Jujube trees love the heat, and that’s great if you live somewhere with long hot summers, but not so good if you’re further north. Although Jujubes will grow just fine in quite cool locations, it does mean that they’re far less likely to fruit. To overcome this, you could try growing a Jujube in a pot and placing it in a greenhouse. There are varieties known for being extra cold hardy too. Let’s learn more about why a Jujube tree is not fruiting.
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How Long Before Jujube Tree Fruits?
The Jujube tree blooms in early summer, with the fruits ripening from late summer to autumn.
The exact length of time for the fruits to grow and ripen can vary from between 60 to 145 days, depending on the cultivar and climatic conditions.
In cooler climates, flowers that are pollinated late in the season may begin to set fruit, but they won’t have time to ripen before winter arrives.
This can also be a problem when summer is short, which may not give any of the fruit time to fully mature. So they will be lost.
In this video, you can discover a whole bunch of things about Jujube trees, including when they fruit and how to harvest:
Why Isn’t My Jujube Tree Fruiting?
The reasons why your Jujube isn’t fruiting can be various:
- Too cold to set fruit.
- The tree’s been stressed in some way, such as lack of water, nutrients, or sunlight.
- The flowers were not pollinated. This can be due to insufficient insects visiting the plant or the variety you have needs cross-pollination from another tree. This is true of the Lang variety.
- Most Jujube trees don’t require cross-pollination, but it is always beneficial as it produces a higher yield or larger fruits.
- Strong winds can blow immature fruit from the tree.
How Old Does A Jujube Tree Have To Be To Bear Fruit?
Due to the precocious nature of the Jujube tree, they grow very rapidly, and it’s not unusual to get flowers and fruits in the tree’s second year.
It takes a little longer before they really ramp up their fruit output, and you can expect your tree to be between four to six years old before they start cropping heavily.
How Many Years Does A Jujube Tree Bear Fruit?
Unlike some other fruit trees, Jujube continue to bear fruit for the life of the tree, providing that it’s healthy. Jujube trees can live to be hundreds of years old in ideal conditions, and it’s normal for them to outlive the person who planted them.
What Jujube Tree Has The Biggest Fruit?
The Shanxi Li Jujube tree probably has the largest fruits of all. The tree is self-fertile, so it doesn’t need another Jujube tree to act as a pollinator. The fruits are delicious to eat fresh or dried.
The Shanxi Li is a Chinese cultivar of Jujube tree and can usually be found online or at good nurseries.
How To Harvest The Jujube Fruit
When the Jujube fruits ripen, they turn from green to a golden brown or deep red-brown, depending on the variety. The more evenly the skin is brown, the riper the fruit is.
Jujube fruit can be gathered from the tree when they are still green with brown patches and can be kept and stored to dry out as they will continue to mature during the drying process.
A productive tree can carry 60 to 90 lbs of fruit, depending on size and cultivar.
The maturation of Jujube fruits falls into these categories:
- White mature: Fruit is almost at full size, and skin color changes from green to a greenish-white. The flesh is hard and still quite tart.
- Crisp mature: Fruit is full size and has either patches of brown or is completely brown, but the flesh is still crisp and has become sweeter.
- Fully mature: The skin is now dark brown, and the flesh is losing some of its water content and has become soft and yellow around the stone. The skin of some varieties will be wrinkled rather like a date.
When to harvest the fruit depends on what use you want for it. If you’d like to store them for long periods, it’s better to gather them when they are at the crisp mature stage.
The same stage is best for eating them straight from the tree.
Fruits can be left on the tree until they are fully mature, or stored somewhere cool and dry if you want to dry them, or at the mature white stage if you want to candy them.
Jujubes are hand-picked and should be cut off with pruners if not fully ripe. If the fruits have been left to dry on the tree, just gently shaking the branches should dislodge them, and they can be collected in a sheet that is held beneath the branches.
Jujube fruits that are still crisp and vary in shade from patchy green and brown to fully brown are perfect to eat fresh. The skin is smooth and thin, and care needs to be taken not to bruise them.
What Does The Fruit From The Jujube Tree Taste Like?
They have a sweet flavor with a tart undertone. The ratio of sweetness to tartness depends on the variety of the Jujube and how ripe it is.
The texture of a newly picked Jujube should be somewhat like that of a fresh, crunchy apple.
Dried Jujube fruit is more like a dried date in appearance. They have a dense, sticky texture and a flavor that is quite caramelly. The aroma of the fruits is rather woody and musky.
Some varieties are not really meant for eating fresh and can have rather thicker, tougher skin. These are best dried.
When looking for the perfect Jujube to pick from the tree, find one that is firm with no blemishes to the skin and has an even brown color. There should be no wrinkles on the skin, and it should be smooth without any cracks.
Fresh Jujubes can be stored at room temperature for up to a week. Dried fruits can be placed into an airtight container, where they can be kept in a refrigerator for around six to twelve months. For longer preservation, freeze them for up to eighteen months.
Jujube fruit is delicious when picked fresh from the tree or dried. The variety you grow will generally be better for one or other of these purposes.
The cultivars that produce larger fruits are usually better for drying, while some of the smaller, sweeter varieties, such as Honey Jar, are fantastic eaten fresh.
Growing Jujube trees is easy, providing you have the right growing conditions, well-drained soil, and plenty of hot sunlight. Why not give it a go yourself?
To find out more about growing Jujube trees, see more informative articles on our website. There’s lots of advice to be found on a large range of other topics too.