Persimmon?

Catscratch

5 year old buck +
#1
I've decided that the only fruit trees I want to add this spring are persimmon. Through online shopping I'm finding that there are a ton of varieties! Grafted Diospyros virginiana of various traits, hybrids, Japanese, Chinese, etc. Most of the Asian varieties are borderline for my zone 6 but some of them are rated down to 5. The American and hybrid persimmons are mostly good for my zone.

I'm considering getting a grafted American with a late drop date and then a handful of cheaper seedlings for grafting purposes down the road. I figure if I can graft from the grafted tree to the seedlings then I'll be able to get a fair amount of producing trees with the traits I want without spending a fortune. I think I'll buy a foreign one also just for fun.

What do you guys think of the plan? Any grafted varieties you would recommend?
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
#2
Cat,

I much prefer American persimmons for deer. Japanese and Chinese don't drop from the tree when ripe. Climbing/flying animals get first crack at them. Most American persimmons fall from the tree. When they fall is highly varied but deer get a fair shot at using them. There are two kinds of persimmons, Astringent and Non-Astringent. All American persimmons are Astringent. Your mouth will pucker and you will spit and your mouth will dry out if you ever eat an astringent persimmon before it is ripe. Astringency protects persimmons from being consumed by wildlife before they are ripe. So, the worst case is Non-Astringent persimmons for wildlife. Climbing creatures can get them early. (They may be better tasting to people depending on your taste.) There is one cross between Virginiana and Kaki called Nikita's Gift that I've heard varying reports about. Some folks say it drops and some say it does not. I don't know if it is location dependent or people selling things mislabeled. I'm experimenting with it and will let folk know how it does in my area.

It is not that deer don't like Kaki/Lotus persimmons. If they can reach them and they haven't been eaten they will definitely use them. However, if a deer can reach them, what kind of pressure will it put on the trees? Will they be broken if not protected. If protected, can deer still get the persimmons? They just don't seem like a good fit for wildlife.

For varieties, here is a link: http://www.habitat-talk.com/index.p...ies-for-deer-transfered-from-qdma-forum.5564/ The first part is about starting persimmons from seed which doesn't apply to your plan. However if you scroll to the end, you can see what varieties I've used. I have native persimmons growing on my farm and I've done a lot of grafting of established male trees. This is by far the best bang for the buck. American persimmons can be very slow to produce fruit. Grafted seedlings may cut a couple years off it, but they are a long-term investment. If you have well established 1" male trees that you graft over to female, they can produce their first persimmons in the 3rd leaf. I got most of my named variety scions from Cliff England who is very knowledgeable about persimmons. The rest of the wild persimmons I got by trading with others. My objective was to have a high volume of trees dropping across a wide time frame.

American Persimmons are inexpensive and can be a great soft mast tree for deer, but unless you are grafting well established trees, they are a long-term investment. Bark grafting them in the field is easy and fun!

Hope this helps.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Catscratch

5 year old buck +
#3
Can the hybrids be grafted to American's?

I have no natives growing here (on my place), but there are a few in the county that I know of. They certainly are not common but in the right spot they can grow. My dad planted 8 many yrs ago that have turned into a productive thicket. They drop earlier than I want though so they are not a suitable scion source.

My plan is to order a late dropping grafted variety (they advertise production in 2-3 yrs.), and 20 American seedlings from KS Forestry Service. I figure in a yr or two that I can start grafting from the original grafted tree to the 20 seedlings... or bring in scions from other sources. This would give me at least one producing tree relatively quickly and other producers in 6-8yrs.

Have you had any of your grafted trees start to produce yet? Any reason to prefer any varieties yet?
 

DrDirtNap

Yearling... With promise
#4
Catscratch, that’s a good plan and is similar to what I have done. I do, however, have an abundance of native persimmons. I can send you some late drop scions if you need any.


