How to prune loquat trees
▷ Pruning loquat tree 【How and when to prune loquat】
06 Aug, 2019 Fruit 0
The loquat is a fruit tree belonging to the Rosaceae family and from Southeast China, although it was the Japanese who took it to Europe as an ornamental tree during the 18th century, and then from there it expanded to other latitudes of the world . It is a tall tree that can reach 10 meters with ease. Its large, long and wavy leaves leave from branches that are born from far below and form a rounded cup. Its small fruit once ripe takes an orange color and sweet taste very characteristic. In this article we will learn all about pruning of the loquat, how and when to do it, what tools to use, etc. We will also take the time to leave some of the most important care for your cultivation.
Note: Please note that the advice given here is general, this blog is consulted from many countries in the world, with totally different characteristics, what not all tips will be adapted in the same way in all cases. Once you finish reading the article it will be necessary to analyze all the information and apply what you have learned in the best way. If you have any questions, remember that you can contact us to make your inquiries.
Table of Contents
1. How to care your loquat tree
I understand that you have come to this article to read about pruning, but is this not one of the many cares that this fruit needs? Following what was said above is that I like to always start with care, in this case those who need a loquat tree.
- Soil: the loquat adapts quite well to any type of soil, in the same way it prefers them well drained. It is also preferable to avoid saline and limestone soils, since they cause chlorosis in the leaves.
- Plantation: if what you want is to accelerate the first harvests it is recommended to use grafted plants (on the foot of loquat or quince). If you do not use grafting the harvest will come later and its fruits will be somewhat smaller. The ideal time for transplantation is in spring.
- Harvest: an interesting tip when carrying out the loquat harvest is not to water it in the days before it. This has the benefit of minimizing the dilution of sugar, obtaining sweeter fruits.
- Climate: this fruit perfectly withstands low temperatures, but if you are looking for commercial fruit production, you need a warm climate. The ideal average temperature for a good development is about 15 ° C. An aspect that can be very harmful in the quality of the fruit are the great variations of temperatures, whether they are cold heat.
- Irrigation: in rainy climates no extra watering is necessary, otherwise if the rain is scarce you will have to water frequently. Like all fruit trees, you will need more regular watering in times of flowering and fruit development, otherwise it will lose quality and flavor.
- Fertilizer: subscribing in each of its growth phases is very beneficial for this silver. Select a fertilizer rich in nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. Since its roots do not reach great depths the fertilizer is of great importance.
- Diseases: one of the most damaging diseases for the loquat are fungi (mottled) that attack the pulp of the fruit. These produce visible spots on the skin of the fruit, something that harms the sale of it. It is recommended to do preventive treatments with fungicides. Another disease that attacks the fruit is the purple spot, which is caused by the lack of zinc and calcium, you can solve it by applying these minerals to the plant.
- Pests: the main pest that affects the fruits of the loquat is the fruit fly, you must make powdered and eliminate damaged fruits for the non-propagation of this pest.
- Pruning: it is not necessary for the normal development of the plant, but it is essential if what we want is to reap good fruits. In the next sections we will develop in depth everything about this aspect.
2. Tools needed to prune or trim a loquat tree
As with all fruits, there are several tools you will need to carry out your pruning or trimming. Each of them appropriate for different cases depending on the age of the pomegranate, the time of year, type of pruning etc.
- Pruning shears.
- Ladder or scaffolding.
- Basic safety elements such as helmet and gloves.
Keep in mind that you must disinfect all cutting tools before pruning the loquat tree. This will help to avoid transmitting diseases, you will have to do it before you start pruning and every time you change plants.
2.1 Needed care of pruning tools
If you want to extend the useful life of your pruning tools there are some basic care.
- Use the right tool for a job and avoid twisting or straining it.
- Clean and oil tools regularly by wiping an oily cloth on blades and other surfaces.
- Keep cutting edges sharp by regularly using an oilstone.
- Wooden handles should be varnished or regularly treated with linseed oil to keep them from cracking or splintering.
Carry out the previous care on a regular basis and you will be saving good money on tools. 🙂
You may also be interested in knowing about pruning:
- Avocado tree
- Walnut tree
3. Why you should prune a loquat tree?
All fruit trees need to be pruned for a control of the production and useful life of the plant, in the loquat is not the exception. If we want to list reasons why pruning should be carried out, we will have the following:
- Rebalance the tree among shoots, roots and fruit.
- Improve fruit quality, with more minerals available to the fruit.
- Reduce tree size.
- Increase ease of harvesting.
- Develop trees with strong framework.
