RIP: Ichi Ki Kei Jiro

I have (or had) three trees of the Asian persimmon variety Ichi Ki Kei Jiro. I planted them in 2015. They have survived winters down to 0 to -3 F numerous times and -5 F once that I recall. Not this year.

On 2/3/23, the nighttime temperature dropped to -4 F in Providence RI. On 02/4/23, it dropped to -9 F. It is probably slightly warmer here and I believe the low locally in Bristol RI was -7 F. This low temperature persisted for only a brief period, maybe a few hours.

The trees now appear dead. I’ve given them a long time to wake up, during which time I observed that while last year’s growth was toast, 2-3 year wood seemed to have green cambium. But still nothing grew. A few days ago, I scraped older wood and it seemed unequivocally dead – no sign of green at all. So these trees are Officially Pronounced Dead.

FWIW, the winter otherwise had been very mild, In January, the daytime temperature range in Providence was 35-58 F with a mean of 44.5 F. The nighttime range was 23-40 F with a mean of 30.7 F. These are ridiculously mild temperatures for this area. I suspect that the trees were not prepared physiologically for a sudden drop to -7 F, however brief.

@Richard – You have a new data point.


@jrd51 … hate to hear that news… and all 3 of them. Man… hope you have others … americans, hybrids… that give you good crops this year.

I’m sorry to hear of your loss. It was a crazy drop in temperature for sure. Things dropped over 50 degrees in under 12 hours here down to 6 degrees then bottomed out at 3 degrees the next morning. My persimmons managed to come through the winter.

Perhaps you can try again. The rootstocks should throw up plenty of vigorous growth that you can regraft next year.

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Yeah, it was an experiment with 3 replications. Perfectly consistent results.

So far there’s no sign of life anywhere on the trees, But year, I assume I’ll see some growth. I’d love to graft to the lower trunk rather than to some thin suckers.

I have a Kassandra that was very productive last year. It’s sending out good shoots. I have some three 2nd year Americans, two 2nd year Asians, and 3rd year JT-02 that all seem too young to do much. But I also have grafts of the same three Americans (Barbra’s Blush, H63A, and Dollywood), one other Asian (Miss Kim), and one hybrid (JT-02) on my old Prok tree. Intrerestingly, none of those grafts was damaged by the cold, not even the Kaki Miss Kim. And the JT-02 branches already have a lot of blooms. So maybe I’ll get small amounts of fruit from each of these 5 varieties.


OMG!!! – it seems my despair was slightly premature.

No sooner did I give up all hope (above) than the trees began to show signs of life.

Today, two of the three trees have buds popping from old wood – the trunk and scaffolds. This growth is high above the graft, so IKKJ must be trying to make a comeback.

If this persists, 2023 will be a “rebuilding year.” but I’ll take it.


Great… news.

My CH Fig did something very similar to that.
Our 3F it did not like even with hay bale protection. Very dalayed shoots from stumps… they started after it had pushed up shoots from the roots.

Only 2 of my 6 stumps… have sent out any growth so far.

@jrd51, I got so excited to see that there might be hope for those trees after all! Double “yay” and I’m keeping multiple fingers crossed that they pull through.

Edit: maybe it is time to change the title of the thread?

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@jrd51 Thank you for bringing up this issue. I thought I would wait until June 1 to be very certain before announcing a demise of my Nikita’s Gift.

I have had 3 persimmon trees in ground.
Nikita’s Gift planted in 2015. Started flowering around 2019 but since then, only set fruit 3 times with a total of about 12 fruit!! A lack of male pollination partner was the key. The tree was fine and healthy-looking last year. I had the same weather pattern you did.

I checked today, NG is really dead. The new buds are sprouting below the graft union. I may let get grow to use as a rootstock.

As for NG, it was a total waste of time and space. Not shedding any tears.

My 2nd tree was planted around 2019. It has leafed out well with only one small branch dead. The rest of the tree is fine.

My 3rd tree, Kassandra wax planted in 2021. It was gifted to me by a generous friend. Last year it flowered!! This year, the top part is dead. The lower part (above a grafting union have leafed out.


What was the second tree?

Same with my (former) IKKJ. I was watching it passing by my old house. It was lifeless. Week ago it was not there anymore - I guess the new owners removed it.

Hopefully the did not jump the gun. I posted my last message quickly so people would not remove their trees too soon.

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The second tree is multi grafted with Prok and Morris Burton surviving. This year I added Garretson, Early Golden and Oakland.


It is very good news! I planted a new one at my new house and I am planning on protecting it in winter, but it is great to know they can survive extreme weather!

I love fairy tale stories with happy endings!!!


Maybe, I am not as optimistic. Nikita’s Gift is supposed to be hardier than IKKJ. My NG was as old as Jrd’s IKKJ. It still got killed by this weird weather pattern. We are also half a zone colder than @jrd51 . He is next to the ocean which is also helpful.

Kassandra looks to be cold hardier than NG. It is a younger tree that has survived.

@SMC_zone6 do you lost any persimmons this spring?

For clarification on ‘Oakland,’ (for posterity’s sake) it appears to be an unknown PCNA we found near Pittsburgh that has been around since at least 2008. It’s likely a known variety, we just don’t know which one.

As long as it survives the weather here, I am happy whatever the name you gave it.

I took a risk and grafted it on an in ground tree. We’ll see. Thank you very much, Ryan.

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@mamuang – I have a fairly mature Kassandra. It has shown no damage in 6 years. Right now it’s popping shoots all over the place.

The tree has an interesting growth pattern. I don’t know if cold played a role. There is no growth from short branches that bore fruit last year. It was very prolific, so the tree has a few hundred dead shoots that bore fruit last year. But tons of buds are popping from the supporting wood (e.g., scaffolds).

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I just checked my (seemingly dead) IKKJ and found buds popping from the trunk underneath the tree guard. They are very low but appear to be on the scion, not the rootstock. Will get a better look in daylight. Yay! :grinning:

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Excellent! Lat’s start a trend.