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NMSU to host jujube fruit tree growing habits, pruning workshop in Los Lunas

LOS LUNAS – Interest in raising the jujube as an alternative fruit crop continues to grow among New Mexicans because of crop reliability and its ability to adapt well to a wide range of soil pH levels and weather conditions.

Man in ski cap with pruning shears cutting a tree branch
Rob Heyduck, New Mexico State University senior research specialist, demonstrates how to prune a jujube fruit tree. NMSU Extension fruit specialist Shengrui Yao will hold a workshop on the trees’ growing habits with a pruning demonstration at NMSU’s Agricultural Science Center at Los Lunas from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, March 22. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)

To help home gardeners and potential commercial growers better understand this fruit-bearing tree of Chinese origin, Shengrui Yao, New Mexico State University Extension fruit specialist, will host a workshop on the growing habits of the tree, followed by a pruning demonstration.

The workshop will be from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, March 22, at NMSU’s Agricultural Science Center at Los Lunas. Register online at http://rsvp.nmsu.edu/rsvp/jujubeworkshop2016, or call Debbie at 505-865-7340.

“To serve the people in the central and southern areas New Mexico, we will have the workshop at Los Lunas this year,” Yao said of the workshop, which is usually held at NMSU’s Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde.

“Our sunny and semi-arid weather makes the jujube fruit quality excellent,” she said. “Jujube fruit is very nutritious, with a vitamin C content of 200 to 600 mg per 100 grams of fresh fruit weight, which is four to 10 times higher than oranges.”

Jujube trees leaf and bud out four to six weeks later than most fruit tree species, which allows them to avoid the late frosts.

“With their late season start-up, wide adaptation, nutritional facts and mild flavor, jujubes are a perfect alternative fruit in New Mexico,” Yao said.

For additional information about the workshop, contact Yao at 505-852-4241.