Persimmon Cold Hardiness Resource

With all the incorrect information out there on random asian persimmon cultivars being “zone 6” hardy etc, we need a good resource of what the facts are on cold hardiness of asians and hybrids etc.

Especially taking into consideration these 10 year polar vortex freezes that kill back nice orchards in zone 7 where hardier plantings could have avoided that, if the correct info were available.

Would you all be up for us getting together and sharing lists of what persimmons were lost or survived, in your experiences or trials, or those of others, and at what low temp and zone this result happened?

Then we can make or edit a good list of estimated max cold hardiness with the goal of better recommendations for longer term zone dependability.

I am compiling a list of the Asian and Hybrid persimmons and what experiences have been with each cultivar and I am curious as to whether any of your types are ones with a reputation to be a bit on the hardy side (-5F to -10F?) like Saijo etc?

I would love us to all get together and compile a great list of minimum temps each has survived or failed and get a factual list of what is worthwile for further trials in zones 6a(took -20 to -25F), 6b(took -12 to -18F), 7a(took -6F to -12F), 7b(took 0 to -6F).

There is a lot of mis-information out there such as on reputable sites like ediblelandscaping of Asians being hardy to “zone 6” etc and it would be great if we could create a detailed resource that took into account these 10 year lows.

There are quite a few asians that seem hardy to zone 6b down to about -15F like Steiermark and Inchon, and Chinebuli, from the reports I have read so far.

So here is my rough draft list of types and Low temps that they seemed to have survived based on info and reports I have read, if you see any that need updates or corrections or added data let me know. And I understand this is tricky since a mature tree might take a temp undamaged yet a young graft next to it might die…, yeah so many variables such as wood thickness, windchill, windbreaks, micro-climates, humidity, snow cover, etc, and also some named cultivars may have more than one strain or type being shared under the same name…
So yeah, younger grafts probably need protection for a few years before reaching this level of hardiness temos, but yeah.
So here is a rough draft of what I have been able to gather on estimated maximum cold hardiness for perhaps a semi-mature tree for longer term zone semi-dependability and some are only estimates based several differing experiences or on people making general statements of one being a bit hardier than another so this is general estimates so far with need for further testing and confirmation:
*(This list is for 15 year polar blast safety, and longer term viability of an orchard, not average USDA zone low ratings).
*(Also, said zones near US coastlines, and east of the Appalacians, are less apt to get such extremes, than inland, mountain, and midwest areas)
So here is my list for hopefully longer term success, coldest survival temp range with limb/top damage likely:
(More edits comming as we compare results)
*Zone 5b:(USDA zone low is -10F to -15F but 15 year midwest/mountain polar vortex can be -20F to -33F±.)
Jt-02. -20 to -25F?
JBT-06. -20 to -25F?
Americans are more sure in z5, some of the best are:
Geneva Long. -32F.
Prok. -32F.
Early Golden, 100-46, H63A, H118…

*Zone 6a:(USDA zone low is -5F to -10 but 15 year midwest/mountain polar vortex can be -15F to -24F±.)
Chuchupaka. -16 to -20?
NGxThor. -16 to -20?
Rosseyanka. -18 to -22?
David’s Kandy. -16 to -20?
ProkxHokaido. -16.
Okja. -16.
Kasandra. -17 to -20.
Nb-02. -16 to -22F.

*Zone 6b:(USDA zone low is 0F to -5F but 15 year midwest/mountain polar vortex can be -10F to -18F±.)
Sosnovskaya. -12 to -18?
Cherniaeva. -12 to -18?
Pamjat Pasenkova. -11 to -16F?
Sovietski. -12 to -15?
RosseyxSaijo. -11 to -16?.
Inchon. -11 to -16.
Steiermark. -11 to -15.
Korea Kaki. -10 to -15
Patapsco. -10 to -14?
Chinebuli. -11 to -15.

*Zone 7a:(USDA zone low is 5F to 0F but 15 year midwest/mountain polar vortex can be -5F to -13F±.)
Gora series. -6 to -12±?
Kyungsan Ban Si. -5 to-11?
Yamagaki. -8 to -11?
Miss Kim. -8 to -11?
Nikita Gift. -9 to -11?
Shan Xi. -8 to -11
Orest, -8 to -11
Chibacha -9 to -11.
Bass PA Tipo, -9 to -11?
Picudo. -8 to -10.
Russian Kaki. -8 to -10
Great Wall. -8 to -10?
Tecumseh. -8 to -10?
NB-21 Hybrid -6 to -8?
Hokkaido. -5 to -9
Saijo. -5 to -10.
Smiths Best. -5 to -7.
Sheng. -4 to -6.

Most other kaki 0 to -5 zone7b, or zone 8 in extreme midwestern/mountain polar vortex blasts.

