Pruning jujube to an open vase / center

I’ve grown jujubes for a few years and read a bit about how their branching works recently (primary shoots, secondary shoots, mother bearing shoots). I’ve also read the “one cut stops, two cuts shoot” pruning advice. Still, I’m having a hard time visualizing how one might train a jujube to make it a open vase shape.

Has anyone on the forum tried it?

The only thing I can think might work is to allow the primary shoot to grow quite a ways and produce a bunch of secondary shoots. Then you’d head the primary shoot and head every secondary shoot down below it to presumably create a bunch of primary shoots from the secondary shoots that were pruned off. Those new primary shoots would then become the primary scaffold limbs. Would that work?

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you got that down to a T.

beheading apical growth of primary( perennial upright growth) stems will encourage fruiting on the secondary(horizontal/lateral) growth. The closer the laterals are trimmed to the trunk, the more likely that upright growth may develop from the node neath every lateral, or even develop from the lateral growth nodes themselves(typically from the nodes closest to the lateral nodes’ bases).
the ‘one cut stops, two cuts sprouts’ usually only applies to younger specimens with underdeveloped roots. Older specimens , especially sihong, contorted, lang, and li which receive >9 hrs direct sunlight every summer, will be rebellious to the chinese saying and will branch out vigorously and densely, even leafing out from adventitious buds in the most unlikely places. But the general rule is to simply behead the apices of all upright growth to encourage a bushy stance.
jujus tolerate pruning well, since these are capable of fruiting on same-year growth, even on new growth after severe pruning


This is great, thank you for confirming! Do you prune any of your jujubes to an open vase? I’m thinking that I’d prune that way to keep the fruit low for easy picking.

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if there’s one more thing we like about jujus, is that they don’t really need pruning. They have self-pruning systems, as the fruiting branches(lateral growth) are semi-deciduous or deciduous after a few years, and trees are extremely productive no matter what.

apart from our admitted laziness, we also would rather have our trees grow tall, since we live in the desert and need as much natural shade as we could possibly have during summer. Since they lose their leaves in winter, the zigzag branches also form attractive canopies whilst also letting as much radiant heat from the sun at that time of year when we actually need it. Here, jujus slow down in growth at 15-20 feet, and instead prioritize fruiting in exchange for vegetative growth, developing longer-lasting lateral branches with large fruiting spurs.

in korea and some parts of china, they do prune their trees much like how you’ve posted it, for ease of harvesting. They keep theirs at ~7 feet tall. And as you’ve mentioned, removing the apices of all upright growth helps slow down vegetative growth, but does not compromise fruiting of remaining branches.

probably the most resilient of deciduous fruiting trees.


With respect to the rule for jujube that “one cut stops, two cuts shoot”, what if there are no lateral branches to cut? I planted a bare root jujube this winter that came as a whip that already had a heading cut at about 36". Can I expect new growth along the stem/trunk, or was this heading cut a very bad idea? Thanks for shedding light on this concern as I wait for it for the tree to break dormancy :slight_smile:

If there are no laterals, then all the more for the specimen to grow upright stems from the nodes neath base of laterals(that were cut). The only thing that would limit growth would be if the rootballs were severely pruned, if you recived them as bareroots. The specimen will leaf out but often will have stunted growth --short interstems with short laterals, as it tries to prioritize root growth instead of vegetative growth. Some might just produce deciduous fruiting branches and not even produce lignified stems, especially if severely lacking in fine root hairs. The fruiting branches of such specimens will likely skip on bearing flowers or if they do, will not bear fruit and instead devote all photosynthesized energy to growing roots.
Fruiting may be on hold for the entire growing season

This tree was received in 2016 as a 36 inch whip. I haven’t exactly pruned it but I have taken some scions From the uprights the last two years. First year it didn’t put out a lot of branching but it also bore 8 fruit. Second year it grew a lot. It could probably use some pruning. I’m not a big pruner…:flushed::blush:

Sorry about the orientation :flushed::flushed:


Beautiful natural form! That’s awesome with no pruning.

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Thank you! @jujubemulberry @k8tpayaso

The tree is starting to break bud and I’m excited to sit back and see how its form unfurls.

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