Not exactly doing well…..

This clump of foliage, 2 metres above my head, is a Japanese Raisin Tree :


Here’s a really good lot of information on the species from Temperate Climate Permaculture. My tree does NOT look like the one in the picture.

This is what I see at eye-level :


Each year it grows another foot, drops its leaves in autumn and grows a new lot in spring. That’s all it does!

My propagation records show that I bought the seed from Green Harvest and sowed it on 17th March, 2003. It germinated in 10 days and I potted up ONE seedling. This must be IT.Β  The records show that I planted it in February, 2006. Did it really take that long to reach plantable size? Apparently. I bought more seed 3 years later, but it appears none of it germinated. The notes I wrote at the time say, “seeds disturbed by mouse”. I expect the little blighter ate the lot and that’s why they didn’t germinate.

There was a time when I bought all sorts of weird and wonderful seeds to try and grow a variety of food plants. Berry bushes from the northern hemisphere and so on. This must be one of those.Β  Most of them either didn’t germinate, or did, but died when I planted them. I’ve given up that lark. Much better to grow what’s been grown here traditionally and will definitely produce something to eat.

At least my Raisin Tree hasn’t died. The linked article says it can take up to 10 years to flower and has a ‘useful life’ of 50-100 years. It’s more than likely my ‘useful life’ will be over before I see it flower. I’d need binoculars to see what it’s doing way up there anyway.

I’ve been wondering about the possibility of growing a grapevine up the trunk. Then I might actually get some real ‘raisins’.

13 Responses to “Not exactly doing well…..”

  1. karencheah Says:

    You’ve done well. I’ve bought seeds more than 5 years ago and tried a few times to germinate them but never successful. Growing a grapevine up the trunk would be a good idea! Just wondering how to harvest anything that tall…


    • foodnstuff Says:

      I wouldn’t let the grapevine grow too tall. I’ve seen a photo of one that was grown as a standard, like a rose. It had a single trunk and all the branches cascaded down around it. I’ve always wanted to try doing that to a grape. Maybe here’s the chance.


  2. notsomethingelse Says:

    That’s a sad and moving story. Ironic even. The irony being that Raisin trees don’t actually produce raisins, just edible stalks. But I guess you knew that. I wonder if they taste like raisins?

    Could I suggest tree climbing steps for closer annual inspections: πŸ™‚


    • foodnstuff Says:

      I did know. So….with the steps… put the first 2 in, then climb on those to put the second 2 in…..then climb on those to put the third 2 in…..then….

      Any more bright ideas? πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  3. narf7 Says:

    We all love a good garden experiment Bev. I just planted out 2 cherimoya seedlings that a friend in the U.S. sent from a cherimoya that she ate in Hawaii a few years ago. I think it’s one of those things that you have to have a bit of a go and if it doesn’t work, them’s the breaks. I have 6 seedling macadamia trees that have not thrived. They are still as tall as when I got them. Teeny tiny little half dead things languishing in a pot inside my glasshouse. You win some, you lose some. I might plant them out and see if they pick up but I am not going to cry if they don’t. I would use the trunk of your raisin tree to grow grapes or something else and as you so pragmatically put it “I might actually get some real β€˜raisins’”. This gardening lark isn’t easy but when you get something to grow it’s bloody brilliant πŸ™‚


  4. Chris Says:

    I wonder if you could trick it into flowering early? If it were my tree, I’d cut it back to a manageable size – unless the canopy cover is desired more, to keep other plants protected in the same area.

    I find trees I prune back hard, always flower the next time.

    I have a raisin tree in a forestry tube, and it’s been going for coming on 3 seasons now. Still very small. So my experience with these trees is minimal. I don’t know how they respond to harsh pruning. You might want to do some research about it first.

    I must say I’m impressed by your record keeping though. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • foodnstuff Says:

      I’m afraid it might die if I cut it back, but if I’m going to try growing a grape up it, I suppose it doesn’t matter much, I’ll still have a (dead) trunk to work with. It’s been in 10 years now. I may yet live to see it flower.

      Record keeping……I write my daily stuff in an exercise book (mainly seeds sown/germination/seedlings potted up….cuttings taken/roots grown…..what’s planted,where and when)….then transfer it to a computer database at the end of the week. The database is incredibly helpful….it’s amazing how regular seed germination or cuttings striking can be when you’ve got literally hundreds of records to search through. Also helpful if I give seed to someone and can say, “it takes 2 months to germinate, don’t throw it out after a fortnight!”


  5. fergie51 Says:

    I used to do the same Bev, I hung out for catalogues to see what exciting new things were being offered but now I just stick to tried and tested. Having said that, I did plant a davidjsons plum and a macadamia when we moved here and they are doing really well. I tried a mango and that carked it, as did a wasabi (expensive) plant. You are amazing having kept all those records, very impressed!


  6. First Time Farmer Says:

    You’ve inspired me to start keeping records of what I’ve planted and when. Might explain a few things in my garden!!

    Liked by 1 person

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