Smith's Best Persimmon

sunghuiSeptember 21, 2010

My Smith's Best is 4 or 5 years in the ground. It was added a year or two later than the first big wave of persimmons planted. I didn't choose it because it has poor Fall color.

I read a discussion on a board concerning the virtues of Smith's Best, which is said to be a Giboshi. People that had it said it was delicious, one of the best, and was a veritable persimmon factory. I had to have one of those and added it in a place in the garden on the north side of the grove where I hadn't intended to put a persimmon.

Like all of my persimmon's after San Pedro which I got as a big plant with a relatively high bare trunk, I bought Smith's Best small in a one gallon pot to get more low growth. It needs a pollinator and I moved a Yamagaki planted the year before next to it. Yamagaki produces both male and female flowers.

Haven't done a lot pruning on Smith's Best. It grew into a bushy little tree. Lots of fruiting twigs. It is small for it's age,compared to the other trees. It's six feet high now. I expect it to stay small as it is now fruiting very heavily.

The tree fruited a little the second year and dropped them all. More heavily last year and dropped them all. Stalward Ymagaki, the pollinator, had died after being moved and had started over from buds the next Spring.

This Spring Yamagaki bloomed for the first time, three female blossoms and a dozen male, which opened over a period of almost two weeks. I checked the blossoms daily and clipped them as soon as they opened. And holding the little bell shaped blossoms with long tweezers emptied the pollen grains into a glass smooth dark blue bowl.

And then into the garden with a soft camels hair brush to hand pollinate Smith's Best.

Smith's Best set a huge crop. I thinned the fruit on my trees the first couple of years I had persimmons and since then have let the trees take care of thinning themselves. Raking up dropped fruit is a lot easier than thinning persimmons. And I have a lot to do in the summer...mowing grass, making the dog stop barking, feeding the crows, taking care of tomatoes, Okra, peaches and nectarines.

Went out to commune with the persimmons one morning and Smith's Best had shed an important branch. Inspection revealed that the tree was in the process of tearing itself apart. Contrary to garden policy, Smith's Best was not dropping her excess fruit. To date she hasn't dropped a single fruit this summer.

After thinning about half the fruit off the tree, leaving two persimmons per twig, I gave some support to the most stressed branches with six foot cedar stakes and jute twine.

Smith's Best- a small tree,no Fall color, needs a pollinator, produces a LOT of fruit for it's size, and may need to be thinned. Since it's so small, thinning is not too bad. From what I've read the fruit is excellent. I'm really looking forward to it!

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Smiths best is possibly my favorite persimmon of all the ones I can grow. I have found that at least in my area in NC it sets a heavy crop without pollination. The fruits will be astringent but seedless and with a very rich flavor. One thing I really like about smiths best is that it loses its astringency quicker than most other astringent varieties, many varieties have to be almost liquid inside before losing astringency but not smiths best. It is also a smaller tree and easily harvested. The only negative things I can think of is that its fruits are in the small to medium size range and little or no fall color on the tree. However the fruits are larger than great wall and in my opinion much better tasting. To me a well ripened smiths best fruit has a very rich flavor with a strong note of vanilla. It is a very good variety.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 3:18PM
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Hi Sunghui

Could you please add some photos of Smith�s best persimmon fruits? I have read that Smiths is the same as Giboshi, just want to compare them. Smiths should be cold hardy as well.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 1:09AM
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Shane11 (or any other Smith's Best grower),

Is your Smith's Best still doing well without pollination? How big is your tree? Did you graft it yourself or purchase it?


    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 9:41AM
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My smiths best came from edible landscaping in VA. My tree is about 10 foot.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 1:34PM
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