How to prune a Jiro persimmon with lots of water sprouts

Asked March 23, 2018, 9:28 PM EDT

Last year my tree was cut way back to keep it contained it in the little front yard. It's always been very healthy and produces nice autumn fruit. This is what it's doing now in March. Suggestions on how I should prune it to maximize fruit production please? Thank you.

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

It looks like you removed so much of the tree that it has put out a lot of new growth. (Don't remove more than a 1/4th of a tree at one time.) You'll want to clean up this growth (see bold below). Over a couple of years, try to get it closer to what is described below.
Also, when pruning, try to cut back one branch to the juncture where it is attached to a larger branch. If you must cut in the middle of a branch, try to limit this to small branches.

Here is how you prune a persimmon for maximum production:

Shape young plants by pruning the shoots during the first few seasons. This pruning forces growth into framework branches off a central leader. The goal is to develop a pyramid shape with three to five main limbs at about 1-foot intervals on the trunk, beginning at about 3 feet above ground level.

Prune mature plants during the winter. Remove crossover, shaded, diseased, and broken branches. Open the canopy to prevent self shading, reduce excessively vigorous shoot growth, and regulate crop load. Remove limbs with narrow crotches because they create dead areas on the limbs; preserve limbs that grow off the leader at wide angles. Persimmon fruit develops on branches that have grown in the current season. To keep the limbs from drooping, prune secondary branches so that the bearing shoots remain close to the main branches.