Opinions please -- protecting new persimmons in Z6B/7A?

I had such great success with IKKJ last autumn (and disappointment with Prok) that I’m doing a full court press persimmon-wise. Note that I live on the border of Z6B/7A in short-season coastal RI.

Background: Apart from a few other things going on, I have planted:

  1. Giboshi, purchased from JF&E. The 1-yr old grafted tree is doing beautifully, growing what will be scaffold branches.

  2. JT-02 / Mikkusu, grafted by me last year on DV seedling rootstock. Again, the 1-yr old grafted tree is doing beautifully, growing scaffold branches.

  3. Three American varieties – H63A, Barbra’s Blush, Dollywood – grafted by me this year on seedling DV rootstock acquired a year ago and grown for a year in pots.

  4. Three Asian varieties – Sheng, Miss Kim, Saiyo – grafted by me this year. Sheng and Saiyo are on similar seedling DV rootstock; Miss Kim is grafted onto a sucker sprouted from the rootstock of my Prok. I transplanted the sucker before grafting; it seems healthy.

All of the new grafts in #3-4 are growing well except Miss Kim, which has not yet popped. The graft looks OK, just not growing yet.

Question: Should I provide winter protection for any of these new trees?

FYI, I reliably protect in-ground fig trees, so I could conceivably use the same approach with persimmons. I realize that some of these varieties are stretchy in my area, especially when young. I have been assuming that I would protect some trees this year, probably especially Saiyo, But I realize that other varieties may also be sensitive as new young trees. I’m looking for advice on how cautious to be – how aggressively to protect.

Thoughts?

I would winter-protect the Asians for the first few winters. I put a Tam Kam and an IKK Jiro in ground this spring, and I plan to winter protect them in a similar fashion to how you protect figs. However, I think the insulation doesn’t have to be as thick, since persimmons are hardier than figs.

The Americans and JT-02 probably don’t need protection. I am wondering if I can even protect my Asians long term, pruning them each fall to ~5’ high. Since they produce fruit on current season growth, such severe pruning may be ok. This approach may be more successful with varieties that tend to produce smaller trees.

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Thanks, Ahmad.

My thinking was evolving along similar lines, pending other advice.

I have some leftover 6’ foil-covered bubble wrap from a prior fig project. I was thinking of a single-layer cylinder around each of the Americans (H63A, Barbra’s Blush, and Dollywood) and the hybrid (JT-02) for just this one season. And I have some 4’ bubble-wrap plus fiberglass, which may be tall enough for Giboshi, Saiyo, and Miss Kim again this one season.

Then I’ll have to decide whether to use the 6’ material for the Asians in future years.

Please keep me posted on what you do.

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I put my JT-02 in ground last fall, it was a tiny 1’ tall, one or two eighths of an inch thick plant. It survived the winter untouched, with no protection. I think we had a couple of nights close to 0F.

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p.s. I have 3 IKKJ. They had ~50% top kill the first winter. Maybe a little the next winter but not severe. Since then they have been bullet-proof. So protection the 1st 1-2 years would be advisable.

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@jrd51

Ernie Grimo ,of Grimo nut nursery, who has decades of experience growing persimmons up north ,recommends covering the graft union with a “mound of soil “ for at least the first 2-3 years .
TonyOmahaz5 recommended planting the “graft union below ground. “ .I was nervous to do this thinking it may be too deep.?
I grafted lots of potted rootstocks very close to soil level in pots .
Grew for one year in pots.
Then planted them with the union at least 6” below ground .
They have been in ground 3-4 yrs now .look good. Most are over my head …~ 3yrs.
My soil is heavy red clay.trees grown in 14 “ x4 “ tree pots .
I was sure they would die planting that deep.
But they are thriving !
No Severe winter temperatures since I’ve planted them.
A mix of variety’s , many Americans, a lot of the Hardier Asians too.
A few of the Kiakis died back to the soil line , new sprouts from ground were easy to tell by leaf type that they indeed were kiaki sprouts from above the graft union , not the American rootstock .
I feel comfortable with this situation now.
I am thinking when that next bad “ test winter “ happens , the graft will survive under ground . 6b WV.

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@Hillbillyhort – Thanks. Elsewhere I read that tender varieties on DV rootstock do better over winter if the graft is high. Meanwhile, I already had a tree from Cliff England that had been grafted high, and I copied that technique. So my persimmon grafts are generally 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 feet above the soil line. The only exception is Miss Kim, which is grafted to a sucker that had suffered weed-whacker damage to the trunk, so I cut it low below the damage.

What all that means is that I will not be able either (A) to bury the graft union under the ground or (B) to pile a mound of soil above the graft union. So I’m gonna have to try Plan C.

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