Persimmon Psyllids in New England 2023

I’ve noticed that myself and several other New England members have been seeing persimmon psyllids this year, when we haven’t seen them before. I heard from an entomologist at UNH that there’s a report from Dover, NH from 2011, so clearly they’ve at least been in the region before. And we can’t forget there’s a long-standing native population of persimmons near New Haven, CT, so it would make sense that could be a source population for psyllids.

I’m curious to see who else has been seeing them? And maybe put them on a map.
So far I’ve seen @hobilus in VT, @jrd51 in RI, and myself in Nashua, NH. Any other New England persimmon growers seeing psyllids this year?
And anyone else I missed.

I know that from the forum alone, there are at least 5 persimmon growers within 40 miles of me, plus 1 more for the report from Dover. There are surely at least as many being grown by folks who don’t spend all their time talking about fruit on the internet.


I’m aware of a tree ~3-4 miles away that’s been there for a few years. Also 2 fairly new trees, one 3/8 mile away at a neighbors and another ~15 miles away in Providence. Both of those were acquired within the last 2 years because people liked my trees and fruit.


I was not aware of that. Do you have any details? Ive seen CT on the range map for american persimmon, and have wondered how common it is there. i had assumed quite uncommon

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I don’t know. I’ve only ever seen it described as a “relict” population, so it’s at the very least quite isolated. I remember reading somewhere (maybe here?) that there was only one tree left in the historic stand, but I don’t know how accurate that is.

Looking it up again just now, I read that there are at least a couple known introduced populations in MA:

That could further explain how they’re showing up. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more populations that haven’t been found or reported.

I have them in Alpine Texas in the middle of a desert.


My persimmon is just a first year plant, and I didn’t pay much attention to it. I will check and let you know.


Maybe the wind blew them to you from lands where persimmons are more populous. I heard it’s a thing where bugs can hitch a ride in the breeze for hundreds of miles.


That’s my best guess, and bugs are very good at finding their host plants. It does have me wondering more about where and how many 'simmons are planted in the region. I’ve assumed I have the highest density for at least 10 miles, but for all I know, there could be a dozen trees 1/2 mile away in someone’s backyard.


LOL! You’re telling me that the bugs could have blown here from Cape Cod in an average Nor’easter. Or even in a stiff fair weather breeze up Long Island Sound from New Haven.

I grew top 20 minutes west of New Haven and I don’t think I ever saw a persimmon. Is there any detail on location / distribution in those two counties?

I really have to try to eradicate them here.

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They’re definitely not widespread and common, but the New Haven area population is well documented. They are supposedly not uncommon where I grew up in NJ, but I never saw one (and I was really looking!) In the South and Midwest, they are abundant. I guess what I’m saying is, it’s pretty easy to have a self-sustaining population that would be easy to miss.

I’m fact, it’s quite possible there are naturalized stands closer to you than the Cape that just haven’t been officially recorded. I have it on a somewhat reliable source (60% trust level) that there are a few naturalized pawpaw stands in the NH lakes region, but they’re not on any species presence map.

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It sounds like the New Haven population is extirpated or nearly so.


My friend who lives in Worcester, has a male persimmon tree for about 30 years. He planted a Yates in 2012. (11 years ago).

I have Nikkita’s Gift since 2015. Died this spring.
I have a multi grafted about 5 years ago and Cassandra in 2021.

Have not noticed phyllids until this year. All in-ground trees have had it quite badly.

Rootstock from the dead NG.


The two potted trees on the driveway show no sign of phyllids.


Thanks. I’m gonna be driving by there in a month. Maybe I’ll stop by.


I am seeing similar wrinkling of JT-02, IKKJ and Tam Kam leaves, here in Sandy Hook, CT.


As far as I can remember, I’ve seen them every year. I always thought it was a little odd since I don’t know of any other persimmons near me. But I figured maybe they weren’t limited to persimmons as a host or something like that.


I first noticed them last year here in TN… but only because i had a couple young persimmons growing from seed last year and they started showing those mangled leaves in May.

I wiped them out with sevin spray. They only got them that one time in May and were good the rest of the year.

This year i started a IKKJiro… and grafted several hybrids and americans and they all had some psyllid hits.

Some grafts barley survived the attacks and some did not make it. I had a JT02 bark graft on a 4 inch wild dv… that grew nearly 2 ft and then attacked repeatedly and died.

See the Zima Khurma below…

Notice all the mangled leaves closer to the scions… they nearly wiped it out too… repeated sprays of sevin… and later spinosad… and it pulled thru.


I haven’t seen any in my neck of the woods. My JT-02s are 2 year trees, first year in ground. One is doing better than the other in terms of vigor, probably because of the location. But haven’t noticed any psyllids, knock on wood.


Wow, definitely in trees across the region!

Oh, interesting! So, clearly they’re capable of overwintering here. Surely you’re not the only reservoir in the region. I bet since persimmon plantings are relatively few and far between here, it’s very unlikely in any given year that the psyllids will find a new planting. But, they’ll probably find it eventually. This also tells me I’m likely to continue to see them.

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yeah, I wonder if we should expect these to become endemic. i find it curious that they should arrive at so many of our locales in lockstep. that to me would suggest some type of dispersal event vs spreading through scionwood, nursery stock, etc. i doubt they flew that distance without some assistance.

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Several persimmons that i bought and planted this year were bought with psyllid damage. Since planting my paper wasps are nonstop preening the leaves as well as some lady bugs… No further damage has been noted…they seem to be eating them or something on the leaves.

Last month i noticed some new guys that wanted to eat a leaf…


So be on the lookout for red humped caterpillars… they seem to love persimmons as well as many other fruit trees.