Pruning persimmon to control size and winter damage

I have Ichi-Ki-Kei-Jiro persimmon in the ground planted in spring 2017. Last winter it was a serious winter damage despite all the covers I made. But 3 buds right above the graft survived and tree slowly started to grow. Well, now central leader is probably 8’ tall - the tree overgrew last year height and width at least 1.5 times. This is not what I expected. It is growing inside gazebo frame where I install winter protection and I can’t allow it to grow higher then the roof, and it is just couple more feet left there. Last 3 feet of central leader do not have branches, I am thinking of pruning it off now, but not sure if it will decrease its chances to survive the winter, but top will die off anyway, if I do not cut it, I don’t think I can make my heated insulated cover that tall. Anyway, what is proper technique to keep persimmon size under control, both height and width? What is proper time for pruning?

Trimming your khaki at this time will not bring you anything. Promote branching either, as young shoots will be too soft to overwinter.
What I will do, nothing.
Cut eventually to protect it and fold down in the spring to form it.
After you can just cut off the end to stop growth.

Did you put fertilizer or manure or anything on it feet?

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I don’t fertilize, but the spot is a former garden bed and I mulch with shredded fall leaves and they decompose pretty fast. . Though it had a lot of competition in first half of the summer as dill from last year self seeded and was growing thick around it. What do you mean under “fold down in the spring to form it.”? Are you talking about bending branches?

fold just to get into his habrit.
And cut in the spring according to the death of the branches, to form the tree.
A discussion felt, taught me that we should not fertilize young trees. the less they grow at the beginning, the denser the wood will be to face the cold. You lose time eating the fruit, but your tree is alive. This theory is only valid in the very cold zone.
The rapid mineralization of your leaves has produced nitrogen, so the tree grows.

At this time, slightly cutting the ends will block growth and allow the tree to make hardwood.

Thanks, this is what I probably do tomorrow.

@galinas how did this work out for you last year? Did you trim in August? Did the tree survive winter? I’m kind of in the same situation. My persimmon grafts grew about 5’ since spring. The tree is about 7’ now. I can’t winter protect 7 feet so I’m thinking about cutting it down a bit.

I cut it down in last fall, just central leader, it was too long and removed leaves to promote dormancy. I covered it in double reflexive insulation with 200W heating lamp and fan inside controlled by temp sensor before first serious frost and it was early last year. I kept the temp between 32 and 34 f. Tree survived without any damage, I pruned it in spring and another time in July as it was growing like is too large again, it will be difficult to make double insulation, it is almost up to the roof of the gazebo frame I use too protect it. This year I will try to keep temp lower, at least 5 degrees.


Pinching could encourage fruiting rather than pruning encourage branching. The sooner you do pruning in the spring, the sooner you start branching. After branching with decent length, you can start pinching. I have trees that are only 6 or 7 feet tall that are 5 or 6 years old.


@aap do you mean do nothing now but prune early in the spring and then pinch after the tree start growing? I had to google pinch vs prune to get a better understanding of this. Can you take a look at below link and see this is what you mean? If that’s the case, I think pinching makes the tree grow inwards. I thought any branches going inside to the tree has to be removed. Thoughts?

Yes, do nothing now, just find out if someone wants cutting to trade, or make more are some pictures.Some are 8 feet, some are only 6.


I just looked at my tree and found it is already overgrew the gazebo frame. And t is not only tall, it is also wide. I guess I will have to prune it at least on top to fit the frame and tie the side branches to make it more narrow before installing the cover for winter.
@aap, can you please describe the process of pinching? How often you do it during the summer, how to chose what to pinch, how long the ends you are pinching and how exactly you pinch(using you fingernails, or pruner?)

Normally one time, if a branch for some reason outpace the others, I would do it again. You really want the major branches the same, as much as possible.

Finger nails, pinch very little, just the very tip. Pruning will encourage branching

This tree need to be shortened not pinching.This tree is about 6 feet tall.
In late fall i’ll cut about 2 to 3 inches of those branches sticking out, except the center one, i’ll cut that one more to make that one equal.