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Growing a Pomegranate Tree
updated: Feb 12, 2014, 4:22 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

A subscriber is considering getting a Pomegranate tree and is wondering if anyone has experience growing them in Santa Barbara.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 494372P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 04:37 PM

I had a client that lives on the upper east side of SB. They planted one and every year it was covered with beautiful orange flowers but it never produced fruit. It turned out to be a non-fruiting variety.

At the present time I'm working for some people living on Coyote road. They have one about four feet tall and it had about five huge fruits this past autumn.

Plant it in the sunniest, warmest location in your yard.

 

 COMMENT 494374 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 04:53 PM

I had one at my old house that grew like crazy.

 

 COMMENT 494375 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 04:53 PM

There are Pomegranate trees up on the City College Campus too...also I know of one on the Mesa that has an abundance of fruits.. talk to the people at the nursery...I also have a friend who lives on the Rivieras and she has an abundance of Poms every year...

 

 COMMENT 494376 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 04:55 PM

I live on the westside and planted one about 3 years ago. It would bloom, but not produce fruit. I started fertilizing it last year, and this summer it produced 5 huge pomegranates. It is about 5 feet tall, bushy and in a sunny spot.

 

 COMMENT 494390 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 05:35 PM

I just planted a kumquat tree, and was thinking of planting a pomegranate next. I found really interesting information online from early horticulturists in Santa Barbara, including Franceschi. It made me I wonder why we don't plant and eat more of our own edible fruit. As it is, I see so many oranges rotting on trees every winter. Why have we gotten away from eating fruit we grow and growing fruit we eat?
One of the fruit trees Franceschi wrote about w/ excitement was white sapote. When was the last time you saw a white sapote tree?!
Oh, I also want to plant a macadamia nut tree.

 

 COMMENT 494393P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 06:12 PM

372 here, I lived in a house on Puesta del Sol that had a white sapote tree. It dropped a lot of fruit and I took some to the farmers market, couldn't even give them away to a vendor.

And twenty years ago I lived in a small cottage on School House road in Montecito that had a huge macadamia tree.

 

 COMMENT 494394 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 06:14 PM

THIS is a great question. Thanks for asking!
1. Any recommendation on where to buy one that fruits?
2. As far as a Mac tree, SB is on the northern edge of practicality. Most Calif crops are grown in the Fallbrook area, and there used to be a Co-Op pickup point in Somis for the fruit up this way. Check out California Macadamia Society. You'll also need a special nut cracker - you can't crack those with a typical walnut/xmas one. Drives the crows crazy until they figure out they can drop them in the street and let the cars crack them for them.

 

 COMMENT 494396 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 06:19 PM

There are lots of trees that grow well in Santa Barbara. We have two pomegranates. The 20 year old grows about 12 feet tall and branches out in all directions. The 5 year old tree is more productive, Sapotes are easy to grow but there are lots of varieties. Be assured that they will be messy as they fall to the ground. Loquats are rewarding, again easy to grow. Asian pears are very rewarding. Each of these are disease free and survive on limited water.
Cheramoya are a little more fussy and hard to pollinate but the fruit is superior. There is a lot of information if you look for it.

 

 COMMENT 494400 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 06:26 PM

Check Bay Laurel Nursery on line for pomes, lots of variety. I have had great luck three varieties from them. Delicious fruit.
And they don't need as much water as citrus or avos.

394 is so right about cracking macs. We use a vise, labor intensive.

 

 GRITZ agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 06:36 PM

Be sure to plant it away from where passerbye's can pick it...My friend planted a plum tree...and the walkers think it is theirs to pick...they go right on his front lawn, and pick away. IMHO that is stealing...

 

 COMMENT 494405 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 06:43 PM

When I lived in syv we had one that got dozens and dozens, but that's a slightly different climate...

 

 MTNDRIVER agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 06:46 PM

Pomegranates, yummm! I planted one three years ago and before I did I checked out the California Rare Fruit Growers website (Google it) for suggestions for good varieties. Some don't have hard seeds, some are sweeter than others, etc. I got mine from Bay Laurel Nursery. It was a Russian variety that is supposed to have soft seeds, but I don't find them soft myself. Poms do great here, perfect climate. Here's a link to some old taste-test results (from 2008) from a Yahoo group devoted to poms.

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/PomWorldwide/con
versations/topics/624

There are probably more current taste tests you could look at before ordering your tree, which you should do very very soon, or bare roots will not be available. They are great landscape plants as well as producing the yummy fruits. They do have spines, so be careful!

 

 COMMENT 494420 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 07:53 PM

There was a magnificent Macademia tree on the property line of a listing I had on Pintura Av. I took some of the fallen nuts, and nurtured some for planting. One took, and we babied that thing for years, as it grew tall. We had been told it would take thirteen years to bear.

