My first year experience with Nikita's Gift persimmon

I planted a large NG persimmon early November of last year. All went well with a mild winter here in central Virginia and it leafed out in March with our mild temperatures. Then came a hard freeze to about 24-26F on April 9 that wiped out all of the limbs. It regrew new ones and all was well although no flowers. Then came the Japanese beetles that love this tree and a nearby TamKam. I was able to control them fairly well with Neem oil and hand picking, but they did their fair share of damage. Next I noticed large parts of the leaves being eaten but couldn’t find any insects on the tree. It looked like caterpillar damage of some sort. It went on for a month or more when my research lead me to check the tree during the night. It was loaded with about 15 “June” beetles, the brown ones. Apparently they don’t mind Neem. I’ve been going out at night to check the trees and hand pick. I’m only finding a couple on the tree each night now, but don’t know how much they move around. Anyone have experience with handling these beetles or have the same experiences with persimmons? I see all these pictures on here of trees with practically perfect leaves. I protected my two smaller persimmons with tulle which worked great. They just started pushing out a new round of growth… not so much with the NG. Any advice is welcome!
Here are some pictures of the damage:

You can see the little Saijo in the background on this one. It may catch the NG in size next year at this rate.


I have no helpful advice to give - except to say - I’ve heard multiple reports that Rosseyanka does better around here.

Good luck.

Well, does anyone else battle the Japanese and June beetles on these trees? Is it something that will be of less concern as they get older and larger? I don’t really worry about the damage to the ornamentals in the yard :slight_smile:. They are mature and seem to handle all the damage fine, but they don’t have the added stress of producing fruit. I’m hoping I don’t have to build a protective tent over these trees every year into perpetuity. Just looking for some ideas and a little reassurance from folks with more experience with them.

Also, I added Rosseyanka this year! It has had some beetle damage to the leaves, but is in a different part of the yard with either less pressure or it possibly isn’t as appealing to the insects. I hope it tastes as good as the fruit looks in pictures. I’ve tasted Nikita’s Gift and thought it was great.

Yes I battle them, well actually I just submit to them. I do lose foliage so I am sure growth but as the tree gains size it effects them less.



Do you have other fruit trees that JB like better?

I’ve found that they prefer cherry and then plum leaves. They have left my persimmon (NG, too) alone. They don’t even bother peaches or apples much. It’s the cherry that is their favorite in my yard. This is true in my friend’s yard, too. JB have gone after her cherry leaves, but not much on her A. pears at all.

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There is a mature ornamental cherry about 20 feet away from the NG. Maybe they are just stumbling across the NG because of it’s proximity to that tree. The ornamental cherry trees definitely attract a lot of beetles. I have noticed they definitely like the taller trees/shrubs over shorter ones which may be the only reason the smaller persimmons seem to fare better (plus my protection with tulle).

Before spraying with Neem there would be up to 20 Japanese beetles feeding on the NG which is enough to do some serious damage on a tree that size. The first night I checked for the night flying June beetles, I found about 15 on the NG. Now, in my night-time check I’ll find maybe 2 on it, so I’m making some progress, but there isn’t a leaf left on it that hasn’t been chewed on.

Hopefully I can protect the trees long enough for them to grow large enough to endure the beetles without much care??

6-7 years ago, I invested in milky spores. I don’t know if it has worked very well or not as I’ve heard it works better in a warmer climate. However, I have not had many JB for the past 3 -4 years.

I’ve been looking into Milky Spore. I suppose now is the time to apply it while the eggs are hatching? I have a lot of ground to cover… I may hit all the turf around the trees that they like and as much other area as I can cover and then hope that they spread on their own from there.

Thanks for the feedback, strudeldog. I’m pretty excited about these trees and check on them quite a bit. Maybe I just need to chill, but I don’t want my negligence to be the reason for losing one. :relaxed:

NG pic taken a minute ago. Pretty clean leaves.
For milky spores, need to follow the instruction on how to spread them around. Don’t just do it. Do it right is needed, I believe.

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Looks beautiful mamuang. That’s what mine looked like before June :blush:. How long has she been in the ground and any fruit yet?

The tree is two years old (from bare root) but I moved it to this spot this April so it has a set back.

It had one flower this year but it fell off. I was told that persimmon drops fruit for the first few years so I won’t expect fruit until year 4 or 5. Maybe in year 4 had I not moved it.

I have a NG I put in the ground around July last year and it had some partial girdling from rabbits over winter. This year it leafed out but that’s all it’s done. It’s putting on zero growth and some of the branches (twigs really) from last year are dead (never leafed out). Haven’t had problems with japanese beetles on it although I have plum trees a few steps away that the beetles have been hitting so I’d agree with what’s been said in that regard. I’ve been watering adequately, pounded in some fertilizer spikes, and it gets adequate sun. Not sure what’s wrong. It does have numerous buds but they aren’t growing. How do I encourage this tree to put on growth?

I’m experiencing the same. Mine had to regrow all branches after the hard freeze in spring. It’s done nothing since. 2 Asian persimmons have started a second round of growth. Even Rosseyanka that I planted in June is looking like it’s going to put on new growth. The buds on NG are smaller and tighter, I’m hoping she’s just a little slower at starting back up. Mine could definitely use some new leaves.

Good luck with the persimmon trees! I’ve noticed that persimmons seem to be more susceptible to transplantation shock, especially if they’re coming from bare root. Only 3/5 bare root persimmons I’ve planted, be it in large pots for now, were successful. Other persimmon trees, that I’ve purchased in pots with established root systems, have been successful but take time to adjust.

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