[NAFEX] Exploring kaki hardiness, climate, and nuts

BRosholdt rosholdt at erols.com
Sun Nov 27 10:33:44 EST 2005

Note that extreme cold is not the only determining factor when the 
microclimate is subject to a week of 20 deg. with no snow cover, then a 
week of 55-65 deg. weather in January!  You in zone 4-6a can usually 
count on cold weather remaining cold and usually some snow cover.  But 
where fluctuations occur, it can be very destructive to the trees and  
fruit.  (The good news is it is hard on ticks and fleas too.)   A rule 
of thumb is that late bloomers do best here in 6c-7a central Virginia.  
Even cold weather protection is dangerous.  Example:  We have to protect 
enough to keep the 15-18 degree temp.  winds off the figs, but not 
enough so that the figs break dormancy in late February.  Can't take the 
protection off until the end of March - and it is risky then.  Maybe 
I'll take it off in stages this year.

I agree with the premise that if you can get seeds from local tree fruit 
(or from one zone south), raise them and see what they do!  That is how 
many of the old fashioned varieties were created.  Our climate is 
changing, and sometimes extremes and changes can encourage genetics to 
vary a bit more widely - this can help if you are looking for "trees 
that can survive on the edge".   Years ago I read somewhere that there 
was evidence that most new species arrived in short periods of time - 
during times of stressful climactic changes.  If new species can start, 
certainly new varieties could be expected under artificial stressors 
(moving seeds from their zone, etc).   I foresee more extreme weather on 
the way as more and more trees are cut down on our continent and more 
desert areas are created.  My response is to raise as much fruit as 
possible (on trees).    but I digress...

Back to persimmons.  That Hana Fuyu sounds like a possibility - for us.  
I have the Ichi Kei Ki Jeiro and it has suffered little or no damage 
from anything - including the scourge of Japanese Beetles.  It is not 
bearing yet, only about 2 years in the ground.   I don't spray the 
Asiminas and Diosporos with anything.  I do weed and fertilize.

I have a question.  I bought a Meader and it was producing seedless 
fruit.  Then the male bloomed and now the fruit has seeds.  If I took 
the male out would the Meader and Ichi care?  I means in terms of 
production.  Seedless is nice for making pulp.

I am interested in nuts, but really am not ready for planting 60 foot 
(when mature) trees.  I'd have to take out 60 foot trees to do it!  Any 
suggestions for 20-30 foot nut trees for my zone?

Finally, I'm shy about trying the local hickories and other nuts.  Can 
someone recommend a reference book or three about dealing with local 
wild foods that can REALLY help me identify them and experiment with 
them?  I have the standard "Eastern Forests" and Field Guides, but 
nothing is really there about how to "eat 'em".  I am concerned enough 
about tannins I am afraid to try the acorns.

Barbara Rosholdt
3Domes Farm

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