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Loquat Tree

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au0rey starts with ...
Hi, a friend has a loquat which he kindly offered me. He grew it from seed and has been in a 20 or 30cm for TEN years. It is now about 1.5m tall and there are roots coming out of the pot holes!

This tree has not fruited in all these years but he said it was probably due to the pot conditions that stopped it from fruiting. Besides that, the tree looks quite healthy. I really wonder how he kept it alive in that small pot for 10 years!

I dont have much land for a big tree and just wonder how tall and wide a loquat tree can get in terms of years...like what's the growth rate if it is in the ground.... The roots look pretty tough to me. Are they invasive?

Is it strange for a loquat tree not to fruit in ten years? I would not like to have a tree that does not fruit and I would have to dig it out of the ground. I know it is free but just want make sure I get the facts right before accepting the tree.

Sorry I do not have a picture of it.

Thanks!
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Melbourne
10th January 2010 10:24pm
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Phil@Tyalgum says...
Admittedly the tree does grow quite large but the roots don't seem to be surface invasive or damage pipes. I had a largish specimen in Woodend which I was able to grow other plants underneath relatively easily compared to some other evergreen trees. It may end up smallish anyway seeing it's almost been bonsaied all these years. I think they're a great addition to a garden. I managed to air-layer the Woodend tree before I moved up here as it is an unusual white fruited type, just a chance seedling with very thin skin and juicy fruit. Glad I brought it with me.
Pictures - Click to enlarge

Picture: 1
  
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TyalgumPhil
Murwillumbah
11th January 2010 5:19am
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au0rey says...
Hi Phil, thanks for the reply. How long did yours take to have its first fruits?
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11th January 2010 9:14am
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Phil@Tyalgum says...
I think it was at least ten years, I fed it with suphate of potash one autumn and got the first flowers that winter. It blooms May/June so good idea to sprinkle some around the tree with the first autumn rains. Seedlings of course take a lot longer to flower than named/grafted varieties. Wood ash from the fire is also helpful.
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TyalgumPhil
Murwillumbah
11th January 2010 4:14pm
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Julie says...
au0rey, soon after I planted my loquat I pruned out the middle. That was 10-15 years ago, and it has never grown taller than about 2.5-3m. I get lots of fruit from it. Hope yours does well.

I think it was a named variety - so long ago now I forget!
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Roleystone WA
11th January 2010 9:55pm
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brad says...
The Loquat at our new house is sad. No photos yet, but most fruit is mottled, a bit small and we couldn't find any unmottled ones that were also ripe (maybe birds take those ones?). The tree shape needs a ladder, but in a space where there's room.

Can I get any general advice:
Are they long lived? (this one is at least 10 years old)
Do they take/like rejuvenation pruning?
Likely diseases?
Typical spray regime?
Typical water / fertilizer requirements?
Would you pull it out and buy another?

Anecdote: A friend came over all excited "Have you got a Loquat?" and went downhill to "That must be the worst tree in the district". I'd like to make her a lot happier next season
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Brad2
G Hill, Perth
18th October 2010 12:59pm
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Jimmy says...
Very long lived

Yes chop like crazy

Apple scab is now in WA and attacks them.

Copper in winter and fruit fly sprays.

Not much, feral ones in yards grow OK with nothing.

Yes, seedling trees from the old days are all stone and no flesh. A named grafted type would always be better.

BUT saying that, loquats were the traditional first stonefruit of the season. These days you can grow a low chill peach or nectarine to fruit at the same time easier, tastier and more accepted by the markets (I don't like the taste).

BUT AGAIN My mate in the hills is doing a booming sale in green loquats to muslims as they eat the green and rock hard, apparently making some kind of pickle from them.

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Jimmy
Perth
18th October 2010 3:33pm
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krazykangaroo says...
If anyone can get there, there is a loquat in the cave gardens at Mt Gambier (SA). It is really old so I doubt it is a named variety. Its fruit is sooo delicious, exactly like apricots with lots of flesh around smallish seeds and the skin is not tough.
I grew some seedlings from it many years ago but they died while I was moving I think. I must get more seed to grow next year before the council decides to take it out one day.
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krazykangaroo1
Casterton
18th October 2010 4:50pm
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brad says...
Thanks both of you. I've never been a loquat eater - I'll try get around and taste some good ones so I know what I'm talking about. The ones I saw at Kalamunda market on Sunday looked pretty poor - apparently they don't travel well.

I'll try give the tree a good year and see what qualities it has going for it. A white mulberry would be a good kid friendly climbing tree in that spot, but there's a whole garden design to be done before we get carried away. (There's completely untended peach and two cherries in the wrong spot too)
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Brad2
G Hill, Perth
18th October 2010 7:14pm
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Julie says...
Brad, is the fruit ripe enough to eat? With no fruit fly? Then you're lucky (I don't get it in loquats either).

