Am Persimmons: Meader vs Nakita's Gift or ...

parfaitMay 11, 2012

I live in Delaware & would like to plant a self fertile American Persimmon tree that would grow to 40-50 ft. I've heard quite a bit about Meader Pers., has anyone had any experience w/ a Nakita's Gift? I'm not sure how big N.G.would grow. Some winters are cold w/ snow & ice storms so I'll need something sturdy. Summers are pretty hot & humid & the soil has a lot of clay.

Can u suggest any other self fertile American Persimmons That won't need to be babied?

I have Li & Lang Jujubis, 2 pawpaws, a white mulberry, an everbearing Mulberry, Blk berries & raspberries that are doing well which are pretty care-free,(Organic). Also have a semi-dwarf apple tree & a dwarf nectarine, a little less carefree.I hope an American persimmon will round things out. (Can u tell I love fruit?).

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I can't answer your question about Am persimmons. But to round things up you also need Kaki persimmon (for example, Jiro),fig (Celeste, Hardy Chicago, etc) and currants. I am in a similar climate and they all are absolutely carefree and "organic" here. No winter damage in my zone 6b w/o winter protection on all of them except figs. They get damage in their first coulpe years, but overgrow it really fast. I don't spray anything.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 6:02AM
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It's gonna be hard to harvest from a 50 foot tree. I think wild persimmons taste better picked up after they fall but so does all the wildlife.

This is the first year for fruit on my Meader Persimmon and the only other variety I grow is Fuyu Asian Persimmon so I can't answer as to flavor. I can tell you that with all the fruit I grow, some years are better than others. I've had years where one tree's fruit outshone everyone else and then the same tree was barely edible the following year.

Kiwi's, Cornelian Cherries, Pawpaws and Maypops all do fine with no spraying at all. The vine crops do need to be controlled or else they will take over the world and the Cornelian Cherries take forever to fruit but that's about all the work you're gonna do to grow them.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 10:23AM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

Nikita's gift does not get that big. More like an Asian persimmon (it is an AmericanXAsian hybrid), so 12 to 15 feet or so.

Early Golden gets good reviews for flavor, and is self fertile. I have one, but it hasn't fruited yet.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 10:31AM
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I did not have lck with Meader Persimmon. It was in the ground about 4 years and grew a foot or maybe foot and a half. I ripped it out this spring finally. It did not like something about my soil or climate.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 11:07AM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)


If you like American Persimmons with bigger fruits and a nice taste are Prok and Yates. Lucky P. stated Early golden won taste test year in and year out at Claypool orchard but the fruit is medium size and smaller than Prok and Yates. Prok can grow up to 40-50ft. I also have a 4 yrs old Nikita's Gift growing about five feet on the south size of my house for winter protection and it has about 100 baby fuits on it right now. It is about 10 feet tall and the max height is about 12ft. Since I am in Omaha, NE zone 5(-20f)but the low around -2, only very 10 yrs it drops to -20f. I protected this baby by wrapped it with a large tarp from home depot and stuffed it with leafs in November. In the 2nd week of February when the weather is a bit milder than I unwrapped it to avoid early budding and to avoid late frost damage. It is a little extra care but the final product is all worth it (Kaki in zone 5). I also have a 4yrs old Giant Hana Fuyu and an Ichi Kei Jiro Kaki persimmons are loaded with fruit right now too. I Protected them the same way with the Nikita's Gift.

Good Luck


    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 11:10AM
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I responded to your query added on to a running discussion at the Edible Landscaping forum; don't know if you saw that or not.
Here 'tis again:

The original name for Nikita's Gift is Nikitiskaya Bordovaya(NB), or which loosely translated, means burgundy of Nikita Gardens.
It is a daughter of Rosseyanka(D.virginianaXkaki hybrid, aka Russian Beauty) back-crossed to kaki - so, it is 3/4 D.kaki.
I've grafted Nikita's Gift a couple of times, but it hasn't survived here - should be OK here in southern KY, and for you in a z6/7 setting, but I think my scionwood was damaged, which may account for failures here; it sustains significant winter damage at Terre Haute, IN.
NB's parent, Rosseyanka, in my orchard, is very late maturing, and mostly seedless(despite native males and at least one kaki that produces some staminate flowers) - but can be peeled, sliced and dried while still firm - and loses its astringency in the process; or, you can leave them on the tree until fully ripe. Fruits are more reminiscent of an astringent-til-ripe kaki than the typical virginiana - thicker skin that contains the soft, gelatinous pulp. Holds well on the tree - I have to pull or cut the fruit from the branches. Personally, I think most of my virginiana cultivars taste better.
Jerry Lehman, at Terre Haute, says that Nikita's Gift is larger fruiting than Rosseyanka, has nice red color, earlier ripening - and is delicious. I would anticipate it's likely mostly seedless, as well.

