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Oriental Persimmons in zone 6? Help?

Posted by niptrixbop z5 OH (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 31, 07 at 1:06

I have just planted a Giant Fuyu persimmon, mounded soil around the graft, and wrapped it with blankets and corrugated cardboard just in case the temperature drops too far down. I am in NE Ohio, Z6; although, I remember this area being listed as zone 5 years ago.

I have read in an Ortho (Citrus and Tropicals?) book that Oriental Persimmons are hardy to 0 F. I wonder if anyone has successfully grown any oriental persimmons where the temperature drops down to single digits. If so, any advice on how take care of these plants?
Thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Oriental Persimmons in zone 6? Help?

Push that envelope; but, I have some trepidation about encouraging you to feel real good about your chances for success with GF in NE Ohio. I have some doubts about it surviving or doing well there.
Great Wall, Sheng, and Saijo are some of the more cold-hardy kaki persimmons, but they are of the astringent-til-ripe category. Saijo & Great Wall have fruited for me here in southern west-central KY, and I'm aware of Sheng doing well as far north as Red Lion, PA.
So far as protection is concerned, I have no recommendations for you. Truthfully, I doubt that any wrapping/covering, short of building a greenhouse of sorts, will really confer much in the way of protection once temps drop into single digits or lower. Mounding soil over the graft union may allow the grafted variety to re-sprout from that point if the top is frozen out.
If you fail with your Fuyu, try Rosseyanka or Keener, which are hybrids of Asian & American persimmon.


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RE: Oriental Persimmons in zone 6? Help?

Lucky P,

Thanks for the info. I had some concerns about planting oriental persimmons in this area. Some of the reasons that made me do it were all the postings in the Fig forum. After all, OP are a lot hardier than figs, and I see that some people are growing figs up in Ontario, Canada. Also, it has been many years since the low temp. in winter has dropped to below 0 F. as it used to do around here--one good thing about global warming?

I hope that I am not in denial and just trying to convince myself that this can be done here; on the other hand, nothing ventured, nothing gained.


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RE: Oriental Persimmons in zone 6? Help?

Don't give up if you want to really work on it a bit. You can protect it the way we protect fig trees here. Ring the tree with fencing, fill with leaves and cover with a tarp after baiting for mice. Or cover with a piano box (big cardboard box) with a tarp over it and have a couple incadescent lite bulbs which you turn on when temps go below zero or so.


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RE: Oriental Persimmons in zone 6? Help?

Not tryin' to discourage you - I'm pulling for you! - just making sure you're aware that you're in for an uphill battle.
Yes, figs may be grown & fruited in Ontario - and northern sites to the south of there - but I'm willing to bet that they're not doing it, in-ground, without some extraordinary protective measures, like a 'fig house'. Even if not, and they're freezing to the ground yearly, some varieties *may* be able to re-sprout, set figs, and ripen them before frost - though none of my in-ground varieties were ever able to ripen fruit before they froze out again, even here in southern KY. I finally gave up and just rooted cuttings of everything I had, and keep 'em in big pots that I can stick in the crawlspace to overwinter, then pull 'em back out come spring.


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RE: Oriental Persimmons in zone 6? Help?

I've got a Ichi Ke Kei Jiro Persimmon that has now survived 2 winters and is going into its third. I would like to see better growth from it, but the die back has been minimal (little first year, from uneven dormancy due to Tubex).

Of course last winter was exceptionally mild (zone 7 temps)

I'd look into Masemato Wase Fuyu (too late to spell correctly) from Burnt Ridge Nursery. They claim it is hardy to zone 5 (of course hardiness may not indicate successful fruiting, the tree may survive but all buds could freeze off except in mild winters...or then again I could be wrong)

~Chills


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RE: Oriental Persimmons in zone 6? Help?

Lucky, the methods I suggested aren't extraordinary, at least not for the second and third generation Italians around here. No one in my zone gets figs from annual regrowth after plants freeze to the ground. Even LSU Purple isn't precoscious enough.


