Anyone grow loquat tree?

Gardener972(7b-8a DFW)March 31, 2012

We have a loquat tree and since we had such a MILD winter here, it is loaded with fruit, fist time. How do you know when they are ripe and how big to they get?

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I grew up with one in California, the fruit are comparable to apricots in size and tenderness (squishyness) when ripe. If you are asking about the size of the tree, ours was about 20' tall 10-12' wide. I have 2 5 year old Loquat trees here in zone 7 that are about 10' tall and 6' wide, I haven't checked lately but I don't remember seeing fruit on I cant wait to go check now! I miss the fruit, they don't keep well enough so you never see them in stores.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 10:34PM
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Gardener972(7b-8a DFW)

The squirrels and rats and opossoms haven't found the fruit yet but I'm sure when they do there won't be any left for us to eat. I can only hope there's a handful left though.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 4:25AM
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bigoledude(SE Louisiana)

There were hundreds of Loquats here in our "parish". Hurricane Katrina killed every one that I knew of!

I just made a trade with a lady across the Mississippi River from me. She is sending me seedlings.

They are easy to tell when ripe. They turn a darker shade of orange and get a little softer. Here in the New Orleans area they were called Japanese Plums and Mis-pa-leeze. Don't ask, I ain't got a clue.

Please don't chase me outta here.. We fled to Texas for that terrible storm. The people of Texas treated us like royalty! My entire family will never forget the great people of Texas. Not EVER!!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 5:03AM
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I have one covered in fruit at the moment. It will only bare in mild winters. With the drought and then all the rain it is overloaded with large fruit.
I love the tree in the fall when it is blooming. the fragrance fills the air and lasts for a month. The bees and butterflies go crazy for it.
I will be making jelly this year. The fruit is pretty tart so I guess I will be adding a lot of sugar.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 7:21AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Hey, bigoledude, I remember you............glad you are still gardening.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 9:00AM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I went by my old tree at my old house to check on its fruit. WOW!. The present owner told me to help myself.

Hey bigolude, I spent 2 weeks working in the convention center in Austin helping with those that had no where else to go. It was an eye opener. I took a couple of people for a field trip out to a park to get some fresh air a couple of times.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 2:00PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

I love the taste of loquat fruits, but on all the ones I've eaten the fruit layer is very thin and it's mostly seed except for once when a friend and I were collecting rocks along the creek bed and we came upon a tree in a yard at the edge of the creek that had a loquat fruit that was really meaty. I looked up loquats on line and found there are various good fruiting varieties available in California. If anyone was serious about wanting fruit it would be good to order one of those. It seems they are mostly qrown as ornamental trees around here, probably because it takes a mild winter for them to produce.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 3:41PM
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Xtal(z8b Temple. TX)

I'm in Temple and have noticed that my Loquat is LOADED with young fruit. Am eager to pick them. I did try one and was surprised to see the seeds so small. I remember them as having huge pits.

I just did some cuttings to see if I could root some. Kinda late, I know. But, if it could take root, it would have to be done before it gets any warmer... I would think. I'm going to have to keep a close eye on it.

Novascapes, have you got a good recipe for Loquat preserves?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 12:53AM
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"Novascapes, have you got a good recipe for Loquat preserves?
No I have never made it before. I helped mom and grand-mom as a kid but that is all I have experience with, I found a lot of receipts on the internet.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 5:27AM
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The larger fruits aren't quite ripe yet. They will be most flavorful when they can easily be pulled from the stem. They will have 3 or 4 large pips, and a rather tough skin, so you will have some, uhm, expectoration to do. Be careful where you aim, because the seeds easily root out.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2012 at 6:25AM
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Use any ole jelly recipe.
Bigoledude, I know what you mean! Ike killed almost every single tree on the island. I don`t know of a single loquat that survived.
Glad to hear from you again.
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 4:11PM
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bigoledude(SE Louisiana)

Thank you Texans! If anyone remembers my posts from just after that killer storm, I was pretty emotional about the experience. My wife nor I ever shed one tear over our losses (they were massive). But, every-time we heard of others misfortune and loss, it would crumple us with sorrow.

