BRONZE LOQUAT (Eriobotrya deflexa)

Bronze Loquat is a beautiful, small, broad-leaf evergreen tree.

Bronze Loquat is a beautiful, small, broad-leaf evergreen tree.

Is it a good street tree? You decide. These specimens are about 40 years old. Usually I see this tree as a large shrub, I have even used it as an espalier against a building. This is in San leandro in the east bay area.

It has beautiful branching structure and is usually multi-trunked.

It has beautiful branching structure and is usually multi-trunked.

These have been pruned up to be able drive under. The smooth bark is quite attractive, but scars easily. In a different setting the trunk and branches would look outstanding with lights highlighting them from below. Notice how small the planting area is.

The white flowers in the spring are beautiful and have a slightly sweet fragrance.

The white flowers in the spring are beautiful and have a slightly sweet fragrance.

These flowers later become small dry fruit, that fall in mass. In fact the tree is quite messy, with a combination of the large leaves and fruit falling for most of the year. Scale insects and aphids can be a problem too, resulting in sooty mold and aphid dew covering the cars parked under them. The fruit are not nearly as messy as the Loquat tree grown for its edible fruit (Eriobotrya japonica), a tree that would be a disaster in this situation.

Obviously these are tough trees, they receive no irrigation and this specimen has no planting area left at all!

Obviously these are tough trees, they receive no irrigation and this specimen has no planting area left at all!

The inevitable paving heave is occurring and it appears that areas of the sidewalk have been replaced before. This is a problem with most trees used as street trees. I love the bronzy new leaves of this tree, it’s bark, trunk and canopy are outstanding, but it’s litter and insect problems would rule it out for me to choose; If you park under it for just a few hours, you need to wash your car! Great tree in a different setting, what do you think?

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