The Chinese jujube is grown commercially only in Western Australia, in the Perth Hills, South West region and some Wheatbelt and northern areas not usually linked to orchards. There is one commercial grower in Mildura, Victoria and jujubes have also grown successfully in New South Wales and South Australia.
Chinese Jujube grows well on a variety of soils. The tree prefers sandy loams or lighter soils but will grow on heavier clays. The jujube tree can tolerate saline, alkaline or slightly acidic soils but grows best in soil with pH 4.5–8.4.
币游注册The Chinese Jujube grows best in climates with a long, hot, dry summer after adequate rain early in the season and cool temperatures during its dormancy. In Western Australia, jujubes are currently grown in areas where rainfall ranges from around 200–1,000mm annually.
The jujube has a lower water requirement and higher salt tolerance than most fruit crops. The tree adapts to drought conditions and not only survives but also produces reasonable yield under severe drought. Under natural conditions the tree forms a deep and substantial taproot making it drought tolerant.
Fruit set of jujubes requires average daily temperatures above 20°C. Fruit development requires average daily temperatures over 24–25°C.
币游注册There are close to 1,000 varieties of Chinese Jujube recorded in China, classified by end use, including fresh, dried, candied, multipurpose and ornamental.
币游注册In Western Australia there are currently 15 recognised varieties grown:
- Don Polenski
- GA 866
- Admiral Wilkes
币游注册The main rootstock used in Western Australia is Jin-si-lin, which is grown in sucker beds, before being grafted with the chosen variety.
币游注册The varieties Chico and Li are the most favoured fruit in the market.
Planting and crop management
In Western Australia, the number of trees planted per hectare ranges from around 550-1,000, with conventional jujube orchards planted at 4−5m x 5−6m spacings.
币游注册Trees can be purchased from speciality providers and transplanting trees in the field is most successful at bud burst. Note that demand for trees outstrips supply and therefore potential industry entrants may need to pre-order stock.
Prior to planting, pits of 0.6−1m3 are dug at appropriate distances depending on the chosen orchard density. The pits are filled with original soil mixed with manure, superphosphate and urea.