- Improve pest control.
- Improve profitability.
- Reduce costs.
- Restore tree vigor.
- Most fruit hangs low, making picking easier and more productive.
The above list can continue, but I think it is more than clear the importance of pruning in loquat tree control and care.
4. Pruning loquat tree- How to prune?
Loquat pruning, as in any fruit tree, is a technique that applied at the right time and shape helps improve production. Achieving a higher quality fruit, accelerating the first harvests, and extending its productive life.
There are four types of pruning that will be necessary to carry out:
Pruning will begin with transplants, and will accompany you throughout your productive life until old age. Since nothing has to do one type of pruning with the other, we will develop each one separately in the following sections.
4.1. Training of loquat
From the moment of the transplantation of our loquat we must begin to work on its structure, the one that will be the support of the plant and its production. If we do not control its height, it can exceed 10 m in height, and you will tell me how you will do the harvest;). That is why the fundamental importance of training pruning in our loquat.
In principle we must have a well-defined central stem, then at a height of about 40-50 cm they should be left between 4-6 main branches. These will form the first floor, then upper floors can be formed spaced 50-60 cm apart.
When pruning the loquat we will aim not only to control its dimensions, but also to form a cup in which there is enough light and air. It is very common to make a squeeze of your glass arching its main branches, as the following image shows.Training pruning in loquat tree
4.2. Fruiting Pruning
This loquat pruning is done from the moment the fruit begins to be productive. The objective is to improve the quality of the fruit and facilitate its harvest.
We will limit the height of the tree, pruning the most vigorous branches and leaving all the fruitful branches. In addition, all branches that come out vertically will be eliminated, and we will avoid leaving gaps that are too large where the sun can enter by burning branches and the trunk itself. This pruning should be done, without exceptions, annually.
Another good practice that can be carried out with the pruning of loquat fruiting is to arch branches to facilitate collection. To do this we will tie a thread to the end of the branch, we will tighten the thread by lowering it until it is almost horizontal.
4.3. Pruning cleaning or thinning
This is the typical pruning that is performed on every fruit tree. Dry and diseased branches will be removed. This will prevent diseases or pests from spreading, and redirect energy to healthy branches and fruits.
4.4. Pruning of rejuvenation
Pruning that applies to loquats entered in years is known as rejuvenation pruning. This pruning is needed when the strength and production in our plant tends to decline.
Since this loquat pruning is a strong and drastic pruning, it must be our last resort to try to recover our fruit. So and the whole loquat perfectly lends itself to this type of pruning (better than many fruit trees), since it easily emits regrowths to form a new tree skeleton.
You should consider placing healing paste in all cuts in this pruning. This will prevent possible transmission of diseases or pests.
5. Pruning loquat tree – When to prune?
As a general rule, the time when a loquat must be pruned should be one in which the development rate is low, that is, the autumn-winter season.
Now, that general rule is flexible depending on the area and type of pruning. In places with raw winters it is not recommended to prune in autumn, but rather to leave pruning by the end of winter. This will not expose the cuts to low temperatures, having to wait a short period to start healing in the spring. On the other hand, in areas of mild climate and weak winters, pruning can be carried out in the autumn months.
Looking at it from the type of pruning, it could be said that the pruning of fruiting, training and rejuvenation should be followed as said in the previous paragraph. While pruning dry branches is a practice that can be carried out at any time of the year.
As you have seen, you should be clear about your goals when choosing the time when pruning a loquat.
6. Nispero pruning video
As it is usual here on this website we will end the article with a video (in this case we have taken one of the Epic Gardening channel), this will help you understand some of the advice seen here in a more graphic way. I hope it helps you.
You may also be interested in knowing about pruning:
- Hebe bush
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Well up to here we have arrived with this article in which we talked about how and when to prune a loquat tree. I hope you have no doubt when you should take your scissors and get to work.
Training pruning in loquat tree
How to Grow a Loquat Tree For Big Harvests
Table of Contents
Grown either as a loquat tree or a shrub, this fruiting plant is an interesting one. A relative of the rose, it makes small fruits which taste like a blend of peaches, citrus and mango, and some describe it as having a honey note.
But most people have never tasted it and know virtually nothing about this unusual fruit or the lushly-tropical tree it grows on!
I’m going to fix that right now, because loquats are delicious, nutritious, and quite fun to grow if you’re in the right climate to do it. These evergreen trees are a beautiful ornamental species, but when you add on the perk of having fresh fruit, it’s definitely worth growing!
