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

Wednesday - June 17, 2009

From: Austin, , TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: How close to a male tree will a new female persimmon need to be planted to ensure pollination in Austin, TX?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have a male Texas Persimmon in the back corner of my yard. I would like to plant a female Texas Persimmon in the front yard, more than 100 feet away? How far away do you think they should be placed in order for the new female tree to be pollinated?

ANSWER:

Texas Persimmon Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon) is one of Texas's premier small trees. The bark of mature trees peels away to reveal shades of gray, white and pink on the trunk underneath, a feature more desirable to some folks than the fruit. The species is dioecious as you know, so you need a female tree if you want to produce fruit. Material that I have read says it takes 5 to 6 years before the tree will bear fruit. From your question I gather that you think that 100 ft might be too far away.

Assuming that bees will be the pollinators, I've looked for some information on bee foraging behavior and found two facinating sources; the first is the Apiculture Fact Sheet #111 from the Province of British Columbia, and the other is an article from the Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium.

I learned that a bee colony will forage in an area two and a half miles in all directions from the hive, covering several hundred acres, and some bees travel as far as eight miles from the hive. From this, one might infer that if bees are visiting  your male persimmon tree, asking them to go another 100 feet is not out of the question. Also, Texas persimmon trees are so common in Austin that there may be a willing pollen provider in your neighbohood right now.


Diospyros texana

Diospyros texana

 

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Germination of Sophora seeds, and Dodder identification in Kingsland, TX.
May 02, 2012 - Our Mt. Laurel has just produced seeds. Can those be scarified and planted now or do they have to dry out. Also what is the stringy orange substance that gets on bluebonnets and other wildflowers ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting wild sumac
September 23, 2010 - About a month ago I dug up five sumac from my backyard in Aylmer Quebec. I potted them. They now look dead. I wanted to transplant them at my cottage in Barrie Ontario. Can I still transplant them...
view the full question and answer

Native turkscap failing to thrive in Shiro TX
March 19, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Two years ago I transplanted several native (not cultivars) Drummond's turkscaps in the proximity of water oaks in the front yard. All get shade and some sun. They seemed to ...
view the full question and answer

Planting wildflowers from Wichita Falls, TX
August 24, 2013 - Hi, Thanks so much for the answers you give! You've been very helpful to me in the past. I have two quick questions: 1) I have been harvesting seeds from my wildflowers. I wonder when the best time...
view the full question and answer

Standing Cypress Plants in San Antonio, TX
June 26, 2013 - I purchased seeds for standing cypress 2 years ago and this spring they look beautiful. What is the best way to harvest the seeds? Also, will the current plants come back next spring or will I have to...
view the full question and answer

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