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Persimmon Grafting Help
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Author:  Victor [ Wed May 08, 2013 9:48 am ]
Post subject:  Persimmon Grafting Help

While I have had pretty close to 100% success grafting apples and plums, my persimmon grafts have all failed. Do persimmons require some special grafting techniques? I found one source online that recommended chip grafting persimmons. I have tried chip budding along with whip & tongue grafts in early spring with dormant scions. Is here a better way or time? It seems like persimmon scion wood tends to deteriorate pretty fast, so that could be a factor too.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Author:  Viron [ Fri May 10, 2013 6:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Persimmon Grafting Help

Hi Victor, it’s been awhile since I grafted persimmons, but they were Asian persimmons grafted to rootstock provided by our society, which I presumed were American seedlings.

They were whip & tongue grafts, three trees, and done at what I thought was the optimum time (when I’d acquired both parts after our Spring Exchange). It may have been four months after I grafted them before they shown any growth! I’d actually written them off as ‘dead’ and neglected caring for them in a garden bed where grass had nearly choked them out. Just as I approached with a roto-tiller, ready to churn them under …I noticed some glossy leaves had sprouted – and each one of them lived - two of them now …25 year old producing trees!

Once established, they appear to leaf out around the time of our local oaks and are quite ‘conservative’ in comparison to apples. Heat may also have been a factor, and I hadn’t neglected them until I’d given up hope …likely a couple of months after ‘apples’ would have pushed new growth. But they did it – and I vaguely recall (being a much younger member at the time) describing this to some of our senior members then watching them smile as they told me something like, “They’ll take … you just have to give them time.”

So I wouldn’t give up just yet ~ But I’ve also come to feel nearly every deciduous fruit tree has better odds of success when budded. …you don’t see commercial nurseries messing around with whip & tongue grafts.. But often the timing works best for us; dormant rootstock and available scions. Now any more, I’m ready and willing to defer to several other members whose grafting experience beyond ‘the usual suspects’ exceeds my own – so keep a lookout for their answers.

Author:  Rooney [ Sun May 12, 2013 5:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Persimmon Grafting Help

So I'll jump on since it's been two days "deferring" and waiting on the more experienced.

J. Lehman is another experienced hand that has over 10 acres of persimmons. You won't find him on this forum and he wrote me so I have to share his experiences about persimmon grafting. Just wait until the bark is "well into the slip", and Viron is completely right.

So that early like March I think I would be waiting to store scions in the fridge first. Secondly I would use parafilm on the whole scion. Some members including myself have used yellow doc farewells on the whole scion but I will do this no more!

What I find is the yellow layer to be very tricky about softening up again to let growth through, and something to be more concerned when bud is not swelling or bursting soon enough. Next year again, I am only using the product for it's intended use of covering only the grafted portion.

Author:  Victor [ Sun May 12, 2013 6:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Persimmon Grafting Help

Thanks Viron and Rooney!

I just posted a reply message and it disappeared somewhere, so am trying again. I'll give these persimmon graft some more time, as you suggest. There is still hope.

Author:  John S [ Sun May 12, 2013 9:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Persimmon Grafting Help

Hi Victor,
I agree with Viron and Rooney.

Don't graft on a newly planted Persimmon. Wait until it has been established from the previous year. Don't graft it until it has opened a complete leaf- the first one. In the PNW, this will likely be in May. Don't let any other branches out compete it, especially on American persimmon. Also don't let any growth from under the scion grow of course. Keep it watered on these hot dry days, especially when it's young. I have lost some from just a couple of days of dry heat. Remember, since we have to wait until it's hot to graft, the sun is much hotter in May than in March, and it can get burned easily. In it's native range, it is hot and rainy in the summer and spring. I think the graft take is actually not any harder than apples, but the other details are crucial. They do take slowly typically.
John S

Author:  Victor [ Mon May 13, 2013 11:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Persimmon Grafting Help

Thanks John,

This is an established rootstock, since it is left over from last year's failed grafting. It had branched out, so I used some of the branches for grafts and left several to keep the tree going if the grafts failed. This year I did the grafting at the end of March, which may have been too early, as you say. I did another graft on a remaining branch about 3 weeks ago, which did seem like a better time for persimmon grafting (leaves just coming out). So maybe I'll see some action soon.

Author:  Victor [ Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Persimmon Grafting Help

Success! As a followup, I wanted to let folks know that some the persimmon grafts eventually did take in mid-May. This meant that the grafts spent almost 3 months dormant on the tree before kicking in and leafing out. I did give it the treatment suggested by John S with plenty of water. Also removed all other branches and leaves from the rootstock so that it was either do, or die. They have since grown significantly with almost 3 feet of new growth.

Author:  Viron [ Mon Sep 02, 2013 3:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Persimmon Grafting Help

They’ll take … you just have to give them time.:mrgreen:

Author:  John S [ Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Persimmon Grafting Help

Nice work, Victor.

Many people are too intimidated to graft persimmons, but I think it's not particularly hard if you pay attention to the details.
JOhn S

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