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RE: Oriental Persimmons in zone 6? Help?

h-man,
knowhutumean.
I've had LSU Purple in the ground for 10 years now, and while it's re-grown every year, after freezing to the ground, only once has it managed to ripen any fruits before fall frosts/freezes arrive.
My one year's attempt at protecting my figs with a wire cage filled with leaves/pinestraw was a failure, and I didn't try it again. No way I'm going to run extension cords out across the orchard and burn lightbulbs all winter long to keep a persimmon alive.
I've killed enough stuff through the years that, yes, I'll try pushing the envelope, but I'm not going to provide a whole lot of help - if a plant can't make it on its own here, I'm not gonna work very hard to keep 'em alive, when something else may be able to hold its own without assistance.


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RE: Oriental Persimmons in zone 6? Help?

Lucky, interesting about your fig experience. Actually I put mine in my well house, I grow them in Root Control bags and pop them out in Nov. Have a persimmon that I do the same but after 10 years it still hasn't fruited.

You made me think back when I used to wrap my figs and now that I think about it I abandoned the tarp and just used straight leaves-no tarp after the wood rotted under the tarp one year. I think the heating up and cooling down may have been the issue but straight leaves worked fine.


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RE: Oriental Persimmons in zone 6? Help?

I agree with all of you. I imagine the issue is deciding whether or not it is
worth the while to grow a plant that is not supposed to grow around here--my die has been cast--Now, I have no choice but to keep going.
I thought that there might have been many people in my agricultural zone who were growing persimmons successfully; perhaps, because persimmons are not well known, there are not enough people who are doing it. Another fact, it takes 4 to 5 years for an OP to start bearing fruit. (Chills, who
knows, maybe you'll have some persimmons this fall.)
Well, too late to change my mind--the tree is planted. I guess I should not have believed everything about OPs in the Ortho book.


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RE: Oriental Persimmons in zone 6? Help?

I'm with Lucky when it comes to pushing the envelope of growing fruit trees. Trying out different approaches and perspectives, often challenging the rule of thumb, often growing what you're not supposed to. But this is backyard gardening, not a commercial fruit orchard operation.

I myself take it as a risk taker approach. Let us say, you have 1 year in 5 that could wipe out your crop from the freezes, it would still be worth grafting the cultivar for me as I get 4 good years out of 5. But they are not necessarily in very regular intervals, it could be that the year you graft them is followed by the worst event of the time interval.

Over here, it depends mostly on the hardiness of the crop cultivars. For example wih respect to citruses, we get a mild freeze once every five years, a moderate freeze once every ten years, and very severe freeze every twenty years or so, enough to wipe out most citrus crops in our area. I have more than 85 citrus cultivars and all have survived the moderate freeze, 20 deg F for at least a week with little help. Even if all of my citruses did die out, I'm more than glad to regraft or replant. I should get 19 good years out of 20.

I guess, if you are enthusiastic about grafting like I do, I see such calamities as another opportunity to try out something new or repeat again thinking that you'll reap good crops in most years. When it comes to persimmons, you would just need a really cold hardy base cultivar to serve as your stock. Just know where to get good sources of scionwood. With my experience on persimmons, they can bloom and fruit the year they are grafted. The next year usually will have abundance of fruits after grafting. Thus if there is a freeze that could kill a grafted cultivar, and whose incidence is just once every 5 years, you should really try grafting and regrafting whenever needed. Never tire out, treat grafting like you are pruning. Pruning is a necessity every year, and so treat that grafting is a necessity to replace died out cultivars. Grafting unto mature trees will usually have your scionwood bear good quality fruits the next year after the operation. Thus a very cold hardy mature persimmon tree is a good investment, and then you can try out various cultivars on it.


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RE: Oriental Persimmons in zone 6? Help?

Just wanted to post an update and say that I went out and scratched the side of a branch on my Ichi Ke Kei Jiro and its green. Thus far this winter I have seen temperatures down to 2 degrees (with snow-cover) and 5 without snow.

I'm expecting 10 this weekend (well that's the forcast) at this point, but I'm guessing the worst is likely over (am I jinxing myself or what?)

