- Author: Phyllis Molnar
- Editor: Noni Todd
By Phyllis A Molnar UCCE Master Gardener
Common name: Loquat or Japanese Plum
Scientific name: Eriobotrya japonica
Zone: Zones 8 to 10
Size: 15 to 30 feet tall and wide
Bloom Season: Late October and November
Pruning needs: Requires little pruning
Water needs: Drought tolerant, at least 1 inch per week for best growth
and fruit production.
Years ago, my husband and I moved to our current home. The property is just over an acre and it was in dire need of landscaping for privacy and protection from the prevailing northwest winds. The only large trees growing were one well-shaped oak tree, several large eucalyptus trees, queen palms lining the driveway and several Peruvian pink peppercorn trees.
We removed the eucalyptus after learning that they were a danger to our septic system. Doing so left us in need of a wind barrier to protect the smaller trees, bushes and our vegetable-raised beds. After much debate and research, we chose to plant loquat trees on the northwest property line to replace the eucalyptus.
Planting loquats has proven to be perfect for our needs. Loquats are adorned with wide large-veined leaves measuring 6-12 inches long, and clusters of fragrant white blossoms that develop into pear shaped yellow fruit with 1 to 4 large seeds. Once established, this fruit-bearing evergreen tree will tolerate dry conditions with an annual application of nitrogen fertilizer in spring. Loquats are low maintenance and self-mulching. Let the leaves fall and remain in place to provide weed suppressing mulch and a great environment for beneficial insects.
The loquat is a refuge for local and migratory birds that live and nest within the protection of the spacious canopy. Our loquat is also frequented by bees and other wildlife. We delight in watching quail families emerge from under the loquat; tiny babies herded by protective adults. Keep in mind that this tree can also be a great hiding place for rabbits, which are suitable prey for raptors and owls.
Consider planting loquats to provide form and function for you and wildlife!
Our Advice to Grow By Workshops are back!!!
Our next workshop will be February 18th, 2023, at 10:00 to 12:00 p.m. in our Seven Sisters Demonstration Garden at 2154 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo. The topic will be “Dahlias-Preparing for Spring” and “Do's and Don'ts for Compost”.
Learn how to dig, divide, label and store your dahlias. Tips to creating and caring for your own backyard compost pile and green bin guidelines-what to put in your bin and not put in! This workshop will be held in our garden so please be prepared for the weather outside. Inclement weather will cancel the workshop.
Other ways to see or reach us:
You can view workshops on Instagram live at slo mg or visit our You Tube channel at “San Luis Obispo County UC Master Gardeners.”
Visit our website at ucanr.edu/sites/mgslo/ or email questions to email@example.com.
Our physical offices are now open!!!!!
Covid may still affect staffing levels, so it is best to call before heading to your local Helpline office:
San Luis Obispo: 805-781-5939 (Monday and Thursday 1:00 to 5:00)
Arroyo Grande: 805-473-7190 (10:00 to 12:00)
Templeton: 805-434-4105 (Wednesday 9:00 to 12:00)