This is the most northern of the seed strains using a mix of seedling persimmons at our farm selecting the most productive trees that ripen early in the season which is September and October most years. The trees have taken a low of -27F in 2019 and likely can grow into zone 4 without winter damage. Persimmon trees are easy to propagate from seeds and can be direct planted in a garden in the fall or stored using a moist media in the fridge which will give them the dormancy to germinate in the spring.
My strain was developed using grafted trees from the following varieties: Early Golden, John Rick, Yates, Killen, Beaver, Pipher, Morris Burton and others. The seedlings were planted out over the course of a decade spaced only 5-10 ft. apart in a row that extended about 2000 feet. The plants were limbed as they grew and never sprayed. Each of the plantings I did was a surprise in that there were no bad trees in terms of overall fruit quality but there was a difference in the texture, graininess and in some very cool years. This equates to astringency in fruits that do not ripen fully. For this reason I am using only the best fruitful selections at my farm for use for seeds while focusing on the earliest to ripen and the most fruitful plants in 2021. For my planting this means fruits that ripen in September and October where the whole crop ripens pretty much all at once.
Because of the cloudy and cool location in southwestern Michigan about 30 miles from Lake Michigan it is far more northern and far more short season than all so called short season varieties. The planting consists of roughly 50 percent female and male trees. This is normal however there are some trees that appear to be self fruitful but have to be tested to see if that is really the case. That is a rare exception along with male trees that once in a while appear to produce a lot of fruit. The flowering takes roughly 5-10 years from seedling. That is an average however it may take longer up to 12 years depending on your growing conditions. Trees fruit when they reach anywhere from 8 to 15 ft tall on average.
Here is how to germinate: Plant outside in the fall 1 inch deep in sandy soil. Full sun is fine. Fairly competitive against grass and can be sown like beans in drills 6 inches apart. Plunk a couple of seeds per hole. Very easy. Seeds sprout late roughly in late May here and they rarely get frost damage. Seedlings are frost resistant as well.
For the refrigerator method: Store in the fridge 33-38 F in lightly moist Canadian Peat Moss for 90-120 days, then put at room temperature. Seeds will then start sprouting from 7-30 days. Do not let the seeds dry out in this process. Rarely will they rot in the plastic bag but at the same time do not flood the media with water. Germination is slow but sure with this species and you can direct plant the sprouted ones outside if you want. Rarely will rodents bother them.
1000 seeds per pound depending on the selection. By mid November an exact number will be put up once processing has caught up.
|Genus & Species||Diospyros virginiana|
|Seed Source||Michigan-Seedlings were grown from Killen, John Rick, Beaver, Morris Burton, Early Golden, Pipher over 30 years ago. All open pollinated from these hardy wild selections from the northern range.|
|Hardiness||-25F or more.|
|Pollination Requirements||Male and female on separate trees-50-50 mix of male and female trees grown from seed. It is not true there is 70 percent males in a population.|
|Soil||Amazingly diverse soils and this plant is quite vigorous in them all. Sand, loam, clay, alkaline or acidic.|
|Ease of Cultivation||Keep in mind in zone 5 almost all the plants will produce edible and delicious fruit, however you may find some that you like better than others. There may be certain environmental conditions where ripening is problematic and other times it is non existent. This is normal for the American persimmon even in the south.|