American Persimmon pollination

gengis(z5a)August 14, 2011


I've read from several sources conflicting data regarding the complex pollination habits of American Persimmon Trees. Some trees might produce female or male flowers, or both. Most varieties seem to be self-sterile, but this seems to be variable.

My question is (this might sound stupid): Can I reliably get fruits with two same-sex specimens of different varieties ? I can only have two trees (two different varieties), and I don't want to waste precious years wondering if my trees are male ou female.


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bennylafleur(6 E. Tn.)

Gengis, you ask if you can reliably get fruits with two same sex specimens of different varieties. I believe you can, as long as they are female. I have 8-10 different females that have fruited without a male tree, and the fruit is seedless. If you don't want to waste time wondering if your trees are male or female, you can graft or buy a named variety, greatly improving your chances of good quality fruit over that of a seedling.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 4:52PM
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Thanks Benny,

I have a grafted Campbell NC-10 (of unkown sex) and a Szuki. They seem to be hardy enough for zone 5a-5b, but they haven't flowered yet. I hope I wont have to waste years before learning if they will pollinate each other!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 3:01PM
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NC-10 is a female selection; earliest ripening cultivar in my orchard - first fruits are usually ripe here - on the KY/TN line - around 10 Sept. Mine are fully seeded; I suppose there must be 90-chromosome males in the landscape, though my native population should be 60-C. I have Szukis and F-100, but neither have bloomed, so they are not the source of 90-C pollen.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 11:04PM
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skyjs(z8 OR, USA)

I have Garretson and Early Golden as my only trees that flower yet. I have fruit in both trees. These are some of the varieties that occasionally have male limbs. I wasn't able to observe the male flowers or limbs. Not all female trees have occasional male limbs. I don't know if they will self-pollinate every year, so I grafted NC-10 and Szukis, but they aren't big enough to flower yet. However, when Szukis does, it should reliably pollinate all of my other American persimmons.
John S

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 2:35AM
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Thank you for your feedback,

I hope that my Szuki has male limbs and that it flowers at the same time as my NC-10...

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 9:43AM
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I have several Szukis, and they have all had male blossoms within a couple of years of grafting. There is also fruit on these trees. But others with this variety have reported that it is does not reliably produce male blossoms, sometimes only female or initially a mix and in subsequent years only female.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 4:21AM
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We have a beautiful persimmon tree that is at least 8 years old, and at least 15 feet tall. It has a slew of 'flowers' each year (though I suspect they are all male) but we have never had a single fruit from it. It was purchased as 'American Persimmon' so I have no clue what type it's supposed to be - figuring the chickens didn't much care since it's in the chicken yard. Does anyone know if I ever can hope to get fruit on it by planting a different variety? If so, what variety would work - assuming it's of the American variety, not the Japanese. It sounds like Early Golden or Yates might be a good bet but will they be happy with my nondescript tree? Thank you all for any suggestions you may have.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 2:10PM
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First, esablish that the tree is really not fruiting and not just prematurely losing its fruit. If it really is not fruiting, you would need to establish just what type of tree that you have - whether male or female and then perhaps also whether of the 60 or 90 chromosome race. Sounds tough to figure, but a few clues can lead you to what's likely its identity. If you know that the tree was grafted or you can see signs on the tree that suggest this, then it is most likely a 90 chromosome female. If the blossoms grow in sets of three then it's male; if they are not in groups then it's female. If the leaves are rather large, say greater than 9 inches, then it's more likely 90 chromosome. There are a number of other clues to look for as well.
Once you've figured what you have, this is what I'd propose you do:

90 c female - If this tree is not fruiting it probably needs pollination. The best way to provide this is to plant a grafted 90 chromosome male which is available at some nurseries. Cliff England has them. You can also consider grafting a male scion to the tree but the tree may self-prune it off. Varieties like Szukis which sometimes can have male flowers may not be reliable sources of pollen.

90 c male - This tree will not fruit. It can be useful as a source of pollen for most of the named American persimmons that are available at nurseries. So you would need to plant another persimmon tree, preferably a grafted one. Your fruit will have seeds.

60 c female - Again, if not fruiting, probably needs pollination. I don't think you'll find a grafted male, so you would need either to graft a 60c male scion to your tree or buy and plant a few seedlings from a southern nursery (which would most likely be 60c) and in a few years when they bloom pare down to one that is male, having triplet blossoms.

60 c male - I would topwork this tree with one of the 90 c females varieties that doesn't need pollination to fruit.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 8:53PM
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Oh, Creekweb, that's just wonderful information! I believe I studied the blooms a year or so ago and then thought I had both types of flowers on the tree, some definitely male and in little clusters. Could it be not producing because it is the type that needs a pollinator? I knew nothing about the 60/90 thing, so that's a whole other issue. The leaves aren't huge, but the tree sure is a beauty and it provides wonderful shade all the way to the ground. Oh, and I never saw any indication that there was a graft, so it's anybody's guess what it is. I wish I had known that there was so much to 'American Persimmons' before we planted it.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 9:03PM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

Nolin nursery sells a 60C male that they claim will give you seedless fruit on "most cultivars", presumably 90 females. Here's the entry:
Loverboy KY 2010 A male clone with sixty chromosomes which produces seedless fruits on most cultivars, when serving as a pollinator.

Is there any advantage to using 90c males for pollination, assuming seedless fruit are preferred?


    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 10:44PM
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Organic earthgirl: It sounds like your tree is a male seedling persimmon. To get fruit on this tree you will likely need to topwork it with a female persimmon scion. If it has a central leader, in the spring you can graft high to this without severely compromising the aesthetics of the tree and with low likelihood of the tree self-pruning the graft. Choose a variety like Yates that fruits with and without pollination as the ploidy of your tree is uncertain.

Alex: 90c males will increase the size and number of seeds in the fruit of the 90c persimmons I have seen. I have heard that some persimmons remain seedless when exposed to 90c pollen but these persimmons may have been tetraploid (60c).

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 12:59AM
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