To be safe, especially in the midwest, I recommend going with things hardy a half zone above you, if in 6b plant those I listed in 6a, if in 7a plant those listed in 6b, etc…

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This is definitely something we need. I’m still too early in the journey to contribute much of worth, but I think @barkslip is trying out the Gora series in Z5, and @mamuang might have some Tam Kam that’s made it at least a few years in Z6a. I have Chinebuli that I might trial outside here in NH (Z5b on the map, but realistically more of a Z6a since I’m town), but it will start in a pot.

Regarding Prok and Geneva long, I thought the notion of those being hybrid was debunked. I’d love to see if you have information otherwise, so I can update my plans…

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Good thoughts! Yeah I hope @Barkslip and @ctduckhunter proves some of the Gora series to be hardier and I believe some may be! I also read a report from eastern europe where they were similar to Nikitas Gift and that all froze out but that Pamjat Pasenkova (similar) was not damaged. But yeah further confirmation and multiple results are needed for sure!
Yeah I was throwing in some possible big Americans in there. I believe though that Mr Gordon did claim Geneva Long is a hybrid, and it seems to have some hybrid character, though it coukd be pure DV, so I do not know, but I think it would be a great one for a hybrid cross! :slight_smile:

Chinebuli is the hardiest known Non-Astringent to -15 several times for Mr Cliff. 20th Century seems to be second it has taken a lot at Wye. I would love to hear what Tam Kam has taken!

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I’ve been loosely following reports of persimmons making it (or not) in various locations and timing of the cold weather seems to make a big difference. For example, I’ve seen a lot of reports of persimmons that are perfectly hardy to that zone getting zapped and killed by a relatively mild late freeze, since they’d started growing already. So I would think that would make more inland and/or northern parts of a given zone much riskier than the same zone on the coast or further south. And then of course there are wildcard incidents like what happened to Texas and the mid-south this year. I’m not sure how cold they got, but @k8tpayaso and @aap lost some otherwise hardy trees.

And then there’s the issue of age. From what I’ve been reading, it sounds like a 5 or 10 year old tree might shrug off temps that a one-year graft of the same variety would keel over from. That bit of information is often missing from reports about what did or didn’t make it.

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Very true!! Another list we in the midwest especially need, is on leaf out times. For us, we need those types that leaf out the latest to avoid some of the late freeze damage since that is more common here in the midwest, inland or high elevation locations! :slight_smile:
I made a topic for Leaf out times Here :slight_smile:

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And we need to get together and create trials of these trees in multiple locations side by side to determine more. For instance I have been told of Saijo and NG taking -12 with some damage here in Kansas, yet Saijo taking -11 undamaged… And I have read Russian Kaki(similar to Saijo) is a bit hardier than Saijo so what can it take?

We have a lot of work to do :slight_smile:

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I think it is significant in my situation the temperatures surrounding our polar event. We were in the 60-70’s highs and 30’s to 40’s lows the week before and popped right back into the same or even higher temps a week after.

My 6y/o Eureka has some leaves on a few lower branches and green buds coming up about 5 foot from the ground so I think it will eventually be okay. Now it’s got to survive 90’s to 100’s temps this summer. Some of my very small trees have leaves forming just above the graft line and a couple are showing rapid growth of those new leaves. I might add that we had about an 8 inch snow cover so on those small trees the budding areas were below the snow line and our ground did not freeze.

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One thing that surprised me when I was in Kansas was that while the average low was the same for Mass, and the temperature swings wilder, the winters were much milder overall. Low temps wouldn’t stick for days at a time, and the winter started later and ended earlier. The hardiness zone maps really struggle to capture that sort of regional variation, and I think persimmons are one of the plants where the zone info alone is really inadequate. For example, I’d be willing to bet that Tam Kam, Chinebuli, etc, would have no trouble with Z6b in the Georgia mountains, but would struggle with 6b in Kansas or southern Massachusetts. Or Kansas might be fine, since the cold snaps don’t last as long. I think a lot of it stems from the fact that they’re basically tropical plants that figured out how to handle winter.

Also, (back to Kansas) I’ve never lived anywhere else with so many apricot trees around, (both planted and escapee). There was at least one that set and ripened fruit every year that I was there. Which goes against the conventional wisdom that wild temp swings doom apricots. I do wonder if thinking about things like that might have some bearing on evaluating persimmon hardiness.

@k8tpayaso I’m glad to hear at least some of your trees are making a comeback!

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In North Texas, Zone 8a, we got down to -5F. However we were in the mid to upper 70s before the vortex hit and right back up there after. Fire Crystal, Fuyu, and Hachiya were the three that survived for me (so far, i am still holding on to hope that others will come back). Fire Crystal is my smallest tree, but did the best, with no top death. Fuyu lost the top half of the tree. and Hachiya sent out new leaves and growth just above the graft union, the rest of the tree looks dead.