There were many acts of kindness. Too numerous to mention here. But nothing compares to the kindness bestowed upon the Gremillion family while in Texas! The people of the southern tip of the Toledo Bend reservoir provided and gathered for my wife and daughter's-in-law. They bought clothes and stuff for the grand-kids. They cooked for us while we were without homes and couldn't return to our devastated ones back home.

There are not a finer people on this planet than you Texans. We love y'all in a way that only refugees can know. But, just know that we do love you guys.

I occasionally write over here to thank y'all for the magnanimous, huge and wonderful things done for our people while we were in your care. And, including this sorry note, I've never finished with dry eyes. We love y'all to the point of tears Texans. Hold your heads high with pride. For y'all surely do what Our Lord instructs us to do for the downtrodden.

My family is doing wonderful. We are now up to 12 grand-children! I will continue to thank you guys occasionally until y'all run me off.

With our love and gratitude

Ray Gremillion and Family

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 3:11AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

You come on over and visit anytime.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 6:53PM
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A Yoga friend told us that this is the 1st year she's gotten ripe fruit from hers in Arlington. She's waited 20 years and is so excited.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 12:34AM
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The trees are loaded this year in Austin. In fact, the Austin American Statesman had a whole article about them with recipes in it last week. My neighbor made a cobbler with some, but they are a pain to peel. The Statesman article had a recipe for a loquat "butter" which did not require peeling.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 1:40PM
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My tree is pretty loaded this year. First time fruiting, have had it for 4 years. They are ripe now! still a little tart, but that's the way i like 'em!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 5:41PM
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Bigoledude - that's what Texans do, you're our neighbor, and we know you'd do the same for us!! That's why the South is special, yes!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 9:44PM
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I am saddened to know that I won't get fruit like this every year. I just bought my house (with a well-established garden from a master gardener) last year and picked the loquat tree clean last weekend. I didn't know anything about them but a friend visiting from California filled me in.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:53AM
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Do you think wrapping the loquat with christmas lights might allow the tree to fruit every year?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 3:20PM
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Loquat is great evergreen tree for a garden but will eventually grow very large (30 ft) even here in London and is a bit difficult to shape / prune. In the UK fruit is brilliant but only when the spring is warm and the flowers set well and then the summer needs to be warm enough to ripen them. In california or med countries like Greece it should ( I think ) produce every year. Any expert know if that is the case ?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 7:49AM
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JayEmVee(z9 SF Bay, CA)

Hi, all, this is an old post but here's my 2 cents: I go back and forth between TX and CA. In the San Francisco Bay Area I have a large, mature loquat in the garden. It fruits heavily every year. The kids in my day care loved them. One way a friend prepared them for a party was to cut them in thirds, remove the seeds and dip one end in chocolate. They didn't last long!
One thing, though, loquats are very susceptible to fire blight. I lost one tree that way.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 3:56PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Thanks for telling us your experiences with loquats in the UK and California. Chocolate dipped loquats sounds wonderful.

Looks like my across the street neighbor's loquats are about ripe. Time to stand under the tree and snack.-- maybe with a chocolate bar in one hand :-).

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 12:34AM
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I live in Austin and I've gotten fruit from my tree every year. In more recent years, the freuit has become smaller. One year I decided to prune some of the blooming fruits, they way you would a peach tree. I broke off some of the fruit buds when it started to bloom, the fruit left on the buds was larger. We typically pick the fruit when they are closerto orange than yellow. They tend to be MUCH sweeter.
We've made jelly with the loquats for years too. We typically use a peach, plum or apricot jelly recipe with lemons and peel instead of added pectin. Either way, the jelly is wonderful. If you choose not to take the peel off, make sure to rinse and cut it well.
The fruit has a layer of fuzz all over it and the skin does not really break down that much. Overall, yes, it is a good deal of work, but in the end you will have a fabulous jar of jelly/jam/preserves! Enjoy with some homemade bread!!!..
OOH.. one more thing. If you don't wan to have to stand over a pot and stir... check out our bread machine - mine has a jelly/jam cycle. It is a looser preserve but still great :) Happy Cooking!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 2:00PM
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