Meader Persimmon fruit failure

chervil2(z5 MA)July 28, 2013

My Meader persimmon is well established and has been a reliable producer of large amounts of fruit for many years. I noticed tonight that this year the branches are covered with dozens of immature tiny brown fruit that drops at the touch. I can not find any healthy maturing fruit. The leaves and branches are extremely lush and healthy thanks to the heat and deluges of rain. Does anyone else have problems with their persimmon crop this year?

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Sparse, at best, here, this year.
Was out mowing the orchard yesterday - very few fruits on any of the persimmons - good crops last year, but almost none this time. Didn't notice any small brown aborting fruits as you described - but they may already have dropped.
Late, cool, wet spring may be at least partially responsible.
Seeing quite a bit of frost damage on ripening apples - don't know that I'd noticed what stage of growth/bloom the 'simmons were at when we got that last frost.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 11:59AM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

Thankfully, my young Nikita persimmon has two fruits. Last year I had one fruit and it was delicious. The Nikita is in a spot more exposed to cold compared to the Meader tree and so I remain puzzled by the aborted fruit problem.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 4:23PM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

I copied and pasted this information about immature fruit drop.
"Seedless fruit are very finicky and will easily drop from the tree if the tree en- counters growth problems or undue stress, such as excessive heat, drought, cold, excessive fertilizer or water. Hence, heavy mulch and good water management practices are essen- tial to reduce fruit drop. While these practices may reduce the loss of fruit, this problem can- not be completely prevented."

I am guessing that dry hot weather followed by cold wet weather with several inches of rain was the stress factor in killing this year's crop. Now I know and see that the situation was unavoidable. I will look forward to next year.

Here is a link that might be useful: Persimmon culture

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 10:25AM
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girlfromthegarden(z5 Indy metro)

I wondered after reading your comments about the immature fruit dropping, whether conditions for bee pollination were adequate during the window when the tree had flowers on it - ??

We had such a cool spring, that the fruit trees around here delayed budding/blossoming until much later than usual, which turned out to be a good thing (avoiding frost). But on the flip side, we had nippy days return several times while the flowers were open and ready, and I was a little surprised to have the amount of successful pollination that actually did occur.

If bees are sluggish getting around on cold days, could that have an impact, also?

I watched my two persimmons almost daily during spring to see whether they even had flowers, and then agonized whether the bees would be lively enough on cool days to travel between the known male tree and my yard, to get the job done. There are a lot of honeybees and bumblebees around my house, though, so there's healthy competition for the blossoms available.

Do persimmons form fruits if the flowers haven't been pollinated? I wondered if they were like pears, that form a bunch of little green "starter" fruits at first - then some shrivel up and fall off among the same cluster of others that are getting bigger and heading toward maturity.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 4:29PM
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