Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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 Pests Questions

Moths around Sophora secundiflora from Driftwood TX
March 15, 2012 - Sophora secundiflora Our Mountain Laurel has a lot of large moths flying around it. Should we be concerned? Will they hurt the tree? thank you
view the full question and answer

Removing grassy weeds from cactus garden in Corpus Christi TX
May 07, 2013 - How do you get grassy weeds out of a cactus garden? I don't want to use roundup around the cacti? Can you recommend a herbicide that won't harm the cactus?
view the full question and answer

Spots on bark of Mountain Ash from Engadine MI
April 30, 2012 - I have a mountain ash that is about 5 years old & have just noticed white, patchy, scaly looking spots on the bark. Is this something to be concerned about???
view the full question and answer

Problem with leaves of Texas Ash in Austin
May 21, 2012 - We purchased a 3' to 4' Texas Ash in March 2012. The past few days I noticed new leaves at the top are curled under, have a milky substance on them, and more than a few ladybugs on them. What is thi...
view the full question and answer

Avoiding insect bites while gardening in Kansas
December 03, 2015 - I recently moved into Mission, Kansas(Johnson County). Every time I go do any yard work I get a couple of insect bite looking spots on body. They are somewhat painful and very itchy. One of them got i...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.