I plan on fertilizing pretty heavily around June 1st (with wonderfully aged horse manure) and hopefully I will see some good growth this summer. (I'd like to see a foot or better)

~Chills


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RE: Oriental Persimmons in zone 6? Help?

Chills,
While some plants just have a certain temperature which spells doom to them if it drops that low, in many cases, it's a matter of WHEN it gets cold, moreso than how cold it gets.
Case in point - last Easter's Big Freeze Disaster - temps only dropped to the low 20s or upper teens here, but since American persimmons and heartnuts were fully into pushing succulent new growth, many of them were killed back to the ground, Oaks, hickories and pecans - even big mature trees- were frequently killed back to the main trunk. You'd certainly anticipate that an American persimmon, northern pecan, or bur oak could withstand winter temps of only 20 degrees - but not at the stage they were when the EBFD event occurred.
Or, take peaches & apricots. I doubt that my winter temps ever really get cold enough that I'd actually NEED those super-cold-hardy varieties, but I can usually count on them breaking dormancy and blooming, with a freeze(not late, just typical)killing any chance of fruiting 4 years out of 5(apricots, 12 out of 12). Bud hardiness doesn't mean squat if they're gonna get nuked while in bloom or after fruit set.
Like my buddy Joe - if I could count on fruit 4 years out of 5 or even better 19 out of 20, heck yeah, I'll plant and care for it, but when I've had something in the ground for 12 years and it's showing no likelihood of ever successfully ripening a fruit, or only doing it 1 year out of 5, it's just not worth my time, effort, or the space it's occupying.


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RE: Oriental Persimmons in zone 6? Help?

Lucky, I know my zone 6 is likely different from yours, maybe my slower emergence from dormancy (due to my being further north than you) would improve my chances of plants coming out of dormancy more slowly. Of course this also means I have a higher chance of freakish cold temperatures and a shorter growing season.

The only plant that I noticed was damaged by the Easter Freeze last year was a Sweet Autumn Clematis(SAC). Before the freeze it had 2-3 foot long shoots growing rapidly. The day after the freeze, all shoots were white and hanging to the ground. If you are familiar with this plant then you know its a monster whose growth is rarely held in check by pruning or other means. My SAC limped along pushing only a single shoot up from the roots and didn't bloom last year. (it was a 5 year old plant, so it was pretty well established). I'm hoping for a better year from it this year or I might just have to replace it.

My nanking cherries were just swelling flower buds around taht time and I got little fruit from them, but they had been a disappointment from when I had planted them, so I wasn't too upset by the loss. (I've got one left, of 6...and it will be pulled this spring whenever my first nursery order arrives).

I was just posting to give the original poster some positive feedback on his original question. Now I'll be really happy if/when I actually get fruit on my Kaki. For now I just have to be satisfied by the comments of "what's that" and bragging rights that (I think) I have the furthest north growing Kaki (unprotected in the ground).

~Chills


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RE: Oriental Persimmons in zone 6? Help?

Chills:

My experience lately is more like yours than Lucky's. KY and TN had a particularly bad time of it last spring, and we had four straight cold nights in Northern Virginia, but not enough to kill anything back. In fact, I had the best apricot year I have ever had, with over 110 pounds of beautiful fruits from two Tomcot trees. The early blossoms were nuked, but the trees continued to bloom farther out on the branches, and I took down over 110 pounds of perfect apricots from two Tomcot trees.

I am hoping for a similar performance this spring, but that's the operative word -- hoping.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA


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RE: Oriental Persimmons in zone 6? Help?

What would be an Asian persimmon which is hardy to zone 6, self-fertile, and small (tree) that is closest to the popular 'Sharon' brand in the stores?


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RE: Oriental Persimmons in zone 6? Help?

hey guys, just to let you know that my persimmon survived this past cold winter here in Ontario, although last winter was very cold and long.
I planted seed last year and it did grow up to about 5 inches. I did not protect it because I was told it can not survive cold weather.
Guess what, just 2 days ago I found it growing again and it has about 5 leafs although I forgot about it and I even forgot what seeds it was.


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