What's Happening Today - 2019 Edition


Today I came back from vacation to find a nice package. I ordered another persimmon tree, Nikita’s Gift, from England’s Nursery this year, and it looks as good as the one from last year. Big strong roots, and a thick caliper. Surprisingly it didn’t have a taproot, but it had plenty of other ones so whatever. I think it’s about 4 feet tall and would have been taller if it hadn’t been pruned to fit the box. My 2019 planting season officially starts with this tree. The snow has all melted and it finally feels like spring.


NG tasted great with firm flesh but not hardy to my Z5 so I topworked the 8 years old tree to JT-02, Kasandra, and Rossyanka. These guys handled the cold last year to -20F for a night.



I don’t think it is bullet-proof in my zone 6a, either. I wish it did not drop fruit so easily. It was frustrating to see fruit set, grew and all dropped two years in a row.


@tonyOmahaz5 I’m glad this is a tasty one. I planted it by the sidewalk to confuse the neighbors. Most folk around here aren’t familiar with persimmons of any kind. I have a lot of local friends and family who grow them, but only another house a few blocks away has some in my neighborhood. I’m just imagining what they’ll think when they walk by and see a little tree covered in orange orbs! Can’t wait to try growing the scions you sent. They sound like great varieties.

@mamuang It thankfully doesn’t get so cold around here. I don’t think I’ve seen it go below -5 as far as I can remember. This past winter got down to -3 for a night, which was as cold as it got during the polar vortex winter.

I heard pollination can help persimmons hold onto fruit. Do you have a male tree? I read about this trait regarding Nikita’s Gift. Maybe it was from you who posted about poor fruit set. In anticipation of this challenge, I asked Mr England for some male pollinator scions to graft in hopes of improving yields. I can include one for you if you’d like. He sent me extra! It should be pretty hardy, because its the one commonly used to make kaki hybrids.


Moonglow Pear did not survive the -30 windchill we got this winter. I had a feeling it wouldn’t but it’s still a bummer to lose a tree! I did the scratch test after walking through over knee high drifts of snow and filling my rainboots with snow. I had to know, couldn’t wait any longer!

On the bright side, apples and euro pears are still green. The only other one I haven’t checked that I have suspicions about is a quince. It’s in a part of the yard with deeper snow though.


That sucks Katie… hopefully it survives below the snow line. Always sad to lose a tree.


I bought some labels and prepared for all the scions I obtained this year. Also went out and replaced all the tags I had in the orchard with these metal ones. We should start the 2019 grafting thread soon.


I’ve finished all my grafting two weeks ago. Most have pushed leaves and growing well.


i will.


Where did you buy the tags from?


Amazon, was like $11 for 50 tags with metal wire to attach them. They are called Emboss-o-tags.


You have to keep an eye on them. Deer like to chew on them and pull them off as well as the wire that comes with them deteriorates with time. When you attach them make sure the critters can’t get to them… I think crows like them too… Don’t rely on them 100% … you might want to keep a record of what is what in case they go missing…


I seconded @BobC about this kind of tags and its wimpy wires that come with them. The wires get rusty quickly and broke off easily.

Even the tags, I bought them from Amazon as well. There are several levels of quality and prices. Some of them are from the same company but has different quality leves.

This label thing has been talked about in several thread. I’ve found this one more detailed with lot of pictures on things members use for labels. If you are new members, you may want to check out the thread.


Similar experience to me. A year ago I was given some apricot pits from a Tibetan edible kernel variety. I cold stratified them, planted them and water for months, no signs of life. I left their pots in the GH planning on cleaning them up this spring. When I was starting the cleanup just recently there was one growing!!! Amazing, guess they needed some neglect.

I’ll be waiting to see if any others come to life.


New nectarine just arrived, not dormant, too cold to plant


I bought copper tags to begin with from eBay. They are on my trees 11 years later. Went to the hardware store for copper wire to hang them with. You get what you pay for. They really work, unless you want to pay for engraved plastic tags, like Arboreums.


Happy to report Kuganskaya Quince and Autumn Olive survived -30.


Checked on my 3 apple grafts today. I did them about 10 days ago. To my surprise the Enterprise graft has sprouted buds already. The Honeycrisp and Mollie’s Delicious look a little plump but no green yet.


Just returned from a grafting seminar and scion exchange hosted this Saturday by @wildforager at a nearby highschool. There were eight participants, not counting yours truly. No transfusions were needed this time.

Paying attendees received two rootstocks and all the scions they could eat individually. Box cutters and parafilm were provided. Little John gave a brief exposition with visual aids, and then students began grafting their own trees.

This year John brought two varieties of cherry rootstocks and three of apple rootstocks plus pear and plum.

I am perpetually surprised at the enthusiasm of students for trying this prehistoric art. They seem to enjoy themselves, and all are involved, including those reluctant to jump in at first. It’s the notion of growing out-of-the-ordinary fruit that draws them. John provides scions for dozens of varieties.

Students take their bare-root grafts home and pot them to await the thaw we hope is coming before setting them out. Additional rootstocks are available for purchase.

He’s presenting the grafting seminar and scion exchange in Madison, WI, at Olbrich Gardens this coming Saturday, too. Come one, come all. Reservations requested.


It was a fun day! Thankfully the guys from last year were not back for more. haha! Too bad there were no pictures this year. IMG_20180319_195230063_HDR|690x388