If you’re thinking of planting loquats in your garden for their delicious fruit, get prepared for the extended loquat tree growth rate. While some trees can produce fruits within a year of planting, loquats can take longer. How long is this process, and can you help speed it up? We explore the loquat tree growth rate below.
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Loquat trees or Eriobotrya japonica are fruit-bearing trees with short trunks and dark green, leathery leaves. They’re cultivated for their small, pear-shaped sweet fruit but also as decorative shrubs. A fully grown loquat can reach up to 33feet, but they’re usually around 13feet tall.
Loquat trees have a prominent crown with soft twigs that can reach 15 feet in diameter. Due to their shape, they’re often used in landscapes to create an impeccable backdrop.
Where To Plant A Loquat Tree?
Loquat trees require sunlight and warm temperatures. They also need plenty of space around. Choose a clear spot in your garden away from other trees and any hanging power cords or lines. The loquat tree requires well-draining soil as well as full sun exposure. They can tolerate partial shade, but it will affect the amount of bloom and fruit production.
Keep in mind that loquat trees yield soft fruit that can easily fall off when ripe. It’s best to plant the tree away from concrete patios, porches, and terraces. Ripe fallen fruit makes a mess and attracts bugs.
How Fast Does A Loquat Tree Grow?
The growth rate is the progress in height a tree achieves in the course of a year. Depending on the number, the growth rate can be slow, medium, or fast.
How to determine the growth rate of your loquat? It starts with the planting. Loquat trees planted from seeds usually have a slow growth rate – 12 inches or less. The medium growth rate is 13 to 24 inches, and the fast growth is 25 inches and above.
Buying a planted and advanced loquat tree from a garden center is one option to get a fast growth rate. Seeds are more unpredictable – you can end up with a tree with a slow or medium growth rate.
Improve The Loquat Tree Growth Rate
When the loquat tree growth rate fails your expectations, it’s time for some boost. Here’s what you can try to maximize its growth potential:
Pick The Perfect Spot
You can plant loquat trees in pots or directly in your garden. In both cases, you need to provide plenty of sunlight, nutrients, and water. Choose a clean area of your garden without any other trees and plants. If your loquat has to fight for nutrients, the growth rate and quality will suffer.
Remove all other plants in 3 feet span from your loquat. To keep the zone clear, apply 4 inches of mulch. Don’t bring the mulch too close to the loquat so it doesn’t soak up any moisture.
If you want to plant more trees, leave at least 15 feet of distance between them.
Help The Roots
Loquat trees have shallow roots. As a result, they often struggle to make their way through the soil. The problem increases when you purchase a tree from a garden center. They grow their trees in a soilless medium, which forms a border with the soil. This stops the roots from receiving nutrients from the soil. The result is a tree with slow and stagnant growth.
It’s essential to remove as much medium as you can from the root ball before planting.
Loquat trees require fertilizer 3 times a year. You can use a 0-10-10 organic fish emulsion or a 6-6-6. Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers. They promote wood production at the expense of lower flower and fruit yields.
A granulated, slow-release fertilizer will work great. Apply it in winter, spring, and the beginning of summer. The tree doesn’t need fertilizer during the growing season.
Loquat Growing Zones
Loquat trees thrive in a warm climate. They tolerate drought and like to be sheltered from the wind. Loquat trees perform best in USDA Plant Hardiness zones 8 to 10. However, you can try your luck even if you live outside these zones. As long as your winter temperatures don’t fall below 27°F, the loquat tree will grow and bear fruit each year.
High temperatures are also a problem. If your summer temperatures go over 95°F the loquat will have a slow growth rate.
How To Slow Down Loquat Tree Growth Rate?
To slow down the growth rate of your loquat tree, fertilize less frequently. Apply fertilizer only once in midwinter. You also prune the tree to keep it shorter. However, this will result in a wider crown.
How Long Does It Take A Loquat Tree To Produce Fruit
A loquat tree grown from seed will need up to 10 years before it produces any fruit. A young tree purchased from a nursery takes approximately 3 years before yielding the first fruits.
Many of the loquat trees on the market are grafted, which means they’re self-pollinating. But if you have a variety that’s not self-fertile, you must plant a second tree nearby. If you keep to one tree only, you can expect a small harvest.
Fast Growth Rate But No Fruit On Your Loquat Tree?
A fruitless loquat tree is not a rare sight. The main reason is an unsuitable climate. Older trees can survive temperatures in the low tens. Young trees, on the other hand, are sensitive to cold weather. The tree might bloom, but the flowers will freeze and fall out. Loquats won’t produce fruit if the soil is too nutritiously poor, too moist, and the place is shady.
If you can’t provide better conditions, you can still have fruitless loquats as ornamental trees.
Bottom Line: Loquat Tree Growth Rate
When provided with warm temperature, well-draining soil, and adequate fertilizer, loquat trees grow over 25 inches a year.
If you live in a cooler climate or have a shaded garden, your loquat will grow slow and might not produce any fruit.
These trees are highly ornamental, so you can use them to diversify your landscape.
Thinking of planting a loquat tree? Share this article with your family members and get their thoughts on the idea!
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