Persimmon root shoots

I have 2 mature fruiting persimmon trees which I believe to be American. They are 20 ft tall and 15 feet apart. They are on a farm I purchased 5 years ago. The fruit quality has drastically declined in number, size and ripeness.
They have started a tiny “grove” which I 1st believed to be a good thing but have since learned otherwise. Some of these are 2 to 3 inches in diameter and inside the drip line of the tree.

Can I terminate these root shoots (chainsaw) in one go or should I do it in phases?

Can these trees be propagated from said shoots as the parent trees look to be quite venerable and in decline?

Thank you in advance, and might I say what a wonderful place you have all put together here.


You can cut them all out, maybe leave one that is healthy and large as a replacement to the mother tree if that mother tree is actually unhealthy. It might be grafted though in which case the root suckers are going to have less quality fruit.

Propagation by root sucker/shoots is possible but they typically have less feeder roots and can take a while to establish them, you can help by using a air pruning plant pot or try to only use ones with a good amount of fine feeder roots visible when digging it out.

I second your statement that this is a very nice forum.

I’m betting those are seedlings and not root suckers. Inside the drip line where the fruit would fall. Try digging up one of the smaller ones. If you like persimmons I’d go ahead and get some more going.

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Some thoughts:

  1. You should prune the original trees, if you haven’t already. Less crowded growth / more penetration of sunlight could help fruit quantity and quality.

  2. It would help if you knew whether the original trees were wild seedlings or named varieties. If the former and if the original trees are healthy, you could “top work” to graft a named variety.

  3. As Robert noted, the baby trees could be seedlings – that’s assuming your fruit was seeded. But I get roots suckers both within and well outside the drip line on a tree (Prok) that produces unseeded fruit (there’s no pollinator). Some sprouts are 15-25’ outside the drip line. These are definitely root suckers. So that’s possible too.

  4. Handled carefully, you could probably separate these babies from the mother tree, transplant them and use the offspring as rootstock for new grafted trees.

Thank you all for the replies. I may have been in error about the drip line. I apologize for the long delay. My farm is remote and I dont get there as often as I’d like or should. I’ve snapped a photo or two.

The parent trees appear to be quite old. Does the above advise still apply or should I thin shoots put to advance a few?