persimmon early harvesting to prevent squirrel damage
With very heavy squirrel pressure this year I decided to pick a number of Asian persimmons much earlier than I usually do, at a stage while still green or just starting to change color and very astingent and so not yet appealing to the squirrels. I placed the unripe fruit in paper bags at room temperature and checked every few days for ripe fruit which I would then remove from the bags and refrigerate. This process is still underway, but I can conclude at this point that for the variety Saijo, this strategy has been an overwhelming success with 100% of the fruit ripening to a quality indistinguishable from tree ripened fruit. This early harvesting can cut overall losses from squirrel damage from significant to minimal. Would be interesting to see if the unripe fruit could be refrigerated for some time before ripening to extend the season. Some other varieties have shown varying abilities to ripen in the bags, but none like Saijo. So for those considering choice of Asian persimmon variety trees for the garden and who anticipate squirrel damage, Saijo may be the ticket.