Fuyu Persimmon dropping all leaves!

jodin50May 22, 2013

My 8 year old Fuyu persimmon began dropping leaves about 4 weeks ago, just after leafing out, and I noticed the growth tips on some twigs turning brown. The tree is now mostly leafless. The few remaining leaves have patches of black "spider veins". This tree has been super productive over the past 3 years, and I have had so much fruit I was able to give lots away and make several friends and neighbors into persimmon fans, and I am absolutely devastated that it is dying.
Has anyone had this experience with a mature and formerly productive Fuyu? I am very fearful for my other Fuyus and Hachiyas, but hesitate to cut it down since it seems to be clinging to life, although now almost bare.
Any guidance or info. will be greatly appreciated!

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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)


Could it be sudden death syndrome? Look at the link below.


Here is a link that might be useful: SDS

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 10:28PM
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Thanks tonytran, I think it must indeed be sudden death syndrome described in the Clemson bulletin.
We didn't have a cold winter, but did have an unusually cool and prolonged spring. Perhaps that and/or some other stress triggered SDS.
I am going to keep planting Fuyus despite the possibility of more SDS, because the fruit is beautiful and delicious. This was the only persimmon out of about 12 trees to die, and I sure hope the last!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 11:42PM
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Jodin, I don't think I can tell you anything, but I feel for you.

Everyone else, what is there to learn from a presumptive case of SDS following a mild winter and a spring -- correct me if I'm wrong Jodin -- any late freeze events? What ways might there be to make sense of what's going on?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 9:25AM
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I might well have missed some of the temperature extremes since I live in two places, Atlanta & Middle GA. it may very well be that there was a freeze or near-freeze event at the Middle GA farm in March or early April that I failed to take note of, although I try to monitor chill hours.
This year Spring in Middle Ga. has been delayed about 3-4 weeks. I am a month late planting tomatoes, squash, cukes, etc. The soil & air have been unusually cool.
The most puzzling aspect of this is why only one tree was affected. All my persimmon stock is from Ison's Nursery in Brooks, GA and all have done well.
I think they are all grafted to native persimmons.
I'm wondering about the vitality of Kakis that are grown on their own roots...
Do they exist? Are they viable? Are they available for purchase?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:24AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

If you read Tony's link above you will find that the SDS occurred a year after cold injury, ie the second spring after injury not the first.

Thanks for the link. We had a severe freeze this spring so I'll be interested in how the trees recover this spring and if SDS occurs next spring.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 11:21AM
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Author of original Clemson article says there may be more involved than just weather..or virus.

I think I'm out of my league!

But will keep planting kakis each year. Perhaps I can always have some producing, to offset those hit by SDS. They're expensive, but worth it.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 12:17PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)


You can buy Kakis at Legg Creek Farm for $14 a tree. Hope this will help you.


Here is a link that might be useful: Legg Creek Farm

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 12:22PM
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Thanks Tony!
I've also signed up with NAFEX to try to learn more.
Right now I'm just a spoiled novice, since all my trees have prospered with almost no attention or care, except the unfortunate one that met such an untimely demise this Spring.
The prospect of them all getting SDS is terrifying, so I'm going to try to learn as much as my old brain will process.
Perhaps it is a good idea to get widely divergent genetic stock from different nurseries.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 1:01PM
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Tony, I just followed the link you offered -- thank you -- and they say something about their persimmons I can't make any sense of. About Hachiya, for instance: "Plant with another astringent variety for best results; avoid planting with Fuyu." And about Fuyu: "Does better with another variety. Does not need a pollinator!" What could that be about?

Fruitnut, thanks for the year after suggestion. That would make sense if the weather in Georgia was similar to NC last year. We had two hard freezes last April. My pawpaws leafed out and got completely frozen back twice before finally leafing out a third time.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 4:50PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)


They probably are trying to say that Fuyu does make male flowers sometime and that will pollinate the Hachiya and you will get seeded Hachiya.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 5:41PM
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Thanks, Tony. That makes sense on the Fuyu and occasional male fllowers, but what about the does better with another variety part while at the same time not needing a pollinator? Can anyone make any sense of that? If it doesn't need a pollinator, and especially if both trees are female, what good could another variety possibly do the first one? My best guess is that they either don't know what they're talking about or said something they didn't mean to say, but maybe it's just me.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 6:12PM
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