If you want to try your hand at growing a rare fruit, jujube trees
(Ziziphus jujuba), also known as Chinese date trees, might just be your next venture. The jujube trees can grow up to 40 feet (12 meters) in height, with long drooping branches, and is often thorny. The tree is quite lovely and used by some gardeners for ornamentation. Unlike many other fruiting trees, jujubes tend not to drop fruit as readily, and therefore will not make a mess of the garden beneath them. Jujube leaves are small and oval or round, turning yellow in the fall before dropping off. Almost all jujube leaves have spines. Jujube trees thrive in hot weather and will grow under harsh conditions. Their roots will send up suckers that should be promptly removed. They can be grown as patio trees
in 15 gallon pots.
Extensive winter pruning keeps the tree healthy. In the United States, the jujube tree has no serious disease or insect problems. The leaves of the jujube trees
are eaten by some animal species, and the fruit and bark are both used to generate brown or reddish plant dyes. The tree is also resistant to many pests, making in an excellent choice for organic gardening. Some adherents of Asian medicine believe that the jujube has many healthy qualities. The fruit is extremely high in vitamin C, but has no other demonstrated health benefits.
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