rooting jujube cuttings

mbrown297(6b)February 1, 2011

I was thinking about trying to root some jujube cuttings this spring but I'm not sure if this will result in a good quality tree. All the jujube trees for sale seem to be grafted onto wild root stock. What are the advantages of a grafted tree over a rooted cutting?

Thanks to everyone for sharing their expertise.

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bonsaist(Z6/ Bethlehem, Pa)

Rooting jujube cuttings is not a common practice, because it's difficult. I have tried rooting them dormant last year, they sprouted, but didn't rooted and later dried up. Softwood cuttings was also attempted in my greenhouse with no luck. I will be trying it again rooting it under mist and bottom heat.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 12:36PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

The problem is not the quality of the tree, it is the difficulty of getting jujubes to root. According to Ashton's jujube book nearly everyone he knows that has tried has failed, but a few people have succeeded. If you want to try, use new shoots from summer growth, dormant cuttings will never root.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 12:38PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Bass, our posts overlapped. Ashtons book recommends a very slow rooting process, keep in light shade under high humidity and water once per month. No bottom heat. If they take off it will be the following spring.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 12:42PM
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The rootstock we use is commonly called India Jujube, its a 90 day root under 85 degree temp with 40% humidity, softwood cuttings

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 3:43PM
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Thanks everyone for your helpful replies.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 9:42AM
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bonsaist(Z6/ Bethlehem, Pa)

The Indian Jujube is not cold hardy. It is a different species of jujube so it may be easier to root.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 10:35AM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

You can undertake a different route that is slower with less potential in terms of numbers, but awesome none the less. Dig out a sucker following the root to the base by the mother earrrly in spring before the buds start to swell cut it from the momma and transplant it where you want it to establish. At the end of the year, if sufficient wood is formed, bud/shield graft with the selected cultivar scionwood. Other graft methods would work also.
Make sure you're not propagating copyright protected ones.
Have fun!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 3:05PM
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drasaid(zone 8)

A huge advantage in rooting jujube cuttings is that the dang things sprout up from the thorny roots. A thornless jujube would still have thorny sprouts, and jujubes naturally are in the rugosa rose/finger lime/agarita club of thorny. In other words, blood will follow. If one could have an actual thornless jujube all the way down to the root. . . that would be great.
Would planting a tree below its graft (as in, dirt above the graft union) keep the blasted sprouts from coming up and striping my ankles with misery? I'd like to know. I know there are some thornless ones available, but I'd like to avoid the pain if possible.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 11:25PM
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I suppose you could always try planting out seeds from your thornless jujubes - and see what you get.... Likely you will end up digging a bunch out - but you will probably also get a bunch that are fine... Kinda like thorny oranges, pears, and plums....


    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 9:38AM
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try to make an airlayer on your jujube! I'll try it this year.
one of my bought jujubes is labelled as "on own roots", so there must be a way to root them.
once you have an own root jujube, all root suckers are identical to the cultivar. an easy and careless propagation method (if you're not planning to produce hundreds of plants).

    Bookmark   March 1, 2012 at 11:50AM
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"Sherwood" jujube is often said to be on its own roots. I think they are transplanted rootsuckers from an established "Sherwood" on its own roots. This MAY be because the original--and suckering--seedling plant of this selection was still around to get started from. I bought my "Sherwood" from the late Sherwood Atkins, the originator or discoverer.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 4:04PM
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I'm trying to use Jujube for wildlife. I was concerned about low quality tree thickets being formed by root suckering since most Jujube are grafted to native rootstock that is thorny and produces little fruit. So, I ended up buying Tigertooth grown on its own roots. My thought is that any reproduction through the root system in the future when the trees are no longer caged and maintained will produce the same quality trees as the ones originally planted.

So, this past March I took some root cuttings. My jujube documentation thread referenced in the link below. They are very slow to root, but I have had some success. If you scroll to the bottom of the referenced thread, you will see pictures of some that seem to have established themselves.