Well, in its twefth year, my 89 year old father-in-law from Guatemala came to us. He wanted to plant beans in my back yard. So we tore out our newly laid sod so he could plant his black beans. (Our tree was in a corner, so should not have been in his way, but he managed to find an axe and CUT down my tree. And what does one say to senile old , deaf man who spoke five words in English? )

He is long gone now, as is my tree, and it is part of the family lore.

I have a pomegranate here in Baja, but it has not borne fruit yet.

 

 COMMENT 494423 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 08:04 PM

Pomegranates are also drought resistant and once established do need to be pruned back every year to bear large and plentiful fruit. This last season after low rainfall we had loads of large fruit. That was with agresive pruning. We were able to make gallons of juice and had plenty left over. This was from one large plant. They are great in salads, mixed with cereal in the morning or just to munch on. Good luck

 

 COMMENT 494425 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 08:15 PM

Do pomegranate trees take a lot of water to grow?

 

 COMMENT 494426P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 08:20 PM

Ate them in grade school in my best friend's small orchard near Crescent off Hope Ave. Trees growing and producing in San Roque. Good times, good memories. Just passed some family neighbors' houses today and thought I have to go knock on their door and offer to buy and/or pick; their orange trees are loaded!
How much water do loquats need?

 

 COMMENT 494437 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 08:57 PM

The reason no one besides us has a white Zapote tree is that they are smarter than us.

They do not call them Mexican Custard Fruit for nothing. I think the only thing that enjoys the fruit are the rats.

Even Round Up can not kill the stumps (We used to have enough to supply the state of California in all the white zapote fruit anyone would want......)

Lots of Pomes to pick from at La Sumida and Doug Knapp

 

 RUDOLF THE RED agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 09:35 PM

Coffee is the HOT new crop in SB. If you can find it they will grow...

 

 SBSWEETPEA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 09:39 PM

A favorite ancient fruit. Grows great in a Med climate you will do well with it.

 

 COMMENT 494458P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-13 12:45 AM

I consider myself a pomegranate tree "expert," as I have had a pomegranate tree in my backyard for over 40 years, and I ALWAYS tell people -----Please plant either a pomegranate tree or a pineapple guava tree (or both), if you want a tree that loves this climate, and is easy to grow. Both trees are immensely tolerant of drought conditions.

Go to Knapp Nursery (out in Goleta) and get your tree(s) there. Once the pomegranate (or guava) is established fully, and if we have some decent rainfall, these two trees will thrive. You really don't need to prune back the pomegranate more often than every few years. They're a bitch to prune, because the branches are extremely poky and can be a bit painful to deal with.

Pineapple guavas do really well, need little cutting back, and you can make the most delicious and tropical-tasting jam (using only the fruit, sugar and lemon juice); it is ambrosia.

Just keep in mind that you need to plant for large trees. Pomegranates get tall and wide. I think one of the biggest mistakes people make, when planting their fruit trees, is planting them too close together.

@390: You do know that Macadamia nut trees get enormous, right? (30-40') You must have a *huge* yard. Same goes for the Sapote (60'+). There's great Sapote up in Mission Cyn, been there for at least 70 years. And there are two together, up on Grand Ave. I LOVE sapotes.

 

 COMMENT 494484 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-13 06:45 AM

426p I had a paper route when I was a kid in 70s in that neighborhood of crescent and that whole area was known for fruit trees. My good friend Pat Milliken grew up in the same area as I and used the term "good times" as you did it is Good times!

 

 COMMENT 494487 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-13 06:50 AM

Pom's are very easy to grow here, our tree put out huge sweet poms every year, never watered it, just trimmed to keep low enough to harvest.

My friend has a giant sapote and he also cannot give the fruit away, rats and flies seem to be the only thing that really likes it, multiple macadamia also and same deal squirrel and rodents seem to be the only thing that can deal with the shell

I have a Mexican guava the one that has the giant fruit with white flesh, pretty nasty tasting to me, wish it was a pineapple

 

 COMMENT 494490 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-13 07:02 AM

Pomegranate not a tree but a large bushy shrub 8'tx 10'w. are u sure u have room? Pruning is a chore. They are quite successful, need little more than a mostly sunny spot and ample room, hardy to at least 25 degrees. Probably don't like wet feet.

Ditto the PG recommendation, a great landscape plant, specimen small tree ( in time) great clipped hedge, edible flowers, luscious fruit for fresh eating or jam, Beaumont var. has larger fruit and bears well.

Macadamia yes, but tender to frost. Nice landscape tree, leaf litter is worst attribute. Bees enjoy them. Used to be an orchard on SB ranch near Naples. Doomed location tho', too much sea air. The weird kitchen utensil folks should be able to find a pic of a Mac nut cracker, screw type with paddle shaped nut holder/grip.

