Persimmon Seeds. Nikita's Gift X Chocolate

Last year I grafted Chocolate persimmon scion onto my Saijo persimmon tree. Next to Saijo is NIkita’s Gift. Last year, neither Saijo nor Nikita’s gift persimmons had seeds. This spring, the little Chocolate persimmon graft bloomed, with lots of male flowers for such a small graft. Female flowers too, but no fruit. I noticed what I thought were seeds in my Yates persimmons, but they were small and soft, and I didn’t think to try to save any. Quite a few of the Nikita’s Gift persimmons have seeds. Something to play with. They are in the fridge in moist paper towel / zipper plastic bags, to stratify, for now. I haven’t eaten many of the Saijo yet. One had a seed Much bigger, but I accidentally sliced a chunk out of it when slicing the fruit. Maybe there will be seeds in the other Saijos when I harvest them (today).

I know they may not grow. And if grown, no promises about which ones are male or female. Or if they will bear fruit in my lifetime. But they are fun to experiment with.

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It’s a fun experiment, grow them if you have space!

Did you notice the taste of the fruit with seeds to be better than the seedless ones?

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@Stan, I don’t think they taste any different. I read Saijo is PCA (Pollination Constant Astringent) so not expecting any difference there. I think Nikita’s Gift must also be PCA. I wondered if they bore more this year due to pollination. This is only the trees’ second bearing year, so I can’t say about that either.

I have space but I’m not getting younger. If they all sprout, I will think about what to do with them, then.

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I read somewhere that Japanese believe that even PCAs taste better when they have seeds, so I wondered if that’s true or just a superstition. I personally plan to have a bunch of female-only PCAs, so all of them will be seedless, and it’s good to know that this way I will not miss anything on the flavor side.

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I’m sure you’ve already thought about this option, but you could also graft them onto a more established tree to speed up the fruiting process. Whatever you end up doing, keep us updated. Good luck

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Does this actually work? I have mulberry seedlings from seeds sent from all over the world that I am anxious to see what they develop into. If that can speed up the process by a year or so that would be excellent.

My experience was with apple seedlings grafted to mature bud 9 rootstock, and it worked – they fruited the second year. Perhaps someone else can speak to an experience with mulberries.

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Yes, absolutely. With mulberries, actually, you can get a couple of berries the same year you make a graft. Stone fruit grafts usually fruit on the second year; many apples fruit on second or third year, depending on variety.

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Yep.
I know the folks at the USDA Pecan breeding program graft scions from their new candidate crosses into mature, bearing trees to speed them into production so that they can get an initial assessment of nut size/quality.
I’m not a plant physiologist, but it likely has something to do with auxins and other growth hormones… or something like that.

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Here’s some more observations from today. I went out and harvested a plate of Nikita’s gift and an plate of Saijo persimmons. The Nikita’s Gift are ahead of the Saijo. I have been artificially ripening them, so we can eat a few each day, and spread out the harvest. I thought it would be interesting to see what happens if I slice these unripe, astringent persimmons, and dry the slices in the food dehydrator. I’m guessing they will be sweet and nonastringent then, but we will see.

These observations apply to these varieties, in my yard, today. I don’t know if they would bear out for other varieties in other yards or areas.

First, the Saijo seeds are much bigger and more intrusive, than the Nikita’s Gift. By that I mean, they take up a lot of the persimmon. There isn’t much persimmon left, once the seeds are removed. So, I will not let them pollinate next year. Fortunately, only a few Saijo had seeds. That is probably because there were not many male flowers. The Chocolate persimmon graft was very small.

Seeds of Nikita’s Gift (small) and Saijo (large)

Second, it seems like in fruits that only had one seed, the part of the fruit with the seed ripened faster than the part of the fruit without seeds. In addition, the fruits with many seeds seemed riper than the fruits without seeds.

Third, the slices of persimmon are very different. Even Saijo without any seeds have a pretty start pattern in the slices. The Nikita’s Gift slices have an irregular foggy center, and the star pattern is there in some slices but not as easy to make out. That does not affect taste, just appearance. The star pattern shows better in the photos than it does in person. My eyes are not so good, I guess.

Slices of Saijo

Slices of Nikita’s Gift

Based on this year’s experience, Next year I think I’ll cover the branch of chocolate persimmon with a bag, when it is blooming. It’s still small, so that is easy. I want to keep it to see if I can hand-pollinate some Yates persimmons and potentially save any seeds that happen. I know it’s a long shot. After that, I may remove that graft. I don’t mind the little seeds in Nikita’s Gift, but I think too many of the Saijos might be wasted due to the impact of so many big seeds.

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@SMC_zone6 I thought about that and I think it would be a good idea. If I plant 20 seeds, and they actually grow, that’s too many to grow out as trees even in my yard. It would be a way to differentiate between male and female and potentially do a taste test and see yield properties, for starters.

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Incredible! Thank you @SMC_zone6, @Stan, and @Lucky_P. The possibility of being able to sex a mulberry plant early and perhaps get a preview of fruit quality is very exciting…I guess my next challenge is going to be how small a seedling stem diameter I can reliably graft.

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I have no known male persimmon trees near me, yet a good portion of my fuyu, NG, and Saijo have seeds. I noticed that the Saijo fruits with seeds were larger than those without seeds. With or without seeds, the Saijo are still good. The Saijo do produce the largest seeds though.

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were you able to cover the chocolate branch? if so, how did your other persimmons turn out? seeded or seedless?

How does the Nikita’s gift compare to Saijo for you?

@Seattlefigs, there were some health situations after that post, and I forgot about the seeds. I cut off the grafts, thinking that the seeds were less appetizing than I originally thought.

However, I still wanted to try those cultivars, Chocolate and Coffeecake, so I bought and planted small bare root trees of those from Raintree last year. I will be a few years before they amount to anything.

@californicus, I like Nikitas Gift much better than Saijo.

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i think they will be excellent varieties compared to any other asian persimmons they are quite different. im please with my coffeecake this year and my chocolate hasnt mature yet but it is looking nice! very productive. i think its worth the wait.

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