Persimmon trees are not flowering or producing fruit

Asked October 5, 2019, 2:16 PM EDT

I have around 14 to 16 persimmon trees on my property that are not flowering or producing any fruit. They are in my woods and are older then i am. I dont know what kind of persimmon trees they are. I know we are in a drought this year but the ones that are close to my driveway have never produced any fruit or flowered for many years now. I have even cut the wild grape vines off of them so they wont get choked out. Some of these trees are easy to get to if they need fertilized or watered. But i have others that are harder to get to. I dont believe they where ever planted. I believe that they have just growed on this property. My grandparents never told me if they planted them or not. But im wandering what i can do if anything to get them to start producing flowers and fruit. They seam to be good hardy trees with no damage or any kind of rot in them. They are around 30 feet tall and i can just wrap my arms around them. If that helps on figuring out how old they are. Even in the years we dont have a drought i have not seen any fruit on them. But i do have a few that is farther down the hill that are in the holler that has some fruit on them even though we are in this drought but not a lot of fruit. Thanks

Jackson County West Virginia

1 Response

This is a perplexing question with no easy answer. It looks like you have native American seedling persimmon trees. There are two types of these that grow in the US. The northern 90 chromosome type that will set fruit without pollination and the southern 60 chromosome type that requires pollination. You live in the southern 60 chromosome type area so your trees require pollination. American persimmon trees are either male or female. As you would expect male trees don't produce any fruit. Trees that are purchased of known varieties have been selected for fruit production, will be female and we know what the fruit that they produce will be like. When a seed is planted it may produce a male or female tree, you can't tell what you have until the tree begins flowering. If it is female it could be a good producer or not. You may have seedling trees around your house that are not productive or primarily male trees. They have has plenty of time to produce and haven't. If the trees are heavily shaded they may not produce fruit, but it sounds like your trees are large enough that this isn't the problem. The fact that your persimmon trees in the valley produce fruit indicates that your site is one capable of producing fruit. Watering and fertilizing your existing non-fruiting trees won't get them to start fruiting. When we have extremely wet springs persimmon leaf spot defoliates the trees and causes the fruit to abort. There is not much that you can do about this as there are no fungicide sprays cleared for leaf spot on persimmons. My only suggestion is to possibly graft named varieties into some of your existing trees or plant some named varieties around your home. Varieties like Prok, Early Golden, Early Jewel, Lehman's Delight and Valeene Beauty are excellent northern types that will set fruit without pollination and grow well in your area.