The loquat is indigenous to south-eastern China and possibly southern Japan, though it may have been introduced into Japan in very early times. It is said to have been cultivated in Japan for over 1, 000 years. The loquat tree is an evergreen with large, stiff leaves. It is one of the few sub-tropical fruit species within the Rosaceae family.
Great in a container for the smaller garden, or as a specimen tree in the large garden. The round headed trees can be used to shade a patio. Loquats also make attractive espaliers.
Fruits are high in vitamin A (but poor in vitamin C) and has good levels of potassium.
How to Eat
Eat fresh off the tree. Cook in pies or stews; remove the stone as bitterness will be left. The fruits are tasty mixed with other fruits such as banana, pineapple and coconut. In jams leave a stone or two to give a bite to the jam. They have good levels of pectin for jam setting. Loquats also make a fine tasting wine.
35 - 50kg per mature tree.
Generic Fruiting Time
Extreme summer heat is detrimental but likes fun sun or partial shade.
Fairly wind tolerant and salt tolerant.
Very hardy to cold but best adapted to subtropical and warm temperate climates. Too much cold and heat will reduce fruit production. Frost hardy but young trees need protection for the first couple of years.
Plant in a well drained fertile soil with access to plenty of moisture during the growing season. They are not particular about soil but prefer good drainage thou can handle periods of moderately wet soils or drought.
Apply organic matter to assist quick establishment and reduce moisture lost, they have shallow root system. The roots are not invasive so they can be planted next to a building.
Loquats are only moderately nutrient hungry, over feeding will cause a reduce in flowering. Once established once a year in late summer of a general fertiliser is adequate.
Prune only to maintain desired shape and open the internal growth to allow light in. Prune after harvesting before summer growth. Can prune so height is kept at a manageable size but also can be espaliered.
Loquat has few natural pests. Tip burn of the leaves frequently appears during a hot, dry summer as a consequence of soil and water salinity. Tip burn is not particularly deleterious to the tree and there is nothing you can do about it anyway