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Monday, November 24, 2008

Persimmon Dilemma

I moved into this house about ten years ago. The previous owner had forgone the lawn and instead tried to landscape it into an edible, Asian-inspired healing garden. One of the items she had planted was a Fuyu persimmon.

It was a cute little thing, not much higher than the grass that had grown around it. I weeded and gave it some water. The next year it rewarded me with one persimmon. Not to be discouraged, I continued to nurture it the next year. It thrived and put on several feet in height. That fall we had a wind storm and the thing cleaved in half. I dutifully sawed it up and chipped it into mulch.

I was a little distraught - I love persimmons, but figured I would just replace it in a few months when fruit trees were available. In March I went out to dig up the stump to prepare for the new tree, when I noticed it was sprouting new growth. There is nothing like a stump trying to come to life that tugs at me more. I let it grow.

The result is that I now have a persimmon tree that fruits. It must be some sort of wild root stock because the fruit is acorn-sized. They taste just like a regular persimmon but you have to eat about 100 to get the same serving size. I usually graze as far as I can reach and then leave the rest to the birds.

However, the tree is now approaching 20 feet and shows no sign of slowing down. Wild American persimmons grow to 80 feet. This thing is growing in front of my house and has already shown that it's easy to blow down. I could top it and try to keep it small, but I hate hacking on a tree and ruining it's form (although I don't seem to mind torturing my apples into an espalier.)

I need to make a decision. I have procrastinated on this for two years now. And dang it, if the fruit isn't the biggest it's ever been. They are the size of a walnut this year. It's a pretty tree...

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