Grafting Persimmons: Temperatures & Zones

I learned a valuable lesson today at the expense of another person. For years (and years) I’ve been preaching the benefits of warm weather when grafting of persimmon. It is a fact that warm weather helps, & probably immensely.

What you need to know is larger trees in the field are typically grafted via pulling the bark down or inserting buds into it. These larger trees have an incredible healing ability simply due to their roots. They have more roots.

I live in NW IL and am extremely lucky I found out that come into grafting season, my temps are 75 during the day and warmer and 55 at night (Fahrenheit). It’s the beginning of my grafting season which is typically the 3rd week in May. This is where I ran into trouble with somebody today on the telephone. This person is in the same zone as me (5b) and temperatures there are finally high 70’s and around 80 during the day and nighttime temps there have still been as low as 45… but are crawling to 60 now. This person waited to graft persimmons in the field and found the bark not to slipping really well and the color is off (kind of a dulling green to sometimes yellowish-green). This means that the zone 5b grafting season in New York and waiting for warm temperatures doesn’t jive.

This person next year it was concluded will need to begin grafting at “Optimal Time” vs. temperature.

I hope this helps someone, if only the # of fingers still remaining on my grafting hands…

The moral of the story is not all zones are the same…

There’s going to be bits & pieces that everyone will experience and learn from whether positive or negative the first time around. A grafting journal may go a long, long, ways in order to help you construct the best times to graft.

Field grafting onto larger established trees doesn’t require the the heat generally. You got enough healing power to the graft from the roots. As soon as the buds are swollen or leaves are unfurling, THAT IS EVERYONE’S INDICATOR - TO BEGIN GRAFTING.

If you’re having success prior to swollen bud and leaf unfurl, well, keep doing what you’re doing and don’t change a thing.

I will recommend still to grow your rootstocks in-ground and graft to them when they have the healing power of their roots.

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Good info Barkslip. Yes, I had a hard time grafting persimmons until I waited until Late May or June here. Also, I had some give up the scion when we had dry hot weather and I forgot to water it.
John S
PDX OR

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Perfect explanation @JohnS

Everybody’s grafting late has gotta water. White wrapping tape, is a must here where it’s blazing hot (Late-Season Grafting.)

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I grafted an established persimmon in mid April when the leaf appeared. So far all are doing well. I agree with Barkslip established trees are far more forgiving. Even like he said planting rootstock for a year before grafting makes a big difference. Weak roots are the main reason for failure in grafting rootstock. IMO

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I’ve met this guy several times… he spends his entire life raising trees.

From his May 13th blog post:

image

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Let me squeeze you for a quick question. I’m planning on grafting over some of my heartnuts to name brands. They are all 10-20 foot. Should I wait longer than the persimmons to graft and will bark grafts work well on them? I keep hearing walnuts are hard to graft.

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It’s true they are. I’d say about 50% or 40% or 30% is every year.

Bark graft is great. Really the very best (what you won’t be doing) is flap grafts.

Try to graft on 4" or less. All apical, always. …

Around here, we all said to only graft persimmons after they’d been in the ground for a year. It just seems to work better.
JohN S
PDX OR

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Also, at least here, this year’s weather is much different than the previous several years. I avoid grafting persimmons until the daytime temperatures are in 70’s.

John, I grafted Matsumoto Wase Fuyu to my mislabeled kaki, and also to either Fuyugaki or Coffeecake, the last week of May. Those all took. It was a brief window of 70 degree high temperature followed by some cooler weather. The hosts were fully leafed out and bark was slipping. I think bark grafts, and whip and tongue, or modified whip and tongue.

While I’m at it, 1/2 loquat grafts done at the same time took. It was the one that had a growing tip, which seems to work much better for them.

