My little Persimmon Report


#1

I’ve seen some AMAZING persimmon reports on here that have shown and described large numbers of persimmon varities and done so in depth. This won’t compare to those. But in my little world these are kind of a a big deal (to me, at least) that I’m proud of and want to share. Also, since I’m such a novice, especially with persimmons, perhaps other newbies will enjoy my little report.

I planted my first persimmons just 3 years ago and added more each year. This is the first year most of them have produced. This year I got to harvest at least 2 or more of: Chocolate, Saijo, Fuyu, Hachiya, and a wild domestic persimmon I dug up and transplanted.

My wild one is actually pretty good, but nothing really special. I assume most of you know what wild persimmons taste and look like. They are about 3/4ths the size of a golfball. Until dead ripe they are the most astringent of all…VERY “puckering”. But when ripe they are really sweet and rich. But also very fibrous and packed with seeds. I enjoy them somewhat but most people aren’t crazy about them.

My fuyu tree is by far the most productive tree per foot. It is absolutely packed with fruit, even though I thinned it some (not enough). In spite of me leaving way too many fruit on the tree, all of the fruit are quite large and pretty healthy. I just don’t much like the non-astringent persimmons- but that is 100% personal taste. I really don’t like them when they are still crunchy. And when left to get soft, they don’t soften down in the same way the astringents do. THey just don’t get that “jelly” texture, but again, the next person may love them. The point I should make here is how productive my little 3 year old tree is. Here is a photo:
My Fuyu: (You really can’t see the true fruit load here- this thing is LOADED!

My Hachiya only had 3 fruit this year. They were all really good. Pretty standard fruit so not much to add. Most people know what these taste and look like.

My chocolate persimmon only had 2 fruit this year. What is strange about this is that the same tree had 8 persimmons on it last year and the tree is larger this year and had more pollinators in bloom this year. So I don’t know why it didn’t set more fruit. Anyway, I REALLY enjoy these. They are really sweet, have that jello-like texture. Mine get quite brown, though I’ve seen photos of browner ones. These do, as everyone says, taste of brown sugar. I like these very much. The photo below shows one each of a chocolate persimmon and a saijo persimmon- my favorite by far.

Here is the inside of the saijo and chocolate:

OK, now lets talk about the Saijo Persimmon shown above. It is the whole reason I decided to do this little report. Please listen to what I’m going to say: My Saijo Persimmons just became my very favorite fruit I grow…or at least TIED for 1st place. I just cannot begin to tell you how wonderful these little guys are. I think mine are smaller than typical Saijo persimmons but I’m not sure about that? But what I do know is these are by far the best ones I grow or have ever tasted. HOLY COW THESE ARE GOOD!!! They hang on the tree all summer and most of fall, then each one ripens fairly quickly. Once they get soft and have an opaque appearance, they don’t have the slightest hint of astringency. The texture is soft but a little firm. That sounds contradictory but what I mean is that even though they are soft, they are not mushy or gooey like other astringent types can be. They have a texture (not taste) That is similar to firm jello. They are extremely sweet, but not as rich and filling as the Chocolates. I’d describe them as more “refreshing” and not as “heavy” as Chocolates and even Hachiyas. I wish I could better describe these things. Let me just say that if you are new to persimmons and only grow one, you will NOT BE DISAPPOINTED in Saijo. I think Saijo means “the best” as I recall (??) and if so then I certainly concur!

Here is my Sajio Tree. It is either 3 or 4 years old (I forgot to check tag) and is about 9 foot tell. I didn’t spray it all year and it didn’t seem to need it. It isn’t nearly as productive as my fuyu but more than my Hachiya and Chocolate. I probably got about 18 fruit off the tree. It also is a taller, skinnier tree than others. And it is so pretty ir could be an ornamental. It looks almost like a citrus tree. Leaves are thick and very shinny. Just a nice tree with incredible fruit. Please grow a Saijo…you’ll thank me later! :slight_smile:

My Saijo Persimmon Tree:


#2

I’m new to persimmons so I very much appreciate the descriptive report on flavor. Here’s what I’m attempting to grow: Saijo, Gimboyo, Hychia, Fuyu. I have on order Tamko Jiro and Gwang Yang Persimmon. I must admit Fuyu is the only variety of Asian persimmon I’ve tasted. So I’m kind of excited to experience the rest. Maybe next season! God bless.

