety, it could be 35-40F at night by the time it (kind of) ripens in late October. Well, I should find out soon.

At a rental, I noticed something was nibbling on a few Russia #2. You can see one in the upper left of the pic.

Wider pic of the same Russia #2:

The fruit have a bit of a blush. I don’t think they are ripe, but maybe soon. The 2 Russia #2 / Black Sea at my house don’t have the same blush, so I’m not sure what is causing it.


Thanks Bob, more threads to read, yay!
Before I discovered Growing fruit, I almost bought Sherwood from Raintree nursery, now I’m glad I didn’t.
But I have a hard limit here, only 10 containers for jujube trees, and they have to be in containers otherwise they take over my yard. I’ve been told they pop up even further away from the original plant.

I have a couple Sherwood trees which have finally (planted 2016) become fruitful this year. This pic may not seem like a heavy fruitset, but I’m pretty happy with it compared to 1-2 fruit on the entire tree (last year) and none before that.

When I first realized that jujube could be good (not like the spongy 10 brix junk Chinatown was selling), I ordered some from Roger Meyers (it could have been from Shirley the year after he died). One of the boxes they sent me had a lot of Sherwood fruit in it. It wasn’t bad, but the dense crunch wasn’t as good as the Honey Jar I was getting off my own tree. But, it isn’t necessarily fair to compare fruit grown in a different climate and shipped across the country, so I am still looking forward to trying it again. Though not as much as I am looking forward to Sandia and Dong…


I got some pics today which illustrate this.

Here’s a pic of 4 Russia #2 grafts. One was Large, while the other 3 were medium-thin to very-thin. The 3 smallest didn’t grow at all, while the “large” one added over 3 feet of vertical growth.

4 Russia #2 grafts:

On the same tree, there were 3 Black Sea grafts. 2 "Thin"s and a Medium-Large. The ML grew several feet and the 2 thin ones are still the same size.

3 Black Sea grafts:

This tree was my attempt to test to see if Black Sea and Russia #2 were actually the same cultivar. As professor Yao did a genetic test and found that they are identical, it eliminates the value of my test, so I can graft over part of this next spring if I need the space for something new.

This site is a bit interesting, as the backyard needed mowing after 9 days (of no rain), while the front almost looks like a desert with even weeds struggling to grow. I should have put a jujube in the front to compare. But, I guess I’ll need to content myself with comparing the impact on apricots (2 in front, 2 in back). If the apricots at this site are like the ones at my house, I’ll be able to replace them with jujubes in 2-3 years when they die one by one…I remember hearing from Alan that apricots seem fine at some sites and regularly die at others, so I planted some at a couple rentals last spring to see if I get lucky with either.

The 3 jujubes are in the better watered area:

They get good sun (early morning until late afternoon) for most of the year. The sun has started to get lower and they lost sun around 5pm today.


Why do you stake the trees?

They tend to fall over when I don’t. Here are some from last year that leaned over after a storm. I was able to stake them up and all 3 have grown well and are producing at least some jujubes this year.


The tree on the far left has done particularly well. Here’s a pic from a few days ago of the fruit on it. Note the post on the right. Without the post, this much fruit might pull the tree over, even without a storm.

So, most of the time I put in a post with the tree. For some reason, I skipped it at this site in 2020 and found myself adding the post in 2021. I like to add it at planting, as I can avoid the major roots and get it very close to the trunk. That way I can support the tree evenly, as opposed to having more distance, which can bend the tree and increase the chance of it snapping under heavy load (mostly a theoretical concern at this point, but could increase with heavier bearing).

Cliff England also recommends to stake jujubes:

He didn’t know it at the time, but 2019 was his peak jujube year (at least for a while- he planted more this summer), as the next spring he lost most of his trees to 2 very late freezes (spaced widely enough that the trees started to recover in between).

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My trees would never be as productive as yours. Hopefully, without such fruitloads, my non-staked trees will hold up.

You are further inland, but could still get a windstorm or hurricane. You may be able to avoid staking for now, but if you ever have a fruit load and a big storm together, you may want to put some in quick…

What a difference a year makes. Look at how green and tall that grass is in the leaning pic, which was taken a year ago yesterday. There are now big dead areas in that lawn and none of the grass is really growing. It’s been almost a month since I’ve mowed it. The only green areas are now little circles around the jujubes where I water.

This may be obvious, but the only way I know of to add a post after the tree is in ground is to use a digging bar (about 5’ long and pretty heavy). Pick a spot and keep jabbing with the pointed end, while working it back and forth slightly (and hope you don’t hit a big rock too quick, which makes me start over in a different spot). Once you are deep enough, slide the post in and then wedge rocks around the post at ground level and drive them in with the flat end until it is secure. Or you could use cement, but rocks work pretty well and aren’t quite as permanent.

