Persimmon and pear for deer food plot

I am planning to plant persimmon for deer but need help with the best varieties. I need a variety that drops from the tree when ripe and also taste good, I plan on eating some. Asian persimmons don’t drop and I don’t know much about the American varieties.

Help with a pear that is no maintenance and bares somewhat early.

Consider Harrow Delight pear (earliest) or Harvest Queen pear (somewhat early). Both fireblight resistant and delicious. HQ is the tastiest of the two.

John Rick is an American persimmon variety that might fit the bill. See these vids:

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You need varieties that ripen and fall during your deer season . John Rick and any early Golden family for early ripening say about late August in Southern Illinois . Here in central Illinois I want October or later fruit drop as our archery season starts Oct. 1 . So the late persimmons and pears are my choice . I have found most wild persimmons are late . I have a late pear whose name is lost . It ripens mid Sept to mid Oct . and last on the ground for a long time . Matt mentioned some good early choices .


Thanks that helps and gives me a good start. Our season starts Aug 15. Do I need a male tree for these trees or are there any seedless American persimmon? I only grow Asian and have only dealt with wild American that need a male.

On the pears I meant a variety that produces at an early age, don’t want to wait 10-15 years for fruit. Early season is also good.

You might take a look at this pear thread that discusses fireblight resistance and hardy pears Pear tree Fireblight research so you dont have to

Meader persimmon is self-fertile.

“Harrow Sweet” is one of the more precocious pears. Mine fruited the first year after transplant.

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I have seen some other threads here about planting fruit trees to supply soft mast for deer. If I were to do that here I feel like the raccoons and possums would clean out the tree before any fruit hit the ground. Do you plan to put baffles on to protect the fruit until it can drop to the deer? Or just plant enough that the varmits can’t possibly eat it all. There is a pear tree at the end of my road at an old house. It had a pretty fair crop of pears on it this year. As they got close to ripening i noticed they all disappeared. No one was living there and every single pear to the very top of the tree was taken. It looked to me like a family of raccoons had a feast.


C5Tiger what growing zone are you located in? Our largest customer base is individuals with wildlife habitat goals in mind. Cant help with persimmons but can probably give you some good suggestions on pears and apples.

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@forestandfarm knows lots about this. I have read Yates is a good persimmon for deer. There are also 2 varieties from Lehman’s work being promoted for deer planting due to their long drop: Deer Candy and Deer Magnet. Yates doesn’t need male if I recall correctly, not sure about the other 2.

zone 8 SC

TurkeyCreekTrees- Good to see you on here!

With that early of an archery season, you’ll have a few more options with pears. I’d look into Moonglow and Magness. As far as Persimmon I’m not sure.

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I would also reccomend Moonglow for an early season pear and Kieffer for a later fall pear. With fireblight surely a issue in your area you will want pears with strong fireblight resistance/tolerance.

Rally1148 saw your user name awhile back and assumed it was you!


If you get into a later season, Keiffer would also work. I’m not sure about the zoning though. It’s a good “Northern” pear, as it drops here in Michigan in October or November.


I’ve been working on persimmons as a food source and an attractant for deer. My goal is to have varieties that drop from September through February. We have lots of native American persimmons growing wild on our farm. The best bang for the buck is bark grafting well established native root stock. You can get the first fruit in the third leaf after grafting. If you are patient, you can plant trees if you don’t have them growing wild, but it will take many more years to produce fruit.

The “deer varieties” are bred for commercial use and ended up being precocious trees, but the fruit has some characteristics that make them less desirable for commercial use so they are marketed for wildlife. There is nothing particularly special about them.

There is not much information about how zone affects persimmon drop. Generally you see words like “early”, “mid”, and “late”. Native persimmons have a very wide range of drop times. My plan is to use a combination of commercial varieties and native persimmons to achieve my goal. I’ve been swapping native persimmon scions from folks across the country from precocious trees with different drop times. Of course, the time they drop in the zone they came from may be different than when they drop for me.

Here is a thread that list some of the varieties I’m working with:

Persimmon Varieties for Deer

My suggestion is to plant non-grafted trees where you want them and then when they hit about 1" in diameter, bark graft them with the scions from trees with the characteristics you want.

By the way, there are lots of good threads on that forum discussing persimmon use for deer.

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We thinned some pines and I want to plant the open area they used for decking in food plot so no native trees there. I will plant seedlings and graft them later or at least that’s the plan.

Can native trees change sex? We have some young wild persimmon on a fence row that use to fruit but have not the last 4 years. I may graft them over.

Persimmons don’t change on their own in general (although there are rare “perfect trees” with both male and female branches), but you can change the sex by grafting:

Sex Change Operation

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I haven’t looked recently, but the folks at The Wildlife Group, back home in East Alabama have a number of ‘soft-mast’ selections that they’re propagating & selling for outplanting…pears, apples, other stuff. Google 'em up for ideas that will probably work in your zone. Keiffer and Galloway pears would be a ‘must’, in my book.

I’ve got one pear selection that I ran across on a trip home to AL several years ago that had the majority of its crop still hanging on January 1… and a bunch on the ground. I’ve grafted it onto callery seedlings and planted at some wildlife foodplots, but they’ve not yet fruited for me; I have no idea if these are edible from a human taste perspective, but I’ll bet the hooved rats will eat 'em. It’s a small to medium round russetted Asian type pear.

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Some nearby friends transplanted a fruiting persimmon 6-8 years ago, and it hasn’t fruited again for them, even though it’s grown a lot more in the meantime. If I can remember I’ll look at it at flowering time next year.

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I recommend a persimmon known as H-118. You are in zone 8 I think so it will be early for your season. I grafted H-118 to native persimmon in zone 8a and had fruit the next year. Deer love it and it is larger than the native fruit. England Nursery has plants as Early Jewell. Members can send you scion for postage as H-118.

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