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american persimmon...a drought resistant and delicious fruit and source of beautiful carving wood

 
gardener
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Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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Wayne Mackenzie wrote:

Dan Boone wrote:
I would also be looking for (or making a road trip to get seeds for) diospyros texana, the Texas persimmon.  From what little I know about them, they seem likely to be better adapted to your biome.


I actually had a Texas seedling for awhile. It just sat there and sulked. I finally pulled it to use the spot for something else.



Doh!  Well, that's that, then.  

Although to be honest, this is basically the behavior of every American Persimmon tree I've ever planted from seed, too.  They don't die, but after five or six years if they aren't perfectly happy with their situation they might easily still be belly-button tall.  I've seen feral ones grow much faster, but planted ones just have not done a lot for me.
 
pollinator
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Location: Sunizona Az., USA @ 4,500' Zone 8a
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Dan Boone wrote:

Doh!  Well, that's that, then.  

Although to be honest, this is basically the behavior of every American Persimmon tree I've ever planted from seed, too.  They don't die, but after five or six years if they aren't perfectly happy with their situation they might easily still be belly-button tall.  I've seen feral ones grow much faster, but planted ones just have not done a lot for me.


I don’t believe it was a good seedling. It didn’t do anything under controlled conditions either.
 
Wayne Mackenzie
pollinator
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The American seedling was growing like a weed in a tree pot. It was getting full exposure and the desert delivers that big time. I waited for it to go dormant before planting it.
This is why I still have hope.
 
gardener
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We planted 2 a couple of years ago.  The seem to be taking forever to grow.  I this usual?
 
Posts: 64
Location: rural West Virginia
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I've never tried planting them from seed. I live on a ridge in WV, and the D virginiana grow wild all over--they prefer ridges. Unfortunately, transplanting isn't much of an option as they have long and angled taprooots=--like, they seem to run out horizontally a foot below the surface. Consequently I can't get RID of some growing in my garden or next to my compost bin. By the way--if I remember right, when my ex was carving spoons he found persimmon was one of those that was beautiful briefly but them faded to a dull brown. He ended up using mostly black walnut, which doesn't change, and black cherry whose red heartwood only gets a deeper red.
 
gardener
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Location: North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 7B/8A
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John F Dean wrote:We planted 2 a couple of years ago.  The seem to be taking forever to grow.  I this usual?



plants being plants, it depends on the situation.  
I started with fresh seed and 6 years later a few of my trees grown from those seeds are already producing fruit.
 
Cris Bessette
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Mary Wildfire wrote:...... Consequently I can't get RID of some growing in my garden or next to my compost bin.



I've discovered they sucker from roots very easy.  Any existing tree can lead to young trees starting from the roots.
 
pollinator
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Location: West Virginny and Kentuck
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I planted saplings 8 or 9 years ago, collected at the county extension office for free.  They are finally over my head, but have not flowered yet.  There is a volunteer persimmon just across the drive in the tree line which fruited once only.  I wish I knew how to encourage them further.

Several years back they were attacked by twig girdler:



Supposedly, they leave an attractant for re-infestation, but I burned all the evidence and they haven't been back (knock on good wood!)
 
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I have a very small (1' tall) Texas Persimmon. I'm trying to select a pollinator for it. What will cross pollinate a Texas Persimmon? I live in Mesa, AZ, USDA zone 9, where we enjoy bipolar weather. That's up to 115 degrees through the long summer and and down into the 20's in the short winter. I am not sure if my current tree is a male or a female. Any suggestions?
 
master pollinator
Posts: 187
Location: KY - Zone 6b (near border of 6a), Heat Zone 7, Urban habitat
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The site is in need of updating (and finishing---life got ahold of me and I'm woefully behind I'm afraid) but I have http://persimmonpudding.com/

Yes, it can take a long time for young persimmons to grow. They can even look like they're near death for extended periods...sometimes more than a season! But I can't think of a better long-term, more useful fruit tree. Planting them will also be part of your legacy. But even if you do not like the bletting process turning fruits mushy...almost liquid-like or maybe gel-like in a wet tissue paper skin, know that EVERYTHING eats them. Just about anything that walks, crawls, or flies. In my current situation, I can't have them. But I've planted and spec'd thousands. I am at the beginning stages on helping a friend with them at the moment. Anyway, while the site above can help, I just wanted to clarify a couple things which in the thread (and elsewhere) sounded like there might be some confusion.

D. virginiana grows in places that rarely get frost, and they get ripe persimmons. One does not need a frost prior to harvest. Basically, they ripen so late and need such a long time to blett, that in many areas, you actually might get a frost prior to fruit dropping their astringency. We do get frosts/freezes here. Wild trees are all over the place with respect to qualities like flavor, ripening time, growth, etc...just like a lot of plants. The problem is that it takes SO LONG to ascertain these qualities given the wait time until production. Most of the known varieties were selected from the wild and selected for certain qualities. There are those who want larger fruit size, different flavors (flavors are often quite complex), harvest timing, etc. Some selections at orchards are only for fruit flavor and size together. I often caution people who cull and disregard persimmon trees simply because the flavor might not be what they wanted or the fruits too small. We know nothing about how those genes might benefit us from random gene assortment.  That said, I think it's smart to select a number of cultivars for everything from blending fruit to aiding with processing by extending ripening across a larger part of season. Most of us don't have the time to process hundreds or thousands of pounds of fruit all at once. The careful selection of cultivars doesn't necessarily mean you're killing future gene transmission, you're just providing the backbone for your fruit harvesting efforts. And nothing says you can't plant them in multiple zones. Some of you are on a fair amount of land and have that ability.

There was a woman who for a good many years actually canned persimmon pulp and shipped it all over the place. She canned in steel cans. Alas, when I found her she had closed the business permanently years prior. She has since passed away. So, it's possible anyway. I have never run across anyone who home canned it and got a decent product. I'd love to see it as storage would be less an issue and would fit in much better with putting food by.

A quick word on usage...if a recipe or your use calls for peeled, chopped, sliced or similar efforts, you're not using a recipe for Diospyros virginiana or you have Asian persimmons. There is nothing wrong with that, I eat Asian persimmons as well. But American persimmon does not lend itself to those methods simply because the skin is so thin and if it has been properly bletted, the persimmons look like little bags of heavy liquidy gel surrounded Asian persimmons like Fuyu and similar cultivars. There are also types of Asian persimmons like the commonly available Hatchiya that also need bletting in order to remove astringency much like American persimmons. The benefit of those is that you can let them blett, then freeze, and during hot weather get them out and spoon out the pulp like pudding. Try it. Oh, and usually there are no seeds.

Do consider persimmons and if you have the room, consider multiple varieties (even randomly assorted wild type) as well as Asian persimmons and hybrids. They all have a part to play and qualities of great use to growies!












 
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