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Murky,
You are the main person who really got me thinking that I needed to graft later, so I want to thank you for that.
My loquat is mostly ornamental. I guess if it keeps getting so much hotter it could eventually fruit.
John S
PDX OR

Most years I have waited for the 70’s, to graft persimmon, but this year we had a cooler spring and meanwhile my chocolate tree had leaves about the size of a rabbits ear by mid May, well before the 70’s. So I decided to graft my persimmons on 14-16 May.
The temperature those 3 days were: H 68F, L 57F.; H 59F, L 51F; H59, L 48F. For the first week after grafting the Max H: 67F, Min L: 42F, Avg H: 56.2, L: 49.7F.
The majority of grafts are now breaking bud and growing, so I think there is no need to wait for higher temps around 70F, when the rootstock is ready to grow.
Dennis
Kent, wa

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This year I had both two-year (in ground for one year) and one-year (planted outside this April) persimmon seedlings to graft to.

On the two-years, once the new leaves opened (“squirrel’s ear” size) I grafted a scion with a cleft graft to each leader and any main scaffolds. To date 13 out of 15 grafts have taken. The 2 apparent failures were on multi-grafted seedlings.

With the one-year seedlings, the success rate went down, at least so far. 17 were planted outside in mid-April. Some began leafing out in mid-May, others not until mid-June. One graft to the leader was attempted on these leafed-out seedlings. To date, 4 of 9 of the mid-May grafts have taken, and 2 of 8 of the mid-June grafts. Some of the late grafts now exhibit bud swell, but not all.

My preliminary conclusions are that two-year seedlings, in-ground at their permanent location for one year, will be almost certain to take once small leaves have opened - especially if only a single graft is done. One year seedlings, planted early in the year, MIGHT take once leaves have opened, but failures increase due to small roots.

From this point I won’t rub out any new buds under the grafts on the one-year seedlings, in hopes of another attempt next year.

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Same here, almost 100% success with persimmon grafting (bud/whip tongue/cleft) this year. Did the same with peach grafting, 100% success. I think the best time to graft is when the tree just wakes up and pushes new growth hard. There’s a persimmon grafting video on YouTube https://youtu.be/Vcbjs82GoUc from a major persimmon production area in China, Shaanxi. It’s likely a 6A/B area but you can see the farmers in the video started grafting around April when peach tree was just flowering. The rootstock they used is lotus. Obviously the rootstocks were still in dormant.

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The peach winter pruning video from this same guy is also very interesting. It’s in Chinese but you can get the idea if you have some experience with pruning. Note that all branches are pruned twisting outside. https://youtu.be/wKaEUnAKoz8

In some places, just waking up, and pushing hard, do not occur at the same time, or even close to each other.

Here, we tend to have long, wet, gradual springs.

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Loquats have no trouble blooming even in much cooler Seattle. The issue is keeping them from getting frosted over winter.
If you go through a mild winter and/or protect the trees, no problem getting fruit.

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Seattle is cooler in the summer, but usually not as cold in the winter. How would you protect them from frost? Xmas lights? Thanks,
John S
PDX OR

I use the old style incandescent xmas lights and covered my trees with remay. They worked year before last. This year, I was away and could not protect my trees. But I have no doubt that the same process would have worked.
Trees can get heavily weighted down by snow especially if the tree is covered with a fabric but so far branches haven’t broken.

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I am planning my first grafting kaki persimmon trial next spring. I am in zone 7A, in Philly suburbs. I love Asian persimmons, and have planted seeds from the purchased fruit some years ago. Now have large kaki trees, very vibrant and well branches, but unfortunately, with only male flowers!
I have several varieties I purchased from catalogs, including Ichi, Fuyu, Chocolate, and Miss Kim, a Korean flat persimmon.

I am wondering whether I can graft several different varieties on the same trunk, staggered around the receiving tree, facing in different directions?

How important is it to graft dormant wood vs. cut fresh branches and graft them on the unfurling receiving tree?

What is the best method of grafting Asian persimmons?

What are the best grafting knives and tape?

How to request a few branches to graft from other varieties from this wonderful forum?

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I’ve been following him. Great info, and I want to try some of his scionwood when I get some rootstock ready. So far this year the seedlings look great.

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