I suspect that the buds may have been developing, getting ready to open and the hard freeze is what caused the death.

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I can tell you what made -17 temps on several hybrids as soon as things start waking up. Early golden is leafing out already but the hybrids are still dormant, I hope. My trees are real young though so I protected most of them at -17 with wire cages filled with wheat straw. @Dudeness that is pretty good news on your fire crystal, I would have never guessed it would have made -5, especially with that big of temperature swing. How many hours were you in that 0 to -5 range?

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I gotta begin again with the hybrids besides Chuchupaka or JT-02. I had them on southern rootstocks, native seed of, Georgia. They didn’t make it thru the winter, two years ago when the low was like -6 but definitely warmer/under -10 F.

I planted about 2/3’s on southern rootstock including American persimmon cultivars. None of them made it thru the winter.

I believe @tonyOmahaz5 said JT-02 produces after -22 F and I’ve had (2) of them (JT-02 aka Mikkusu) die to a few inches above the graft union at -30 to -33 F during the 2018 polar vortex that I was near the eye of. They re-shot and are looking good, again.

Chuchupaka has now gone thru -9, my low this year.

Kasandra isn’t very hardy. It’s about a -11 tree or thereabouts if @SMC_zone6 tree was on northern roots. He lost his Kasandra at -11 near Boston MASS.

Rosseyanka isn’t hardy in zone 5b in IL. It’ll try to come back and does for 3-years and then it dies again. I live in a great 5b where -12 is the norm, annually. The very-coldest I see is -18. It’s a great trial place for zone 5b.

Nikita’s Gift is zone 7. 6b might do it for Nikita’s Gift but it’s a true zone 7.

NB-02 aka Zima Kurma has the genetics of: Nikita’s Gift x (kaki) Taishu. That’s not going to be very cold hardy.

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JT-02 definitely seems to be the one to beat. I’m putting one in the ground this year or next year, and I’m giving one to a friend in Downeast Maine to try. Also Z5b, but much cooler summers. We should have some good info from northern New England in a few years.

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I think we were probably under 0 for a good 10-12 hours. I don’t have good historical logging from my weather station, some day i may invest in proper logging. I honestly bought Fire Crystal on a whim as i had a spot i wanted a persimmon, and was already placing an order with OGW.

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A lot of good info here, Dax. For me, the tricky thing in figuring out persimmon hardiness is the variable of rootstock. I lost most of my persimmons about five years ago. And since then I’ve grown out my own seed and grafted everything onto the hardiest and latest to leaf out versions of that. I’ll have more information to report after we get another test winter (the past few have been fairly mild).

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@PaulinKansas6b – Great idea and great list. Once question: Your zone designations seem 10 F lower than the USDA averages. For example, Z6B is supposed to have an average low 0 to -5 F but that’s the range you give for Z7B. Is that designed to capture colder than average years?

I don’t have much info to add, just one possible contriubution: I have 3 Ichi Ki Kei Jiro planted in 2015 that have survived numerous episodes at 0 to -5 F with no damage except in the 1st winter.

A single Prok planted in 2015 endured the same, no surprise. Ditto a Kassandra planted in 2017. The past two winters only got down to +10-15 F here, so no test of anything recently.

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Good info on Ichi being hardy to at least -5F it sounds like!
Yeah thats right my temps are for trying to estimate those 10 year polar expresses that too often take out orchards. I would love to make a chart that is fairly reliable for those 10 year minimum temps. For instance I am in 6b and this winter got -12F and others got that cold even in 7a. And I know of zone 6a areas getting more like -20F. So yeah preparing for that means leaning things in the hardy direction for a reliable chart. So that would make Ichi perhaps in the warmer half of 7a category as far as the polar potential goes im guessing. Though in microclimates an established tree may make it in 6b perhaps. thanks! :slight_smile:

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Thx. I’m near the ocean, which has a moderating effect. I’d guess that my worst case scenario may not be as bad as for those inland in 6B. So your guess that warm 7A or full 7B is an appropriate limit is probably correct. Or at least I have no evidence to dispute it.

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I’m in Illinois, just north of St. Louis, MO. I’m in zone 6a according to the map, but very seldom experience temps below -5. My Rosseyanka and Kasandra have been surviving well. However, they break bud one or two weeks ahead of my virginianas, and were damaged by a freeze in April last year. They bore almost no fruit.

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I agree! Yeah being along the east coast states for sure is more consistent weather patterns than our wild swings out here in the prairie. I’d for sure do some more zone pushing if I were in your location. :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the report! Yeah too bad they bud out a bit early some years! Perhaps growing some virginia cultivars that leaf out later is something I should do! Do you have a virginia in mind that leafs out on the late side?

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