"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant."
Robert Louis Stevenson

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Loquat Tree, A New Addition To The Family

Loquat Tree with gopher guard
We celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary Oct 22nd.  This year we decided to buy a Loquat Tree for our gift to each other.  We planted it on Saturday after much discussion as to where it should be planted.  After carrying the tree from the back yard to the front yard and around the house a few times we ended up planting it on the east bank by the driveway.  This is about 15 feet from the citrus trees.  I was told that they grow quickly and we should be picking fruit next year.  The plant to the right of the Loquat tree is my eggplant.  It is still setting flowers/fruit, even though the temperatures are in the lower 50's at night.

Loquat or Eriobotrya japonica is an evergreen large shrub or small tree, with a rounded crown, short trunk and woolly new twigs. The tree can grow to 16–33 ft tall, but is often smaller, about 8–13 ft.
The leaves are alternate, simple, 10–25 cm long, dark green, tough and leathery in texture, with a serrated margin, and densely velvety-hairy below with thick yellow-brown pubescence; the young leaves are also densely pubescent above, but this soon rubs off.

Loquats are unusual among fruit trees in that the flowers appear in the autumn or early winter, and the fruits are ripe in late winter or early spring. The flowers are 2 cm diameter, white, with five petals, and produced in stiff panicles of three to ten flowers. The flowers have a sweet, heady aroma that can be smelled from a distance.

Loquat fruits, growing in clusters, are oval, rounded or pear-shaped, 3–5 cm long, with a smooth or downy, yellow or orange, sometimes red-blushed skin. The succulent, tangy flesh is white, yellow or orange and sweet to sub-acid or acid, depending on the cultivar. Each fruit contains five ovules, of which one to five mature into large brown seeds. The skin, though thin, can be peeled off manually if the fruit is ripe.
The fruits are the sweetest when soft and orange. The flavor is a mix of peach, citrus and mild mango.

Last years anniversary gift was a Brown Turkey Fig Tree.  It gave us around 10 figs this year.  It really is not much larger than when we planted it, but it did have a lot more leaves.  I was thrilled to get that many figs after the first year.  I hope our Loquat is as generous!

Think Like a Tree
by Karen I. Shragg

Soak up the sun
Affirm life's magic
Be graceful in the wind
Stand tall after a storm
Feel refreshed after it rains
Grow strong without notice
Be prepared for each season
Provide shelter to strangers
Hang tough through a cold spell
Emerge renewed at the first signs of spring
Stay deeply rooted while reaching for the sky
Be still long enough to
hear your own leaves rustling.