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Catscratch

5 year old buck +
#5
Catscratch, that’s a good plan and is similar to what I have done. I do, however, have an abundance of native persimmons. I can send you some late drop scions if you need any.


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Thanks for the offer. It will be yrs before I will need any. Hopefully I can remember that long. :)
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
#6
Can the hybrids be grafted to American's?

I have no natives growing here (on my place), but there are a few in the county that I know of. They certainly are not common but in the right spot they can grow. My dad planted 8 many yrs ago that have turned into a productive thicket. They drop earlier than I want though so they are not a suitable scion source.

My plan is to order a late dropping grafted variety (they advertise production in 2-3 yrs.), and 20 American seedlings from KS Forestry Service. I figure in a yr or two that I can start grafting from the original grafted tree to the 20 seedlings... or bring in scions from other sources. This would give me at least one producing tree relatively quickly and other producers in 6-8yrs.

Have you had any of your grafted trees start to produce yet? Any reason to prefer any varieties yet?
I would not count on any of the advertised time to fruit with American persimmons. It is not uncommon for trees grown from seed to take 8-10 years to produce their first persimmon. Grafting (American to American) seedlings may cut a couple years off that because the scions from a mature tree have had a hormonal change. However, you are still dealing with a young relatively small root system. The reason grafting native trees works so well is that once a persimmon hit an inch in diameter, they have a well established root system. Combine that with a mature scion and you can get fruit in the 3rd leaf after grafting.

I would say at a minimum, the times listed by nurseries are very optimistic. Perhaps if you get a particularly vigorous tree and it is growing in just the right climate in just the right soils, it could happen. I would pretty much ignore them for planning purposes for wildlife trees. If you get early production, consider it a bonus gift.

Yes, you can graft hybrid persimmons and full oriental persimmons to American rootstock. That is what I did with the Nikita's gift. Asian persimmons do produce fruit much earlier than American trees. I think because these are hybrid, I had a couple of them produce a single persimmon their first year in the field when they were only a few feet tall. Keep in mind that I grew the rootstock from see for a full growing season in Rootmakers on my deck. I over wintered them and brought them in early and woke them up under lights. I then grafted the Nikita's Gift scions to them and kept them all season growing in optimal conditions on my deck. I planted them in the field that fall. It was the next fall that a couple produced one or two persimmons. My guess is that once the root system is limited to my native soils for nutrients rather than the promix with fertilizer, things will slow down.

Yes, the field trees that I've grafted are producing persimmons. When I first started to experiment with this, I was just converting native male trees using scions from native female trees. Here is the thread for that: http://www.habitat-talk.com/index.php?threads/sex-change-operation-transfered-from-qdma-forum.5547/ They really took off with vegetative growth. The next year, I started with some named variety scions and the third year started trading scions with others. In the second spring, we had big cicada hatch. They hammered my native grafted trees. The new grafting I had done that spring had not leafed out yet so they did not touch it. Some of my second year trees grafted with named variety scions produced in their 3rd leaf. I think because of the cicada setback, the first year trees did not start producing persimmons until the 5th leaf. All in all I'm happy with my persimmons. They were by far the best tree investment for the dollar, but it will probably be several more years until production is sufficient for them to be a significant food source.

Deer seem to eat persimmons with absolutely no preference for variety. In my area, anyway, they will seek out and eat any persimmon. Also keep in mind that bare root trees may be a bit older when you buy them, but when you transplant them, you will get a year of sleep, a year of creep, and finally a year of leap while the root system is reestablishing itself. This pretty much offsets any advantage of buying bigger trees.

I see nothing wrong with your approach except your time expectations may be a bit optimistic. Buying seedlings and grafting them yourself is not a bad plan but you still have the bare-root sleep/creep/leap issue but you can buy them pretty inexpensively. If you are growing other trees with a root pruning container system and already have the setup, growing your own from seed is even more economical. You can grow them by the hundreds, select the best, and cull the rest and end up with very good trees to graft and you don't have the bare-root issue when planting from rootmakers.

