Allow me to introduce you to the Big Jim Loquat Tree (Eriobotrya japonica ‘Big Jim’) – a self-fruiting and resilient tree that produces some of the tastiest and fleshiest Loquat varieties out there! This amazing fruit is a true delight, and you’re lucky to have the best of the best with the Big Jim!
But who is Big Jim, you may ask? Well, Jim Neitzel was a visionary fruit grower and a founding board member of the California Rare Fruit Growers Organization. He named this variety after himself for a reason – it truly is astounding! As an advocate of people growing their own fruits and veggies, Jim Neitzel developed many great sub-tropical varieties for backyard gardens!
The Big Jim Loquat Tree produces clusters of up to twelve yellow-orange fruits that can grow up to 2.5 inches in size – plenty to share with your neighbors! And the taste is something to savor. With a citrus-flavored Apricot taste, the fruit is easy to peel with a deep yellow flesh and few brown seeds. So, if you’re looking for a delicious and easy-to-grow fruit tree, the Big Jim Loquat Tree is definitely worth considering.
Planting and Application
As winter fades and spring begins, Loquat fruit ripens in the early spring, just after most citrus fruit has finished. With their sweet, tangy flavor, Loquats are the perfect transition fruit from winter to summer.
The lush, deep-green, lance-shaped leaves of the Loquat tree remain throughout the year, making it an attractive evergreen option for your garden. Whether used as a background shrub or a striking specimen plant, Loquats are a versatile and eye-catching addition to any landscape.
- Yellow-orange skin & easy to peel – or eat the skin for a sweet & chewy treat!
- Yellow flesh, tart citrus-apricot flavor & few seeds
- Juice keeps for up to 2 weeks in the fridge!
- Great privacy hedge or specimen ornamental
- If space is a concern, Big Jim is also very easy to Espalier.
Tips for Care
The Big Jim Loquat tree is a versatile sub-tropical that flourishes in full sun, making it a great addition to patios or decks. This variety is highly adaptable and can thrive in various soil types. Once established, it is resistant to drought conditions. Surprisingly, Big Jim is cold-hardy and can tolerate temperatures as low as 12 degrees, making it a popular choice for colder zones.
If you reside in Zones 7-8, it is important to be prepared for extended periods of cold weather by covering your tree with a frost blanket when necessary. This simple precaution can help ensure the tree’s survival and continued growth.
- Low water needs once established & full sun
- It can easily be pruned and kept 8 feet high or as a multi-trunked tree or shrub-form
- Roots are not invasive and readily grow in a container or planter
- Bears fruit at about 3-4 years of age
- Tough plants once established, requiring little care
Loquat fruit has many health benefits and is high in Vitamins A and C.