I am planning to try to stool one of these next year. As I understand it, if the suckers are treated with IBA and they are stooled in sand, you can get pretty high rooting success.

I plan to use some of the others as rootstock for grafting other varieties. That way, if there is root based propagation down the road, the new trees will produce quality fruit.

I hope this helps, the key seems to be patience...

Here is a link that might be useful: Jujube for Deer

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 12:02PM
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I have a Lang and a Li (both grafted) that I had to move about three years after planting. I got busy and did not get the holes filled in for about a month. When I returned to do so, I had 4-6 'new' trees sprouting up from the hole. As they were in an out of the way place, I left them just for curiosity and they are doing fine several years later. As expected the root-stock trees are thorny and have much smaller fruit, but taste fine. Not sure the propagated varieties would come up so easily, but the root-stock seems like it would be fairly easy to propagate by root cuttings. You might try layering or dropping to get a named variety propagated to its own roots.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 1:48PM
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I just thought I'd update this thread with a pic. I tried to start about a dozen from root cuttings taken last March. All were from Tigertooth grown on their own roots. Five of them produced top growth and one died. I let them go dormant naturally and then brought them in at Christmas time to wake them up. When pruning them I accidently clipped one of them completely off. It has restarted top growth from the roots. It is the small one in the far right. All the rest are growing vigorously and I plan to graft them with other varieties as soon as the scions I ordered arrive.

The other containers in the background have persimmons that have not yet awoken.

(The link below shows the same pic in full size)

Here is a link that might be useful:

This post was edited by ForestAndFarm on Wed, Feb 26, 14 at 14:37

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 2:31PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)


Nice set up. Those Tiger Tooth Jujubes look healthy with the growth lights.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 8:15PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)


Please share about the pots. Are they root pruning pots?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 11:03PM
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Yes, they are rootbuilder II 1 gal pots. I'm pretty happy with the rootmaker system. I started those Jujube from root cuttings in the 18 cell express trays and then transplanted them to the 1 gal pots when they were large enough.

I was shocked that the fruited when they were only a few months old especially since the parent trees have not yet fruited. I asked a university professor who is an expert in Jujube and he suggested that the root system constriction caused by the air pruning moved the trees from a vegetative state to a fruiting state. You can see pictures in the link I posted a couple posts up (Jujube for Deer). He says that they will likely stop fruiting and go back into a vegetative state and stop fruiting for a few years when I plant them.

The link below shows the rootmaker cells, pots, and bags being used to grow Dunstan Chestnut trees from nuts.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dunstan Chestnuts from nuts

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 11:20PM
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Thanks. The main lights are just regular fluorescent shop lights. I don't like to use the expensive sodium or other grow lights. Light energy diminishes with the distance squared. You are forced to place hot lights a greater distance from the plants. So, I prefer to use the inexpensive shop lights mounted in such a way that I can easily adjust the height as the plants grow.

The two floodlight type bulbs you see are new LED lights I'm playing around with. They are still pretty expensive and heavy but efficient and cool. We have cans in our house and the incandescent floodlights put out a lot of heat. So, we plan to replace those with the LEDs as the burn out. I went ahead and bought a couple LEDs in advance to test. Eventually those lights will go in our house. My conclusions so far is that they are not practical for volumes of plants. I have not found a convenient way to mount them so the are easily adjustable like the fluorescent shop lights.



    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 11:07AM
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I have a sherwood that is now about 8 feet tall and 3 years old. I planted a GA 866 at the same time to allow cross pollination, but the GA 866 died this year. I am planning to attept to graft another variety onto the sherwood if I can find scions. Has anyone tried this?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2014 at 8:47AM
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RedSun (Zone 6, NJ)

Try some of the seedlings. If the fruits are not good, you can always graft something on it....

    Bookmark   September 18, 2014 at 5:46PM
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