In my previous post I included a link to a thread that shows growing them from seed. This thread shows grafting the seedlings: http://www.habitat-talk.com/index.p...d-persimmon-transferred-from-qdma-forum.5565/

Thanks,

Jack
 

Catscratch

5 year old buck +
#7
This is the grafted American that I was thinking of buying. They advertise 2-3yrs (depending...), you think it's probably closer to 4-6yrs?
http://www.chestnuthilloutdoors.com...net-Late-Drop-Grafted-American-Persimmon.aspx

Hear me out on this idea:
Buy 20 x 1yr old seedlings.
Put them in Rootmakers upon arrival.
Immediately graft named varieties to them.
Raise and baby them in Rootmakers until next fall.
Plant.

This will give better care and a much better response to transplant shock since fall planting from rootmakers is pretty stress free to the plant.
Decent idea or not realistic for some reason?
Thanks.
 

Catscratch

5 year old buck +
#8
I just read some of your grafting posts Yoder and it looks like you didn't have great success bench grafting persimmon.

Still, I'm curious about planting bareroot trees in Rootmakers for a season to give them a jump on coming back from transplant shock. What says you guys... good idea?
 

ksgobbler

Yearling... With promise
#11
Maybe 3 years. First year didn’t do much. Almost all of them survived. Fire got a couple. When I got them more sunlight they took off. I expect to see big growth this spring (provided we get some moisture.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
#12
I just read some of your grafting posts Yoder and it looks like you didn't have great success bench grafting persimmon.

Still, I'm curious about planting bareroot trees in Rootmakers for a season to give them a jump on coming back from transplant shock. What says you guys... good idea?
Cat,

The first go around, I did not have any success bench grafting persimmon seedlings. The second time around, I bench grafted Nikita's gift to American and had very good success. The problem as I recall was that I had not planned the project. I got a bunch of left over seed from Cliff pretty much after the normal planting season. The seedling the first time around were too small in diameter and probably too young. If I had started them in the winter under lights I think I would have been fine. I had the same experience trying to graft apples too early. Apples are easy to graft in general so I tried growing some under lights in the winter. The very first spring I tried to graft them. The largest ones took, but all of the smaller ones failed. I ended up trying to chip bud then t-bud them in the summer. I'll be trying again this spring with any that don't take.

If I were planning a persimmon growing project, I would start them in the winter under lights and let them grow for a full season in rootmakers, overwinter them in my cold room, and wake them up early and graft them the next spring. That is functionally what happened with the ones I grafted to Nikita's gift the second try. Persimmons don't have the fat cambium layer like apples for easy W&T grafting. Cambium lineup is more difficult and the wood is harder to making cuts is more difficult. Larger persimmons bark graft easily.

As for planting bare root trees in rootmakers, I'd say the jury is still out. It may depend on your situation. I don't provide much of any care to my trees once they are planted in the field. I'm working with volume and simply don't have the time. It is easy for me to care for trees in rootmakers. I have purchased some bare root trees that are hard to find like Seguins or my AU buck III and IV chestnuts and put them in 3 gal RB2s for a season. You don't really get the full benefits you get from growing trees from seed in a root pruning container system, for me they do get better care.

I don't think I would intentionally buy bare root trees and put them in RB2s simply for the reason of better care. For me there has to be another reason. For example, with the seguins and AUs, my primary purpose was to collect nuts on my deck for propagation. Animals get them too easily in the field. With the added care, I got nuts the first year. I think the rootmakers had a dwarfing effect. I also did it with some mulberries but that was simply because I didn't have time to plant them in the field until the next fall.

There is definitely benefit to the bare root trees from the special care they get on my deck with rootmakers, but I don't know how much. I don't know that it will really speed up the process of getting fruit over simply planting those bare root trees in the field, suffering through the sleep/creep/leap, waiting until they hit 1" in diameter, and bark grafting them. It certainly won't hurt to do it that way, but I'm not sure how much added benefit there is.

