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Mr. Smarty Plants - How close to a male tree will a new female persimmon need to be planted to ensure pollination in Austin, TX?

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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

 

 

 

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