Pollinating persimmon and gumi (Elaeagnus)

(John Romano) #1

I purchased a persimmon bonsai from CA that was in fruit when I bought it 2 years ago. I have gotten mixed information on whether it needs a pollinator or not. It has not fruited for me since I got it (2 seasons now) so I am thinking it may need one. There is one at New England Bonsai Gardens where I teach (in MA) that fruits every year and some years I know there is no other persimmon in the nursery so it seems to be a self pollinator. Any thoughts from those with experiences?
A second species I love is the Kangumi bonsai (elaeagnus). Mine have flowered every year and i love to have that fragrant flower in Oct / Nov! However none of mine have fruited. This year at the nursery, Jun Imabayashi, purchased a bunch of them from CA and put them all together when they were flowering last month. Most of them then produced fruit (as well as a large old one that has been at the nursery for about 7 years and never fruited until now!). So it appears that any similar gumi will pollinate another. This one is just an observation. Any comments appreciated. thanks! john

(Jeremiah Lee ) #2

Hey John! I believe there are some types of persimmon trees that don’t need a pollinator. My Fuyu yard tree always produced nice fruit each year without any other persimmons in my yard. However I believe certain types do require both the male and female plants in order to produce fruit. I believe Princess Persimmon requires both male and female.

(Alex Voorhies) #3

Here is a good description of Princess Persimmon fruiting by Brent at Evergreen Gardenworks.

“D. rhombifolia is polygamodioecious (whew!), that is,
they are essentially dioecious (male and female plants), but there are
a few complete flowers on some plants. For bonsai purposes, you should
consider them to be male and female. Only females will fruit and the
presence of a male plant will probably be necessary for pollination.”

Source: http://www.evergreengardenworks.com

(John Romano) #4

Thanks Alex. I saw that and this is what I suspect. I am on the lookout for a pollinator.

(Leo Schordje) #5

Just noticed this old thread. Alex V. is correct with his info, as is Brent at the Evergreen garden works website. A little additional info. Persimmon and pretty much all members of the genus Diospyros, including the exotic tropical members are as Brent said, polygamodioecious. So for bonsai consider them male and female. This includes the USA native persimmon, Diospyros virginiana, my favorite.

In addition, there are a fair number of cultivars that will produce fruit without being pollinated. When this happens, the fruit are seedless. In Diospyros kaki, the oriental persimmon, these cultivars are often the ones selected for fruit production. That is the reason store bought persimmons rarely have seeds. For the non-culinary persimmon species, in every batch of seedlings, maybe one or two out of 100 will produce seedless fruit if no pollinator is present. If you are lucky enough to have one, you can produce more by cuttings, air layers or grafting. Diospyros will root from cuttings, autumn hardwood cuttings are the ones that have worked for me, though I only get about 20% rooting in my primitive set up.

Generally to get fruit you do need a male persimmon and a female persimmon.

Elaeagnus are in the olive family, and it is common throughout the olive family to have the same dioecious pattern as persimmon. Though to the best of my limited knowledge, none of the olives will produce seedless fruit if no pollinator is present.

That is my 2 cents worth.

(Neli Stoyanova) #6

I have eleagnus (gumi) and it has never failed to fruit every year, weather I cut it back hard or not… I have only one. I am in warm climate>Africa. Planted in Semblance of Akadama.
at the moment it is covered with fruits (need to take a picture.) My biggest problem is last year it wlowered in Dec, this year in May? When does it flower normally? My trees are very abnormal and I dont know when to repot them because of that. This month is our time to repot all deciduous. The tree is from japan. Can I remove the fruit and repot it now, or what should I do? Total confusion here.

(Neli Stoyanova) #7

I can see most of the fruits have dropped by now, but some are left.

(Leo Schordje) #8

my guess is that there is a male gumi somewhere nearbyin the landscape or a neighbor’s yard. The bees or other pollinating insects are doing the pollen transfer for you. But that is just a guess.