Marcus


#3

@thecityman,
Great looking trees! Did you graft your own? My lotus persimmons turned out to be males so I’m grafting them over to females of a better cold hardy type. My American rootstocks are not 20 feet tall like these!


#4

Thanks for your report! My Saijo was purchased just this year and had no fruit. I am yet to try one and your report makes my mouth water in anticipation.
The Jiro/fuyu also purchased at the same time is now loaded. For such a small tree!
I am also trailing Nikita here but it is still in a 5 gallon container. I will also trial Rojo Brillante to round out the persimmon collection.


#5

I’m glad @coolmantoole and @ramv are both growing saijo. I haven’t been so excited about a new fruit (new to me) in a long time. Not being much of a fan of wild persimmons or fuyu, I just hadn’t had a lot of anticipation/excitement about saijo, but after trying it this year I’m dying to run out and plant more. The good news is I have 3 (THREE!) persimmon trees I bought as various types and ended up having the grafted-on part die but the rootstock live. As a result I now have 3 persimmon trees that are whatever the growers used as rootstocks, so I’ll be grafting them next year.

@clarkinks All the ones I have that have fruited so far have been trees that I purchased- mostly bare root but 1 potted. I must confess that I tried to graft all 3 of the root-stock trees I just mentioned, but had mixed success. I got 2 takes out of about 6 grafts! Yikes! Worse still, one of those that took grew about 2 feet this summer and like a fool I didn’t brace it and of course it ended up breaking off . Boy was I mad. Your trees look good, btw. Quite large!

@coolmantoole / Marcus - Hey, I don’t know if you have Publix Supermarkets in your area, but they are the only places I’ve ever seen Hachiya Persimmons for sale around here and are where I was first able to taste a persimmon other than wild and FUYU (walmart even has Fuyu here). Might be worth a look if you want to taste Hachiya. They have them every year around here.


#6

Kevin, if you enjoy Saijo that much, you might want to consider purchasing a Gimbo (JF&E has them). I haven’t tasted any off of my tree yet but it’s often described as the great taste of Saijo in a bigger persimmon. And thanks for your report.


#7

I have a Saijo as well, and I agree that it is “the best one”. I have Nikita’s Gift on par with Saijo in terms of taste, but NG tends to disappoint me because of its penchant to drop fruit prematurely.

I live in zone 6b NJ, and the only drawback for Saijo is that I do not consider it hardy for my zone. Two years ago, I relocated it to a spot with some protection against a shed, so it has done better. The previous location, in an open area exposed to winds, would cause severe die-back. I was very close to giving up on Saijo…

So, my Saijo now looks extremely bonsaied because of previous dieback. It is now a 5-foot tall mature tree that held onto a lot of fruit this year- approximately 30. It truly is a beautiful looking tree, and I consider it my all-star persimmon for 2017.


#8

I have a saijo and a gimbo, but they are both in (similar) sub-optimal locations. I wish I had put them in a better spot now…


#9

WOW! That is great information Steven! Ever since I had the pleasant thrill of tasting my saijo’s this year, I’ve been thinking about which persimmons to add next. You just gave me the first one on my list!

@RUenvsci you bring up a great point that I should have mentioned in my report…hardiness. In my limited reading about persimmons, I got the idea that Saijo would be just on the edge of working/not working at my zone 7a/6b location (I’m dead on the edge of those 2 zones). I also got the idea that Hachiya was more hardy than Saijo and more likely to winter better. Well, the opposite has been true. I’ve had 2 Hachiya’s killed by winter freeze and a 3rd one died on 90% of the top. Fortunately a single tiny growth from the remaining grafted top of my 3rd Hachiya came back and eventually became a tree. During the same years that winter killed 2.9 Hachiya’s, my Saijo never showed any damage at all. All of them are within 50 feet of each other with no difference in protection by me or natural shelter. Go figure???


#10

Nice report.

I just tasted my first American persimmon ever - Yates. Looking back on my notes, I planted it in Jan, 2015, so not too bad, getting a taste in its 3rd year. Yates is parthenocarpic, and I don’t have a male American persimmon, so they are seedless. I think the Yates is my favorite so far, richer, firmer, but not quite as sweet, compared to the Asian types.

