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Old 09-24-2010, 08:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My grafted-onto Loquat tree grown from seed

Last in Florida -3-06, I picked some loquats & planted seeds here. Tree is now over 7ft & rootbound I'm sure, in a 7gal pot. 1 1/2 yrs ago a friend in VA sent me a stick of Big Jim loquat of fruiting age to graft onto my tree, so I don't have to wait so long for fruits. That grafted stick is 13 inches long & has what looks like a clump of baby fruits!!! I don't know if they will be blossoms, but they are a bunch of fuzzy little green balls. The rest of tree won't get fruits for another 3-4 years, so this is exciting! Big Jim is s'posed to be the biggest & best tasting.
I never heard of loquats or tasted one before 3-06 so when plant was 6 inches, I posted a pic on citrus forum & described the fruit & someone ID'd it. I'll try to get a pic on soon.
Anyone else grow loquats? I'd like to graft more varieties on as there are several.
This has been a great year for me...1st time 2 (of 7 in1 tree) grafted apples got apples, got my first bunch of nanas, 1st dragon fruit flower and first PawPaw blossoms. Can't wait to taste them all!
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Old 09-25-2010, 07:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My grafted-onto Loquat tree grown from seed

I've been growing them for years in south florida. They are fairly hardy and can grow as far north on the east coast as new jersey. The fruit is sweet and similar to a pineapple in flavor.
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My grafted-onto Loquat tree grown from seed

Jeff, do you know what kind you have? All I remember is that they looked like apricots & had one big seed in them. The tree was huge & had a ton of fruits but I don't know what kind it is. The leaves on mine are very dark green, long & pointed edges where Big Jim is lighter green, wider & not so pointed edges. I'll get a pic now. Are these blossoms that are starting on mine?
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Old 09-25-2010, 12:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My grafted-onto Loquat tree grown from seed

They are easy and grow fast from seed, but are bad about getting fire blight. We had a big one in our front yard and people would stop and ask if they could pick fruit. Lost it to fire blight.

I'll have to check out 'big jim'.

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Old 09-25-2010, 12:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My grafted-onto Loquat tree grown from seed

They sure do grow fast! Is fire blight the reason why some leaves turn brown? Here's a pic:

Are those little balls baby fruits or blossoms? Is March the standard time for mature fruits? Here's a pic of the diff in leaves:


The leaf on right is from tree & one at left is B Jim...wider & not so pointy.
Here's the graft...just above the yellow marker where it looks knobby.
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Old 09-25-2010, 04:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My grafted-onto Loquat tree grown from seed

Hi Patty,
I'm so glad you got the graft to take, as that one can sometimes be a little tricky. I've got 3 types grafted onto my tree, and it took about 17 donor scions. lol

Big Jim is one of the wide grown varieties here in CA, and it does have about the largest fruit of all. As far as taste goes, I much prefer Champagne, Golden Nugget, and Wolfe.

Basically, there are two classes of Loquats. There are golden flesh and white flesh. The flesh color doesn't really have much reflection on flavor, but from my experience, the white flesh is inferior when it comes to canning or preserves, though fine for eating out of hand.

Big Jim has more of a delicate flavor, very juicy, slightly neutral. The one danger with this, is that the hybrid was created without regard to the leggy, thinner young branches, and the fruit must be thinned at times to prevent branches from snapping off from the weight of the fruit set. I've seen entire branches of this one laying down on the ground full of decaying under-ripened fruit, just because the fruit was way too heavy for the branch to support it, and they can be a bit brittle. This one ripens a little earlier than most, from what I've seen (March).

Champagne has a flavor like...well, champagne. It has a slight acid to the tongue flavor which is somewhat melting and slightly sweet/sour. It's self-infertile and because of this is not a heavy fruiting variety. It ripens around April-May.