This post is sponsored by Fast Growing Trees, a quality source for loquat trees and many other species.
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Good Products At Amazon For Loquat Tree Care:
- Monterey Horticultural Oil
- Monterey Liqui-Cop
Loquat Tree OverviewA tree full of ripe loquats ready to pick. Source: FastGrowingTrees.com
|Common Name||Loquat, Japanese plum, Japanese medlar, Chinese plum, pipa fruit|
|Scientific Name||Eriobotrya japonica|
|Light||Full sun to partial shade|
|Water||25-40 inches per year for rainfall with minimal additional water, or equivalent watering pattern|
|Temperature||45-85 degrees optimal. Fruit/flowers die off at 30 degrees, tree suffers lasting damage at temperatures around 10 degrees.|
|Humidity||Tolerates humidity well but can develop fungal diseases if airflow is restricted|
|Soil||Well-draining soil, can grow in both acidic and alkaline pH conditions|
|Fertilizer||Fruit tree or grass fertilizer (no weed-blockers) applied multiple times per year depending on tree diameter/size|
|Pests||Scale insects and fruit flies most common. Less common are aphids and caterpillars. Birds will eat fruit, deer will eat fruit and leaves.|
|Diseases||Fire blight and pear blight possible. If the canopy is too densely packed with limited airflow, it can develop fungal leaf spot diseases.|
All About The Japanese Plum TreeLoquat tree with fruit. Source: Shandrew
With an average top height of 30 feet, it can become a sizeable evergreen tree. However, it’s more commonly kept in the 10 to 15 foot range by commercial growers for ease in maintenance and harvesting. At the 10′ height, it is treated more like a dense, tree-like shrub.
While there are as many as 800 cultivars available, they are all the same base species. Sometimes referred to as the Japanese plum, Chinese plum, or Japanese medlar, the tree and its fruit are called Pipa in China.
There are white-fleshed or orange-fleshed varieties. Some popular-to-grow cultivars in the United States include:
- Vista White: a round variety with white flesh and pale yellow skin, small to medium fruit size, needs a second tree to cross-pollinate
- Gold Nugget: a firm orange-fleshed round to oblong variety with yellowish-orange skin, large fruit, self-fertile
- Early Red: an orange-fleshed pear-shaped variety with orange-red skin dotted in white, medium to large fruit, self-fertile
- Champagne: a white to yellow-fleshed pear-shaped variety with pale yellow-orange skin, medium to large fruit, self-fertile
- Big Jim: an orange-fleshed round variety with pale orange-yellow skin, large fruit, self-fertile
In traditional Japanese and Chinese medicine, the fruit and the leaves of the loquat plum fruit tree are used for multiple different purposes.
The Chinese use the fruit to make a syrup to ease coughs. The leaves are used in Japan to make biwa cha, a beverage which is believed to help with skin conditions and help with bronchitis or other respiratory illnesses.
Both the leaves and the seeds have small amounts of cyanogenic glycosides that release cyanide when digested. However, small amounts of these compounds rarely have any effect. It’s still good to avoid eating the seeds or the leaves, and to keep them away from children and pets.
Fruit Development CycleLoquats ripening on tree. Source: lulun & kame
At the end of a warm summer, the loquat plum tree will begin to develop flowers as fall approaches. It forms its flowers on the tips of new growth branches that are younger than 6 months old, and the flowers are in pannicles or clusters.
These flowers often carry a sweet tropical scent around your yard during warm fall afternoons which is quite enjoyable!
As many as a hundred flowers can form on a single pannicle, but that doesn’t mean it’ll produce a hundred fruits from that cluster. Typically, there will be between forty and sixty flowers on a pannicle, with 10-12 fruits developing at that spot.
If you find your tree appears to be setting a lot of fruit, this is a good time to prune off some of the excess to ensure you have larger, healthy fruits instead of a bunch of tiny ones.
As individual blossoms begin to swell into fruit, it’s also important to keep your tree warm. A cold snap can cause the flowers or fruit to fall off the tree. Avoid temperatures dropping below 30 degrees if at all possible.
Fruit should be allowed to ripen on the tree, as it develops all of its sweetness and flavor during that ripening period. When it is ripe, the fruit softens up, and generally the entire tree will become ripe at or around the same period of time.
Post-harvest, the tree recovers during the rest of the spring, sending up new shoots and growth from spring into summer. Once fall comes back around, it’s time for flowering again.
Flowering may not be consistent from year to year, and fruit set may vary. Some years may have a heavy harvest where others are much smaller. It depends on the weather conditions as to how well your loquat tree will produce annually.