Also keep in mind that while you don't have the major transplant shock from RB2s because the dense root ball is undisturbed at planting time, there is still some adaptation as they now have new soils and a new climate or at least micro-climate.

Thanks,

Jack
 
#13
This is the grafted American that I was thinking of buying. They advertise 2-3yrs (depending...), you think it's probably closer to 4-6yrs?
http://www.chestnuthilloutdoors.com...net-Late-Drop-Grafted-American-Persimmon.aspx

Hear me out on this idea:
Buy 20 x 1yr old seedlings.
Put them in Rootmakers upon arrival.
Immediately graft named varieties to them.
Raise and baby them in Rootmakers until next fall.
Plant.

This will give better care and a much better response to transplant shock since fall planting from rootmakers is pretty stress free to the plant.
Decent idea or not realistic for some reason?
Thanks.
I can’t speak to the late drop from Chestnut Hill, but I purchased 8 of their early drop grafted “Big DV” variety in 3 gallon containers and I had multiple persimmons growing on each tree the first year. I ended up pinching them off since the tree would never hold them all up, but it was encouraging seeing them on the trees that quickly. They also fruited the second year (2017) as well, so it helped show it wasn’t just a fluke.

If it were me, I’d just plant persimmon seed in the field and graft in a couple of years. That way you have a root system with an untouched tap root and it can grow as it was intended to all along. Otherwise, you’ll have to baby those in containers/bare roots and one way or another you’ll run into sleep, creep, leap. Lot less time and money invested with seed, provided you can deal with waiting. Truth be told the difference in time/growth won’t be much by year 4 when comparing seed vs bare root vs bare root in rootmaker.

Just my 2 cents...not an expert by any means...


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yoderjac

5 year old buck +
#14
I can’t speak to the late drop from Chestnut Hill, but I purchased 8 of their early drop grafted “Big DV” variety in 3 gallon containers and I had multiple persimmons growing on each tree the first year. I ended up pinching them off since the tree would never hold them all up, but it was encouraging seeing them on the trees that quickly. They also fruited the second year (2017) as well, so it helped show it wasn’t just a fluke.

If it were me, I’d just plant persimmon seed in the field and graft in a couple of years. That way you have a root system with an untouched tap root and it can grow as it was intended to all along. Otherwise, you’ll have to baby those in containers/bare roots and one way or another you’ll run into sleep, creep, leap. Lot less time and money invested with seed, provided you can deal with waiting. Truth be told the difference in time/growth won’t be much by year 4 when comparing seed vs bare root vs bare root in rootmaker.

Just my 2 cents...not an expert by any means...


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How did those roots look when you planted them? Persimmons typically have a long tap root. Unless they are grown in a root pruning container system, I'd be concerned that the tap root would circle or j-hook which mean manually pruning them at planting time. Trees look fine when young, but root construction can cause issues later in the life of the tree. I also think that any container grown tree may fruit earlier. I planted some bare root Jujube trees a while back. I expected to see fruit in a few years but saw nothing. I was experimenting and started some jujubes from root cutting from those trees. A few of them took and I grew them in RB2s on my deck. They produced fruit in the very first year. I started scratching my head with trees in the field for 5 years that had not fruited and their progeny producing fruit in their first year on my deck. I talk to a university professor who specialized in Jujube. He explained that there are a number of factors involved as a tree ages. Trees in general start in a vegetative state. They need to grow tall and the roots need to encompass enough area to get the light and nutrients they need to survive. They then move into a fruiting state trying to maximize propagation. Once they are mature if they are threatened (stressed) they can even fruit more heavily trying to pass on as much DNA as possible before they die. Folks sometimes cut into fruit trees to stress them and trick them into producing more fruit.

