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 Ripening Persimmons 
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Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2004 9:09 am
Posts: 138
Location: Canby, OR Z8
Post Ripening Persimmons
I have a Fuyu (from OneGreenWorld) that is loaded with persimmons. They are as yet quite hard, crunchy and bland in flavor. Can I take them off the tree and ripen them indoors? How would that effect the quality? What's the preferred method?

There's two reasons I'd like to get them inside:

1) I have a raccoon visiting each night and he's starting to climb up and tear branches off.
2) We have some possible mid-20's low temperatures coming up and I don't know what that will do to them. Will those temperatures ruin the fruit?

Below is a picture of the ripest looking fruits I could find. They are very hard, no softening at all.
In mid season I did some major thinning, although now I'm thinking it wasn't enough. Is thinning generally recommended? As it is, limbs are bending down drastically.

Is it difficult to ripen persimmons in this PNW climate? I'm in Canby, south of Portland, OR. Are there better varieties that ripen more reliably?

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Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:38 am
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1355
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Ripening Persimmons
I have heard that they can ripen indoors. I don't know if you put them in a paper bag with a banana or not. I would google it.

Izu is earlier and ripens pretty reliably. It's also a very small tree.

American persimmons ripen earlier, but you have to carefully choose which variety to grow, because of the many varieties, some will always ripen here and some will almost never ripen. They are smaller and you need a male on most varieties. I greatly prefer the flavor and subtleness off American persimmons, but I am in the minority on this one. The flavor is less sweet and more complex than an Asian persimmon.

This has been a very late year due to lack of sunshine.
John S
PDX OR


Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:43 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
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Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Ripening Persimmons
I forgot to mention: Izu is one of the non=astringent kinds that you can eat when firm like an apple or soft like a tomato. This can be a factor when talking about ripening persimmons.
John S
PDX OR


Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:44 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2004 9:09 am
Posts: 138
Location: Canby, OR Z8
Post Re: Ripening Persimmons
Anyone know what temperatures these can withstand hanging on the tree?
We're dropping a few degrees below 20F soon, according to forecasts.


Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:09 am
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Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:10 am
Posts: 95
Location: Corvallis
Post Re: Ripening Persimmons
Being as we've had funky weather and all sorts of fruit has not ripened well, your fuyu this year probably aren't representative of what they will be like most years.

My inclination would be to pick them today, but I'm no expert.


Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:27 am
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1155
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Ripening Persimmons
As that massive photo causes ‘me’ to do an annoying slide while reading, I suggest copy & pasting these responses to a document file for easy reading…


I hope you’ve picked them before today! I picked mine …Sunday morning, perhaps a day too late considering the hard freeze we got. Yours look frosty, too… Freezing will basically wreck them as part begins to decay before the rest ripens.

They ripen great inside; I bring some to room temperature, store some in an unheated basement and refrigerate the remainder. And as mentioned, Fuyu can be eaten ‘crunchy’ or soft – I like them best in-between.

Yes, raccoons will wipe out the tree and the fruit, in about two days… and birds will get anything they don’t. The trees drop their leaves instantly after a hard freeze and once the fruit’s exposed …though they look beautiful, things find it.

I leave mine on the tree as long as possible, until temperatures are predicted around 25… though I may have blown it this year … along with my fuzzy kiwi… Canby’s likely as warm as the valley floor and should be fine for Fuyu. I’d say you made the best all-round selection. I have three Fuyu’s and one… whose Japanese name I can’t pronounce or recall at the moment. But it’s more like the ‘American’ persimmons; ‘astringent’ and only eatable after softening. It actually ripens at the same rate as my Fuyu’s so I pick together and prefer their more complex flavor.

I’ve never thinned my persimmons, they actually appear to thin themselves. If you watch beneath them during the summer they’ll shed excessive fruit. But I’ve also seen them nearly break a tree down with fruit – and given their extremely brittle branches, if you notice a massive fruit set, it might be best to thin or prop up major branches…

They like full sun, like most fruit trees, and as mentioned, Canby should be great – likely warmer than me :wink:

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Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:07 pm
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Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:22 am
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Location: Scappoose OR
Post Re: Ripening Persimmons
I picked my fuyu's last night. They seemed to be fine except for two (out of the 18, the this the first year those two trees have produced). One was very soft and dark orange. That one was eaten last night and was fairly good, with the plup being very soft (spooned out like a ripe Hachiya). The second one was the next darkest one, it was still a bit firm (able to be peeled like an apple). Both were a bit on the 'not super strong flavor' side of things, almost a bit watery tasting. I'm thinking that was due to a cool wet summer and a resulting lack of sugar/flavor in the fruit. The trees are in an open field with full sunlight so it's not an exposure issue. But the fruit were wonderful to have and I look forward to watching the last 16 over the next few days (in an unheated section of the garage).

