New Persimmon Tree - Sunburnned and Not Growing

acrawf17August 26, 2011


This summer I bought a beautiful Tanenashi persimmon tree, four feet tall, and planted it immediately. I have watered every couple days and fertilized lightly with Milorganite. The problem is that I've seen no new growth after two months in the ground. Moreover, some of the leaves on the persimmon are starting to blister, tear, and fall off. I assume this is sunburn, since the tree came from part shade in the nursery to now full sun in my yard. Is this normal? Does it just need time to adapt? Has anyone else experienced sunburn with their persimmons? Are they usually slow growers upon transplanting?



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I put milorganite on a newly planted 15 foot oak tree several years ago and it died. This was before I read up on fertilizing. I just took my neighbors word for it that milorganite is what it needed to get it going well in its new spot. Now, I refrain from fertilizers until at least a year after planting.

I don't know about persimmons, but I planted a mango tree 3 months ago. For three months it didn't grow at all. It never looked any different than the day we planted it. Then about a week ago, it suddenly put out a foot of new growth. So you never know.

I hope your tree recoups and hopefully others can give you more insight.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 6:59PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Aaron

I also have a young persimmon tree and it looks nice and glossy leaves, actually I have to keep it chopped up to keep the height no taller than 6 feet. I think that you went wrong with the fertilizer, I am including a link to the nursery where I got my tree and what they recommend. Hopefully in the future your tree will get better.

Here is my young persimmon today


Here is a link that might be useful: persimmon fertilizer

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 7:33PM
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I had the same experience with a persimmon. For several months after planting it looked like a stick someone stuck in the ground. I was about to pull it out when, voila!, leaves began sprouting and the tree started growing. Give it some time.

Don't fertilize too much. I have been one of those "if one is good two must be better" gardeners.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 7:56PM
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It seems hardly anybody has any patience whatever these days, you plant a tree, wait ten minutes and if it hasn't grown any... you wanna' yank it out.... good grief! It makes me wonder just how fast you would adapt if somebody shanghaied you and plunked your butt in a foreign country then waited ten minutes for you to learn the language and adapt to the food & culture, if not, then take you out back and shoot you. Gardening is not instant gratification... growing things take time and skill learning about the plant and it's needs. I just cannot believe the impatience of some of you people.

OK, I'm off my soapbox,

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 9:16PM
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Also, persimmons are notoriously slow growers. Mine has been in the ground for 18 months and there has been very little growth.

I think I'll go out tomorrow and smack it with a stick.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 11:23PM
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I give trees and shrubs a year or more.
I have seen amazing results with time and patience.
The most important growth after planting is ROOTS!
If a tree/plant does not have a chance to establish good roots,
the plant will not recover or make it up over time.
You do not want to see a big flush of leaves.
Rule number one: green side up when planting.
Rule number 2: do not fertilize for a long time
and then use a fraction of what you think you should use.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 8:00AM
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First year they sleep
Second they creep
Third they leep

This applies to most all plants. :o)

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 11:47AM
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All good advice. Goes for people too. As my country-borne, maternal grandmother used to say, you can't put down roots in cement.

Then again, I got the switch one day (persimmon maybe?) for pointing at her gourds and counting them. One, two, three, etc. I found out that if you point at something on a vine it falls off. Word to the wise.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 12:08PM
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Silvia - your persimmon is stunning! I can't wait until mine looks as good as yours.

Bill - you crack me up! My small tree too looks like a "stick in the ground." But your tree survived, and this was just the information that I wanted to hear.

Thonotorose - thanks for informing me of the slow-growth of persimmons. I am experiencing it first hand now.

Lou - the purpose of this post is to determine whether what my tree is experiencing is normal. Wouldn't you too be concerned if the leaves of one of your new trees blistered, got holes, and fell off? I am very patient with my trees, but I get concerned when I see such damage without any sight of repair.

