Monday, November 14, 2011

FAQ: What's going on with my persimmon tree?

I have a Japanese persimmon tree with two different kinds of leaves. One part of the tree has longer, narrower leaves. Another part has fatter leaves. The part with the narrow leaves doesn't bear fruit. What's going on with my persimmon tree?

I'm often asked questions such as this, mostly about common fruit trees like apples, peaches and pears. Japanese persimmon (Diospyros kaki) scions are often grafted onto American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) seedling rootstocks. It sounds to me like the rootstock of your tree sprouted and grew, perhaps even overtaking your Japanese persimmon. The American persimmon is the one with the narrower leaves. You should remove the rootstock sprout, but it will surely sprout again - maybe even producing more sprouts next time. The larger the rootstock sprout has become the more new sprouts it will produce. If the rootstock sprout is as thick as your arm, you've got trouble. You'll have to stay on top of the situation and remove the new sprouts as soon as they appear.

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