Author: Emily Courtney
If you’re lucky enough to have persimmons on your property, you know how beneficial they can be for attracting wildlife. When fruiting, they’re magnets for all kinds of critters, especially whitetails. Very few native trees offer soft mast during the fall, making persimmons a highly sought after commodity in early bow season. If you have them and haven’t noticed them getting this kind of attention, they may need a little micro-managing to give them a boost. Here are a few strategies that can help you get the most from your persimmons.
Common persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) is a perennial tree native to the lower 48. It is highly adaptable and occurs on a wide variety of sites and soil types. It is dioecious, meaning that each tree is either male or female, and only female individuals produce fruit. There is no way to distinguish male from female except when they are fruiting, which typically occurs from September to November. If you have persimmons on your place, but have never clearly identified the females, take the opportunity to do so this fall. Find the individuals that are producing fruit and flag them so that you can concentrate your management efforts on them next spring.
You can maximize an individual tree’s fruiting potential by eliminating any surrounding competition and fertilizing. In the spring, go back and mow under the flagged trees, or use a backpack sprayer to apply herbicide to any competing plants or trees. Be sure to use a chemical that won’t harm the persimmon. There are a few different methods you can use to fertilize mature trees. Mossy Oak Nativ Nurseries offers pre-mixed fertilizer packets called “Tree Paks” that make it easy and convenient. You may even want to enhance these areas further by planting additional persimmons and creating an orchard. Nativ Nurseries offers “Rapid Mast” persimmon seedlings that will take off and catch up with your existing trees in no time. These orchards are perfect spots to set up trail cameras and bow stands.
These strategies can be used to give a boost to any of your favorite mast-producing species. Putting forth this little extra effort will make a huge difference in attracting wildlife to these trees. Apply these tips to your persimmons this season, and you’ll reap the benefits for years to come.