Meader - if there are any native males around, will likely be fully seeded, and not remarkably better/different than most native D.virginianas. It's a nice persimmon, not a great persimmon - just one that's widely propagated and distributed by a number of nurseries. If you can find Early Golden, Yates(Juhl), or Prok, they're a better choice.

I like Saijo, an astringent-'til-ripe kaki.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 1:17PM
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I also live in Delaware. I brought up this very point @ UD last Ag Day with a professor at their greenhouses. He was rather emphatic that American Persimmons needed a pollinator. When I (later) brought to his attention Lee Reich's book, on the point of some cultivars being self-pollinating, he allowed that might be the case.
In any event, last year I planted what I've come to believe to be a self-fertile American Persimmons by the name of Szukis (yes, a Lee Reich recommendation). Supposedly is rather dwarf (which is the growth habit I was looking for, as space is now at a premium), but also supposedly has excellent flavor. It started a little slow, but seems to be hanging in there, so I have my hopes. Also, just planted a Fuyu persimmon tree (from Wiley's), so I have my hopes there, too.
Got a couple of black mulberry (morus nigra) bush plants in the mail recently, as my Illinois Everbearing is doing well (and I very much like its flavor), so I thought I'd give them a shot. Not as sanguine on their prospect, given the humidity of the area, but thought would be worth a try.
I have a Li jujube which is doing well, but think perhaps I should have gone with the Lang, as I understand that dries better? Oh well, the Li has plenty of fruit, and fresh works for me.
There's an autumn olive I noticed while pedaling my bike to the Acme on Elkton Road that I'm coveting. Large fruit, and for whatever reason the birds seem to be leaving it alone.
Think you might want to consider aronia, if you're looking for an easy care, very nutritious fruit.
Consider wineberries for the shaded areas?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 5:23AM
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skyjs(z8 OR, USA)

I like Meader Persimmon. In my opinion it is much better than a seedling. I also like Early Golden and Ruby, although for our climate, Ruby ripens late enough that they won't ripen in some years.

Your best bet for self fruitful one variety is probably Meader or Szukis. That's great information about Szukis being a smaller variety. It seems more bothered by drought than my other varieties. It is usually about 30% female. Meader is probably the most brittle of all the varieties, so it is a risk to grow it. It is very hardy though. A guy I know out here grew it for years but it literally "broke" and died. May be similar to the experience of the other poster here.

John S

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 11:00PM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

I have had great yields from a Meader persimmon for more than 10 years. My Early Golden has been a sickly tree and has never even flowered despite being more than 13 years old. My Nikita's Gift persimmon arrived in May 2009 from Burnt Ridge Nursery. One fruit developed this year and I surrounded it with a plastic bag to prevent the foxes from stealing it. The Meader is loaded with fruit and so I do not mind sharing some with the wildlife. I picked the Nikita tonight and was very impressed. I intend to order another Nikita for planting next spring. I am looking forward to eating the fruit from my Great Wall persimmon tree that should bear in the next couple of years.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 9:41PM
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skyjs(z8 OR, USA)

Early Golden and its relatives, like Garretson and Killen, will probably sprout some male branches and will probably therefore be self-fruiting somewhere on the way to becoming 50 feet. Part of the question has to be, do you want one tree, and do you know how to graft? Grafting American persimmons can be tricky , as they often lose limbs, and it is done at a much later date. You could try to graft a female variety onto a male persimmon at say 10 feet or so, but it is rather experimental, as it may break off. If you do, try to keep it or prune it as the central leader so it will be less likely to be dropped by the tree.
John S

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 1:41AM
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I got a Nakitas Gift. It produces smallish fruit for me. Only 5 years old in ground. But pretty care free. This is the first year it has produced anything to speak of. Last year all the small mini fuits dropped off before developing.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 1:41PM
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