A tree whose uses date back many centuries, the carob tree is native to the Mediterranean basin and the Middle East and has long been valued for its delicious and nutritious leguminous fruits. The fruits have a taste similar to cacao and many people use carob as a chocolate substitute as it is healthier and more nutritious than chocolate. Grows to be a large evergreen tree with ornamental pinnate foliage and prefers well draining soils and no summer water. Unfortunately the species is generally only hardy to 20° F so it will be mostly restricted to plantings in California. Dioecious so plant at least two trees to better your chances of getting fruit.
Latin Name: Ceratonia siliqua
Site and Soil: Full sun and well draining soil
Rootstock Description: Seedlings
Pollination Requirements: Dioecious. Requires both a male and a female tree to produce fruit on the female tree.
Hardiness: about 20° F.
Bearing Age: 4-5 years after planting
Size at Maturity: 20-30 ft.
Bloom Time: Winter and spring
Ripening Time: Fall
Pests & Diseases: Scales and aphids can be an occasional problem
USDA Zone: 9