Loquats, also known as Japanese plums or Japanese medlar, is a fruit tree that you might just have in your yard if you live in Texas. You also might spot loquat trees in some other warmer climates around the United States like California and Florida. These yellow-orange fruits are native to China and look similar to kumquats or a small apricot. If you haven't heard of loquats or you have one of these fruit trees growing in your yard and you're not sure what to do with this delicious fruit, read on to learn more.
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I do love this time of the year...beautiful mornings to enjoy a cup of coffee in the garden with a blue sky, roses blooming, the doves cooing to each other...and seeing these wonderful loquats growing and ripening in the trees! If you are not familiar with them, they are soft fleshy fruits with lots of juice in them. Just seeing them brings happy memories for me. I'll tell you the happy story of how we came to have multiple loquat trees in our garden. After we got married and moved into this house, my in-laws were also moving... but they also wanted to pass on their love of the home garden and keep the loquats in the family, so they grew small pots of loquats from seeds in the fruits they harvested that year they were getting ready to move, and gave us a dozen or so of the resulting young plants. Well, we planted some of these small trees ourselves and shared some by giving the remaining trees to friends. Each year ours grew and so did our friends'! We would have loquat picking get-togethers and the buckets of loquats were given away to other friends and the goodwill continued year after year. Well, since then friends have moved but we have continued the tradition of planting the seeds and then gifting small plants to others. The power of giving is amazing and fruit trees are such wonderful gifts as they hold the power of health and abundance. Even though it takes a while to grow, it yields much more than planted. It's encouraging and reassuring to know that if we put in the effort to sow, we will ultimately reap the benefit from our efforts. It's true in all areas of life. I’ll be adding them to my smoothie in the mornings and maybe in my vegetable juicing in the afternoons/evenings, but I’m also looking to try fun new healthy recipes to make with the family. So, if you have ideas or recommendations, I’d love to know. Thanks!
Beginning in autumn or early winter, loquat trees will flower and by early spring or early summer, the loquat fruit will ripen. With its short trunk and woolly twigs, loquat trees can grow as tall as 25 feet and spread 15-20 feet.
The leaves are dark green and stiff, which adds some nice color to the yard along with the pretty white flowers before the fruit comes in.
Where To Buy a Loquat Tree
If you find yourself with a loquat tree in the backyard or you're planning on planting one, caring for this fruit tree is quite easy. They like sunny locations with lightly moist soil around the tree. Make sure the area around the tree is weed-free and by adding a layer of mulch, you can help keep those pesky weeds at bay.
You do not need to prune loquat trees since the tree will establish its natural shape as long as it has enough space to develop. Loquat trees will bear fruit in 2-3 years and fruit production is no joke-- 100 pounds to be exact!
How to Prepare Loquat Fruits
So, you have all of this fresh fruit, now what? Loquat fruits grow in clusters, and like mentioned before, they are small, yellow-orange pear-shaped fruits. When loquats ripen, they're sweet and slightly tart. The flavor is a mix between citrus, peach, and apricot. They also have a high natural pectin content, which is ideal for use in jams and jellies. You can also toss the fresh fruit into a fruit salad or add to your morning smoothie. Loquat fruit is also a great addition to baked fruit pies.
If you're not able to enjoy loquats right away (they rot quickly), you can refrigerate the fruit for up to two weeks or preserve the fruit by freezing, canning, or dehydrating.
Each loquat fruit, which is high in nutrients, contain 1-3 brown seeds, so just be sure to remove it before breaking into the fruit. You could always plant the brown seeds right away for another tree.
If you're lucky enough to have a tree growing in your backyard, don't let the fruit just drop to the ground! Make the most out of the delicious fruit or go ahead and share it with your neighbors and friends.