I am going to put in a loquat tree (got to be about 5 years old. But I am also going to try and do a few from a tree I have encountered. Can someone give me any tips I am in upper SC. I am just curious about if I am going to try from seed what kind of growth rate can I expect, and how long do I have to protect the seedlings?
Buffy, You might want to consider Air Layering. It works real well with loquat and you will have a tree and fruit much faster. The only drawback, and it is not serious, is the tree will not have a tap root. If you are not familiar with air layering just goggle it. Don
Here in San Marcos, TX, Loquats are in every other yard. Almost all of them are from seedlings from other yards. In a well drained location with full sun, they can grow rapidly. Usually, you dont see fruit until they are about 8 feet tall and bushy. That can take 3-5 years in good conditions.
They are incredibly drought and heat tolerant. They can take single digit cold weather but if the flowers or young fruit are exposed to temps below 23F, you will lose most of your crop. They tend to flower in November and December. Our trees have had fruit on them for the last two months and they should ripen in about 30 days.
The fruits at the local botanical gardens usually ripens around here in May
I don't have to worry about that for now anyway...LOL...It really is a beautiful, tree. I have several folks around here that I do not think they know what they have (due to its planting space, right next to the house like a como=mon foundation shrub,LOL...Oh and the yearly pruning and shaping down to a managable shrub size:O))
Anyway I am using it as a fruit source, as well a to cover an unsightly storage building ont the neighbors property, maybe I can at least blur that ugly thing with my beautiful living fence I am trying to create:O)
I moved here a year ago and have a Loquat tree so i am having the first ones since i was a boy. I found the seed removal to be too tedious, so i took a 6" piece of copper water tube, as used for house plumbing, and sharpened the inside of each end. I cut 1/4" from each end of the loquat, and place the tool against the blossom end and all of the seeds and most the sac push right out. It reduces the prep time by 75%, and leaves a very attractive fruit with the skin on. It makes a cobbler similar to a Apricot.
I find that the skin adds a bit of tartness and gives a better consistency than the peeled ones, but the peeled ones are sweeter. Some of mine sunburned and that leaves a hard spot on the skin, but does not hurt the flesh inside.
Loquats are very resilient. I live in metro Atlanta. I bought ten loquat trees for $30 from Ebay three years ago. I kept them in-doors during the first winter. I planted couple of them on the ground in the next spring and gave the rest to my friends. They survived the winter without any winter protection. There were couple times we had mid-teens. It's not a problem for them.