Loquat trees - Grafting new varieties - video


#1

I have several loquat trees. I love the tree and the exquisite taste of the fruit and already had lots of good local varieties.

A few years ago I bought 8 Tanaka and 8 Algerie loquats grafted in quince. Unfortunately the Spanish nursery i bought them from messed up and send me a few Magdal loquats, mixed in, instead of what i requested.
To be fair i gave these a few production years but this variety isn’t as good as the others.

So, when i could get my hands on a few scions of other recognized good varieties, like Buenet and Redonet, i decided to graft a few of my Magdal loquats with them. Here are the steps needed to change varieties in established loquat trees.

Now, if only i could get my hands on some Rolhão II (wonderful old Portuguese variety) and Italiano I (the best Italian loquat variety) scions, i would be a happy man.

A link to a very good description of some of these Loquat varieties (unfortunately its in Spanish - if someone wants something specific translated, let me know)
Loquat Varieties Description - in Spanish

Its a shame that a great percentage of of the Loquat we are seeing in stores is the variety Golden Nugget (of Californian origin). Spain is a big producer of Loquat and in the last few years is changing a great percentage of their orchards from Algerie and Tanaka to Golden Nugget. That variety was selected as its much less prone to develop the brown skin spots (sun burn spots) that this fruit usually shows and that costumers apparently don’t favor, preferring to buy the clear skin fruits.
These spots don’t affect in the slightest way the taste of the fruit (i find that they even enrich it), although they might reduce the shelf life of the product (these areas are the first ones to decay). On the other hand, that clear skin variety is almost completely tasteless compared to any of the other varieties usually cultivated.

Sometimes, i have a few visitors and give them some loquats to taste. They initially say that they don’t care much for this fruit (they are used to the bland, tasteless variety they find in the supermarkets). After they taste a few of the varieties i grow, they rediscover this fruit and are surprised at the complex taste - that mix of acidity and sweetness of the traditional varieties, is hard to beat.

This only shows that we (the human species) are very funny as a society. We prefer looks over taste and the farmer industry gives us what we want. And after enough time has passed young people don’t even know how those fruits used to taste, so everything is fine.


#2

I like Loquats … but they won’t work in Kentucky. (Unless you have an indoor area with lots of light and no drying heat…like for limes and lemons).


#3

The trees have quite cold hardy (unlike many other sub-tropical species), the problem is that they flower and fruit through the winter so, without a greenhouse type space, in colder regions they will remain only an ornamental tree.

While searching this topic of protecting the trees i found a curious experience on trying to maintain loquat fruits in colder environments. Don’t think its very practical tough.


#4

A member asked this question:
" I have some loquat seedlings that I want to graft high quality scion onto. I just watched your video. Another member of this forum is willing to send me some scion, but we were wondering when we should do this. I’m in Georgia, 8B. He’s in Florida and his trees are blooming right now.

I also have head high Gold Nugget and Vista trees. I take it from your post that it might be a good idea to graft one of the Gold Nuggets over to something else."

Because the tree is an evergreen theoretically you can graft it in any season has long as the grafts are protected from bad weather but, if i were you, i would wait until Spring.
That way the grafts won’t be affected by cold and there is a much higher probability they will take. I graft mine in the end of February, beginning of March when the trees have a growth spur. You will have to adjust as i am in zone 9a.

Ideally, the scions should have an apical bud and can be sent by mail, wrapped individually in kitchen film, in a padded envelope. The best grafting techniques over here are whip and tongue and lateral subcortical and independently of the grafting technique the grafts should be protected from dehydration using parafilm and from the sun using aluminium foil (for the first couple of weeks, until the break bud).

I would graft one of the Golden Nugget with a better tasting variety but keep in mind that conditions have a great importance in the taste of any variety, so you might be lucky (I’ve only tasted Golden Nugget bought on the supermarket and its completely tasteless, but it could be due to the agricultural practices used, although the other supermarkets varieties sold here, like Argelie or Tanaka are better tasting.


#5

I’ve just found that Rolhão II and Italiano I are two varieties stored at a Spanish loquat germoplasm repository.

Italiano - I (copied from the file on this variety on that website and translated with google)

  1. Vegetative characteristics
    Very vigorous variety, semi-open bearing and an average of 3 side shoots per central bud.
    Approximately 88.5% and 29% of the central and lateral shoots, respectively, they are fruitful. Very productive variety.
    Large leaves, with spaced teeth. Middle apex shape and section corrugated cross
  2. Flowering
    Full flowering in the third week of November (10 days before ‘Algerie’).
    Intermediate panicle of moderately abundant flowering (average of 160 flowers / panicle), yellowish white color and a curd of 6.11%.
  3. Characteristics of the fruit
    Full ripening in the first week of May (1 days before ‘Algerie’).
    Flattened fruit, rounded cross section, rounded peduncular area, cavity of open calyx and flat apex. Both the skin and the pulp are orange.
    Average weight of 51.38 g, average size of 45.15 mm and thickness of the pulp of 11.26 mm. Easy peeling and very good flavor.
    Soluble solids: 12.10 ºBrix. Acidity: 7.77 g / l ac. malic Firmness: 0.85 Kg / cm2
    Seeds of oval shape, average weight of 1.68 g and an average of 4 seeds per fruit.