 

 COMMENT 494493P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-13 07:13 AM

There are some mac street trees on W. Islay, and the nuts seem to go to waste, so we pick the fallen ones out of the parkways. I love a good pomegranate, but our lot is too small for one.

 

 LEAHKING agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-13 07:44 AM

we live in carp and the property here has a very old pomegranite tree. took me awhile to figure out what it was, as it kind of gnarly looking and did not bear fruit for the first couple of years we were here. but once i started pruning it and watering it, it started producing fruit. the one year we did not get any was when we accidently overwatered. as another poster said, it is a very drought resistant tree. planted in kind of a shady part of the yard, does not particularly seem to need a lot of sun. this must have been the best year ever for the fruit, we had a big crop and i see other posters did too. so sad about the father in law cutting down the much treasured tree, what a story...

 

 MESARATS agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-13 08:04 AM

We have one that has been very prolific and still has a few fruits hanging desite very little water and horrible soil. The flowers are insanely gorgeous, provides shade in the summer and is dormant in winter which allows more sun. Perfect tree in my book. Ours is just starting to bud so get it soon.

 

 COMMENT 494518 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-13 08:12 AM

Wait Till The Drought Is Over

 

 COMMENT 494525 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-13 08:43 AM

18, if the tree is part of a plan to remove lawn then there will be a net decrease in water usage. Trees can be beneficial in many ways during a drought.

 

 COMMENT 494533 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-13 09:10 AM

I just bought one from Norm Beard who is a local supplier of exotic and tropical fruit trees as well as the regular varieties we grow here. Visiting his orchard off Cathedral Oaks is a fabulous experience and he loves to show people around. you will want more than a pomegranate, believe me. His contact numbers are 448-7012 (cell) and 968-0989 (home).

 

 COMMENT 494569 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-13 10:12 AM

OOPS. Norm Beard's cell is 448-7912.

 

 COMMENT 494587 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-13 10:56 AM

I lived on Crescent for awhile and we had pomegranates growing like crazy on the property - and apricots, plums, avos, etc. Sadly, the people who bought the house chopped them all down! I love walking thru that neighborhood and seeing all of the fruit trees in everyone's yard. @Gritz - was the plum tree not producing much? I wish ours was closer to a street because it would be nice to share the wealth! The fruit is only good for a couple weeks and it bears the best plums - and I try to share them with everyone I can, but a lot end up smushed on the ground!

 

 COMMENT 494590 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-13 11:15 AM

I grew my Pomegranate Tree from seed about six years ago. It's in the ground now and about six feet tall. Took the seed from a friends tree who had large fruit. Hasn't produced any fruit yet but it does get a few flowers. Very easy to grow, doesn't seem to need very much water. Hope this helps!
- Aaron

 

 COMMENT 494629 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-13 12:36 PM

InLaw from Hawaii says take the first shell off the macadamia, then heat the second shells in oven 3-4 hrs. at 400 to dry the shell and it will crack better so you can get the final nut out more easily. For Pomegranates cut in half, with cut side pointed down over bowl, beat the back skin of fruit with a wooden spoon and the seeds will fall out in to bowl. Easier than picking them out unless you're eating it that way.

 

 YIN YANG agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-13 06:44 PM

Off topic: Hey 484! Went to school with Pat & Mike, not sure which was my age. Would run into Pat, SO regret not hanging out with him. If you're part of his online, public FB/social media presence, THANK YOU. We probably know or know of each other. Yeah, the orchard, and the pony, were at the Schuler's house. :-) Good times indeed. Funny, I haven't used that phrase in SO long. Glad you caught it.

 

 COMMENT 494770P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-13 09:25 PM

I had zero success with Pomegranates in a cooler area of Carpinteria and finally tore them out. Flowers would never set fruit. Norm Beard told me it just wasn't hot enough here. I had a "Wonderfull" and two "Utah Sweet" (low chill) shrubs 8 ft tall. No fruit in 6 years. I envy people further inland with the heat.

 

 COMMENT 494844P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-14 11:02 AM

As a kid I had a number of friends with Poms, I have fond memories of getting incredibly messy eating poms in our underwear in their backyards.

Personally, after our goats escaped, ate our avocado trees and died, we replaced our small avocado orchard with macadamia trees. The macadamias grew just fine (Goleta), and produced a large amount of nuts. They have a husk that you have to wait for it to crack before peeling it open and revealing the shell of the nut, which you then roast before attempting to crack, and then roast the nutmeat again before it's edible. A car wouldn't crack a macadamia shell, they are far too hard. It was quite the process for the whole family, every year, to get through just enough macadamias to have even a small bag, and IMHO not worth it.

 

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