Persimmons are native trees and the fruit is packed with healthy antioxidants and it fits with the Grow Native/ Grow Local food trends. Since it is well adapted, many farmers have persimmon patches scattered on their property.
However, they are rarely utilized because wild persimmons tend to produce small, seedy fruit and only female trees bear. Grafted trees of improved varieties (larger size, fewer seeds, better flavor) are now available from nurseries but can be costly.
Grafting improved varieties to existing seedlings can improve production because: 1) The fruit will have marketable value, 2) selected scions are all female and will bear, 3) the rootstock is well adapted to the region, and 4) This is a low cost and sustainable method.
However, most grafting systems work best on small seedlings. Wild seedlings vary in size and to take advantage of the well-established root systems it would be best to also graft to the larger sized trees.
This project is designed to test/demonstrate grafting on large diameter persimmon native seedlings (.5 to 3.0-inch diameter) and measure comparative success. A second objective is to provide a preliminary economic comparison of grafting native seedlings compared to purchased nursery trees.
Project objectives from proposal:
Project Objectives are:
1. Evaluate bark inlay/arrowhead grafting methods on large persimmon seedlings (.5, 1.0, 1.5. 2.0, 2.5, 3.0 inches in diameter). Share data through field days and conference/poster presentations.
2. Provide a preliminary economic comparison of grafted natives vs. purchased grafted trees.
3. Promote and increase the use of improved persimmons with Missouri farmers through public relations articles and conferences