Author Topic: Persimmons!!!  (Read 7253 times)

Yenling83

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Persimmons!!!
« on: November 20, 2012, 10:48 AM »
I sure love Persimmon Bonsai!
Does anyone know names of varieties besides Princess Persimmon that are commonly used for Bonsai in Japan?  Anyone know where someone could buy some Princess Persimmon or any of these other types of Persimmon seed?
 

nathanbs

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Re: Persimmons!!!
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2012, 11:32 AM »
Vicky at House of Bonsai in Lakewood California has some pretty sweet little ones growing in the ground. Not cheap though. Like $250 I think for a tree with a 1-2" base decent movement and branching
 

Leo in NE Illinois

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Re: Persimmons!!!
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2012, 02:19 PM »
I recommend the US native American persimmon. Diospyros virginiana. I haven't used them for bonsai, but for fruit, they can begin flowering and fruiting in as little as 6 years in the Chicago area. I planted seedlings on my sister's property, for the fruit. They are nearly 10 feet tall in 8 years. The trees tend to produce mostly flowers of one sex, so you need to keep a few to guarantee fruit. If, like me you hike were you occasionally see persimmons, pick a few up. Remove the flesh from the seeds (after the first frost, when they are soft-ripe, I eat the flesh to remove it, yum) Then plant the seeds immediately. Don't let the seed dry out. I just put the pot outside for the winter, but you could put the seed in a plastic bag with a little damp sphagnum, and store in the refrigerator until after last frost in spring. Then plant them out.

I have seen photos of bonsai done with D. virginiana, and I think they compare quite favorably in leaf and trunk and bark characteristics to D. kaki. Fruit is smaller than the culinary D. kaki, and perhaps twice the size of Princess Persimmons. Perhaps someone with more direct experience with D. virginiana will comment about using them as bonsai. The bark on a mature D. virginiana is nice, with a check pattern of small plates. I see bark beginning on 7 and 8 year old trees in the ground. So it could make a nice bonsai.

The genus Diospyros is the genus that includes tropical hardwood, ebony. Like ebony the D. virginiana will develop black heart wood once the trunk gets something near 75 to 100 years old. The wood, even the younger sap wood is fairly dense and hard. I believe persimmon will hold a shape well once wired. I also believe that once a bend is set, it will be difficult to change it. Wire in shape while they are young.

I personally think a tree ripened, American persimmon, that was picked from the tree after several frosts, so it is soft-ripe, is one of the top 10 best flavored fruits in the world. The flavor is superior to commercial D. kaki, much spicier and more aromatic. The sweetness is surprising, especially if you ever tasted one that wasn't quite ripe. I would suggest putting at least a couple in the ground for every tree you bonsai, and raise them for the fruit also. It will never be commercial the way the D. kaki is, because to create a persimmon you can harvest, box up and ship, you have to breed out the very traits that make the D. virginiana so superior in flavor to D. kaki.

I have not personally bought from these vendors, but I was planning on ordering from them late winter this year. Both offer seedlings of Diospyros virginiana. Oikos offers slightly older seedlings to 24 inches tall, Musser's has bare root bundles for the economy minded.

http://www.musserforests.com/browse.asp?m=1&p=x
http://www.oikostreecrops.com/store/home.asp
 

William N. Valavanis

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Re: Persimmons!!!
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2012, 04:27 PM »
Julian Adams, Adams Bonsai in Lynchburg, VA grows and propagates Princess Persimmon. He has numerous specimens for sale, both female and male. I believe he might have some seed for sale now too.

Contact Julian at: http://www.adamsbonsai.com

But he is here in Japan with me now studying the different variants of this prized plant.

Bill

Attached is one of my Princess Persimmon shohin bonsai from seed.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 04:33 PM by William N. Valavanis »
 

Yenling83

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Re: Persimmons!!!
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2012, 12:38 AM »
Thank you for the great reply's!!!
 

Owen Reich

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Re: Persimmons!!!
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2012, 08:21 AM »
Here's one I just defoliated and cleaned up.  Sold the next day to a Taiwanese bonsai pro.

I love the native too.  D. viginiana has excellent qualities for bonsai.  I have one collected kifu size tree with shari and movement.  I know very little about them as bonsai, but will be learning soon.  I really like the evergreen princess persimmons called Tokiwagaki. 

Only thing I can add is don't try to use the D. kaki selected for edible fruit as the varieties like 'Giant Fuyu' have thick branches and sometimes softball size fruit...
 

Leo in NE Illinois

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Re: Persimmons!!!
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2012, 10:45 AM »
very nice
 

GastroGnome

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Re: Persimmons!!!
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2012, 01:56 AM »
I'm also a big fan of Tokiwa Persimmon, along with Goji berry and Beauty Berry and Nashi, theyre one of my favorite underutilized fruiting varieties.  The fruit looks like a pomegranate without the nub at the bottom, is much larger than the princesses, but not so stupid big that they can't be used for shohin.  Bark takes on a nice black like the princess.  And, though the fruit is large, it doesn't look nearly as strange as, say, Chinese Quince, as the backdrop of evergreen leaves tones down the size.
Some examples:
http://page21.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/j210339731
http://page21.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/j210339729?
 

Yenling83

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Re: Persimmons!!!
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2012, 02:33 PM »
Thanks Gastro, I really like these too!!!  Any idea where you could get some seed? 
 

GastroGnome

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Re: Persimmons!!!
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2012, 03:40 PM »
No clue.  I haven't been able to find the taxonomic info for Tokiwa Kaki, so I haven't been able to find a seed source.  Maybe Owen can help out a bit with the species name.
 

GastroGnome

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Re: Persimmons!!!
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2012, 03:45 PM »
Oh, but yenling, there is another evergreen variety I'm trying out, native to South Africa so needs tropical protection, leaves are whitish and look a bit like olives with very short internodes.  Diospyros Ramulosa, "Namaqua Firesticks".  Info is sparse, but seed is readily available.
 

GastroGnome

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Re: Persimmons!!!
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2012, 03:49 PM »
And one more thing, if you're looking for seed, don't look for Diospyros Kaki, you looking for Diospyros Rhombifolia, or "Diamond Leaf Persimmon" if you want Princess Persimmon seed.  Seedlings and seeds are readily available online.
 

Yenling83

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Re: Persimmons!!!
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2012, 02:18 PM »
Quick Question about Males vs Females:

How long would it take to determine which are males and which are females if you are growing from seed?  Also, is there any other way to determine male from female besides seeing fruit? thanks
 

GastroGnome

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Re: Persimmons!!!
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2012, 02:35 PM »
My princess persimmons from seed start flowering at 4-7yrs.  Don't think there is really any other way.  My males seem to have finer small branching and leaves, but that could be independent of sex. I find the Most reliable means of propagation with virtually instant fruiting, no graft scars, and known sex is root cuttings from a fruiting tree. 
 

Yenling83

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Re: Persimmons!!!
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2012, 07:37 PM »
My princess persimmons from seed start flowering at 4-7yrs.  Don't think there is really any other way.  My males seem to have finer small branching and leaves, but that could be independent of sex. I find the Most reliable means of propagation with virtually instant fruiting, no graft scars, and known sex is root cuttings from a fruiting tree. 

Sell me some root cuttings!!!:)