California sources for American persimmon seeds, seedlings, or rootstock? [Solved]

CA does not permit the import of persimmon plant material with roots attached due to the persimmon root borer. Consequently I’m looking for sources of American persimmon roots (seeds, seedings, or bonafide rootstock) within CA. I’m already aware of:

Fruitwood Nursery
Trees Of Antiquity


I found a commercial supplier with the quantity I need.

I’d think you could grow seedlings to substantial size in a single season. Why not do that?

Yes, I suppose seeds from an out-of-state registered nursery would also work.

Sheffield’s has seeds of four persimmon species (virginiana, lotus, kaki, rhombifolia) available for bulk purchase:

So far I’m happy with the quality of other seeds I’ve ordered from them.

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Maybe I missed something. Is seed implicated in the spread of this borer? I gather it is just an overall phytosanitary policy pertaining to persimmons.
Personally, I’m one to flout rules that don’t make sense, especially when it comes to fruit growing and exploration. Mind you, I have no objection to the precautionary principle, per se, I just feel more comfortable judging the quality of a rule than depending on the rule making process and practical knowledge of the rule makers. From what I’ve seen of the regulatory process, particularly around anything agricultural, it’s pretty much a zoo. Anyway, I doubt I could match the level of flagrant rule breaking of many of our revered horticultural figures. Im thinking of the David Fairchilds and Frank Meyers of yore. And my little orchard here is like Dr Seuss’s ‘Whoville’ compared to the juggernaut that is the global economy.
Everyone has to do what makes sense to them, though.

No. The external quarantine only applies to persimmon roots, not scion or seed.

I have a registered nursery and botanical garden within multiple internal quarantines. I’m regularly inspected as are plant material shipments bound for my address.

Fairchilds had a USDA license, and there were very few restrictions in those days. I don’t know about Meyers though.

They harvest their seed in TN and AR. I’m concerned these are hexatetraploids.

I’m guessing you mean tetraploids, i.e. 60 chromosome ‘southern’ type. The haploid set for persimmons is 15 n, so hexaploid(15n x 6) would be the more commonly cultivated 90 chromosome type.

I’d think either would do well enough for you. The tetraploid (60 chromosome) type is reputed to be more timber type (from what i gather) and less hardy. But I have an acquaintance who has grown both types in zone 5 W. Mass for 30 or more years. They’re similar size and form and seem plenty hardy based on my limited observations.

Im guessing some member here would gladly send you some. There are viable pulp operations still (or maybe again?) from what I’ve heard. A friend bought 5 lb. Of seed this season from such an operation. I’d send you some if I had any. I planted all of my seed for rootstock last season

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Yes, thank you for the correction :slightly_smiling_face:.

I definitely need hexaploid rootstock. I’d also prefer seed from a cultivar in circulation.

Why would ploidy matter for a rootstock?

Tennessee has gradients where tetraploid and hexaploid overlap. I’m literally on one of the divisions and can find seed locally of either type. However, it does not matter if used as a rootstock. I have a few seedlings that just germinated from a tree in the edge of my yard. I’m reasonably confident it is a hexaploid.

There are reports of graft failures of hybrids on chr 60 D.v. after a few years.

In most cases, it probably wouldn’t matter. However, I have experienced delayed graft incompatibility with Tennessee rootstock before. It sucks to watch the grafts slowly die 3-5 years later. If you use a hybrid interstock, it likely won’t matter at all. That is what I’m doing now. The one graft that did not decline years ago was Rosseyanka, so I’m using it to create a scaffold for additonal grafting.

The VERY limited data on persimmon ploidy seems to indicate only hexaploids west of the Mississippi River and north of the Ohio River, and mostly tets in the southeast. However, there are enough outliers to indicate a need for a detailed ploidy study.

A crowd funded project to collect leaf samples from all over the range for flow cytometry would be very interesting and relatively easy. It costs ~ $20 per sample. Anyone retired with too much time on your hands?


That’s a good price, even for a large number of samples. What lab were you thinking of?

or more direct link,

Last time I did this, it was $25 per sample, but 10+ samples got you a discount to $20. He now says it’s only 5 or more samples to get the discount.