Loquat Tree CareLoquats are lovely foliage trees when they’re not in fruit. Source: FastGrowingTrees.com
Typically preferring tropical climates, loquat plum trees are easy to care for once established. If you keep them in the right temperature range, they will provide beautiful dark green foliage and shade year-round. Let’s go over the perfect conditions for growing your loquat tree!
This tree should be grown in a full sun to part shade environment, and does best in zones 8-10. This means that much of California is perfect for growing these tangy-sweet small fruits, as well as much of the south or southeastern part of the United States.
Often, loquats are grown as a shade cover for patios, and they can be shaped into espalier patterns. If placed in the right location, you may be able to get a little shade on your japanese plum during the hottest portions of summer, which can be beneficial to the tree’s growth.
It is possible to grow loquats in containers. These will remain small and compact, and can be placed outdoors when the weather is optimal and moved inside under a bright grow light when the temperatures are too cold. Containers like Air Pots provide the most support to the tree’s root system.
Temperature and Humidity
Surprisingly sensitive to temperature, they can be grown as ornamentals in areas where it gets as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the fruit and flowers will fall off the tree at temperatures below 30 degrees, making it impossible for it to bear fruit.
If grown as a container plant in small form, you have the option of moving it indoors when the weather is too cold to protect the fruit and flowers.
Hot weather also becomes a problem. In temperatures of over 95 degrees, they suffer leaf-scorch and may have difficulties growing. It’s essential to provide supplemental watering during the hot summer months to alleviate these difficulties.
In their native Asian environments, loquats naturally thrive in a much more humid environment than they would in desert California or the southwestern half of the United States. Some cultivars have been developed which do well in lower-humidity conditions.
In the first year after planting a new tree, it’s important to water more heavily than you would otherwise. Water 3-4 times a week for the first two weeks, and then gradually and slowly reduce the watering frequency until it’s become established.
As a general rule, loquat trees planted in the ground will do well if local rain totals are between 20-45 inches per year. At the lower end of that range, it can benefit from additional watering at certain periods of time.
When the blossoms begin to swell into fruit in the spring, give it a long, slow seeping of water. This can be done with a drip hose, allowing the moisture to slowly seep through the soil around the tree’s roots. Stop if the water begins to run off.
Repeat this process another few times as the fruit begins to ripen to ensure it’s sweet and juicy, but only if you’re not having regular rain then. If you’re getting plenty of rain, additional water will not help.
During the heat of the summer, a weekly deep and slow watering will help your tree withstand the scorching rays of the sun. This is most important during weather that is 95 degrees or hotter. Again, a drip hose is very useful for this purpose, as it avoids splashing water around.
Mulching around the base of your tree during the summer months is also beneficial, as it keeps the moisture in the ground where the tree makes use of it.
SoilPlant a loquat tree in the ground with some leaf mulch to keep soil moist. Source: gnomicscience
Your loquat tree prefers a soil which drains well, but it is less picky than some plants are as to the soil makeup as long as it’s not salinated. The pH level of the soil is not much of a concern, as loquats grow well in both acidic and alkaline soils.
I recommend thoroughly loosening the soil in a four to five foot circle around where you’re planting your tree, going down at least 18″ below the soil surface. You can amend your soil with compost at this time if desired.
Poor drainage can cause your tree’s roots to struggle. If your soil is too clay-like, you may have to amend a wider area to provide good runoff. Your loquat will not like being in standing water for very long!
A slow-release granular fertilizer suitable for fruit trees will work just fine. Aim towards varieties intended to nourish apples, quinces, or pear trees, as these are closely related.
If you don’t have access to a fruit tree fertilizer, you can use a standard lawn fertilizer provided that it doesn’t have any weed preventative or weed killers mixed in.
The first year, three applications of fertilizer spread throughout the year should suffice, but wait until the tree has become somewhat established before doing the first fertilizing. You want the roots to penetrate the soil mass deeply before you start giving it additional nutrition.
In subsequent years, a good rule of thumb is to measure the diameter of the tree’s trunk. One pound of fertilizer per inch of trunk diameter is a good annual fertilizer rate, but space out feedings so it’s applied gradually over the course of the year and water it in well when applied.
When fertilizing, try to fertilize in a four-foot ring around the tree’s base. This allows the nutrients to penetrate to a wider area, and the roots are more easily able to absorb them as needed.
PropagationA cluster of ripe fruit. Source: Halcyon
Loquat trees can be propagated by seed or by grafting. However, ones grown from seed take much longer to become established and are not as reliable at producing fruit as grafted trees from established rootstock.