Golden Nugget is very similar to the texture and flavor of an apricot with a slight bit more tartness that's pleasant, like a squirt of lemon on top of a fresh apricot. The skin and flesh are golden orange, and it's by far the best for making preserves and eating out of hand (IMHO), since the skin is not tough and easy to eat (like an apricot). The one thing I love about GN is that it ends up ripening over a few weeks, so I can go back for more and keep picking gradually. Most other varieties will mostly ripen all at once, and then after a week or two, there's nothing left on the tree. It also holds the fruit better for windy conditions than most. It also creates one of the most beautiful canopies, being less leggy and more rounded. Very self-fertile!. Ripens April-May.

We also have Tanaka that's grown here more commonly in the Ventura-Santa Barbara region. It was more recently developed and has a good flavor, but the fruit flavor is nearly indistinguishable to me from Golden Nugget. The fruit is shaped different, being slightly more pear shaped and a little larger. The grower told me that it was not as productive as Big Jim or Golden Nugget, which he preferred as well.

Wolfe is most widely grown in Florida because of the huge canopy it creates, and is most resistant to leaf burn and fruit cracking from the hot hot sun. It has the most firm flesh of all, and does the very best on preserving for whole canned loquats, especially because it has a thick skin, and is a little more difficult to eat. It's self fertile and is a medium to average fruiting variety.

There's a New Zealand developed variety which I hear is pretty good, but not yet in the states. Probably because it was made more for their climate. There's also a couple of Japanese variations I've seen. There's a yellow and red blush skinned one, and there's another one which is orange and a bit freckled with red. I've never tasted either, but from what I understand, they were developed for Japan's extreme heat and to be a natural semi-dwarf. I can guess that some of the flavor was compromised.

Also, you were asking about the 'brown'. I think people that grow Loquats refer to it as the 'bronze' which happens in young foliage when they are growing out, similar to the inflorescence and pedicel. When your flowers open, take a whiff of them! It's an incredibly honey-sweet fragrance! It fills my yard with fragrance when it's in full bloom, and I love it almost as much as eating the fruit. A hidden treasure for sure. Since it's in the Rose family, it's understandable that it would have fragrant flowers.

Enjoy!

PS- I saw you grow Paw Paws. I grow 4 varieties here.
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My grafted-onto Loquat tree grown from seed

Well, thank you RJ for all the great info!!! I have a pic of the tree in FL wherev I picked & tasted the fruits. It's in my old puter but I'll find it & post here & maybe you can ID it. It had a beautiful canopy. From your description, I might have golden nugget or maybe wolf.
Oh, I can't wait to smell those blossoms!!!
I really grafted 2 varieties but one didn't make it... I'll have to go home to read the tag that's still on it to ID it for you.
Would there be something you'd like from me that I could trade for a few diff sticks from you to graft?? PLEASE PLEASE LOL
I have 2 pawpaw trees. Same thing...don't know what kind but I grafted 2 other varieties to each ...ARK 21 & ARK 22 (whatever the heck they are LOL). Got the sticks from a nice guy in LA who says they taste really good. It's nice that they stay inground & can take our winters. I need to pot up the loquat soon.
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My grafted-onto Loquat tree grown from seed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patty in Wisc View Post
Jeff, do you know what kind you have? All I remember is that they looked like apricots & had one big seed in them. The tree was huge & had a ton of fruits but I don't know what kind it is. The leaves on mine are very dark green, long & pointed edges where Big Jim is lighter green, wider & not so pointed edges. I'll get a pic now. Are these blossoms that are starting on mine?
Loquats generally have 1-3 seeds in them and the particular variety I got the seeds from were an orange color. I think how they are cared for (fertilizer, soil conditions,etc) has an impact on the flavor.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: My grafted-onto Loquat tree grown from seed

Here's a pic of the loquat tree in FL. It was loaded with fruit. Anyone identify what kind?


Here's close shot of fruit..


Big Jim blossoms are opening!!! There's too many to count...maybe 100. The branch is only 1 ft & they are all bunched at the top. I'll get a pic soon.
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: My grafted-onto Loquat tree grown from seed

Here's pic of Big Jim blossoms now
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