En EspaÑol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - August 10, 2008

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Best of Smarty, Pests, Shrubs
Title: How to keep persimmons from staining patio
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have approximately 4 female persimmons bearing fruit around our back patio. Birds are carrying the berries to our patio and eating them which leaves a dark stain on our patio. I'm having to go out daily to clean it off because i fear that if I leave it sitting too long the stain will become permanent. Is there any way to either keep the trees from bearing fruit or somehow keep the birds from coming on to our patio with these berries.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants assumes your persimmons are Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon) and not Diospyros virginiana (common persimmon). If so, we have a few suggestions to solve your problem.

1. There may be a way to keep them from producing fruit—short of chopping them all down! Since the male flowers and female flowers are on separate trees, in the spring before they bloom drape your female plants with a fine mesh netting that will exclude pollinators such as bees. It will require a piece of netting that is large enough to cover the entire tree and you will probably have to tie it around the bottom to ensure that insects don't find their way into the flowers. This should work if the trees aren't too tall.

2. Alternatively you could let the insects do their pollinating and then cover the trees and the ripening fruit with bird netting so that the birds can't remove the fruit.

3. Or, you could leave the persimmon trees as they are and concentrate on keeping the birds away from your patio. There are various devices that discourage birds. You could try some of the visual Bird Scare Devices. There are also repellent devices that use sound, but you would probably want to avoid those unless you have very tolerant neighbors.

4. You could enclose your patio with Bird Net. It is touted as being "long lasting, humane, nearly invisible...100% bird exclusion".

5. You could consider treating your patio surface with an epoxy or a polymer coating to help it resist staining so that you wouldn't have to rush out and clean up the mess as soon as it happened.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

More Shrubs Questions

Groundcover for a Sunny, Steep Slope in Maryland
April 29, 2013 - I need a groundcover for a sunny dry steep slope in Towson, Maryland. The slope goes from the parking lot down to a deck area.
view the full question and answer

Squirrels eating seed pods of Rock Rose in Austin
June 24, 2011 - Squirrel(s) have been ripping the branches off my rock rose bushes in order to eat the seed pods. Previously we had problems with squirrel(s) gnawing on our garden ornaments. I sprayed the ornaments ...
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of Hamelia patens in Laredo
September 19, 2008 - I have a question regarding Hamelias patens(firebush)that I have been trying to grow for 2 years. I live in Laredo, Texas and this area should be an excellent climate for this plant. I planted 12 of t...
view the full question and answer

Request for seeds or cuttings for Malvaceae from French Botanical Garden
September 03, 2011 - hello We create a botanical garden devoted to the Malvaceae, can you help us by sending us seeds or cuttings? friendly the director jean-marie Jolicard botanical garden beaulieu 23170 Lépaud F...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a shrub in San Marcos, TX
May 20, 2013 - On a walk in Austin's Barton Creek greenbelt, a Treefolks volunteer identified a shrub that I also have on my property in San Marcos as blue candalia. However I can't find a plant by that name via w...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center