Need help with Persimmon planting and choice

I planted a Fuyu last spring, and it struggled through the excessively hot summer we had in Arizona this year, I hope it will take off next spring. I have limited space for my “food forest”, so have to choose carefully what I plant. I have space for one more tree right now, and would like to plant another persimmon. Most people around here have a Fuyu and a Hachiya. A few seem to like the Chocolate and Coffee Cake varities too. I have not tasted any of them. The Hachiya is self-fruitful, but Chocolate and Coffee Cake need each other as pollenators. My question is, could I plant both of these in one hole? I am keeping all my trees pruned to smaller backyard orchard size. I see Tom Spellman of Dave Wilson Nursery doing group planting with other fruit trees, and wonder if it would work with persimmon too. Also, are the Chocolate and Coffee Cake really that special, or should I just plant a Hachiya? By the way, I am located in the Arizona desert.

True Fuyu is actually rarely available, most are labeled “Fuyu / Jiro” and are truly “Jiro”.

Persimmons are in the Ebony family and as such have fussy roots. I don’t recommend planting them two in the same hole, but perhaps others in your environment have better experience with this.

About the Chocolate and Coffee Cake, I believe they’ve been oversold to the public and I wouldn’t grow either. For the amount room I have, one persimmon tree (kaki cultivar) is plenty.

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I live in southern AZ as well, and kaki persimmons have been pretty slow growers for me. My fear with planting two trees per hole is that (1) one of them them will overtake the other since many varieties have much different growth rates and vigor, and (2) they may stunt each other to the point that a single tree would have become a healthier specimen. The trouble is, they grow so slowly that it may take 5 years or more to realize this.

I agree with Richard… for most people a single kaki persimmon tree will provide more fruit than you can handle if properly cared for.

As far as a variety, both fuyu/jiro and hachiya are excellent, proven varieties. I have chocolate and coffee cake and due to inefficient pollination, I end up with a mix of pollinated and non-pollinated fruit, which means a mix of fruit I can eat right off the tree and some that needs to ripen inside… unfortunately it’s almost impossible to tell them apart without cutting them open! Also, keep in mind that all pollinated fruit ends up with multiple seeds, while the fuyu/jiro and hachiya will be nearly seedless.

I should also add that it’s pretty easy to keep kaki persimmons pruned to 8 ft tall and wide in desert climates.

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I would plant the Hachiya easily available good fruit, and would compliment your existing non-astringent with a little diversity. I agree with Coffee Cake and to a degree Chocolate being overrated, mostly for the inconsistency mentioned above. Additionally you could well end up with seeds in all your other persimmon, I have Tasted Chocolate that was very good, but if not pollinated well to my palate it was sub-par.

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I live in NJ, so the varieties we can grow are pretty limited because of the climate. The local nursery supplies Hachiya, Fuyu, Tanenashi, & Tamopan, even though the only ones I’ve experienced longterm success on are Fuyu and Tamopan.

I did notice that a person in town planted what appears to be Hachiya and Fuyu in the same hole. Both trees seem mature, but I do not believe they’ve reached their full growth potential because they’re competing with each other. The Hachiya ended up growing “low” while the Fuyu grew “high”. I’m surprised the Hachiya has survived because I do not consider it hardy for zone 6b. However, I did like the setup I observed because I think it is nice to have the best of both worlds (astringent and non-astringent) in the same hole if space is limited.

@npolaske expressed fear in doing this for reasons I’ll call “root wars”.

I previously stated that “Persimmons are in the Ebony family and as such have fussy roots … I don’t recommend planting them two in the same hole”. So I should clarify that I wasn’t speaking about “root wars” but plant morphology. I’m happy that two-in-a-hole is working in NJ! However, consider that Ebenaceae cuttings cannot be directly rooted in soil. Early root damage either in the wild or by inexperienced bareroot resellers can kill a rootstock. Further, the bark can be poisonous to fish, amphibians, and other plants … with mild toxicity to other Ebenaceae! So I treat them quite differently from say, Prunus.

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Very nice information, Richard. Even though I don’t have the knowledge you do, I do agree that the roots are very sensitive. For that reason, I’m not a big fan of bare root persimmons, as I only have about a 50% success rate with them. I think a well-established root system is crucial to transplanting persimmons, which is why i prefer pot-grown persimmon trees.