- Aaron

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 4:49PM
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brute(Florida 9B)

When I brought my persimmon home from the nursery, it was covered with beautiful, glossy leaves. As time went by, the leaves dropped off one by one until I was left with a pathetic-looking stick.
It remained in this condition for a SOLID YEAR! I'd bend the twigs from time to time, and as they remained flexible, I didn't give up on this tree.
Then, about one year later (I checked my nursery receipt date), the tree came back to life and is looking beautiful.
Must be a persimmon thing.
Hang in there!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 4:58PM
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I have ten acres here on my farm, and every year I plant new fruit and nut trees in my orchard. I have at least 100 different types of orchard trees and I always see the newly planted trees go through the first year shock of transplanting. The biggest mistake I see people make is trying to fertilize the tree with chemical fertilizers in it's first year. The first year is when the transplanted tree puts out new roots and these tender roots can be burned by the harsh chemicals added when planting and subsequent adding of fertilizers as top dressings. I have a number of spring planted trees right now that really look awful, but I know from experience this is normal. I guess what I am trying to say is be patient, I am, and I know my transplanted sticks each sporting a half dozen yellowy chewed up leaves will come back fully clothed in green next spring. Then and only then will I fertilize them.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 5:48PM
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Brute - You're describing my tree perfectly! I will wait patiently.

Lou - thanks for the good advice not to fertilize young trees to prevent root damage. Fortunately, I only applied a small amount of weak fertilizer earlier, and I will refrain from doing so until next year.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 10:46AM
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I don't know if anybody is still looking at this thread but I've got a question in case it will be seen.
You can see online and at the garden centers the kelp solution that suppose to help the new roots to grow. Is there any truth in it?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 1:38AM
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I have found kelp to be effective. I do use it in iffy plantings where I look to support root stimulation.

My persimmon is still just sitting there though it looks good. I think I will drag out the kelp.....

I lost an expensive peach last year and replanted a $20. HD on in its place. The HD one looked really bad so I DID smack it a few times with a stick and it has since taken off.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 1:57PM
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how often do you use the kelp on the same plant and how far from the trunk do you water (well... and how deeply do you water).


    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 7:50PM
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Hi, Goldfinchy,

I mix according to the directions and apply as a soil drench. Have never drenched anything more than twice per year.

Several forms can be applied as a foliar feed, too. Since the rains are regular now I think I will just sprinkle a couple of tablespoons around the root zone of my chocolate persimmon. I have it in a soluble powder now.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 10:38PM
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Thanks for your quick reply! I'll try to use some kelp for a little avocado, the stuff looks disgusting though, like black tar.
You know, I planted a chocolate persimmon this spring too :) One branch started to grow about 10 days ago, I've got about 1 inch of light-green young growth. So it took about 4 month for the tree to wake up.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 1:12PM
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I would love to hear persimmon updates from everyone.

Happy to share, after 3 & 1/2 YEARS my little chocolate persimmon has.... BUDS!!!

Still just under 6 feet and only saw 3 or 4 buds. Will take pics when I find the camera.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 11:25PM
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Well..... sob... the buds dropped.

Maybe next year.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 4:01PM
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I planted my Tanenashi persimmon tree 3-4 years ago and it had a very little growth since then, I mean 1-2 new small branches per year but gave 3-4 fruits every year. This year it grows like crazy, doubled size but dropped the only fruit.
The only thing I did different this year is I fertilized it every 3 months with citrus fertilizer.

maybe next year... :)


    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 9:19PM
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My little persimmon is now about 7 feet tall and it has ONE fruit about the size of a really large olive. Yippee!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:12PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Veronica

This morning my persimmon tree

Is loaded with fruit


    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 7:26AM
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Terrific Silvia.

How long has it been in the ground?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 5:38PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Veronica, I found this picture from July 2010 about the year that the young persimmon was planted.

It sure took a long time to get the amount of fruit that I have now, looking forward to get them ripe. You just have to be patient with them.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 6:22PM
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Harvest update!!!

Picked it a let it ripen on the counter. Did not want the squirrels to beat me to it.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2014 at 4:09PM
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Fruit was very watery and had a lousy flavor.

Maybe next year!!! Lol...

    Bookmark   October 13, 2014 at 4:10PM
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Persimmons take their time but they're tough. I've planted three and will probably plant more. This time of year I don't worry too much about them looking ratty... they come through and pop into new growth every spring like clockwork.

Here is a link that might be useful: Daily Florida Gardening Blog

    Bookmark   October 13, 2014 at 8:05PM
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