Persimmon tree – Stratification

Q: I have a persimmon tree that bears delicious fruit. I want to germinate some seeds and transplant them to my daughter’s yard. I’ve read that “stratification” is recommended for persimmon seeds. What does this mean?

A: Stratify means to give the seeds several weeks of cold, moist conditions to allow biological processes to start in the seed. One simple way to stratify is to put the seed in some barely-damp sphagnum moss, put the stringy mass in a plastic bag and place it in the crisper drawer of your fridge for two months. It might be simpler to let Mother Nature do your stratification work. Fill a pot with gritty paver leveling sand and plant several seeds a half-inch deep. Dig a hole in your garden deep enough to receive a two inch layer of gravel plus the pot, so that the pot rim is level with surrounding soil. Cover with a thin layer of pine straw. You’ll have sprouts in May. More to the point, though, you won’t know if your seedlings are male or female until they are bearing age, perhaps ten years from now. If you want a delicious persimmon that is non-astringent even when unripe, consider ‘Jiro’ Asian persimmon.

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