Document Type

Unpublished Paper

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Utah Dept. Agriculture Final Report (2016)

Publication Date

Winter 1-3-2016


1. Jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.; also known as a Chinese date) is a drought tolerant fruit tree unknown in Utah but is widely grown in Asia for fruit quality and health benefits, both fresh and dried. Jujube tolerance of cold and dry conditions in China ostensibly suggests that it should tolerate Utah’s cold, dry and high pH conditions. Jujube’s drought tolerance is partly due to small, glossy leaves and deep root system that are also attractive for low water landscaping, particularly edible landscaping, and possibly small fruit production in Utah. However, there has been no systematic evaluation of jujube in Utah to provide a basis for recommendations to producers and home owners. In particular there is no information on minimum water needs of jujube important for production under limited water supplies and in low water edible landscaping that is becoming increasingly important. USU was awarded two sequential Specialty Crop Block Grant, 2012-2014, to study jujube water use and performance in Utah. Jujube growth and water relations were studied in 2012, showing high rates of photosynthesis and transpiration, and indeterminate growth that continued partway into fall However, during the 2013 growing season trees showed iron deficiency symptoms of leaf yellowing and no response to nitrogen fertilization high water pH. Compounding iron deficiency, extreme cold in early December 2013 killed aboveground scion wood in 90% of the plants. Undamaged roots produced many undesirable suckers. Based on these results, these two jujube cultivars tested (Lang and Candy Cane) are not well adapted to northern Utah’s high pH and risk of early, extreme cold. New Mexico State University is studying jujube in greater detail, where more information about more about jujube production in the U.S. Intermountain West is available:

Finally, this particular project at the overall level does have one research paper on jujube nutritional value that is a collaborative work with Chinese colleagues at Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University near Xi’an China:


The paper is the final report to the Utah Department of Agriculture who funded this study as part of the federal specialty crop pass through program.

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