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Description

The Bronze loquat can be grown as a large mounding shrub to medium size evergreen tree, 25-30 ft. tall and as wide. It has large leaves, 8-10 in. long by 2-3 in. wide with coarsely serrated margins. It's most distinctive characteristic is the colorful red-bronze new growth that occurs at the ends of branches in the early to mid-spring; these leaves mature to dark green during summer. Large clusters of creamy-white flowers are followed by small inedible fruit.

Bronze loquat is native to warm climates of southeast Asia and is appreciated as a relatively clean and attractive foliage plant. It is a good size for many residential and commercial spaces to provide shade and seasonal interest. It is sometimes grown as a large shrub and clipped as a formal hedge along walls and fences.

Water Needs

The Bronze loquat grows best with moderate amounts of summer water in order to avoid prolonged drought stress. With this moisture, this tree can grow well in sunny exposures with summertime heat and aridity; established plants can adapt to short periods of drought stress. The chart shown below provides a baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Moderate Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 4

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 2x to 3x 2x to 3x 3x to 4x 3x to 4x 3x to 4x 2x to 3x 2x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
 
Inches per Month 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 2" to 3" 2" to 3" 3" to 4" 3" to 4" 3" to 4" 2" to 3" 2" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3"

Range of supplemental summer water: 17"-24"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-15"

 
0"-3"
0"-3"
0"-3"
2"-3"
2"-3"
3"-4"
3"-4"
3"-4"
2"-3"
2"-3"
0"-3"
0"-3"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, click here.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Tree
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Multi-trunk, Mounding, Low-branching, Dense
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 25 ft. - 30 ft.
Width: 25 ft. - 30 ft.
Water Needs: Moderate 4
Foliage Color: Dark green, Bronze, Red
Flower Color: Insignificant, Cream
Flower Season: Winter
Soil Adaptations: Loam
Exposure Adaptations: Morning sun, Heat, Frost, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Specimen, Shade Tree, Screening, Residential spaces, Parks and open space, Grouped, Foundations, Foliage accent plant, Espalier, Commercial spaces, Civic spaces, Background plant

Maintenance

Can be grown as a multi-trunked or single trunk tree, depending on pruning. Plant in fall, winter, or early spring. Prune in late winter to early spring, just before new growth. Stem die back is often an indicator of fire blight, a serious disease that Bronze Loquat is prone to. As soon as possible after noticing, cut affected branches back, at least one foot below visibly affected leaf and branch areas to be sure the cuts are made into healthy parts of branches. The disease could be spread by the pruners or loppers themselves, so it is critically important to sterilize pruners in between every single pruning cut and after pruning. While alcohol is often used to sterilize in many situations, it is not sufficient to kill fire blight organisms. For sanitizing, mix one part bleach to nine parts water in a chemically resistant spray bottle (available at most hardware stores). Thoroughly spray all working components of pruners in between each cut. Wear clothes that you don't mind being bleached while working with bleach based sanitizer. After pruning it is critical to sanitize one last time, allow bleach to quickly dry, and then thoroughly oil pruners and any associated springs and mechanism parts with oil. I choose to use WD-40 because it is easy to apply to all necessary parts with the applicator straw. I then use a small wire brush to scrub oil into all metal parts of the tool (which gives it a good general cleaning as well). Then I spray with one more time and wipe oil evenly over metal parts and wipe off excess with a rag. That sounds like a lot of work because it is. In general, there are many other less disease prone trees to choose from. Only plant this one if you really want it and are willing to do the work (S).

References

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