Jujubes- Our New Adventure

They grow temporary branches every year that all either fall off on their own or with a little help. I’m not in the PNW, but I’d guess you just need to wait a little longer.

I think it’s too early to get worried.

We had a mild winter even by Las Vegas standards. Some of my trees (pears) have fully leafed out already, and my kaki persimmons are about halfway there. The jujubes are always more sedate. Contorted (So) was first to break bud, followed by my Honey Jars, which are currently unfurling leaves, but my two Chico jujubes are only just waking up now, despite almost two months of spring weather:

I also grow jujubes in Georgia, and they can sometimes take as long as mid-April to start opening buds. Given your location, I think you’re okay.

3 Likes

Last year I planted more than one seed per pot and let all of them grow.

I was planning to take scionwood from the larger ones and graft them this spring. But most are a bit too small. I did take wood from the two largest (seedlings from Early Golden Crisp and Bing Tang) and will give that a try.

A tenant who used to have a garden moved out (he bought a house), so I’m now using part of the area to for some of the seedlings. After he left last fall, I put a bunch of leaves into it, to keep any weeds down. So, now I’ve planted 20 seedlings in a 4x10 area.

Here’s 3 Sugar Cane seedlings which were growing in a 2 gal pot. It was a bit of work to separate the roots…

Gentle persistence allowed me to get everything separated without losing too much root.

While OK, those roots were smaller than some of the seedlings from larger pots.

Here is the largest seedling, an Early Golden Crisp which I cut the top half off for scionwood.

It was one of 9 seedlings growing in a 4-5 gallon pot.

In addition to what I planted in-ground, I also separated another pot of seedlings and planted each of the 4 in separate pots.

9 Likes

Those look great!! I’m always amazed at how fast those roots can grow. I haven’t planted mine yet this spring. We’ve still been kinda cool. I have about 10 in pots where I was proofing my seed and got about 50-60% germination from the varieties I was checking out. Maybe next weekend or the weekend after. Because mine are all outside I like to wait for warm weather

2 Likes

Those seedlings have impressive roots indeed. I barely keep my two seedlings alive never, dozens and dozens like Bob does.

1 Like

This is the first time I’ve taken a seedling from the previous year and bare-rooted it. I was pleasantly surprised how well I was able to separate them. I don’t think I could have if they had grown another year that way.

The biggest one came from the first planting of the spring, on 5/14/23. I kept planting into mid July, but the ones from May were the biggest by the end of the growing season.

I guess I should start some more now and see how they compare to the ones I planted in December and January under the lights.

I’m sure you’ve got plenty of seedlings in pots from past years. That’s one of the things I need to take care of this week- prep a full sun area to hold the pots. By prepping, I mean clearing the weeds and putting down cardboard to keep things clear.

The big grey pot from last May 14th had 9 seedlings from the 10 seeds that were planted. Early Golden Crispy had good germination. The other 4 pots (2 Sugar Cane and 2 Bing Tang) I emptied were 13/19 = 68%, so 50-60% isn’t unreasonable.

The lows in the next 10 days are all in the 40’s, so I think it is time I start moving a few plants out.

I’ve killed plenty of seedlings as well- I just planted more so that some survived :slight_smile:

4 Likes

Some varieties I get better germination. My SiHong seeds don’t look good this year and more of them are bad. Even so I had 50% germinate. Xu Zhou has been known to have very poor rate of producing plants but I got 6 out of 10 seedlings growing from the test. Honey Jar I did not test…. It usually gives me a 90% return without fail.

I have so many from last year to repot. Too much to do….not enough time.

2 Likes

@mamuang I’ve also killed a lot of seedlings. Sometimes you gotta make those mistakes to learn something. Trouble is…. I have trouble remembering what I did wrong!!!:expressionless::flushed::joy:

3 Likes

Hey when are folks grafting jujubes these days? I usually wait until the green nubs are nice and big, but no leaves per se showing yet (small leaves are also OK, like 1-1.5"). Thats where my trees are today so I did some grafts. The temps will also be in the 60s for the next week so that also is my memory of a good temp range. All my jujube grafting has been near 100% takes except one year when I only had like 1/3 take. I don’t know what I did wrong that year.

I did most of the grafts today and will do some more in a week or so to compare.

3 Likes

Scott,
I have grafted jujubes when the trees are at the same stage of development you described. Most of my grafts have been successful the year they were grafted. However, some died the following, esp. those grafted on small branches.

A few of them died two years after grafting. It is quite odd.

3 Likes

I also cleft grafted my jujube when the rootstock leafed out like an inch or so with the temperature in the upper 60s with very high percent of take. I do have some small jujube grafts died the following year after a real cold winter.

Tony

1 Like

Any tricks or best approaches when grafting jujube? I transplanted an Autumn Beauty that I then thought had died but it’s now showing signs of life. In the meantime I bought a Sugar Cane that I now don’t have any room for… my idea was to graft a branch from Sugar Cane onto my Autumn Beauty, and also graft one onto the Sugar Cane and just sell it (I’d just return it but the nursery was a bit of a drive).

So is your sugar cane a whip or does it have branches on it? And is it dormant or waking up?

It has branches up to but maybe not quite a half cm thick or so. The AB is about a cm thick. The AB just started to swell green at the node and the SC is just slightly further along.

You could attempt it but normally we use dormant scion collected in winter to graft. Maybe someone else could chime in on the probability of take.

@BobVance @jujubemulberry @castanea

Your probably going to need the sugarcane to cross pollinate with the Autumn Beauty and the limb grafted would do it but I don’t know the probability of a take with non dormant scion.

my ‘take’ is that if the scionwood haven’t unfurled actual foliage, then the higher the success rate even if already swelling at the bud.
if already leafed out, i will cut marjority of leaves and maybe just retain a small leaf and let vegetative growth commence from the still nascent apical bud.

2 Likes

forgot to say, the shorter the scionwood, the higher the success rate(as long as the bud is intact)

2 Likes

I start earlier, at the end of March or the first week of April. I checked last year and it was 3/24, while this year was 3/29. I’ve done 65 jujube grafts so far, while last year had 232.

I took growth measurements over the fall/winter, but haven’t actually updated the spreadsheet. I’ll have to do that to see if my suspicion that earlier grafting leads to more growth is supported by the numbers.

In the grafts I was making yesterday, I noticed that the bark was slipping fine, even though I don’t see any green buds yet.

2 Likes

One: I don’t think I’ve ever seen the bark not slip on jujubes anytime I’m grafting

Two: some of mine are blooming!

1 Like

I think I start grafting in the spring just before bark is slipping. When I look at stats, I’ll need to keep in mind that there aren’t any bark grafts in my first rounds of grafts. It isn’t my preferred graft anyway, with only 28/232 (12%) bark grafts and almost all the rest being cleft grafts.

It will be June before my jujubes bloom!

3 Likes