If planting from seed, the seeds need to be fresh.
Remove the seeds from the fruit and rinse them well to remove any residue from the inside of the fruit, and plant shortly thereafter. Do not allow them to dry out before planting, and if you must, keep them wrapped in moist paper towels until you can plant.
Grafted loquats are available from a number of nurseries, and I highly recommend going that route as you are guaranteed to have a much more viable fruit tree.
Transplanting loquats is fairly easy. Begin by preparing the soil where you wish the tree to be planted, working it to loosen the soil in at least a 4-foot circle around the area where you plan on planting.
Once the soil is loosened and a hole has been dug for the tree, remove it from its container. Rinse off some of the potting medium to expose its roots, although you don’t have to remove it all.
Place it in the hole at the same height it was originally planted, being careful to go no deeper. Make certain some of the new soil comes into contact with the roots, and fill the hole around it. Water it in well, and mulch to help prevent weeds from growing at its base.
A loquat tree planted in a container should be repotted annually to replenish its soil, to move it to a larger container if needed, and to carefully trim the tap root if trying to keep the tree in a dwarfing or small habit.
Be careful not to remove too much of the tap root so as to not greatly injure the tree, but light trimming will encourage your tree to remain small enough for its container and prevent the tree from becoming rootbound.
Loquats grown in the ground need little more than an annual April trimming to help ensure light can penetrate into the center of the tree canopy. They can be cosmetically pruned to keep them in a particular shape if desired.
Dead branches should be removed to keep the tree healthy, as well.
It is quite possible to do the espalier fruit tree method. If doing espalier, pruning will be much more regular, but new growth tips will be carefully maintained to ensure that the tree can produce fruit.
Container-grown trees can grow up to 2 feet per year and may need to be pruned to train them to a smaller, more compact size.
Harvesting and Storing LoquatsLovely, fresh loquat fruit ready to eat. Source: FastGrowingTrees.com
The fruits are rich in vitamin A, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber. They’re also low in sodium and saturated fats. Here’s how to harvest the fruit properly as well as to store it for your personal use!
Ripe loquats tend to be slightly larger than unripe ones, and will give slightly when gently pressed. Their skin will be a bit darker than unripe ones, which gives you an indication of when to start checking. If left too long on the tree, they will fall off on their own but will be overripe.
It’s easiest to harvest by trimming off the branch tip which the fruit is attached, taking down entire clumps of fruit all at once. Try to pick clumps where most of the fruit appears to be ripe to avoid waste.
Slightly under-ripe fruit is still edible, but may be a bit less sweet and juicy. Overripe fruit is soft and mushy, and tends to be excessively sweet.
While loquats are delicious and well worth growing, they all seem to come ripe at once. And while they’re wonderful for fresh eating, they only last for a few days once they’re ready. There is a definite “eat me now” period for fresh-eating purposes, after which they’re no longer suitable.
Happily, whole fruit can be popped onto a cookie sheet in the freezer and frozen until solid, and then stored in a freezer bag until ready for use. When thawed, it will be soft and a bit mushy, but makes for an excellent syrup or jam material.
You can also preserve your loquats by making jams, jellies, and syrups. As it’s low-acid, you may need to add additional acid for proper canning purposes.
The fruit reputedly also tastes good when pickled, and it’s also suitable to make wines and liqueurs. It can be used in secondary fermentation for beer as a flavoring.
Loquat Tree ProblemsLots of loquats on a tree. Notice the caterpillar-damaged leaf on the left side of image. Source: tomosuke214
Surprisingly, these trees have very few problems that you’ll need to contend with. Still, let’s go over those problems so you know what to do if they should appear!
The most common growing problem is leaf tip burn. This causes the tips of the leaves to brown and crisp up during hot periods of the year.
Unfortunately, there’s really no solution for this, as it’s generally caused by heat in excess of 95 degrees. Ensuring that your loquat tree has ample water during heatwaves is the only preventative measure, but even that doesn’t always work.
Tip-burned leaves will eventually drop off the tree on their own and be replaced with new leaves, so the problem will not last forever and is merely cosmetic.
The two most prevalent pests are scale insects (especially black scale), and fruit flies.
Scale insects can usually be treated by application of a horticultural mineral oil such as Monterey Horticultural Oil. The oil will coat the insects and smother them. This will work on any insects or larvae which are on the tree, but doesn’t prevent infect infestation once the oil wears off.
