Cold protection - young asian persimmon (IKKJiro)

My IKKJiro after planting last spring. It was a twiggy thing.

It grew well last season and looks like this today.

I was hoping for a mild winter its first winter… but i have this now in my 10 day forecast.

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Mostly worried about that Monday, Tuesday forecast with lows of 1F and 6F.

What would you recommend I do to it for cold protection ?

It is caged and I could sure drape some blankets, a tarp, etc… over that cage all the way down to the ground.

Other recommendations ?

Thanks
TNHunter

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blanket and Christmas lights (c7 if you have them)…

Also I’d pile mulch up a foot or so to cover the graft.

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That night it is 1 degree i would put an electric blanket on a cage around it. Wrap the entire thing in plastic. That tree may be a lot of trouble long term. I have zone stretched with figs, pomegranate, and yes even oranges but it leads to heartaches later

It is hardier than i expected
“Ichi-ki-kei-jiro, which means “first life from Jiro”, is a sport of this popular variety. Ichi is early to ripen September-October, non-astringent, and an excellent cultivar with dwarf growth habit. (10-15′) Bears large, flat, quadrant orange fruit. Cold hardy, non-astringent. A wonderful tree for small yards. Cold hardy to USDA plant zones 6-9. New trees can produce fruit in 2-3 years depending on care and climate. The success of new trees is heavily dependent on the care received during and after planting.”

Ichi-Ki-Kei-Jiro Persimmon – Chestnut Hill Outdoors.

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How about these things (water pipe insulation) cut and covering as much of the main trunk as possible ? They are 1.25 inch thick.

I have 4 ft of that stuff.

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Hi Trev
It looks exposed, you could add a layer of woodchips around the perimeter to help hold the ground heat and I would suggest tieing the cage down to prevent toppling in a strong wind before you cover it with a blanket.
Good luck
Dennis

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Hey TN, Based on my experience here in Georgia you should be fine. My persimmons experienced approximately this same temp in January 2014, and December 2022 saw about 5F for the Christmas weekend. My trees are mature so if you provide a bit of wrapping as you suggest the trees even young should be ok. As for this week lets hope our trees dont get drowned or washed away…lol. All the best growing in 2024! Randy/GA

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@randy_ga … i have been told by others here that if I can get it thu the first winter or two… it will have a much better chance of surving cold spells with little to no protection.

I am going to check and see if I have enough heavy duty extension cord to reach it… think i have 300 ft and that may do it.

Incadescent christmas lights work great in my all winter greens bed. Greens survived 3F last winter.

Having it covered well with incadescent lights inside i have confidence in that.

And yes… i will have to make sure all that is tied down good.

Thanks

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@TNHunter

I even grow lotus persimmons, but did get die back often when they were young.

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Honestly when I got into growing Asian persimmons was expecting there might be some winter hardiness issues, but thus far not even one twig has been winter-damaged. Randy/GA

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I use that stuff on my citrus and avocados. So far so good. I think you could be fine even without protection since it’s fully dormant, but I don’t think you need much, some lights at this tubing should be more than enough imo.
I got my parents one last year similar size late summer and it took about 10* fine without any protection or issues so it’s up to you

I would throw a tarp over the entire cage, and use rocks to hold the edges down so it doesn’t blow off and captures some ground heat. I doubt the foam insulation will help, since the wood doesn’t produce any heat to trap.

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I’ve got a lot of experience with this problem growing figs. The key principles are (1) use a cover with a large footprint so that the ground can passively warm the air space around the tree. The ground will never get much below 28 F. (2) Keep the cover airtight to block inflow of cold air / outflow of warm air. Do not worry about high humidity. (3) If possible, use an insulating material for the cover. So . . .

  1. if you are strapped for time, just throw a tarp over it as suggested by @kiwinut. Do not wrap the bottom tightly around the trunk. Instead, let the bottom fall in a big circle around the tree. Secure it to the ground. Cover the edges with mulch. You want it to be airtight. With a big footprint, the earth will passively warm the air inside.

  2. If you have a little more time, create an insulating cover. A simple minimalist approach is to wrap the wire fence with a double layer of foil-covered bubble wrap, then create some top out of the same material, taping the perimeter of the top in place,. I call these covers my “figloos” but they work for persimmons if the tree is not too big.

FWIW, my in-ground Saiyo is covered right now as described with tarp. Last year I used a more elaborate cover formerly used for figs, made from foil-covered bubble wrap; the tree survived -7 F with no damage. Meanwhile, unprotected IKKJ were nearly killed. Next winter I may try to protect the Saiyo with a combination of a foil-covered bubble wrap cylinder 6’ high plus a covering of tarp.

Important: Keep in mind that the persimmon is not warm-blooded. It generates NO heat itself. So wrapping it in any “clothing” close to the bark will accomplish almost nothing. You absolutely must have some way to take advantage of passive geothermal heat.

I agree that your IKKJ should survive 1 F. Mine were always good to 0 f to -3 F, which they experienced often. But two nights at -5 F and -7 F almost proved too much. Tests show that a well-constructed insulating cover that has open to the ground can gain 15-20 degrees vs outside air.

p.s. If you are really worried, a single lightbulb inside the airtight cover will supply adequate heat.

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Some good news (hopefully) to report… my forecast for Jan 14-18 has been revised and is looking much more favorable for my IKKJiro.

I think sometimes these news channel weather forecasters are on the alarmist side… perhaps to bump up station ratings ?

I will keep checking… perhaps as those dates get closer it gets even better.

TNHunter

I can’t stress enough how much better the meteorologists are on YouTube. Check out “Ryan Hall y’all” there. You’ll get way more information than you’ll get from the weather station in ten minutes and it’s for the entire country!

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