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. 🙂
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.
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.
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.