Advice needed for damaged baby persimmon tree

Last Spring I planted a very young asian persimon tree, only about 3 feet tall, and a quarter inch in diameter.

It was doing fine, but today (Feb 25th) I accidently broke off a small side branch which made a notch in the side of the little tree that goes about half way through it. The damage is quite tiny, but then so is this little tree.

The damage was done about mid way on this little whip.

I am wondering, should I wrap it or put something on it and just let it heal and continue to grow, or had I best cut off the upper part of the little tree and kind of start over from a lower bud??

I hate to cut off the top part of the tree, and start from a lateral bud, but then I would also have to have it get infected, and then 5 years from now when I am finally starting to get fruit, have the whole tree fall down from inner rot.

Well, any advice would be appreciated.

John in Kentucky

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Any photos John?

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I would prolly cut it below that damage, and establish a new central leader. Start over basically but timewise it would just be a minor set back for the tree. Compare that to leaving it and cutting it back in 3 years when you realize you maybe can’t fix it and you end up then removing a lot of growth.

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Without seeing a pic, at that very small size, I would assume it would heal itself. Not too far different than it doing a self prune give or take. If it still has a central leader, you could stake it for a year or two if you are worried. Persimmon can be a bit whippy anyway.

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I would simply sanitize the stem around the breakage, with alcohol, then use parafilm to seal it, then cut a straight stick about 1/4” diameter to apply as a splint. Tie the splint above, below and finally at the damage point with material that will not girdle of damage the tender bark. Leave the splint on thru the growing season, but check it once monthly to confirm your ties are not girdling the stem!
Dennis
Kent, wa

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It will likely heal fine left alone. But if the damage compromises the strength of the main stem, then cut it back.

Persimmons aren’t prone to infections. And trees usually heal over fine when left alone.

Either way the tree will be fine.

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Thank you everyone for all the kind help and advice!

I really appreciate it!

John in Kentucky

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I don’t have any parafilm. Is there something I could use instead of that???

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You only need to cover the wound if there is bark that you are trying to heal back onto the wood. In that case you need something to hold bark back onto the wood. Lots of things will do that, rubber bands, twine, etc. If it’s what I envision it probably doesn’t need covering.

Without a picture it’s hard to tell.

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I think this last / bottom picture best represents the situation. as you can see the damage goes through about a full half of the diameter of this little tree.

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It should be just fine as it is.

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I agree. Keep that support in place for a year or two. By then you’ll hardly be able to tell anything happened. This happens in nature and trees deal with it without help.

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had that happen to a 6ft. cherry. tree was bent right over. drove a large stake in on 1 side and used a 3ft bamboo stake on the other and lashed them on to hold the break from moving. by the next summer you couldnt find where the break was. yours is so small it will easily repair itself as is.

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I agree it will heal fine. If you wanted to go over the top you could chip bud something in there.

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I’m going to play the devils advocate.
I don’t think it will heal well . I think it will be a weak spot and snap off in a year or three.
If it were mine I would cut it off and graft the new growth above to it. The graft will be healed in a shorter time than the wound.
Option two cut it off and train the next branch as the new central leader.

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Thanks everyone for your input and advice! I really appreciate it.

Well, doing nothing is easy. I know how to do that!

I don’t know anything about chip bud, and very little about grafting. I did attempt in the past to graft some asian pear branches onto an American pear successfuly. But that was a long time ago, and I barely remember how I did it.

I am mostly concerned about infection getting in there and rotting taking place which would then go undetected for years till a big wind knocks it over. We had hurricane like winds here last February and every tree on my property that had some hidden interior rot came down.

That all being said, I would be glad to learn grafting or anything else if it will give me a better chance of success, but if doing nothing is the best route to go, then that also sounds good.

I sure miss the days when I went down to my local nursery and came home with a tree with one inch plus diamater on it, and roots in dirt.

Buying bare root whips that are so weak and fragile really takes a lot more patience and ongoing care.

John in Kentucky