Tag Archives: Persimmon

Desperate Decision → Piddly Persimmon

September 15, 2021

No one in their right mind would buy a Persimmon Tree from Home Depot. Or would they … if desperate enough?

We ordered an Izu from a well-known nearby nursery in 2019. We received the bareroot tree in March of 2020 and made a nice home for it along the west fence.

Sat. Oct. 9 – Cider Fest!
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Oddly, by June, it still had not leafed out. I scratched the bark and there was green cambium so I gave it more time. By mid-June, I could tell the tree was dead. The rootstock lived but the graft did not take. Rats. Lost a year.

I was very anxious to order a replacement tree the following winter. The same nursery shipped one, again bare root, and it arrived February 26, 2021. Bare root indeed! It had no feeder roots whatsoever! Refund.

Here is where the desperation set in. I said to my self, “Self, you have to find a persimmon!”

Nobody had Izu. And, in late spring, most nearby nurseries didn’t have much in the way of persimmon at all … except … Home Depot. Can you believe it? I ordered a Fuyugaki Diospyros kaki from Home Depot. Shipped from Florida to Seattle. We called it the Florida persimmon. It seemed to shiver when we planted it. Well, at least it had roots.

Leafed out fairly quickly! Then, slowly but surely, the piddly persimmon was dead by July. Not that we were really expecting more.

But why did it die? Enter investigator West and investigator Lee. They carefully dug out the failure. At first, it seemed to be very well rooted, as there were large roots holding it down.

“Wait!”, Lee began, “Those sturdy roots don’t belong to the persimmon!” In fact, the roots belonged to the big American Elms nearby.

Lee and West didn’t really have to be careful. Once they cut the persimmon free of its entanglement with the elm roots, the Home Depot special pulled right out.  The tree never really got started. It leafed out based on the carbohydrates already stored in the plant. Clearly the roots were not in great shape because they never really connected with the soil to start any kind of flow.

Roots find water and the Elm roots deliberately jumped the fence and slurped up the available water we had been applying to the new tree.

So, as always, it’s not clear. Could be a combination of, trip from Florida was just too hard on the Fuyagaki and/or the fact that it had severe root and water competition from two 50-foot Elms.

I just picked up a new Maekawa Jiro from Burnt Ridge Nursery. Not an Izu, but we will treat it with the same respect. Once it is in the ground, please come by and speak sweetly to it.


Retirement Planning – Plants in the Spotlight

November 5, 2020

We are excited to introduce Karin Baer, our new intern. Karin is working toward a Urban Agriculture Production Certificate within the Horticulture Program at Edmonds College. She began helping in September and will be with us until the end of the term.

Karin worked many years as a nurse practitioner, until 2019, when she retired.

“I knew I wanted some structure after retirement. I have been gardening a long time, and so was drawn to the Edmonds horticulture classes.”

Now she can enjoy a deeper understanding of plants, and especially fruit and nut bearing plants. (Karin visited FECO last summer, as a student participant for the summer pruning class, taught by Ingela.)

“Horticulture Internships are not easy to come by,” she told me. “It’s because of COVID. Free labor sounds great but it’s challenging enough for organizations to deal with their regular employees.”

Volunteers are needed!
by appointment
please email freewayestatescommunityorchard@gmail.com

During her internship, she has been, or will be, working on pest management, orchard floor management, pruning, micro-climate observations, plant identification, propagation, and planting. She will gain experience in making compost via a thermal process, root pruning, and eventually, winter pruning and compost tea application.

Karin is reliable, alert, helpful, asks good questions and definitely pulls her own weight. She didn’t complain once about banding trees against winter moth protection, which involved getting up and down from the ground about 30 times. Then, she noticed we forgot a tree and she offered to go finish the job!

The most important plant skill to have is keen observation and Karin has a good eye. Last week I was spouting off about plant succession, or some such topic, and she stopped me. “Ruth, look at that persimmon.” Most of the noted persimmon had been scoured out by a rat. Thank you Karin.

This is the first year the rats have targeted the persimmons so I was taken by surprise. Some netting and upside down pie pans were applied to the tree but, we shall see if the strategy works.

If you volunteer on Thursdays between 11-2 you will meet Karin and you will surely enjoy this plant enthusiast.