Directions in persimmon breeding

I have noticed that most discussions here in regards to breeding D.v. is for non-astringency and/or hybrid hardiness. When I dip into the NAFEX archives to enjoy some of Claypool´s or Lehman´s articles on their efforts, other than the effort to improve general fruit characteristics, they seemed also to be pursuing a perfect flowered tree – which Jerry seemed to expect to eventually come by breeding males, not females. One thing that seems to limit progress in this direction, is that persimmon (DV) breeding is largely done currently by backyard hobbyists, and the average home grower is wanting fruit, and so overgrafts any male seedling to a female cultivar.

Other than to stimulate conversation, I suppose my intent here would be to encourage those of you doing breeding work, to consider saving more of your males to assess them for breeding opportunities. Of course, maybe this is already being done – if so, I´d enjoy reading your experiences and goals in this direction.

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All true, but the question is how to easily assess a male tree? I have 9 virginiana seedling trees, 15+ years old. One of them is male. It flowers for 6-7 years now. Two/three years ago it produced a few quite small fruits, so I could assess it’s genetic potential (or lack of it) for breeding, but it took too many years. Is there a known way to artificially induce female flowering in male trees?

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They do it with certain female flowers, and knowing what you have phenotypically in a male lineage would advance breeding significantly. Maybe hitnit with an OD of giberillic acid, silver or something…

I have only the most rudimentary understanding of plant breeding, but wouldn’t it be better to search out males (like Szukis) that already show some frequency of producing either female or perfect flowers—instead of artificially inducing it?

Other than for further breeding, why would one want seeds in DV?

Wider gene pool.

Rootstocks. Personally I do not mind the seeds, also I have noticed that the last fruits to ripen are seedless.

This was true for one of my kaki last year too. All the earlier ripening fruit were seeded and nonastringent. More of my fruit should be seeded this year and I’ll keep an eye out to see if the pattern continues. Sorry to sidetrack this to discussing kaki.

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I’ll evaluate my males for all the various categories of growth to be on the lookout for @GeneH . No question(s) about it. I’m looking at things extremely-closely. I’m just beginning however. Just a few days ago did I plant.

You can see some good lineage/information from Steven’s post about DV:

Lehman pretty much ran thru the whole course of what to breed with in a few paragraphs.

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