Smith's Best Persimmon
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!