Regular applications of horticultural oil should prevent the buildup of any further scale, plus will act to kill off aphids and their eggs should they appear. While aphids are not as drawn to loquats as scale is, they are relatively common in California, but the oil will keep them at bay.
Fruit flies, the other major pest of loquats, are a bit trickier to deal with. The maggots of the fruit fly will burrow into the fruit and will cause it to rot and fall from the tree.
Cleaning up fallen fruit before the maggots can emerge will help keep the population low. However, the only real prevention methods are to use a fine-meshed bag over the fruit to protect it from fruit fly colonization, or spraying of chemicals which repel fruit flies. There are also lure traps available which have some effectiveness.
Some forms of caterpillar, particularly the larvae of the codling moth, may also try to infest your fruit. Exclusion bags (the fine-meshed bags I just mentioned) can help prevent them. Spraying of bacillus thurigiensis (BT) will also keep them at bay.
Finally, both birds and deer can become pests. Birds love the fruit, and will happily devour any which they can get to. Deer nibble on the foliage, finding the new growth and the fruit particularly tasty.
While exclusion bags will help protect your fruit from nibbling by the wildlife, it won’t protect the leaves. If you have a short tree, it might be wise to try to ensure that deer can’t reach it by other means (fences, etc).
DiseasesBirds may eat your ripening loquats if not protected. Source: Just Justin
While not susceptible to many diseases, your loquat tree is at risk of two different forms of blight: fire blight, and pear blight.
In areas which have late spring or early summer rain, or which have high humidity, fire blight is relatively common. Transmitted by bees, it turns young shoots brown and kills off the leaves.
There are some bactericides which are used to help prevent fire blight, but once the young shoots are infected, they need to be removed and destroyed. You will need to cut back infected material well into green and healthy wood to prevent its spread.
Pear blight acts similarly to fire blight, but is only particularly common in California. The same treatment applies, as both are bacterial infections.
Other than that, it can develop fungal leaf spots if airflow cannot easily penetrate the tree canopy. Keeping it pruned to allow light to the center of the tree can prevent most fungal diseases entirely. An application of Monterey Liqui-Cop will knock back outbreaks.
Frequently Asked QuestionsUnripe fruits on a loquat branch. Source: larryjh2234
Q: Are loquat and kumquat trees the same species?
A: Nope! In fact, while the fruit appears somewhat similar, they’re entirely different species. Loquat is Eriobotrya japonica, part of the Rosaceae family and related to plums, apples and pears, whereas kumquat is Citrus japonica and a relative of the mandarin orange.
The loquat’s name actually derives from being mistaken for a kumquat. The term “lou qwat” in Chinese literally means “black orange”, and was a reference to unripe kumquats.
how to prune at home
Contents of the article
- How does medlar grow?
- Conditions for the growth of medlar
- We carry out pruning of foliage
Residents of Russia, as a rule, do not grow medlar due to a rather cool climate, however, the tree can be grown at home or in a greenhouse or indoor greenhouse. More common for the climate of central Russia are the German varieties of this tree.
At the same time, the main thing is to follow the rules for tree care, periodically trim the crown and transplant the plant into a larger pot. How to properly cut the medlar and form its crown so that the tree bears fruit well and bears fruit? We will provide detailed explanations for all these questions later in our article.
How does medlar grow?
At this point in time, there are thirty main varieties of medlar bred by breeders, each of them has its own growing characteristics, tolerates climate and temperature changes in different ways. It is known that the medlar belongs to the genus of apple trees, the closest relatives of this shrub are hawthorn and quince.
The tree can grow quite tall, there are especially large specimens that reach a height of more than ten meters and have a spreading crown and abundant fruit. However, the more common trees are species that reach a height of five to six meters.
Such tall trees are not very suitable for growing at home or in closed greenhouses. They are more suitable for cultivation in greenhouses or open ground. Subject to favorable conditions and compliance with all the features of growing and caring for a tree, the fruits of the medlar appear already in the fifth or sixth year of life. Until this period, the tree needs care, periodic feeding and pruning.
Two types of loquat are the most common. This is a Caucasian or German loquat that grows in a relatively cool climate and can withstand temperatures as low as fifteen degrees Celsius.
Also Japanese loquat, a kind of loquat that grows in the hottest countries and needs a warm, dry climate. The fruits of the Japanese variety of loquat are larger. Often the diameter of one fruit can reach eight to ten centimeters.
The crown is fairly branched with lateral shoots and fleshy bright green leaves. A shrub leaf can reach a length of fifteen to twenty centimeters, depending on the age and variety of the tree. In autumn, the tree sheds its foliage, the process of leaf fall occurs at the onset of the first cold weather.
