Tree ripened Nikita’s Gift Persimmon in PNW


I was surprised to see this perfectly ripe Nikita’s gift on my tree. In September!
Normally they ripen in late October in my cold climate and still need to sit on the counter for many days.

Excellent taste. Just like Saijo.


That’s great. How short can you maintain the tree?


This looks rather firm still for an astringent type. Hachiyas I eat are nearly mush when they lose astringency.


It’s probably only about 4 feet tall from the ground. It’s a very productive variety that puts out a lot of fruit for its size and doesn’t want to grow.


Yes, it’s quite firm. Somewhat firmer than even Saijo.
Hachiya stays astringent even when it’s soft especially near the calyx.


Very cool!


That is a nice piece of fruit. What percentage of fruits on that tree are that ripe now?


They are all changing color about now. There was one freak fruit that was completely ripe.
I expect the rest to ripen by end of this month.


Very often fruit that suffers some kind of injury like calyx cracking, bird picking damage, friction damage, etc. will ripen way ahead of other fruit on the same tree. When the fruit is ripe enough to start the final ripening phase of turning orange, but is still green at that stage, fruit injury will immediately set of the final mellowing phase at the same time as the turning orange phase…
I can see some black spot in the fruit so I presume that this is the result of some kind of damage…
If there is no damage at all and there is no reason at all why this one fruit would ripen so much ahead of the other ones then a mutation might be the reason behind it. Many early ripening persimmon varieties like matsumoto wase fuyu, maekawa jiro, tone wase, etc. are the result of a spontaneous mutation. If this is the case with your NG then it may certainly be worthwhile to use the twig this fruit was growing on as budwood to propagate some new trees and see if this early ripening habit is continued.


The fruit was slightly injured as you point out. I think a bird had tried to peck it.

Perhaps this is a technique that can be used to induce early ripening? It was still very sweet to taste.


This is indeed a technique that can be used to make your (Asian) persimmons ripen faster but this can never be commercially viable of course. When you bruise or otherwise damage a fruit it will turn soft quite fast but it will also go bad just as fast. Anyway…for those who can’t wait…


There was no spoilage anywhere in the fruit, very localized damage too.
Of course, this wont work commercially but for people in very short summer seasons or if in a hurry to get ripe fruit, it appears like an interesting approach.

I also read on a different forum that Egyptians use gashing to promote early ripening of figs.


One advantage of astringent fruit is that squirrels, diseases, birds, etc. don’t want to eat it until ripe, so it’s easy to grow organically. My Garretson has been ripening for weeks and I’ve been eating about one per day. “Early” Golden and NC 10, supposedly the earliest ripening one, are still a ways from being ripe, here in Portland.
John S


This is how the tree looks now.


That look great. I’m looking forward to trying Nikita’s Gift again.

I bought a few fruit from One Green World a few years ago and they weren’t great. Maybe they were picked early.

From all accounts they are an excellent variety.


I find that my astringent persimmons vary greatly in quality as to exactly how ripe they are. You have to pull = not good. You have to twist several times = good but some astringency. They come off very easily = spectacular. They fall off = squirrels eat them, not you.
John S


I remember hearing somewhere that you can remove mild astringency from persimmons with a few drops of ethanol around the calyx, and refrigerate over night. Does anybody know if there is truth to this?


Yes. There is a post on this in the forum.


There is a lot of hear say and speculations about the many ways to remove astringency from persimmons…most will work but have serious disadvantages:
Freezing works very often but destroys the structure of the flesh, the flesh gets an unpleasant glassy-silicon like structure. The fruit cannot be kept once you thaw them, they will start to rot if not consumed.
Placing the persimmons close to other ripe fruit like apples or bananas will hasten the softening process but it will also turn the flesh to a mushy state instead of gelatinous like when it naturally softens.
The alcohol treatment has the same effect as the ripe fruit method…
The only method that I can recommend to every persimmon grower is the CO2 treatment like it is commercially done with most of the kaki production in Europe. This treatment is very simple and can be done at home. All you need is a soda stream…if you do not have this already than this is perhaps a good time to purchase one.
Here is how it works: all you need is a decent sized airtight plastic bag (no punctures!!!). Put your freshly picked astringent persimmons in the bag until half full. Squeeze the top of the bag tight and suck the air out using your mouth/inhaling. Stick the nozzle of the soda stream carefully in the opening where you just sucked the air out and push the button of your soda stream so the bag fills with CO2 gas. Tie the top of the bag with a piece of binding wire to keep the CO2 gas in. Put the bag with persimmons in a box or preferably a bucket with lid so that you can close it airtight. Leave this for 48 to 72 houres at room temperature. After this procedure your persimmons will still be firm but without astringency and very important: your persimmons will not rot and you can still store them. They will even go on to turn gelatinous like all persimmons do eventually. This method requires some testing because some varieties need only 48hrs while others may need 72hrs. you can easily test your variety using only a pair of persimmons and raising or lowering the treatment time until you have reached perfection.
One of the varieties that can easily be treated is Nikita’s gift…

Persimmons, 2019

Too laborious, in my opinion. In most cases you’ll end up with the same result as with a bag of apples: - soft and mushy fruit. CO2 treatment has been developed for one specific variety - Rojo Brillante, which is harvested underripe and after treatment stays firm for a very long time. The end product is crunchy and juicy but somewhat lacking any flavour. Many people myself included prefer the taste of a fully ripe and soft persimmon.