I moved some recently which had been in-ground for 7+ years and the only way I could extract them (short of a lot of digging), was to use a strap wrench and keep twisting, while gradually working it up.

Last year, we had a very wet year that ruined eating quality of my peaches and caused a lot of rotting of my nectarines.

Thus year is the opposite.

Since it has been so dry, I went overboard and overwatered my jujubes a few days ago by leaving the hose on too long. Now I start to see cracking on some Sugar Cane. HJ and Shanxi Li have not cracked yet.

Sugar Cane is probably the closest to ripening, which makes it more susceptible to cracking. Have you been watering them regularly (weekly?) or is this the first time in a while? I’ve been giving mine a lot of water (like you, possibly too much when distracted), but haven’t noticed any cracking. I’ve actually been watering some of the ones in my yard even more often- every ~3 days recently for the some (the ones closest to where I water potted plants). I’ve made a particular effort to water the very large So, which has a massive crop. Even with a generally moist year last year, a portion of the crop was dry/spongy, while others were good. It is carrying such a heavy load, it could have higher water requirements.

I have watered these trees (on raised beds) once every 7-10 days depending on when I remember to do it. I am often distracted when I am in the garden.

Shanxi Li got the most water the last round but has had no cracked fruit. Besides ripening later, I think Shanxi Li’s spongier texture helps prevent (or lessen likelihood of) the fruit from cracking.

Cracked Sugar Cane.

Shanxi Li does not cracked easily but it does this a lot, brown up and dried up after the fruit sizing up for a while.


Looks like they are getting close to ripe- you can see the brown circle around the stem. Maybe another week and you will start to see some brown on other parts of the fruit. As soon as that happens, I start picking. Later in the season, I can be a bit more patient for the brown to cover the whole surface…

Yup- rather than setting fewer fruit, Shanxi Li sets a lot, then drops a bunch. But is it carrying more than it was last year at this time? I’m pretty sure that mine is. Could be related to the extra sun, but I think that it being older is a big part too.

While I have posts for most of my jujube, I noticed one today which is missing one and is starting to lean a bit.

Honey Jar (own roots) leaning:

You can’t see it too well from the pic, but there is a lot of fruit on it.

In your last 2 pics, I see a lot of open lawn. Is that your neighbor’s yard? If it is yours, you could fit a lot more jujube :slight_smile:

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My Shanxi Li set more fruit each year but “more fruit” for Shanxi Li is still noticeably fewer fruit than HJ or SC at the age.

The lawn belongs to my neighbor. My row of fruit trees are grown right on the border line. My neighbors (husband and wife) can easy pick fruit from branches go over to their lawn which my 7 fruit trees on that row do. They never do and never complain. I share my fruit and veggies with them.

In my town, 80 % of home owners do not have fence. For those who do, many are natural fences like rows of forsythias or other greeneries. All but one house in my neighborhood have no fence. The one that has, they want to keep their dog in.

A lot of rain?? Until today, there hasn’t been much rain at all, at least from mid-June on. There was one day in July (7/19, I think) where we had 3" of rain. Then maybe 2 more 0.3" sprinklings over the next 1.7 month. Then over the last day and a bit, I’ve gotten another 4+ inches of rain. Some of the rentals only got 3", most got about 4" and my house got over 4.5".

And there is a spot not that far away in long island sound with 8.5". Even more impressive, I see a spot just west of Providence RI with 13.5".

I went out for a few minutes earlier tonight and while everything was (very) wet, I didn’t see any cracking yet.

I’m also worried that there could be branch breaking, due the additional weight of the water, on top of the already heavy fruit load. Right before the rain, I tied up one such branch (a Bok Jo), but I’m sure there are plenty of others. I passed by another Bok Jo which seemed that it was leaning a bit, but not much I can do about it, as it is supported about 8’ up and there isn’t any more post for the top 6-7’ of branch. I need to make sure to shorten ones like that during the winter. Well, it is always good to have more Bok Jo scionwood :slight_smile:

Yesterday, before the rain, I noticed a few ripe Sugar Cane. They were contained on only 1 small branch. I wonder if it is a limb-sport, given that the rest of the tree has only green fruit. The ripe fruit is smaller than most of the fruit on the tree. It was good, crisp, crunch, 27 brix and no after-taste I could detect (that Sugar Cane sometimes has). A few of the fruit were slightly less crisp, but still good.

The branch: