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  • From: Jacquelyn Kuehn <>
  • To:
  • Subject: [nafex] Yates persimmon
  • Date: Mon, 21 Sep 2015 09:31:06 -0400

My friends, you’ve written an article’s worth of valuable information. May I
reprint this exchange in a Pomona?

Thanks so much.


Jacquelyn Kuehn

> On Sep 21, 2015, at 7:41 AM, wrote:
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> 1. Re: Yates persimmon update (Jerry Lehman)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 21 Sep 2015 07:35:28 -0400
> From: Jerry Lehman <>
> To: mailing list at ibiblio - Northamerican Allied Fruit Experimenters
> <>
> Subject: Re: [nafex] Yates persimmon update
> Message-ID: <>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed
> Good Morning Lucky and Betsy,
> There is no hard dividing line between the range of 60 and 90 chromosome
> race of persimmon. I feel sure that North of the Ohio River you will
> find some sixties and South you will find some nineties. And we are
> finding that many of the 90 chromosome persimmons will set seedless
> fruit without a 90 C pollinator. Also some varieties of the 90 C will
> set some seedless fruit when there is ample 90 C pollen available.
> Mohler seedless is an example of a variety setting many seedless fruits
> in the presence of ample pollination. The Meader persimmon with 90 C
> pollen available will set fully seeded fruit, with only 60 C pollen
> available will set seedless fruit and if the flowers are bagged
> preventing pollen from any plant reaching the pistols will not set fruit
> at all. When this was discovered Prof. Meader questioned if chestnut
> pollen could possibly be triggering the parthenocarpic characteristic of
> the Meader persimmon because in his area his chestnut catkins dehist
> pollen at the same time. I have 4 named pistillate varieties of 60 C
> persimmon here with no 60 C males nearby. Three of the 4 drop may be 90%
> of the fruit without ripening while the 4th, Cliff England's "SFES"
> variety matures fruit with empty seed cases and occasionally a seed
> without fully developed cotyledon flesh. Confusing? Oh, and hybridizing
> the 60 C and 90 C theoretically is not possible because 15 chromosomes
> remain unpaired.
> Betsy, I believe the answer to your question regarding the Yates/Juhl
> variety is the 1st 3 years no 90 chromosome pollen reached the tree so
> it was seedless. The 4th year there was ample pollen available and it
> basically set seeded fruit. The persimmon flower consists of 4 stigma
> and style with 2 eggs at the base of each style providing for a possible
> fully seeded fruit with 8 seeds and one pollen grain is required for
> each seed. Therefore theoretically the number of seeds is heavily
> dependent upon the amount of pollen that reaches the flower which can
> vary year to year depending on weather conditions.
> Early Golden will occasionally bear male flowers. I emphasize
> occasionally. Mr. Claypool used to refer to them as the rare male
> flower. I have early Golden, Killen, and Garretson, all 3 here, and only
> once have ever seen male flowers on my Killen, never on early Golden nor
> Garretson. But I confess I have not eagerly sought male flowers every
> year. Back in the early nineties while Claypool was still actively
> breeding using what I call female pollen I went over to observe and
> learn his techniques. In one Killen tree was one current year growth
> branch and one current year growth branch on early Golden with male
> flowers and these were on trees that he was using ladders to get up to
> the branches maybe 15 feet in the air. And these were the sum total of
> sport branches on 2 very mature trees. In spite of some reports there is
> nowhere near enough male flowers to pollinate a tree. Therefore I do not
> believe that your pruning was the cause for sudden setting of nearly
> seedless fruit. My thought is, some conditions such as whether reduced
> the amount of pollen available to the flowers, reducing the seed count
> from 6 to 1.
> When Mr. Claypool found a sport bearing staminate flowers he would tie a
> ribbon to it, marking it. The following year when that sport would
> produce additional branches he would watch and if a branched produce
> pistillate flowers he would cut that branch off. His attempts to produce
> limbs bearing only male flowers naturally failed. He did have some small
> branchlets with maybe 3 years growth producing only male flowers but it
> was achieved by pruning not by natural selection. In other words the
> sport that produced male flowers in 2nd year's growth would revert back
> to pistillate flowers. They acted like a chimera, that is a mixture of
> cells containing different chromosomes or different recombination of genes.
> A side note of possible interest: Last spring Doug Fell found one small
> 8 inch branch on his early Golden with male flowers, the 1st he had ever
> seen. The 1st one that I have seen in maybe 5 years. Doug cut it from
> the tree and I made 4 Greenwood grafts of that piece and 3 were
> successful. When they flower will they produce staminate flowers? That
> remains to be seen but Mr. Claypool reported that when he and Prof. JC
> McDaniel grafted limbs producing male flowers they reverted to producing
> pistillate flowers. And yes when male flowers are produced on pistillate
> trees they are single branches that I believe are sport limbs.
> Jerry Lehman
> On 9/20/2015 9:15 PM, Louis Pittman wrote:
> I'm 'supposed' to be in 60-chromosome land, too... supposedly, the Ohio
> River is the 'dividing line' between 90-C and 60-C, and I'm over 100 miles
> south of the Ohio. All my 90-C females have produced mostly seeded fruit,
> for years... some less seedy than others, and occasionally some seedless
> fruit.
> Yes, I have Garretson and Early Golden and some of the Claypools, so maybe
> they're pushing male flowers, but I was getting seeded fruits when all I
> had were a couple of non-EG heritage females.
> Lucky
> On Sun, Sep 20, 2015 at 1:47 PM, Elizabeth<> wrote:
>> Hi folks,
>> I previously posted in 2014 that I was perplexed why my 'Yates' persimmon
>> contained seeds for the first time since I planted it. The tree has been
>> bearing for about 4 years total. I live in an area with only 60 chromosome
>> natives. There are no other 90 chromosome trees nearby (to my knowledge)
>> except in my orchard. In 2014 these consisted of 3 selected varieties of
>> grafted female kakis, 2 of which were old enough to bloom, and the Yates.
>> Last year each Yates fruit contained 5 - 6 fully formed seeds. This year,
>> they contain an average of about 1 seed per fruit. Most fruits are
>> seedless, some have had up to 3 seeds per fruit.
>> What has changed: I performed winter pruning this spring so it is possible
>> that I pruned off a branch on a tree that had previously produced male
>> flowers. I lost my Wase Fuyu during our unusually cold winter so it did not
>> produce flowers this spring. The third kaki produced blooms for the first
>> time in 2015.
>> What I discovered: I evaluated each surviving persimmon tree for male
>> flowers this spring. I detected none. Although I was looking for sports, so
>> if I saw a branch covered with female flowers, I did not examine each
>> flower on the branch, it is possible that I missed individual male flowers
>> (if that occurs).
>> I propagated every seed from the 2014 Yates crop. I guess I will find out
>> what the 2014 pollinizer was in 8 years or so!
>> Betsy Hilborn
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