I planted Saijo and Nikita’s Gift in early 2013, and they first bore in 2016. Here is what my Nikita’s Gift and Saijo looked like last year. They are not ready yet this year. The Saijo are the more oblong and golden, the Nikita are almost red, and more round, like little pumpkins.
saijo 2

I love them all. My favorite last year was Nikita, but I have not tasted them side by side with the Yates. If I never tasted Nikita, I would have thought the Saijo were the best thing ever.

I added a graft to my Saijo, but totally confused myself as to what it was. In some places I said Chocolate, and in others I said Coffee Cake. It took, deer ate one graft, the other bloomed, but no fruits. We’ll see if Saijo or NG have seeds this year from the male flowers of Choco vs. C Cake. :slight_smile:


#11

Bear, nice to see that you like Saijo and NG as much as i do. I’m always rooting for NG, because I have two of them, and it is my only cold hardy variety that currently bares fruit. NG’s fruit drop disappoints me… Have you noticed exaggerated fruit drop on yours?


#12

I live in NJ, which is considered borderline 7a/6b. I call it 6b though, just to be safe. I’ve had Hachiya’s in the past, and they do seem to not handle this zone well. Last winter as pretty mild, but we had back to back cold winters for a couple years that really decimated every Hachiya I had. The only successful Hachiyas around here are those that became fully mature during a span of mild winters.

I’m glad your Saijo does fine without winter protection. As long as you keep yours away from the west/northwest winds, you should be OK. Mine will still get these winds, but I’m hoping that the shed will provide just enough cover for it to survive most winters without dieback!


#13

RUenvski, I didn’t get any significant fruit drop on my NG. I thought it over-set on some branches, so I thinned them myself to prevent branch breaking and help with ripening and fruit size. That might be why. This year was a historic hot dry summer here in Pacific NW, and I watered the NG and Saijo a few times, but not as much as other trees. They are on D. lotus rootstock. I don’t know if that affects bearing and other issues.

My Yates dropped quite a few. Since this is its first year bearing, I wasn’t surprised about that.

The Saijo didn’t drop any fruit.

I can’t speak to their hardiness. Last year we got down to 10F for a while. I’m in Zone 8A or 8B, not sure which. We usually don’t get much below 20F.


#14

Has your chocolate been hardy


#15

I thought you were not suppose to eat wild persimmons until after the first frost?


#16

Looks great Kevin, My persimmon season really into full swing. I grow a good number of cultivars and Saijo is the standard I measure the other astringent by. Not sure where you gathered the opinion Hachiya was more Hardy. Hachiya seems to be one of the most tender to cold for me and what I have seen reported.


#17

unfortunately Walmart works really hard to keep other grocery store chains out of my home town. Every time another grocery store tries to come to town, Walmart does something to prevent it. Publix tried to come a couple of years ago. It’s a near monopoly here with Walmart and BuyLo.


#18

My chocolate has only been through 2 winters and neither were very harsh, so I can’t speak much to its hardiness. I actually found it at a big box store and it was over 6 ft tall AND bushy when I bought it- one of the nicest potted plants I ever found.

@SpudDaddy I have indeed heard that about wild persimmons all my life, and most years it is true simply because the wild ones here arent usually ripe until then. But if they are completely soft, I’ve found they don’t really have to go through a frost to loose astringency or be ripe enough to eat. At least that is my experience here.

@strudeldog your past persimmon reports are among those I was thinking about when I said my post was much more limited than others! So I’m glad you enjoyed mine. I have no idea where I got the idea that Hachiya was suppossed to be more hardy, but I am pretty sure it was from a vendor site (which are notoriously poor sources for information). Either way, I will readily admit that I haven’t had that experience and it almost certainly isn’t true, so I’m glad you just confirmed that.


#19

Thanks for the info, Bear!


#20

I can’t help but repeat myself because I feel so strongly after harvesting a few more saijo persimmons every day for the last 3 days…EVERYONE NEEDS TO GROW THESE!!! If your zone is suited, I implore you to give them a try. They are an almost maintenance free tree, and yet they produce a fruit so good you just won’t believe it. I grow about 25 quite different fruits out of about 120 different trees, and I can honestly say these saijo persimmons have turned out to be my vary favorite fruit- or at least tied with my favorites. I’m sorry to basically make this same post twice, but I just got in from work and found another ripe one and upon eating it I got all excited all over again! Rest assured I’ll be topworking a few of my other persimmons into saijos. THESE THINGS ARE SOOOOOOO GOOD!!! :slight_smile: