Reader Heidemarie Novak wants to know why her persimmon tree drops its fruits before they ripen.
“Our persimmon tree looks good, the leaves are healthy and shiny, it has also bloomed beautifully and set a lot of fruit. Unfortunately, he dropped almost all of the fruit – already about the size of an apricot. I provided the tree with fruit tree fertilizer and watered it well. Last year the tree dropped a lot of unripe fruit but ultimately a lot of it ripened. What could be the cause?” asks reader Heidemarie Novak.
“Persimmons are the clear winners of the changing climate because until a few decades ago these trees were only hardy in a very mild climate. Just like with figs, the cultivation is now working in large parts of Austria,” says organic gardener Karl Ploberger. The tree originally comes from Asia and is botanically called Diospyros kaki, which translates as “divine fruit”.
A fully sunny, very sheltered location is absolutely necessary for the fruits to ripen. “The reason could be, on the one hand, the late frosts that there was insufficient fertilization, but much more likely is the dryness in summer. The tree quickly suffers from stress and reacts to drought with premature fruit drop. This stress is also known from other plants – the tomatoes get blossom end rot,” says Ploberger.
What you can do: “Create a larger tree disc, because the grass takes up a lot of water. Supply the tree disc with compost and mulching material and water it intensively and thoroughly once a week. That means: 30 liters per square meter of crown area.”