Jamun (Syzygium cuminii) belongs to family myrtaceae. Jamun is potentially important minor commercial fruit having high medicinal use. Jamun is native to South Asia and India. It is also grown in Hawaii, Australia, Philippines, Kenya, Florida, Pakistan etc. Some common variety is “Ram jamun” and common name as Indian black cherry, black plum etc. Ram jamun produce generous size, oblong fruit, deep purple or blackish in color when the fruit is at ripping stage. The pulp of fruit is purple pink and stone is small. This fruit variety is ripening in month of June to July and this variety is very common in rural and urban markets.
Jamun fruit tree grow wild range of soil but for high yield, good production and superior quality fruit deep loam and well-drained soil is best. It also well grows in waterlogged and salinity soil. It is not recommended that jamun grow on heavy soil. It grows in tropical and sub-tropical area. It also grows in lower ranges of Himalayas and higher at 1300 meter. Early rain is beneficial for fruit production in sub-tropical areas. The tree is medium size 10-30 m high, with a straight to crooked, short, stout truant, 40-100 cm in diameter. Crown is irregular or globular with many branches. Bark thickness up to 2.5 cm, brown and dark grey, freshly smooth. Jamun fruit tree is evergreen, generally grown for shade and windbreak.
Jamun is propagated by both methods, sexual and asexual. Through seed propagation we can get true to parent type plants. So that still seed propagation is preferred. Fresh seed can be sown, and seedlings are ready in 10-15 days for transplanting for rootstock in February -March or in August-September. Budding should be done on one-year old seedling and the thickness about 10-14 cm in the month of May-June or July-August. Method of budding should be applying that is shield budding e.g., patch budding and T-budding. Other asexual method is inarching and air layering, but it is not adopted commercially.
Jamun planted in month of February-March or July- August. Before planting jamun tree the field is properly cleared and ploughed. Seed sown in pits and pits media is combination of soil (75%) and farmyard manure or compost (25%). Jamun tree required the frequent watering when it is in early stage but when tree fully establish it irrigation decreased and when tree is young it require 8-10 irrigation in a year and when tree become mature stage it require 4-5 irrigation in a year before fruit ripening in May- June.
In the early year of planting there were large space between plants, the intercropping was easy with legumes and vegetables. Common culture practice like training and pruning generally not require to jamun tree, but dry branches should be removed. The insect which cause damage to jamun tree is white fly, leaf eating cater pillar. Jamun fruit mainly damaged by pest like squirrels and bird like parrots and crows. In jamun tree anthracnose is common disease, use of spray with Bordeaux moisture and Dithane. Jamun tree pollinated by honey bees, houseflies and wind, but maximum fruit set can be obtaining by hand pollination. Heavy flowers and fruit drop within 3 -4 weeks after blooming. Fruit drop can be reducing by the spray of GA3.
Jamun is harvested in monsoon season. Jamun tree start fruit bearing after 8–10 years of planting and continues till the plant is 50-60 years old. Fruit ripen in June-July, the harvesting time is short and limits for 30-40 days. Jamun color is dark purple and oval. Fruit is fleshy and having a hard seed inside. The fruit grown once in a year and berries are sweetish in the taste. Jamun having high number of antioxidants as compare with banana, papaya and guava. Jamun has not only high amount of antioxidant but also have high number of vitamins, tannin and anthocyanins. Each part of jamun fruit hold significant values. Jamun fruit is used for extracting juice or to prepare jam, jelly and squash etc. Jamun fruit seed having its own medical importance for curing diarrhea and diabetic.
Jamun fruit seed can be used for antimicrobial treatment, antioxidant activity, skin cancer. Major research had been done on jamun seed for treatment of diabetic which reduce the blood sugar level quickly. Jamun fruit seed has an antidiabetic property. Jamun fruit has high amount of nutrient like calcium, iron, potassium and vitamin C, which helps to make great for improving the bone strength and immunity system.
Jamun fruit has also prevent oxidation of cholesterol and plaque formation that contributes to heart disease because in jamun fruit loaded has nutrient like ellagic acid /ellagitannins, anthocyanins and anthocyanidins. Different part of jamun tree like leaves, bark and seeds have been used for treatment of bacterial infection (antimalarial, antibacterial and gastroprotective). Jamun plant leaves have been used in ayurvedic medicines to treat diarrhea and ulcers. Jamun fruit are used for making excellent quality juice or sherbet, syrup and squash. Jamun fruits are enjoyable raw and maybe into tarts sauces and jam. Jamun juice is often comparable to grapes juice. Jamun fruits big losses during cultivation, harvesting and in processing because untrained and unorganized processing. At normal temperature jamun fruit stored for 2 days. Jamun fruit can be stored at 85-95 % precooled and packed into polythene bags up to 3 weeks. If we follow the above instruction we can get a good profit from our orchard.
This article is collectively authored by M. Ateeb Ahsan1, Dr. Rashad Mukhtar Balal1, M. Ali Khakwani2 (1Department of Horticulture, College of agriculture, University of Sargodha) (2Department of Horticulture 2BZU, Multan)