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Yes. I know of one retail nursery that will not sell persimmons bare-root. You can order them in the fall, but must wait until mid-summer until the trees are well-established in a pot.

I wish I had known this before I bought mine last spring. I chose a potted one but it only had a few leaves coming out. There was another that looked well established in the pot but I thought since I was planting in late spring the plant with less growth might do better. It looked as if they had just potted up their bareroot plants but then had more that looked well established. The tree is still alive but I wouldn’t say it did well. I guess I’ll find out how it does in the spring.
Katy

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Yes you are right regarding kaki and lotus rootstocks.

Just to be the Dork-of-the-Day, let me distinguish however that d.virginiana roots are quite rugged and adaptable back East.

I know Richard already knows this. I’m just expanding on the convo for the benefit of our learning readership.

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What is the name of the local nursery in NJ that sells those varieties? Looking to buy a few, Thanks!

And yet … 3 years later I’m planting a Chocolate Persimmon for its low-chill characteristic to replace an under performing higher chill pit fruit!

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What about grafting other varieties to the one you already have?

That’s what I did with my Fuyu/Jiro type I received some cuttings from someone, the variety of cuttings I received ware chocolate and coffee cake and both grafted very well to the Fuyu/Jiro tree. I still don’t know what it’s going be the outcome of this but is a lesson to learn. I know one of the varieties might be more dominant than the others but I’m planing on keep them lower, the other thing that I just find out is that the one it was supposed to be seedless now they might end up with seeds but it’s ok with me.

Can you elaborate more on the rootstocks? I have repeatedly bought potted persimmons from JF&E and they keep dying on me. They survive the winter but seem to die randomly later in the summer. I haven’t been able to get any to survive (including Prok and Rosseyanka) for more than two summers. What do you think the problem is? I have lost four trees this way, yet they are planted with many other stonefruit trees that are growing successfully in the same area.

I’m in zone 6 NY.

I didn’t know we could grow Fuyu and Hachiya in 6b. I’m in NY. Do you protect yours? I thought Hachiya and even more so tamopan, wouldn’t ripen here?

I thought I responded to this thread, but my response didn’t post. Likely due to connection issues on the train.
I can no longer recommend the fuyu types, saijo, hachiya, and tanenashi for zone 6b NJ. They will survive some winters, but will did back completely or significantly during polar vortex years. For example, I had over 100 saijo fruit last year, but this past winter, it died back to the major limbs. Fuyu and fuyu imoto are larger trees, but few fruit this year because the fruiting branches died back. Tamopan for some reason has survived. For this reason, I can only recommend the varieties Cliff England has sold me, some of which I don’t think he sells anymore. Kasandra (hybrid), Zima khurma (hybrid), sestronka (hybrid), Korea (kaki), and steiermark (kaki). Others here recommend JT-02 (hybrid) which I grafted this year. Cliff has an interesting variety named David’s Kandy (hybrid), which I grafted this year also.

@jxz7245
Not sure why your persimmons a dieing.
You stated in another post that the scion dies mid summer, but the root sprouts.
So could be ,…?

" Delayed winter damage",… (some nurserys recomend mounding dirt over the scion for at least 2 yrs )

There is a “bore” that can live in the stem causing damage .
The twig will have a hollow center.

"Twig girdiler "can eat the bark off , in a circle, you can see this.

" Incompatibility " like sudden death syndrome ?

So iam not sure ?
My guess would be winter injury, as you are in the north.
So maybe more protection for a few years, ( mound of dirt, / mulch, above graft , / plant graft below ground ?

If you have root sprouts, I could send you scionwood in the spring to try again.

I also recommend Nikita’s gift hybrid and rosseyanka hybrid for zone 6b.

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Saijo is not a Fuyu type. It is astringent.

Tamopan, fuyu, and hachiya get no winter protection. Tamopan appears to be cold resistant with no winter damage… but I have heard there are different Tamopans out there, so it could be that I have one that is more cold resistant. People say the same about saijo, but it appears mine is not very cold resistant.

I don’t think the issue is that they wouldn’t ripen. I think they would. The issue is more that they are not cold resistant, which can lead to dieback to the roots for young trees and die back to mJor limbs for mature trees.