Conditions for the growth of medlar
Many beginner gardeners often wonder if it is possible to grow medlar at home? Of course, even a beginner who has not previously been involved in gardening can do this. The main thing is to choose the right place for the tree to grow. A tree cannot be grown unless the following conditions are met:
- The place of growth should be well lit, located on the southern most sunny side of the apartment or garden.
- Watering should be moderate, but fairly frequent, for this you should use water at room temperature, settled in advance, organic fertilizers and bait can be added to it.
- The soil for transplanting should be slightly acidic, well ventilated. It is known that the root system of lokva is superficial, so it is necessary to ensure periodic loosening of the upper layers of the soil. Thus, the plant will receive the necessary supply of oxygen to the root system.
- If the plant is grown indoors, it must be provided with a constant supply of fresh air. To do this, open windows or a balcony more often, periodically ventilate the room. If the plants are grown in a greenhouse, open the shutters. So you will provide the necessary ventilation, and the tree will grow healthy and bear fruit abundantly in the warm season.
- In order for the tree to grow healthy and form shoots correctly, it is necessary to trim the crown. Medlar has a rather dense branched crown. However, it is necessary to carefully care for the tree, cut the tops of the branches, and remove dry leaves. Also, pruning is necessary during the formation of buds and the first ovaries in a shrub. If you do not monitor the condition of the branches and foliage of a tree, then the immunity of the plant may weaken, it will begin to hurt, or even die.
Further in the article, we will talk in more detail about the procedure for pruning medlar, about how and when it is better to form a tree crown.
We carry out pruning of foliage
So, pruning foliage and forming a tree crown is extremely necessary. How to do it yourself, especially if you had no experience before? First of all, you should understand that you should cut the leaves from autumn to winter. After the autumn period of fruiting, the German variety of medlar rests for a while. And you should not touch the leaves and branches, otherwise the tree will simply slow down in growth.
Medlar blooms, as a rule, in winter or early spring, depending on the variety and variety of the plant. It is at this time of the year, before the first buds and leaves appear on the tree, that it is necessary to prune dry branches and side shoots, which can adversely affect the further growth of young shoots and roots. The tops of the trees should be pruned, but it should be remembered that pruning should be carried out no more than one third of the length of the total growth of the tree.
It will be correct to form the crown of the tree as follows:
- Select a common massive trunk of a small length, then cut the branches in such a way that side shoots are formed. In this way you will achieve the appearance of a multi-stem tree, with many branched leaves. This will give an advantage in the formation of the delivery and further fruit bearing. The more branches, the more fruits you will be able to get the fruit ripening period.
- When forming the general view of the crown, it should be remembered that the branches should not drown out each other's growth. To this end, weak side shoots must be pinched so that they do not interfere with the growth of the main branches.
- Medlar is a fairly heat-loving plant, and does not tolerate frost and low temperatures. Therefore, most often it is grown in greenhouses. The shrub thus becomes limited in height, and the grower has to prune the upper crown of the tree, leaving the growth advantage of the lateral stems.
Excessively dense side shoots should not be allowed, otherwise the leaves and branches may simply drown each other out, which will prevent fruit set. Therefore, the medlar should be thinned out, leaving only single side branches and shoots of foliage.
The formation of the crown should be started from the second or third year after planting the plant in open ground or in a pot.
It is not recommended to prune younger seedlings, as this can damage their further growth and weaken their immunity. When pruning the crown, it is necessary to carefully examine the reverse side of the leaves of the shrub, this must be done in order to make sure that the tree does not get sick.
Despite the fact that the medlar has a fairly strong immunity, this plant can be susceptible to the invasion of false scales, aphids or false soot fungus.
When pruning, it is recommended to carefully inspect the reverse side of the leaf. If blackening is visible on the reverse side, and the leaf itself dries out and curls, the tree is most likely sick with a soot fungus.
Leaves are affected by medlars and scale insects - small insects with a strong chitinous shell that feed on the juice of tree leaves. Invasions of scale insects can be extremely dangerous not only for a tree, but also for closely growing trees. You need to start fighting this disease as soon as possible, so you will not let the epidemic spread and the rest of the trees will not die.
Pruning should be carried out before the first fruits begin to set, after which it is undesirable to touch the tree. However, it is important to remember that the fruits of the tree grow quite closely, five to seven pieces per branch.
At the same time, they do not always have time to mature, sometimes they all lack nutrients coming from branches and crowns. In this case, the ovaries should also be thinned out to allow the remaining fruits to fully form and ripen.
