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More Trees and Bushes for Bowhunters and What to Prune

What About Persimmons?

Click to enlargeClick to enlargeMany bowhunters, especially in the South, name persimmons as one of the best soft-mast crops to hunt over to bag deer. In much of the South, persimmons begin to fall in mid-October, making them a readily-available food for deer. But Allen Deese, a nursery manager for the Wildlife Group of Tuskegee, explains that wild persimmon trees have a problem. “Wild persimmon trees are either male or female. Only the female persimmon trees produce fruit, but there’s no way to tell the difference between male and female trees. So if you want five persimmon trees that produce fruit, plant between 10 and 15 wild persimmon trees, and hope that at least five of them are female.”

For a better option, Deese recommends that you plant the Japanese persimmon, which comes in several different varieties and produces a baseball-sized fruit. These trees yield fruit within three years, and all of these trees produce fruit, unlike the male and femalClick to enlargee trees of the wild variety. Both deer and humans can eat Japanese persimmon. “The variety of Japanese persimmon we grow is called the Fuyu,” explains Deese. “This persimmon starts producing in October, and I’ve seen it yield persimmons until ChristmClick to enlargeas in north Alabama. So rather than planting or hunting strictly over wild persimmons, create a Japanese persimmon bow-hunting hot spot that continues producing fruit after the native wild persimmon are gone.”

For more information on permanent supplemental feeding programs, visit, email, call 1-800-221-9703 or write the Wildlife Group at 2858 County Road 53, Tuskegee, Alabama 36083.

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Tomorrow: Pruning Fruit Trees for Wildlife

Check back each day this week for more about "More Trees and Bushes for Bowhunters and What to Prune"

Day 1: Trees from the North
Day 2: What About Persimmons?
Day 3: Pruning Fruit Trees for Wildlife
Day 4: More Pruning Fruit Trees for Wildlife
Day 5: More on Pruning Trees for Wildlife



Entry 403, Day 2