Persimmon grafting experiments

So we moved on a piece of property that is fairly full of young wild persimmons none of which produce. II know of other pieces of property that have smaller persimmon trees that are covered up with fruit every year. We have a couple of larger persimmons that produce but not a ton period including one of the biggest ive ever seen in my life probably 24” across. Ever since we have moved here I have been experimenting with grafting both improved native persimmons and Asian persimmons to the existing wild persimmons. The majority have been failures period however I’ve got one process where I veneer graft John Rick in June and I have nearly 100% take with those for some reason. I’ve had a fair number of Fuyu take, do really well the first year or so, then die to the ground. I’m wondering if this has to do with the chromosome issue. I’m assuming my native persimmons here in SC have the 60? Chromosomes which are less compatible with the Asian varieties? So my thought process, from what I’ve read most improved American varieties as I understand it are the 90 chromosome varieties. Im hoping to use JOhn Rick as an interstem to Fuyu. Anyone ever grafted Fuyu to John Rick with any luck? Or any similar processes?

Also I’ve tried planting Asian persimmons……they just don’t seem to do well. The grafts I have had take to natives do grow and do great. I do have one Fuyu grafted to native thats survived about 4 years and even produced a few fruit.

Sorry if that was a long and rambling route to my end query lol.


Hi Jake
I suspect the non- productive native trees are D Viginiana. Here is a brief description of the three rootstocks by

From Hartmann and Kesterson Propagation Guide, pg 738

Rootstocks for Japanese Persimmon.

Diospyros lotus. This rootstock, widely used in California, is very vigorous and drought-resistant. It produces a fibrous type of root system that transplants easily. This rootstock is susceptible to crown gall (Agrobacterium) and Verticillium, will not tolerate poorly drained soils, and is highly resistant to oak root fungus (Armillaria). ‘Hachiya’ does not produce well on D. lotus stock because of excessive shedding of fruit in all stages (180). ‘Fuyu’ scions usually do not form a good union with D. lotus, although ‘Fuyu’ topworked on a compatible D. kaki interstock on D. lotus roots makes a satisfactory tree.

D. kaki. This rootstock is the most favored in Japan and is probably best for general use. It develops a good union with all cultivars, is resistant to crown gall (Agrobacterium) and oak root fungus (Armillaria), but is susceptible to Verticillium. Seedlings have a long tap- root with few lateral roots, making transplanting some- what difficult.

D. virginiana. Seedlings of this species are utilized in the southern United States due to their wide soil adaptation but have not proven satisfactory in some localities. ‘Hachiya’ growing on this rootstock in California is dwarfed, has sparse bloom, and yields poorly (180), but most other Oriental cultivars make a good union with this rootstock. However, diseases of an unknown nature carried in D. kaki scions will cause death of the D. virginiana roots. Otherwise, this root- stock seems to be tolerant of both drought and excess soil moisture. Its fibrous type of root system makes transplanting easy but increases suckering.

Per these notes which were probably based on thorough research at that time, it would appear that your D Viginiana seedlings should be compatible with any cultivar. If you keep getting no takes you might try using one of the Named American persimmons or a named hybrid as an unterstem. Most certainly that should work
Hope this is helpful
Kent, wa

Yes these are Native American persimmon, probably makes, that’s why I’m trying to graft them over to productive female varieties.

Hoping the inter stem idea works. Ive got a fair amount of John Rick that appear to have take this year I’ll try it on.

Thank you

Sounds like you have a good start then. I will need to get a male native pollinator for my Catawba Treasure this next spring to assure I can pollinate my new grafts growing out now.
Good luck!