Worth trying American persimmon?


#1

Is there anyone on here that are growing American persimmon in more northern areas? All the posts on here recently have me wanting to try it. I think they’re hardy, but I’m not sure if they’ll ripen in time? Even if it’s not every year I’d be happy growing something different I can’t get at the market.

Scanning through the old posts it looks like the earliest ripening cultivars are (in no particular order):
Prok
Mohler
H-120
Meader
Early Golden
H-118

Is there one that you’d recommend I try first? I already ordered some wild rootstock from the MO state nursery just because I ordered some plums too. I’d like to buy one tree and then graft some during the next few years. I know next to nothing about persimmons. Do I need a male pollinator, does it depend on variety? I read through this which is in WI too: http://uncommonfruit.cias.wisc.edu/american-persimmon/ It looks like there’s been a lot of new varieties since then.

Any links or advice would be much appreciated!


#2

Travis, it looks like you and I are on similar tracks this year! I’m going to probably try Prok and Yates. Those two do not require pollinators, nor do most (if not all) of your other possibilities, to my knowledge. @Barkslip, @tonyOmahaz5, and @Hillbillyhort have been very helpful to me regarding varieties and grafting.


#3

I believe you have a decent chance with early ripening varieties, like the ones you listed, but there is only one way to find out. I’d be a little more worried about the occasional dip around -25F or lower. That would put you in uncharted territory when it comes to most varieties, although it looks like that doesn’t happen too often in your area. I see a -27F last winter and a -23F in Jan 2014. Nothing else seems to come close within the past 15+ years.

Lee Reich claims Mohler ripens in late August for him, so that one should certainly work out for you. Wabash (persimmon, not the pawpaw) supposedly ripens very early as well, mid august in central IL, but I’ve never seen anyone sell it, or even talk about it. too bad, I would like to get my hands on it. It sounds like an interesting candidate for breeding. I read about it here.

I’m observing a few trees further to the east of you where it’s much colder, but none have fruited yet. Those ones will be cutting it very close.


#4

consider NC-10; earliest ripening D.v. I’ve grown… consistently ripe by mid Sept.
I have Wabash… fruit is very small; flavor unremarkable. I’m not removing it, but if space was limited, it would be gone. red-purple fall leaf color is usually lost in the tatters and black leaf spot to the point of being all but unnoticeable.


#5

Have you noticed the leaves of Wabash show any sign of coloring up before most other persimmon varieties? That’s the trait I’m primarily interested in. The few I have witnessed either don’t color up at all here or only very slightly. I suppose the pollen partner would have to have resistance to leaf spotting then, or I would just have to find a better alternative, if I ever cared enough to try.

Can you give a rough estimate of how much earlier NC-10 ripens before Wabash as well as a more common early ripening variety?


#6

Thank you all for the information and suggestions. Aside from earliness do you have any preference on flavor?

@Louis - I hope that’s not the new norm… I haven’t lived here long enough to really know what to expect. If you look at the hardiness zone map I’m in this weird little area that stays a little warmer. By further east do you still mean in WI, or another state?

I’ve never actually had the opportunity to taste one. I’ve had some Asian ones from the grocery store that were pretty underwhelming.


#7

Mohler does ripen as early as August but usually only few fruits on the tree. Most of the crop ripens in the course of September and October. By that time it is caught up by the other better varieties. Mohler can sometimes produce decent size fruits, other times mediocre or small fruits full of seeds. But it does make beautiful straight trees… ideal for regrafting to something better.


#8

Spoken as a true discriminating fruit grower.

I think this is perhaps the greatest benifit to knowing how to graft. You don’t lose all the time spent growing a tree to replace a variety and you are less likely to grow something inferior.
Hooray for top working!


#9

Which of the claypool persimmons is early ripening and good tasting? I liked the idea of those since they seem to be smaller and easier to control


#10

How hard are they to graft?


#11

alright, I was wondering if that was going to be a problem with some persimmons. I didn’t think it would be that extreme for Mohler though.


#12

Truthfully, i have never really paid much attention to documenting bloom or ripening times on anything. NC-10 was the first persimmon i ever grafted, back around 1996, so I’ve got a long production history with it.
Wabash, although it’s in my front yard, rarely even garners a look… too much going on and far better fruits to eat.
Grafting persimmons is easy. simple bark grafts or even a simple splice graft work fine, done after rootstock is actively growing. Followup care is the big deal… you’ve gotta keep understock shoots rubbed off at least a couple times a week for the first season or they’ll outgrow the scion and it will decline and die


#13

Yates is also an early ripening persimmon with great flavor and size.


#14

That is true for any plant that you graft. I haven’t found persimmon to be any more prolific in this way. When the graft takes on the full growth, shooting from the rootstock stops immediately.


#15

In my experience – I’ve grafted multiple dozens of persimmon trees – persimmons are much less tolerant of competing growth than other species. I eliminate competing growth from my persimmons 2-3 times per week for the first month, even after the graft has really started growing, and then several more times but not quite as frequently after the first couple months, all of which is a lot of trouble, especially for field grafts that are spread out over 40 acres. Other trees I might remove competing growth 2-3 times the whole first year, so a huge difference, but the extra effort seems critical for persimmons.


#16

Yes , I agree


#17

We are probably talking about different technique. I do chip budding…working in the field and with container plants as well. Both with the same results. I rarely do more than 2 or 3 rub-offs afterwards.


#18

What time of year/stage of growth do you chip bud persimmons?


#19

Springtime when the rootstock shows some growth. In the field usually past the risk of spring frosts.


#20

And how soon do you cut out the top of the rootstock? I’ve never done any chip budding (not successfully anyway).