Persimmons in October

— Written By and last updated by Jami Hooper
en Español

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As of October 20, the fruits of our local persimmon trees (Diospyros virginiana) are ripening and will soon be dropping from the trees. This can create a mess and even a hazard on sidewalks and parking lots. Persimmon trees are mostly dioecious, meaning male and female flowers are usually found on separate trees. For the female trees dropping fruit in high-risk areas, is there any management option other than cutting the trees down? I recently investigated this question along with a landscape professional from Raleigh, and what we both discovered from different  sources is an injectable plant-growth-regulator containing indole-3-butyric acid. A product example is Snipper, described as a “microinjection system for promoting premature abscission of male and/or female flowers”. Timing is critical, and we shouldn’t expect 100% control but we can certainly reduce the fruit load, perhaps substantially. This product should be applied by experienced landscapers, arborists or foresters.
Persimmon fruit is an important food source for wildlife, and as landscape trees persimmons are sturdy, large-growing, and relatively problem-free. They should be preserved where space is adequate, and especially where heavy fruit loads won’t be a problem.
In the first image, taken 5/26/20, we see an immature fruit beginning to develop from the remnants of a female persimmon flower. The second image was taken on 10/20/21. The fruit (now hanging downwards) looks ripe, but I quickly found that it wasn’t ripe enough.
persimmon fruit Ripe persimmon fruit