Chris


Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:31 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2004 9:09 am
Posts: 138
Location: Canby, OR Z8
Post Re: Ripening Persimmons
Thanks for the replies.
I played it safe and picked my Fuyu tree on Monday afternoon. We have had only the slightest bit of frost up til that time. My picture I posted looks like the fruit have frost on them, but it's just dew. I left some on the tree to see what would happen to them over Monday night. I brought one of those in on Tuesday, let it warm up for 8 hours, and I could see darkening, lost of color, and increasing translucency from the top of the fruit to 3/4 of the way to the bottom. I figure it's a goner. The ones that are still out there, even more so. Now... what to do with all these persimmons? There's a dozen on the kitchen counter, maybe 40 in the garage, and the rest went into my "root cellar" which this morning (Wednesday) is holding at 36F.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2143073/09-00-00/DSCN1382.JPG

I think next year I will thin like mad. There's too many fruits as it is. Even with the substantial thinning I did this year, the branches were severely bent. I think they would have snapped with no thinning. The thinning I did was quite late, after the fruits were 2/3 full size. It's so easy to think that you've thinned enough when you really haven't. I can't help but think that increased thinning would lead to better ripening, but I don't really know.


Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:23 am
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1155
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Ripening Persimmons
As that massive photo causes ‘me’ to do an annoying slide while reading, I suggest copy & pasting these responses to a document file for easy reading…

When I’ve had bumper crops of persimmons I’ve dried them; slicing them in ¼ inch rounds. I never peel the Fuyu’s (fresh or dried) but do let them ripen inside to ‘tomato soft’ before drying, which seems the peak of their flavor. Last year I did peel the smaller astringent persimmons (I’d described) before drying them – they melt in your mouth! …Otherwise, I’ve got gallons of dried Fuyu’s.

Or, you can eat a couple a day, as they naturally ripen. Again, the ‘skins’ are really no problem. And from what you described as frost damage, I don’t believe there’s any way to salvage them. As mentioned, the freeze damaged area will rot before the rest ripens. My Mother, having grown up in the mid-west, insists ‘you don’t eat persimmons until after a hard freeze.’ Now she’s thinking of American persimmons which are too puckery to eat until soft, but the ones I have that resemble “Americans” get as messed up by a freeze as do the Asians – they thaw, stop ripening and rot – with nothing salvageable.

As with all fruit, the sooner you thin, the better; it injects more energy into the ones you leave. But considering the late (never-ending) Spring we had this year, yours look perfect. Mine are slightly greener.

Another suggestion, which likely applies to most fruit; remove all fruit from your trees, whether you use it or not -- my only exception being apples (their limbs can handle raccoons and generations of birds have come to depend on them). For years my Persimmons were either ignored, or I’d removed the fruit before the wildlife found it. Once they find it - generations will come after it! As much as I love to leave some for the birds, especially with lows in the teens, they’ll be the first one’s poking holes through the ripest fruit from that point on. …My ripest persimmons were tossed on a garden spot due to bird pecking … but they’ll have to peck through concrete walls to reach the rest! -- Actually, I’ll toss a few into the snow for them.

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Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:56 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2004 9:09 am
Posts: 138
Location: Canby, OR Z8
Post Re: Ripening Persimmons
Viron, sorry about the big picture. I've never posted a picture here before and didn't know it would cause a problem. I'll use a link from now on, or a more modestly sized picture. And that seems like a good idea to remove all the old fruits. I just now went out and took the last dozen off the tree that I had left for the sake of experimentation. Those, and the ones on the ground, are now in the compost bin under a layer of leaves. I hope y'all are right that these things will flavor up indoors, cuz now they're bland as heck, with a tiny bit of astringency too. Time will tell.


Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:57 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1355
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Ripening Persimmons
I appreciate you guys sharing your experiments with these fruit. There are a lot of us who also have a lot of one kind of fruit, and are seeing which of them store well, dry well, can well, or can be turned into fruit leather. I agree with Viron that American persimmons are the ones that you can freeze hard outside. I am experimenting with freezing some American persimmons whole to see how they'll be. A productive persimmon tree can give you a great amount of fruit that if preserved well, can last well into the winter. Not only is this interesting and useful now, we may need to be the leaders who share and teach people how to do this as peak oil runs out.
John S
PDX OR


Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:19 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2004 9:09 am
Posts: 138
Location: Canby, OR Z8
Post Re: Ripening Persimmons
OK, my persimmons did ripen up by leaving them on the kitchen counter. I've been eating them for a week or two now. Mild flavor to be sure, sweet and not astringent, but nothing to write home about. But a good, fresh, homegrown fruit to have around in December. Just one small tree in the corner of my back yard and I get like 200 persimmons. I'm quite pleased with this result and I'm sure I'll be eating persimmons every year from here on in.


Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:42 am
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