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

Propagation of Red Yucca from Golden, CO
March 17, 2011 - I have collected the mature seeds of Hesperaloe parviflora (the red yucca). Can you tell me what steps I need to follow for successful germination? Many thanks!
view the full question and answer

Sophora seeds to give away
April 13, 2016 - When we moved to TX years ago we bought a mountain laurel so we could have the beautiful purple flowers and were disappointed when the flowers every year were white (with a few purple ones here and th...
view the full question and answer

Scarifying seeds of evergreen sumacs from Lockhart TX
May 19, 2013 - Dear Smarty Plants, We would like to grow our own evergreen sumacs. Consulting Nokes book, How to Grow Native Plants on page 310, it says to scarify fresh uncleaned seeds for 30-45 minutes. On page...
view the full question and answer

Leaves falling off recently transplanted mature Mountain Laurel
July 05, 2006 - I have recently purchased a Mountain Laurel for my backyard landscaping. It is a fully matured ML standing over 9 feet tall by 6 feet wide. Since it was planted (about 6 weeks ago) it has been losin...
view the full question and answer

Blazing stars plants in Sanderson, FL
June 15, 2009 - I planted some blazing stars & they did not come up.What is the best way to start them out?
view the full question and answer

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