They are seen as the 'in-between' carrier of fruit fly, and many recommend not planting loquats for that reason. Seems it's not always true.

I've found I can get to like almost anything if I have grown it myself!

Yes, good idea to take your time and have a plan.
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Julie
Roleystone WA
18th October 2010 7:43pm
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Brad says...
Here's pictures of the tree, for all your specific suggestions

@ Julie, I haven't actually tried to eat any and don't know if there's any fruit fly. My loquat loving friend got all excited on the drive up, but reckoned the unblemished yellow ones weren't quite ripe.
Pictures - Click to enlarge

Picture: 1

Picture: 2

Picture: 3
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Brad2
G Hill, Perth
19th October 2010 6:55pm
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Jason says...
Krazykangaroo I'll go over and look at the tree in the cave gardens. They are very easy to graft so might as well flog a bit and try my luck. I have quite a few seedlings around here from various trees I've walked past over the years. I have never found one that had a bad fruit, some have larger fruit than others but getting seed from a local tree that bears lots of fruit in your climate always seems a better idea than a selected variety that only grows and fruits well in the subtropics to me
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Jason
Portland
19th October 2010 7:33pm
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Original Post was last edited: 19th October 2010 7:37pm
Brad says...
any tips on the fruit damage in picture 2? fungal?

the tree and leaves actually look ok to me
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Brad2
G Hill, Perth
20th October 2010 7:35pm
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Jimmy says...
I call it anthracnose, but not sure if it really is, mancozeb would be the cure but you normally get enough to feed an army untreated and let the rest go to the birds.
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Jimmy
Perth
21st October 2010 12:11pm
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Brendan says...
Not wrong Jimmy, Brad's photo no. 2 is a perfect example of Anthracnose!

Best cure IMO, mix 30g copper oxychloride, 30g mancozeb plus with 4 litres (1 gallon) of water, with at least 40ml of a 'good' wetting agent.
Spray once a week for 4 weeks, then, once a month 'till harvest.
Try to spray the whole tree, trunk and the soil beneath.
If it rains, spray again.

Give it some Sulphate of Potash as well, that will harden up the plant tissue :-)
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
22nd October 2010 9:06am
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Brad says...
Perth - rain... not likely!

thanks for that. not seen it full blown before - prevention better than cure. harvest should really be around now, I'd say this crop is for the birds.
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Brad2
G Hill, Perth
22nd October 2010 11:57am
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Brendan says...
G'day Brad,
Sorry about the 'rain' in Perth joke, it's wet as a shag here!

Try spraying with that brew NOW, I reckon you'll save heaps! (bugger the birds).
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
23rd October 2010 7:43am
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Brad says...
We managed a few edibles today. I don't know any other varieties but taste was ok (a bit apricotty) and enough flesh to seed to be worth it - better ratio than olives :)

Copper spray I've got, I'll get some mancozeb

PS anyone in the area there's heaps of trees visible from streets around the top of gooseberry hill rd
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Brad2
G Hill, Perth
24th October 2010 1:37am
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Original Post was last edited: 24th October 2010 1:44am
Brendan says...
Brad, see if you can get Mancozeb 'Plus'. Much better.
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
24th October 2010 7:11am
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Jason says...
Krazykangaroo, I got to the cave gardens today and got seed and a little tiny bit of wood to graft. Only have one piece so wish me luck. Then again I haven't had a loquat graft fail yet so I figured one piece is enough. The fruit on the tree isn't quite ripe yet, maybe in another week or two but it's close enough for seed collecting. You are right the tree must be ancient, it's huuuuuuge. What I'll probably do is graft the piece of the tree to a leader on one of my seedlings then grow out a few of the seeds and re graft it to them next year. Then you can have one.

I've been re-practicing my grafting on grafting on avocados, It's not really good timing since the scions are mid growth rather than at bud swell but they look like they are all going to stick. I kind of cheated and kept them in the cupboard for a while after they were gra
fted
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Jason
Portland
23rd November 2010 4:08am
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krazykangaroo says...
I wish you well with your graft. All the loquats in this area are late this year so I have enough time to go over and pick some fruit of that tree myself.
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krazykangaroo1
Casterton, Vic
23rd November 2010 8:06am
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grub says...
gidday can some one tell me the best time of year to graft loquats?many thanks in advance
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grub
dardanup south east bunbury wa
23rd November 2010 7:19pm
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allybanana says...
Grub, I had a good search for that info and couldnt find anything definative. So I am planning to graft loquats late winter just before the growth flush when stored carbohydrates should be high in the wood, and graft from non flowering shoots and buds. I am also contemplating trying chip or T budding as soon as this seasons buds look mature. I would be interested in hearing from someone who knows.

Jason, the last three of my nine avo grafts just died, i hope you do better.
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allybanana
Eden S-East NSW
25th November 2010 10:27pm
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Jason says...
You are supposed to be able to graft Loquat any time, but I did some test grafts this year in early spring and they all took.

