Is an air layered Jujube as strong as grafted?

wildforager(5b-WI)October 23, 2009

Not long ago I purchased a Li Jujube. Its in a 2.5 gal pot and is just a whip...a 7 ft whip but still just a stick with no branches. I'm thinking about air layering this tree and then I'll have two. I see that all other practices of propagating Jujubes is by grafting onto a sucker or other rootstock. I've seen info that Jujube's don't produce true from seed and thats the main reason to graft. So would my air layered tree do just as well as its grafted parent? How come no one talks about air layering Jujubes?


Little John

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bonsaist(Z6/ Bethlehem, Pa)

Grafting is definitely the most common way for propagating Jujube. Propagating from greenwood cuttings is done with very limited success, but not usually done with nurseries. I'm guessing it might be possible to airlayer jujube, but it can be very difficult to root it. I know that root cutting is possible, but you will get the rootstock and not the actual variety since it's grafted.
In your case i would graft a second variety into the one you have.
My jujube has 9 succcessful grafts on it of different varieties.


Here is a link that might be useful: My Jujube

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 7:07AM
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Ok, I guess I'll cut it back and when it branches out I'll graft onto the branches. Thanks for the tip Bass.

Little John

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 9:40PM
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Little John:

Any tree or bush that you can successfully airlayer will be an identical copy of the parent. The operative word here is successfully. I don't know how difficult it is to root a Jujube by airlayering, but the absence of discussion about airlayering Jujubes may be significant. If you are curious about it, you might try it.

However, an airlayered plant would be growing on its own roots, and there there may or may not be reasons to avoid that with this particular plant.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 2:16AM
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bonsaist(Z6/ Bethlehem, Pa)

I just asked Lee Reich that question about air layering Jujube. Here's his response:

In researching the literature on jujube for my book Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden, I didn't come across air-layering as a method for propagating this plant. One problem with air-layering any plant in cold climates is that air-layering usually takes many months, yet developing roots on an air layer could not survive ambient outdoor temperatures, to which they would be exposed up in the branches. Here is what I did write about clonal propagation of jujube in the jujube chapter of my book:

Suckers, root cuttings, and grafts are ways to propagate superior jujube clones. A clone to be propagated by suckers or root cuttings must be on its own roots, that is, it should not be a grafted tree. Success with root cuttings is variable, depending on the clone, and plants grown from root cuttings will not develop the taproot of trees grown from seed. Stem cuttings root with difficulty.

Grafted plants grow vigorously. Chip budding, T-budding, and whip-and-tongue grafting have all been successful---as long as scionwood is not chosen of stems destined to be deciduous. Jujube plants are precocious. Grafted trees have even been known to bear some fruit in the same season in which they were grafted!


    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 11:13AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Ashton in his jujube book also makes no mention of air layering.


    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 12:24PM
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Wow, a lot of food for thought. I guess the ultimate decision to try to air layer the Jujube is still up in the air. If I get some suckers from another source I may just use the top of my tree as scion. Hmmmm, decisions, decisions.

-Little John

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 4:23PM
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"Sherwood" jujube is sometimes advertised as being on its own roots (e.g., Just Fruits and Exotics nursery web site) and I believe I remember Mr. Sherwood Atkins' price list used to state that too (the source where I got mine). Root cuttings seem the more likely source, though I don't know. Root cuttings of course do the original poster no good.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 5:50PM
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one of my jujubes is also labeled as "on own roots".
I searched this forum for airlayering jujubes and found a report of a grower who tried seven airlayer on one plant and all rooted(I cannot find the original post). so it seems it isn't difficult to have success in airlayering jujubes.
I'll try it next year on all of my varieties and hope I can post a positve result here :)

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 4:27AM
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Well, I guess I'm going to have to try to airlayer my tree. If the Jujube is supposed to be precocious I'd say thats a good sign as well. Thanks for the input quinoah.

-Little John

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 12:38PM
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