Garden Word of the Day
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Loquats are delicious, highly productive, broadleaf evergreen trees.
Loquats, also known as Japanese plums, are native to Asia. These easy-to-grow trees are members of the rose family.
Loquat tree characteristics
Loquat trees (Eriobotrya japonica) can reach 10 to 25 feet tall and across. Most specimens are smaller than that. In some cases, they look more like a spreading shrub. They offer lovely, fragrant white blooms in November and December, and can handle temperatures as low as 28°F. Leaves are elliptical, wrinkled, leathery, and toothed around the edge (margins). They are darker on top and lighter underneath. Smooth or slightly fuzzy yellow to orange fruits ripen in spring. These fruits contain one or more very large seeds and the fruit is delicious. These trees can make a bit of a mess when fruit drop time comes around. Loquat trees have a shallow root system, so care should be taken when digging nearby, and regular irrigation is helpful during the peak of summer. On the flip side, they cannot tolerate standing water.
Pests and diseases of loquat
The loquat tree is resistant to most pests and diseases. Fireblight, various rots, cankers, blights, and leaf spot may occur. Aphids, caterpillars, fruit flies, and scale insects may feed on your loquat tree.
This attractive, rounded tree provides beauty at a time when many plants are sleeping through winter. The fruit can be eaten fresh, or used to make jams, jellies, or pies.
I’m ordering mine today!
UPDATE: Loquat seed toxicity
It was recently brought to my attention that loquat seeds can be toxic to dogs and other animals. I did some research and this is what I learned:
So, once again, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. If your dog eats a few loquats, the worst thing that will happen is a little stomach upset. If your dog is crazy in love with loquats, you should probably limit their access to the fruit.
4/30/2019 11:03:31 am
Both my daughters dog and mine became severely sick and had to be hospitalized due to eating Loquats. They are dangerous if the seeds are chewed and ingested. My dog even suffered seizures and is on seizure medicine right now. My daughter's dog almost died. So yes poisoning can happen if enough are chewed and eaten.
5/2/2019 09:15:36 am
That must have been terribly frightening! I'm so glad to hear that your dog survived.
2/22/2020 04:28:17 am
My dog had seizures from loquat also, please be careful!
2/22/2020 06:05:01 am
11/29/2020 11:47:16 am
We have two high producing loquat trees in our yard; it is now late fall with only a few seeds left on the ground. For the second time in two years we've had an unfortunate cluster of squirrel deaths (and a couple rats). Well fed, and no evidence of starvation or other visible signs of disease. Anyone aware of this phenomenon?
11/30/2020 07:36:30 am
It may be that a neighbor is poisoning the rats and squirrels. which would be unfortunate (and dangerous for pets and other wildlife). I urge you to reach out to your local Vector Control Office, County Extension Office, or Master Gardeners to let them know what is going on. They may be able to provide more information.
11/30/2020 08:36:40 am
Yes, thanks. That was my assumption as well. Our neighborhood is very eco-friendly, and it would be very unusual. I did send out an APB however to be careful re pets, especially cats. The usual poison for rodents is warfarin, and can be reversed if caught early enough.
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