So far all my Avocado grafts seem to have taken, the early ones I did a couple weeks ago definitely have. I'll try and explain how I graft the Avocados?.

I take a seedling that's about 20cm tall and cut it to be grafted at the point where the stem stop being really soft and bendy. Then I chop it off there. I also have a glass of water that's been boiled then cooled to keep the scions in after I've cut them. I use a 80 cent 9mm box cutter to cut the scions into any shaped grafting cut I feel like at the time, do a cut on the rootstock so it joins together good the wrap the grafted area with grafting tape. After this I would have in the old days I would have tied a plastic bag over it and had a little bit of water inside the bag before I tied it on. These days I just wrap some cling wrap around the scion.

Then I put the whole thing in the dark, somewhere warmish and leave them there for a few days or a week (I used to put them straight into a shadehouse and that went ok too). Once I think they have been sitting still long enough to have joined a few cells together I put them in the greenhouse. Once the little bits of stems that used to have leaves attacked (that I cut off just leaving a little stub left) , well once they fall off you know it's not fair off growing, leave it a little longer than that, then remove the glad wrap and that's about job done. I also cut the rootstock's buds out all the way down the stem once I'm sure it's joined together.

I'm going to improve on this soon as I've ordered some proper stretchy grafting film to wrap the scions in and some parafilm-M also (to replace the ordinary grafting tape and glad wrap). When I used plastic bags and put them in the shade house I would get about 70% success but I'd like to get much closer to 100% now that I'm older and ?smarter? or at least just older.

I can't seem to graft white sapote at such a young age as I can with avocado I need to graft white sapote when the wood has gone hard (not green)
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Jason
Portland
26th November 2010 2:36am
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Original Post was last edited: 26th November 2010 2:38am
allybanana says...
Thanks Jason i will also pass that info on to a mate who is struggling grafting avos. I have a white sapote to graft sometime, it is already in the ground. Now i think i might let it get a bit bigger with a few branches and do a few hardwood grafts. A mate up the hill has the chris variety.

I have been using lab parafin for grafts and wrapping scions, it worked a charm with persimmon. However I have found when budding and grafting prunus and apples/pears with it alone, it streatches to much and the first bit of callus forming sometimes expands and pushes the graft or bud apart before the rest can join prperly, making a very weak scrappy graft, this expanssion can also split the parafin and dehydrate the union.

I find the lab parafin is great for creating a seal but a bit of preasure from the plastic bag strips or pvc grafting tape over the union is a good complement.

At a guess, what sort of wood do you think would be best for grafting loquats this time of year? would you put them in a dark caboard? And do you think a cardboard box over a planted tree would work the same.
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allybanana
Eden S-East NSW
26th November 2010 8:06am
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Jason says...
Nah loquats are easy to graft I just do them on trees that are planted out (that's the best way to do sapotes too). I'm just using loquat scions that are hardened wood, tied up with a plastic bag over it, if it's going to get hot then put a paper bag over the plastic. I did one graft that was super rough and it still stuck and grew so I'm convinced they are very easy to graft.

If you graft sapotes from hardened wood that has some buds about to break and graft onto a tree in the ground it's a 100% thing, very easy also. I've grafted Avocados in the ground like that too and it works fairly good (not as easy as sapotes) but I get impatient with waiting for things to get big enough to graft so I'm always trying to graft smaller and smaller things. I like Avocados because I can graft them smaller than most things
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Jason
Portland
26th November 2010 3:08pm
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lennard says...
Grafted 5 loquats --none succeeded . It can't be easy.And ,yes, I can do the carpentry as well as the next bloke.
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Sydney
26th November 2010 4:17pm
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Jason says...
Lennard if the cambiums are joined and the scion doesn't loose moisture or get too hot/cold then it pretty much has to work. Do you remove the buds from the rest of the plant so it has no option other than to grow out the one you have grafted onto it?. The plant prefers to grow it's own buds so you need to keep on top of those for a while until the grafted one pushes
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Jason
Portland
26th November 2010 5:34pm
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lennard says...
Two things you said intrigue-that the loquat scion needs to be hardened growth, preumably not green and that you graft in pots not in the field ,right?
I do always remove new growth on the root stock.
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Sydney
27th November 2010 9:20am
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Jason says...
I don't know if it _needs_ to be hardened growth (cut where it's brown on both pieces not green), but that's what I've been using and it works. That kind of wood can last for months without being totally joined so it gives plenty of time to heal. I've been grafting them onto plants in the ground so far but I'm sure in pots would also work. Plants in pots tend to be a little more difficult to graft because they are weaker plants but easier because you can shelter the graft better. So it works out almost the same (I still think plants in the ground are easier overall)

I use hardened wood on white sapotes also, but you can use softish (medium) wood on Avocados
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Jason
Portland
27th November 2010 11:26am
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lennard says...
Thanks, will have another go.
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Sydney
28th November 2010 3:57pm
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