Loquats are a delicious winter fruit. They ripen first to yellow, then to orange, and like many tropical fruits, are usually not at full sweetness and flavor until they exhibit some softening and some discoloration. The skin is edible, but is often removed for better texture and flavor. Each fruit contain one or a few easily removed seeds, which are inedible.

An attractive, medium-sized tree, it is an excellent choice for edible landscaping. Obtain a grafted, named variety. Loquat trees are very cold tolerant, but not very drought-tolerant and definitely not flood-tolerant— plant on high ground or on a mound with plenty of soil above the highest standing water expected. Fruit should be aggressively thinned once formed. Remove spent and fallen fruit to interrupt the life cycle of fruit flies.

At SweetSong Groves, we have three loquat trees, of varieties Bradenton, Christmas, and Big Jim. So far, only Big Jim has fruited in commercial quantities, but watch for all three in coming seasons.

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