In conclusion, it should be noted that it is necessary to prune the loquat not only if you grow it at home in a pot or tub, but also if you planted this tree at home or on a personal plot, in an orchard.
Properly performed lateral and crown pruning will give your tree an advantage in growth and further fruit formation and ripening. We can say that pruning branches and foliage contributes to a richer harvest, and this is precisely the main desire and goal of every gardener.
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When to prune medlar | Gardening included
If you have a medlar, you know that sometimes you have to prune its branches to keep it growing and developing. But when to trim the medlar?
If you have just realized that you do not know the exact recommendations for pruning a fruit tree, Here we will try to help you so that you can take the best care of this living being.
- 1 Why cut the musmulum
- 3.2.4 Rejuvenation pruning
Why prune medlar
Depending on the purpose you want to achieve with your tree, pruning will be one way or the other. . For example, it may be that you want to increase your fruit production because it gives you little; or maybe you want it to produce better quality fruits.
In general, medlar is cut for various reasons (and each has its own way of cutting).
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- Because you want to shape your medlar. In this case, a training pruning is done.
- Because you want to take care of and increase the amount of fruit he gives you (industrial pruning).
- When cleared of dry or interfering branches and leaves (thinning pruning).
- Because you want to rejuvenate it (total cropping).
So the first thing you have to ask yourself is why you want to prune your medlar. Depending on your answer, you can choose one or another type of cropping. Do you mean it's only cut that way? The truth is, no.
We give you an example. Imagine that you have a young loquat and you want to shape it. You would use shaping pruning, but what if after a few years it has already formed, and now you need something else? This would have been done without a problem. You would save the practice pruning so it doesn't go "wild", but that would be minimal compared to the pruning you want to start at that time (cleaning, production...).
When to prune medlar
Once you have a clear goal to achieve with prune, the next step is to know when to do it.
In this case, los medlars should never be cut in winter, even in cold weather, because they are very tender and can die after cutting if done at low temperatures.
Therefore, experts recommend that if you choose the time, it is to be early spring , but given the temperatures that it can do. That is, if it is spring now, but it is still cold, then it is better to wait a bit, at the beginning of summer, which will be much more appropriate.
Not recommended as much in autumn because he may not survive the winter without these cuts healed and he will have more trouble moving forward.
How to trim a medlar
If you have a medlar and you know it's time to trim it, we'll give you the keys so you can do it in the best possible way. Do you want to know how? Take action.
The first step is to get the tools you need. Be careful because these will not only be pruners, but depending on what kind of fruit tree you have, you may also need a saw or chainsaw and/or a pruner.
In general, you should have:
- Secateurs. They will serve you well for branches that are less than 5 cm. It is true that it could cut thicker, but you run the risk that the cut is not quick and clean and you make the tree suffer.
- Saw or chainsaw . The first is suitable for branches up to 20 cm, and the second can be cut thicker.
- Podadora de Altura . Ideal for tall branches.
This would be on one side, but you will also need a ladder if yours is very tall; and protect yourself with gloves, goggles, shoes, etc.
Obviously you will use more or less tools depending on the type of trimming you are doing.
Types of pruning
As we mentioned earlier, you need to know not only when to trim the medlar, but also what types of pruning are performed.
Depending on your purpose, you will choose one or the other based on the following:
Practice pruning can start from the moment you have a young plant, because it consists in adjusting its structure and creating a good foundation for your medlar.
In this case you have to make sure that you have a central trunk about 40-50 cm. From it there should come out 4 to 6 main branches, which can be said to be the first floor, and then they form the next ones.
When pruning, you must ensure that it supports the base and at the same time that the sun and air fully penetrate the tree.
Also referred to as fruiting pruning, the goal of is to improve fruit quality as well as increase fruit production.
And how is it done? You must prevent the tree from getting too tall. To do this, you cut off the vigorous branches and leave the most fruitful ones. You should also eliminate those that grow vertically and don't leave many holes so the sun can't burn the branches or trunk.
Called a cleaning plague, it consists of minimal maintenance, where you have to remove diseased branches from the tree, as well as already dry ones.
This ensures that diseases or pests do not develop, and on the other hand, you prevent the energy that the medlar spends on these branches from being distributed to those that are really important.
The last trimming is the sharpest, and at the same time you should be very careful with it, because it is not easy to perform with good results.
This happens when the medlar has already grown old and fruit production has dropped significantly. Thus, they strive to give it a second life, but at the same time, if you do not do it well, it can destroy the tree.