I want to start out by saying in this blog post by stating the obvious. Persimmons aren't figs and isn't this a fig blog, so why am I posting about persimmons? Well.. the persimmon is near and dear to my heart. It's actually my favorite fruit. More so than figs for the simple fact that it's like eating some of my best figs but on a very consistent basis. Maybe if I lived in Southern California my opinion would change, but here.. they're extremely hard to beat for that amazing experience we all look for. If you love figs, I promise that you'll love persimmons.
This is what my oldest tree (Rosseyanka) looks like after a pretty significant pruning job:
Now one of the biggest problems with persimmon trees (especially with young trees) is that they tend to drop fruit. It's a pretty common phenomenon among all persimmon trees actually, but with some interesting points I've read in the persimmon bible titled, "Persimmon Culture in New Zealand," I'm hopeful my tree will stop most or some of the fruit drop that occurs every spring.
From the book:
As you can see fruit drop is reduced by pollination. However with pollination, seeds will be present within the fruit. You also need a tree that produces male flowers. Just like with figs, there are different types of persimmon trees. Some requiring pollination. Others are parthenocarpic.
The other important point mentioned was the insufficient sunlight. Opening the center of my tree is what I suspected was necessary last year and to no surprise my tree again dropped fruit this prior season after I had decided to wait on pruning out the central leader of the tree. Now I have as you can see below. These are before and after photos.
I also pruned out all of the upward vigorous shoots that in other fruit trees can be problematic in terms of long term form, but also for maximizing light penetration. Staying on top of summer pruning to prevent shoots from getting too vigorous and with the pruning I have done to get my tree to the more appropriate form, I hope to have success this year. Updates to come.