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The characteristics of the Japanese medlar
- Type: fruit tree
- Height: 1 to 2 m, 2 to 5 m, 5 to 10 m
- Flower color: White
- Fruit name: medlar
- Desired exposure: sunny
- Type of soil: normal
- Foliage: spent
- Interview: significant light requirement
- sanitizer: no
- diseases: scab, fire blight, fruit fly
- variety: Eriobotrya japonica
Origins and peculiarities of the Japanese medlar
As its name does not necessarily indicate, the medlar (also known as Loquat or bibacier) is a fruit tree originally from China… but which has spread and has been naturalized in the land of the rising sun! It belongs, as well as the cherry tree, the apricot tree or the peach tree, to the Rosaceae family.
Very versatile, the medlar tree grows equally well in temperate, tropical or Mediterranean areas; even if the temperate climates do not always allow to be able to see it bear fruit, which still makes it a magnificent ornamental or shade tree.
Indeed, once mature, the crown of the Japanese medlar tree reaches 6 meters, and opens a bit like a parasol: it is therefore an ideal tree to create a pleasant shade in a garden. All the more pleasant that in flowering season, the flowers of the tree exhale a delicious almond smell ...
If the medlar is mainly cultivated in the ground in gardens, it is also possible to plant it in a large tank (the first years to shelter it from too severe winters).
Use of the loquat, fruit of the Japanese medlar
Harvesting tibbles (or loquats) takes place in spring, between March and June. If they are ripe, their skin should be between golden yellow and orange. The fruits of the Japanese medlar are not very large, they have the dimensions of a small apricot.
In terms of taste, the medlar has a fresh flesh, a little acid taste not unpleasant which makes it very pleasant to taste natural, but also in syrups, jams or sauces.
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to consume hawksbill if medlar trees do not grow near you: as the fruit spoils quickly when touched, it does not export, and is most often purchased directly at its place of production (for Europe: in Spain or Greece).
Good to know: to harvest large bibaces, do not hesitate to pick some of the fruits of the tree when they start to reach the size of a cherry. Indeed, if your tree has too many fruits, they will not be able to grow!
Japanese medlar plantation
The Japanese medlar is a fruit tree that is planted at any time of the year but it is advisable to wait for the end of the frosts, so rather in late summer or spring.
It is a tree that has a slight preference for cool, acidic soils, which may be calcareous, dry or sandy, but above all not wet (the roots could rot). In terms of location, be sure to find your medlar in a sunny, sheltered area. Little more for city gardens: it is a tree which supports pollution very well!
Maintenance and watering of the medlar
In the first year after planting, make sure that the soil that hosts your medlar is always fresh. Subsequently, the loquât is not a tree very greedy in water, and it also does not require too much maintenance: prune it when you feel that it is growing too much, or if the tip of its branches froze.
Japanese medlar diseases
The bibacier knows 4 main enemies in the garden:
1. Aphids in spring (treat with a mixture of water and black soap).
2. The fruit fly (unfortunately, there is no cure to get rid of it).
3. Scab (treat with Bordeaux mixture).
4. Fire blight.