So, his contention was that when the root system is constricted by a container (root pruning or otherwise), the tree is limited in the amount of vegetative growth and it can move to a fruiting state earlier. He suggested that is what was happening with my jujube cuttings. He suggested that if they were planted in the field, they may stay in that state for a while but would likely revert to a vegetative state once the root system had a chance to expand. That is exactly what happened. After I planted these trees in the field they produced minimal fruit after a while. It was like the tree somehow thought it should fruit and shouldn't fruit.

My bare root Jujube acted quite differently. They produced nothing for many years and grew vigorously. Then one year they produced a few fruit and then the next year they exploded producing a significant amount of fruit.

There are some differences between regular container grown trees and root pruning container grown trees in that you can't transplant trees enough with regular containers to keep the roots from constricting. With root pruning containers, the key is transplanting trees to a larger container before the roots fill the container. Whitcomb always says for maximum growth it is better to transplant too early than too late.

The other thing that can affect the tree is grafting itself. The scion is coming presumable from a tree that is mature and producing significant fruit. They hormonal balance has changed in the scion. So, when you graft a scion from a mature tree to root stock it can have a similar effect. I also don't think all scions are created equal. This may depend on the tree species, but on some trees some scions work better than others.

I'm not sure what exactly is going on with your Big DV (I think I remember their trade name was American but I'm not sure). Some of the container and grafting effects may be playing a role. However, I would not come to a conclusion about fruiting until the trees are fully grown and producing significant quantities of fruit. Some of the things we do to trees trick them a bit, but I'm not sure they really get to the end state any quicker. That may be true for trees grown in root pruning containers as well. They cure some problems, but have an impact on trees. We are using the trees natural ability to adapt to trade off one characteristic for another.

Just food for thought. Keep us posted on how your persimmons are doing!

Thanks,

Jack
 

Catscratch

5 year old buck +
#15
I think I'm going to go ahead and buy two quality persimmons to plant in my orchard and 20 bareroot seedlings. A couple of seedlings will go into the orchard and the rest will get split between spots on the place and RM's. This will give me a couple of trees to baby, several for future grafts, and some for comparison purposes between in-ground care and RM.

Looks like I'm going to start asking for scions in a yr or two. Thanks guys.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
#17
I think I'm going to go ahead and buy two quality persimmons to plant in my orchard and 20 bareroot seedlings. A couple of seedlings will go into the orchard and the rest will get split between spots on the place and RM's. This will give me a couple of trees to baby, several for future grafts, and some for comparison purposes between in-ground care and RM.

Looks like I'm going to start asking for scions in a yr or two. Thanks guys.
I think that is reasonable. I've tried all of those paths. It seems some are ahead of others in the short run. So far all I can say for sure is that grafting well established native trees provides the fastest fruit in the shortest time with some control of drop time. As for planted trees, I won't know for years when all of the trees are mature which method works best in the long run. I have my theories and predictions but only time will tell.

Thanks,

Jack
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
#19
Cat,

I'm not sure one can refine the drop window that much. There are certainly varieties that drop earlier than other and some that drop later than others all things being equal. However, depending on my local conditions I can have a couple months change from year to year. I'm not sure of some varieties are more consistent than others or not. Also keep in mind that if you get scions that drop for someone in a different location at a particular time, it may be a different time for you. I haven't been able to find any good information on drop time beyond early, mid, and late. While I have seen places that sell them advertise drop times in a particular month for a particular variety, I've seen other places selling the same variety advertising it as dropping in a different month.

So, whatever answer you get from Buckdeer1, just know that there may be significant variability and it may be different in your area.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Catscratch

5 year old buck +
#20
Buckdeer is in the same area as I am. We live about 30 minutes apart, but he does have different soil than I do and some of the stuff I have growing native is not growing native on his place.

Kind of funny about the drop dates being unreliable. I've been shopping at quite a few online nurseries and have figured the one's that advertise "early, mid, and late" were less reliable or less desirable than the one's that get more specific by month. Maybe I'm viewing them opposite of what I should... the "early, mid, and late" are more honest than the "November" guys.