|Authors: ||R. Crawford, F.C. Shan, A. McCarthy|
|Keywords: ||jujube, Ziziphus, Western Australia, salinity|
The Chinese jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.) is highly adaptable, tolerating a range of climatic and soil conditions.
Under natural conditions the tree forms a deep and substantial taproot making it drought tolerant.
Chinese jujube has a low water requirement and higher salt tolerance than most fruit crops.
The Chinese jujube grows best in climates with a long, hot, dry summer after adequate rain early in the season and cool temperature during its dormancy.
The tree is adapted to subtropical and warm temperate areas.
Trees have grown successfully in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria for over 15 years.
The tree appears to fruit well with little fertiliser and has no serious disease, insect or nematode pests.
In Western Australia, Chinese jujubes are currently grown in the Perth hills, the northern goldfields and the south-west region and sold at local markets and some Asian supermarkets in Perth.
Western Australia’s proximity to South-East Asia and its counter season production to the northern hemisphere provide an opportunity to market product for the increasing demand.
A jujube industry has the potential to be a new profitable agricultural industry for Australia to develop to meet the requirements of domestic and overseas markets.
The development of a jujube industry will be beneficial in fighting salinity which is a challenge facing sustainable agriculture in WA.
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