Rolhão II

  1. Vegetative characteristics
    Vigorous variety, open bearing and with a majority of 3 lateral buds per shoot central.
    100% of the central shoots are fruitful and 90% of the lateral shoots also they are. Very productive variety.
    Leaves of large size, with spaced teeth. Acute apex shape and section Transverse plane and curve.
  2. Flowering
    Full flowering in the second week of November (3 days after ‘Algerie’). Conical panicle with abundant flowering (average of 201 flowers / panicle), white and a fruit set of 6.17%.
  3. Characteristics of the fruit
    Full ripening in the first week of May (3 days after ‘Algerie’).
    Oval fruit, slightly angular cross section, obtuse peduncular area, cavity of the open calyx and concave apex. Both the skin and the pulp are colored orange.
    Average weight of 69.30 g, average size of 46.06 mm and thickness of the pulp of 11.25 mm. Easy peeling and good flavor.
    No incidence of purple spot and mottled and very light tendency to cracked.
    Soluble solids: 9.32 º Brix. Acidity: 10.30 g / l ac. malic Firmness: 1.03 Kg / cm2 Seeds of elliptical shape, average weight of 2.61 g and between 3 and 4 seeds per fruit. Marbled tegument.

Golden Nugget (as comparaison)

  1. Vegetative characteristics
    Very vigorous variety, semi-open bearing and an average of 3 side shoots per central bud.
    Approximately 83.5% and 27% of the central and lateral shoots, respectively, they are fruitful. Variety of low production.
    Large leaves, with spaced teeth. Middle apex shape and section transversal curve.
  2. Flowering
    Full flowering in the fourth week of November (7 days after ‘Algerie’).
    Panicle intermediate of abundant flowering (average of 189 flowers / panicle), colored
    white and a fruit set of 7.35%.
  3. Characteristics of the fruit
    Full ripening in the first week of May (1 day after ‘Algerie’).
    Oval fruit, rounded cross section, acute peduncular area, cavity open calyx and flat apex. Both the skin and the pulp are orange yellow.
    Average weight of 54.55 g, average size of 45.33 mm and pulp thickness of 9.96 mm. Easy peeling and mediocre flavor. Sensitive to mottling.
    Soluble solids: 10.96 º Brix.
    Acidity: 3.95 g / l ac. malic
    Firmness: 0.91 Kg / cm2

Seeds of rounded shape, average weight of 2.52 g and an average of 3 seeds per fruit.

Now i just have to find a way to charm them into sending me a few scions (which would be very difficult) as they only make them available to firms.

It’s a shame that i have to turn to another country when trying to obtain Portuguese varieties, as the local agricultural authorities that preserve and study Portuguese varieties, also don’t make them available to the public.
Here’s one of those collection in the Agricultural Department in Algarve (Pdf document with pictures)

It has several fruit types, and many (now) rare varietes of Loquat and Figs. All contacts to obtain cuttings failed. The reply is always the same - they are studying the varieties to see which ones have the best agronomic characteristics and only when the studies finish they will make them available to the nurseries and other firms, if they show interest in selling a few commercially.

Curiously, a few years ago, during the Economic crisis our country went through, a few of these collections were lost because, without money, some were neglected or the land was reclaimed from lack of pay.
If some of those varieties were in the hands of fruits enthusiasts they would have been preserved, but no, they were in the hands of the government specialists, so now they will have to try and find the original trees to collect more material, once again and, in some cases, the tree might not be there anymore.


#6

Two years ago a friend made me graft the loquat on aubepine.
I graft from June 20 to August 20.
I adapted the technique. The results, although grafted late, were very good.
To do this, I used a chainsaw, knives, a hammer and copper tip.

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#7

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#8

for the cooler areas, like me, the variety Rose Anne seems to give good results.

Another solution, the hybrid Coppertone has the distinction of blooming in the spring and fruit in October. So the fruits do not freeze.


#9

Nice grafts. Bark grafts is the grafting technique i like best when changing varieties in older trees, like apples and pears. As the scions of loquat i received were so tender i wouldn’t dream of using them with this graft type, though.

An example of one of the old pear trees (40+ years) i grafted with a couple of new varieties.


#10

A review on some of the Loquat varieties i grow. I can’t wait for the new varieties i grafted last year to start producing, so i can taste them. Some are supposed to be even better than the ones i already tried.


#11

I enjoyed your video very much.
I’m growing all the varieties you reviewed as well --other than the local seedling. Also many others. Surprisingly they grow as North as Vancouver, British Columbia and are quite fruitful even there. We have seedling trees that are 45 feet tall here and produce fruit even after extremely harsh winters. Many of my trees are grafted on quince BA29C for dwarfing. (60% of seedling size)

You might enjoy reading this if you can read Spanish. I used a translator to convert to English. Their observations on different varieties especially Algerie/Argelino mirror yours.

2011_07 Estructura varietal del cultivo de la higuera en Extremadura.pdf (135.4 KB)


#12

Vancouver is zone 7a to zone 8b. About the same as where I live in North Carolina, about the same as some parts of Virginia.