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Mr. Smarty Plants - Transplanting a native Texas Persimmon in Austin

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Saturday - October 18, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Transplants, Trees
Title: Transplanting a native Texas Persimmon in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a Texas Persimmon, approx. 2.5 feet tall, growing in a 5 gal. pot. When should it be transplanted and where? How much sun? Could it grow in a larger pot for a time> Do deer like it? Thank you for any advice.

ANSWER:

You can go to our Native Plant Database webpage on Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon) and get a lot of pertinent facts, and also, at the bottom of that webpage, a link to Google on the same plant. On the subject of when and whether to transplant from a pot, it should be transplanted into the ground as soon as possible, and Fall is a good time to do it.  It has rather a large root, and one of the biggest problems with plants, especially trees, being kept in pots is that they become rootbound, and eventually the tree can be strangled by its own roots! Since you are in the Austin area, you probably have soil and conditions that are familiar to the tree, and will support it nicely. It can take sun or part shade. Deer (and also possums, raccoons and other small mammals) looooove it, so I wouldn't count too heavily on harvesting much fruit from it. And, yet another problem with harvesting fruit is that the Persimmon is dioecious, which means fruit only appears on the female plant, and then only if a male plant of the same species is in fairly close proximity to the female. So, even if you know you have a female plant, you aren't going to get any fruit on it without a nearby male to pollinate it. 

We would recommend you go ahead and transplant the tree as soon as the weather gets a little cooler, and the leaves begin to fall. It's always better to transplant woody plants when they are semi-dormant. When it is newly transplanted, stick a hose down in the loose dirt around it and let it drip slowly until water appears on the surface about twice a week. This will help the roots to recover from transplant shock, but not get so much water in there that the roots drown. As for the male-female issue, was there fruit or indications there had been fruit on the tree when you acquired it? Are there other persimmons around? Nurseries tend to carry the females of fruiting plants because that's what people want, and obtaining a male for pollinating can sometimes be a problem, although you might find them in the wild. We remind you that removing any plant from private property without the permission of the owner is regarded as trespass, so you need to find a friend that has both kinds of persimmons and will share one. 


Diospyros texana

Diospyros texana

Diospyros texana

Diospyros texana

 







 

 

 

 

 

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