The above says it all.. I have a bunch of limbs with old dried up loquats, and the remnants of loquat. How do I trim this tree to get fruit, and do it the most good?
A few weeks ago I posted a related question: "Do loquats only fruit on new growth?"
There was no disagreement with a very straightforward answer from "Applenut":
Prune your heart out; there's not much you can do to make it not fruit.
I hacked the tree WAY, WAY back, and it's clearly not fazed--it's already begun growing and there will be a ton of new growth prior to flowering.
I hope that if anyone experienced a large drop in fruit production after hard pruning they will speak up. (although I *think* I've heard that some trees produce heavily in alternate years which might complicate things...).
p.s. I didn't know people could get loquats to fruit in 8a. Or do I remember something about a mild winter in Texas or elsewhere?
Here is a link that might be useful: Do loquats only fruit on new growth?
Thanks Mark, for the fast reply. Yes we are only 12 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, and have had mild winters for quite a few years.
There are some people 30 miles North of us, In Houston, that enjoy Loquats too.
Your experience, and Applenut's reply to you makes me feel I can "whack away" and keep it from crowding other trees, with out worrying about hurting the tree.
Actually, it doesn't surprise me that you can grow loquats in that part of Texas--I remember mostly beautiful winters during the short time I lived out there.
However, I'm surprised you are so close to the coast and are zone 8a. There are some zip code zone finders out there that are not terribly accurate, and you might want to look into this.
I remember going through this a year or two. I think the worst may have been that found on the National Gardening Association website:
Where I live, near San Jose, is unquestionably zone 9b. There are always a few frosts, but never anything more than a few degrees below freezing--it always warms up during the day. Now we never get big fronts moving down from Canada like you do, however once every 10 or 20 years things are set up so that temperatures drop into the 20-25 degree range. And that's it--it simply never gets below 20. So everyone will assure you we're zone 9b, however the National Gardening Association program spits out zone 8b--an average low of 15-20 degrees. Impossible. I checked Houston (near downtown where I used to live), Friendswood and Galveston. It also gave 8b to all of these.
You might check the calculator found here on Garden Web:
I put in Galveston, Friendswood and Houston and all gave zone 9 (as it did for where I live). It doesn't distinguish a and b unfortunately. I suspect you are zone 9a.
At least we can be sure that if the Garden Web calculator were not right, than there would be an uproar from 10,000 people.
I do have to say I was in Houston one year with some temps in the 10-15 degree range (8a temps) but I was assured those were far, far from normal.
Loquats grow fine on the 7/8 boundary, especially near south or east facing walls of buildings. But they fruit only in milder winter, the flowers or tiny fruit being killed in hard winters. Every few decades it gets cold enough to damage the trees too even in near walls, but not enough to kill them outright or to the ground.
I really don't know about zones, I just know that we are warmer than Houston, colder than Galveston, and we get occasional winter temperatures of 15 for a couple nights running.
The Garden Web index lists me in zone 9, but I kinda plant like zone 8
If I didn't protect my Kumquat, it would have been frozen out years ago. But I only get a couple hundred chill hours, so go figure.
Appreciate the thread here on the Loquat. Just moved into a house in San Ramon, CA, with a 20 foot Loquat tree in the backyard. Daughter loved the fruit and I want to trim properly.
I noticed the comments have mentioned that the Loquat can take severe trimming. I wanted to ask the group if that means I can re-size my tree to a smaller profile. Maybe 12 foot and cut out all the inter-twined branches in the middle of the tree. I can appreciate that maybe I should do this in stages; but would like someones opinion before I start ÃÂ¨Ã¡Â¸Â§acking" away.
My daughter loves this tree and the fruit - so I am willing to proceed with caution in order to stay in her good graces!
If your tree grows anything like they do here you can't hurt them by trimming them. They grow like weeds here. They also take a lot more cold than people think. My uncle has them growing up near Dallas. Though down by the coast up to Houston they are almost like weeds.
They will happily survive a lot more cold than they can successfully fruit in.
You can prune almost any tree severely if needed. The trick is to leave a healthy "nurse" branch or two on board. This will keep the tree alive until the lower branching develops that can sustain the tree. You later remove the nurse branch(es).