Persimmon Tree, No Fruit

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Kate H of Santa Cruz County Writes:

I am a backyard gardener in Santa Cruz County with a 9 year old Fuyu persimmon that has never borne fruit, nor indeed effectively bloomed.  Last year it had two blossoms for the first time, this year there are none.  It seems to get adequate sun, water, and I have fed it for the past three years at the suggestion of our local nurseryman. Other than not blooming it is a beautiful tree. When I planted it I cut off the terminal trunk at four feet off the ground, well above an apparent graft six inches or so above ground, in an attempt to get the tree to crown at a lower height.

My question is; should I just tear the damn thing out at this point and try with a new tree?  Could I only have root stock on this thing.Is there anything you might suggest to encourage blooming?  I recognize the non-showy flowers, and do not think it is a case of nonpollination, but would planting another fuyu help?  Any suggestions you can give would be welcomed.

Thanks much!

Hi Kate, thanks for your message!
All fruit trees should bloom and give fruit by at least nine years of age if not sooner.  It sounds like your tree may have bad genetics.  Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to force the tree to bloom. If you know anyone (maybe a Master Gardener?) good at grafting, or want to try it yourself, here’s a link to a publication that may help. It would seem a shame to pull out such a beautiful tree. I’m curious where you purchased it. Usually local nurseries do a great job of providing high quality trees. However, if you did decide to pull it out and replace it, you’d have a tree producing persimmons in the first year or so, and after a few years a large crop of fruit.

I planted a fuyu persimmon tree just two years ago, and last year harvested about 35 persimmons. Writing about persimmons makes me wish for winter again! I can never get enough.

I hope this information helps, keep me posted!



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13 Responses to Persimmon Tree, No Fruit

  1. Sue Baek says:

    I have about 6 yr old Persimmon tree.
    On the 2nd year after I planted, I got about 100 friuts. After that ,I am getting less and less each year. 20 fruits, then 5 fruit and that 2. I gave 10-10-10 last fall and this spring and I had unusually more flowers which turned many many little fruits. They pretty much all dropped and I have about 3 friuts this year.
    Soil is well draining, I live in NY and we get a lot of rain in spring and summer.
    I confess I didn’t prune much ( because I was afraid of cutting branches)
    Anything else I should do ??

  2. Rose Ann Stire says:

    Our persimmon tree is in full sun. It’s probably 7 years old. This year it’s looking very sad. The leaves are turning in and droopy. What do u suggest. I had 6 pieces of fruit last year, and this year there are two. We live in so ca. Granada hills.

    • Anne says:

      Hi Rose Ann, how often are you watering the tree? Is it in a lawn? Drooping leaves are usually a sign of not enough water. The best way to water a tree is to give it “deep water.” You can do this by putting a garden hose underneath the tree and turning the water on low for several hours. Or use a soaker hose and place that around the base of the tree about 2-3 feet away from the trunk. You may need to do this every month during the dry season. Also, don’t fertilize your tree. Persimmon trees do not require much fertilizer. Hopefully the tree leaves will show signs of recovery. If not, continue the monthly schedule and by next spring your tree should show signs of improvement.

  3. Steve says:

    We have to Persimmon trees for 5 years now. One started to flower this year, but then they all fell off. Any reason why? I have never seen them grow so I do not know if this is normal?

    • Anne says:

      Hi Steve, has your tree ever produced fruit? some fruit and flower drop is normal with trees and is the way they naturally “thin” themselves to get rid of extra fruit. If you’ve never gotten fruit, it could have to do with the way you are watering. Deep water is the best for any kind of tree. Place a soaker hose around the base of tree, 2-3 feet away from the trunk and water for several hours. You can do the same thing with a garden hose, leave it at the base of the tree for several hours each month. this will help the tree stay healthy.

  4. Phyllis says:

    I just planted my persimmon fuyu tree and gave it deep enough ground 3x the size of the roots I heard and twice or more as wide in Full Sun according to the directions living in the Urban south of Ga our climate is hot and off and on dry in summer but damp in August plenty of green blooms and buds tree was about 6ft tall when I got it.Wondered and heard do you need to plant two at a time to get lots of fruits?and how many years will it take thanks!Does it need to be covered in frost winter?

    • Anne says:

      Hi Phyllis, it sounds like you might live in USDA Zone 9? If this is correct then you shouldn’t need to cover your tree in the winter. It usually takes Asian persimmon trees (like Hachiya and Fuyu) 2-3 years to begin bearing fruit.

  5. Gibbs Irene says:

    I am a backyard gardener and planted 2 persimmon trees about 20 years ago. Same location, exposure, watering, fertilizer treatment (manure/bedding from our sheep). The first tree got fruit after a few years. We did not prune correctly and halve of the tree split. I took about 5 more years before I got fruits. Most year the fruits are large and sometimes the fruits are small like a golfball. The second tree never gave any fruit and about after 19 years I suddenly had about 15 fruits, they were large and beautiful. The birds beat me to them I think I got 2 fruits. The next year the tree was loaded with large fruits. It took 20 years to get fruit and because I have acreage I never thought of pulling the tree out. It grew, looked nice but no fruit. This year I pruned a little late (buds showing) and I cam curious if I will get fruit from now on on a yearly basis. I am in zone 9 (Santa Rosa, CA towards Sebastopol) but my place usually gets the fog and cools down in the early evening. Enjoy your tree even without fruits it is a beautiful and bugfree tree.

    • Anne says:

      Hi Irene, does your tree have fruit? I apologize for not writing earlier, I was locked out of my website for a while. I’m not as tech savvy as I need to be!

  6. Harry Brooks says:

    Hi, we have a similar problem: now in our 3rd year and each year the tree only had 1 or 2 fruit–and they all dropped off while about 2 inches in diameter and very green. For 2 years I’ve given it fruit tree pound-in fertilizer stakes out on the drip line. Also, it is in the front yard and gets maximium sun exposure.

    • Anne says:

      Hi Harry, often persimmon trees won’t bear until about 5 years of age. In the meantime, make sure to water the tree deeply. They need at least 48″ of water each year. Fertilizing is best done when tree shoots start to grow but before they reach 12″ long, avoid over-fertilizing, because too much nitrogen can actually cause fruit drop. If you follow the fruit stake directions you should be fun. If you live in a very hot climate, it could be that the tree needs a bit of shade. Persimmon trees can live for over 50 years, so your tree is still young. Hopefully in the next two years you will see some fruit. Keep me posted!

  7. Linda Foley says:

    I too have a 6 year old Fufu that only produces one piece of fruit a year. The tree has beautiful leaves and is about 10 ft tall. How often do you water and prune? I live in California zone 7-9, tree gets full sun. Hope you can help.

    • Anne says:

      Hi Linda, I love fuyu persimmons, yum! Sorry to hear you aren’t getting much fruit. It’s important to water your tree deeply each month, especially during the dry season (May-September). To water deeply, use the tree canopy as a guide for where to set drip irrigation or a hose. Water for several hours each month. (Sprinkler water isn’t enough to reach deep roots).

      Major pruning should be done when the tree is young to help create branches that have adequate spacing. However, fuyus can withstand fairly heavy pruning, so you can still create some structure in your tree (maybe you already have). Prune after you’ve harvested the fruit (December/January). Keep 3-4 main branches with wide angles that are spaced around the tree like the spokes of a tire. Each of these main branches can have 2-3 smaller branches. Prune everything else off carefully, making sure not to wound the tree. You may want to pick up a pruning book on the topic. I wish I had some photos to show you…and I hope this helps!

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