Trying to get earliest possible fruiting


Active Member
I've got three persimmons, sex unknown (not flowering yet), ranging 2 -3 inches in dieameter, above head high. I know I can saw them off and bark graft - and realize I'm 2 - 3 years from getting fruit that way. However, some of the limbs are thick enough to bark graft and there many limbs that I could cleft, whip or tongue and groove graft. Can I gain any time by doing the grafting on the thinner limbs instead of cutting the whole tree down in order to just graft the one or two new growths on the main trunk? Has anyone here done persimmon grafting on the limbs instead of the whole tree?
Question #2, I've got several persimmon whips - just exiting the top of four foot tree protector tubes. Can I do tongue and groove grafts on them instead of waiting for the often heard one inch diameter?
Appreciate your help.
Question #1: Yes you can do whip and tongue grafts on the smaller limbs and not have to cut down the main trunk for a bark graft. However, since you are still 2 or 3 years away from fruit I don't know if you will gain a whole lot because I have gotten fruit in 3 years after doing a complete bark graft. If it was me I would just cut the main trunk and do a bark graft so that i know what the entire tree will become since I am cloning a known female tree. If you don't have natives around though just remember you are going to need at least one male around to get the girls producing fruit.

Question #2: I have had great success with cleft grafts and whip and tongue grafts on persimmon seedlings. However, I have not had good success on grafting the seedling and putting the tree tube back over the graft. Everyone I did failed. For some reason the graft just doesn't take and heal when the tube was replaced. I don't know why that is either but I had the same results on apple trees also. Now if I graft seedlings I remove the tube and replace with a cage. Now if the diameter of the seedling above the tube is large enough to graft you can do that but you have a weak spot until it heals completely over 4 feet off the ground.
DDoc, Thanks again for another very useable post. For sure I would have put those seedling grafts back into the tree tubes. Yes, there's no reason not to just go with the fencing option. And I'm in good shape on having a male persimmon available. I've got a neighbor with producing trees about a half mile away. Plus with three trees coming into adulthood at the same time, I expect the odds are that I'll have one there. They're the ones that I'm doing limb grafts on, so there should be plenty of 'male limbs' on any tree that was originally male. Eagerly awaiting springtime....
Yep, I'm anxious for spring also. Planting spring plots, grafting, bass fishing, and turkey season. Then around August I'm getting the deer hubring bug.