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Nikita's Gift Persimmon -- I have some questions for people who have them

 
pollinator
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Does anyone have a Nikita's Gift? When do to you pick them? Do they have to be mushy to be ripe? I've only eaten two or three in past years. There's about ten on there now. It's a young tree and has a little too much shade.
 
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Ken W Wilson wrote:Does anyone have a Nikita's Gift? When do to you pick them? Do they have to be mushy to be ripe? I've only eaten two or three in past years. There's about ten on there now. It's a young tree and has a little too much shade.



Nikitas Gift Persimmon Tree – Astringent American-Kaki Hybrid

From the Ukraine, Nikita’s Gift persimmon tree is a hybrid of Asian and American persimmons. The fruit have exceptionally sweet flavor when ripe (you’ll know when they fall off the tree). Bold red leaf color in the fall is an added bonus. Fruit ripens late October – November. Zones 6-9.
 
Ken W Wilson
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They were very mushy by the time they fell. Are they supposed to be? The tast was great but no texture.
 
Scott Foster
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Ken W Wilson wrote:They were very mushy by the time they fell. Are they supposed to be? The taste was great but no texture.



I'm actually looking into planting some Persimmon and what I've read the Astringent persimmons are like a ball of gue when you eat them.  The not astringent can be more like the texture of an apple depending on the variety but this is from reading I have no hands-on experience.  I posted asking about the top ten permaculture trees and some of the guys on that post have persimmons.    
 
Ken W Wilson
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I've eaten lots of american persimmons. They are drier than the Nakitas Gift. I actually prefer the better American astringent persimmons to the Nikita's on flavor and texture, but I think mine may have been overripe. They are huge, maybe 5 times an average American persimmon. They are also completely seedless. I've heard you can pick them while still hard and dry them. Since, I only have ten, I'd like to be able pick them at the right time and make the best use of them.

I would plant a variety of persimmons.  I have a grafted American persimmon but it's not producing yet.
 
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My Nikita's Gift is setting it's first crop, 24 very hard, pink-orange fruits. I'll pick the first one that begins to soften. I'll pick the second one at a softer stage and the third one even softer. I'll know when to pick next year. What a carefree fruit tree. I'm going to try grafting and budding to the local wild persimmons.
 
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Astringent persimmons probably should be mushy.  If firm, they will "set the mouth awry with much torment" (John Smith).  I suggest you dry them, as is done in Asia-->candy, and food preservation.  You could also make persimmon bread (same as banana bread, but different mushy fruit).
 
Ken W Wilson
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They seem to go from slightly soft and bitter to very soft over night. How do you like yours? I hope they did good for you.

Do you pick them while still firm to dehydrate? I still have about 8 hard fruits.

One out of two that I've eaten this year had two seeds. I started another thread about whether they could be viable or not.
 
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I planted a Nikita's Gift a few years ago that wilted and died a few months after planting in the spring, it didn't even make it to its first winter. It didn't dry out, so I was puzzled as I've planted a number of persimmons and none of the others ever did that. Considering how others in the Ozarks in this thread have had success I may try another one.

In contrast, my Rosseyanka persimmon has done quite well. It produced its first crop in 2016. This year it had no fruit, but then there was close to zero fruit on any of the wild persimmons here too this year, something I haven't seen before. I believe it's because of the bad hailstorm we had in late April while they were in bloom, followed by a deluge and record flooding. The trees are far above the flood zone, but the wet weather following the hailstorm encouraged the wounds on the branches to start to get black spots like they were infected with some sort of fungus. They eventually healed so I hope the persimmons will be back to normal next year. The hail didn't knock off all the blossoms, but the rest fell later without setting fruit. I think the trees were stressed enough from the hail wounds that they had to skip fruiting for the year to heal themselves. Interestingly, there was little fireblight on apples and pears this spring, when I was very worried the hail wounds and the wet weather would cause it to spread like wildfire. It wasn't a good year for tree fruits in general though, but the bushes, brambles and strawberries did better.
 
Woody McInish
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I'm about half way through my NG fruit. I picked the first one when it was just a little softer than hard. It was slightly astringent, cruncy, sweet, and delicious. I'm tolerant of astringency, I eat raw aronia berries. The next one was slightly softer and only slightly astringent, still crunchy, and sweeter and more juicy. The rest have been about as soft as a ripe peach, mushy and sweet. There were a few seeds that were very thin and probably sterile. I ate some and picked most out.
 
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Watch the fruit color change, a ripe persimmon will be purplish (this is when they fall to the ground and usually break open) and a just right for picking color is when they go orange with a tinge of the purple color starting to show up.

Redhawk
 
Woody McInish
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Watch the fruit color change, a ripe persimmon will be purplish (this is when they fall to the ground and usually break open) and a just right for picking color is when they go orange with a tinge of the purple color starting to show up.

Redhawk



Are you talking about Nikita's Gift? Sounds like American persimmons. I have to pull my ripe NGs off and there's only a little purple where the fruit is damaged.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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I have both varieties and just this year we got enough Nikita fruit to notice that they ripen almost the same, the American fruit turns purplish when ready to eat and goes "mushy" the day after the color change from orange to purple. The Nikita fruit turns orange and then starts to soften, the orange gets a slight purple tinge around the stem end when it is perfect for eating.  Both of our varieties crack open when they fall off the tree and quickly become ant food.
 
Ken W Wilson
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Did yours get freezing weather while ripening? I'm not sure if that made the riper ones mushy or not but the first ones went from hard to mushy over night. They were also sweeter than I liked.  I had some the year before last that were perfect though. They were slightly purple.

I had read that you could slice fairly hard fruits and dehydrate them. This worked pretty good. No bitterness at all. They are only slightly sweet. Not a very strong flavor, but good. Then I tried eating them with lightly salty peanuts. Perfect trail mix! The flavors really compliment each other.  I eat a lot of nuts, so this is very good. I hope they taste good with pecans and carpathian walnuts. Peanuts don't do to well here.

Next year I'll try to eat some at just the right stage and dry the rest. I'll try to dry some at different stages. A little riper would probably be sweeter and more flavor. They were very easy to dry, maybe 16 hours in the dehydrator. I've never made fruit leathers, but I think the very ripe ones would work great. I only had about 12 to work with this year.

I may be more sensitive to bitterness than most people. Beer is way too bitter for me.
 
Ken W Wilson
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Richard, want to trade some cuttings? I'd like to try Rosseyanka.
 
Richard Kastanie
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Ken,

I sent you a PM.
 
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I have two properties on which I could plant persimmon. One has nearly infinite room and is zone 6a (maybe even zone 5b) the other is in a downtown core microclimate closer to 7a with very limited space. Planning to plant american persimmon on the larger zone 6 acreage. Is there a good chance of successfully ripening Nikitas or Rosseyanka in the zone 6 or would it be best to try and fit them on the 7a lot?
 
Ken W Wilson
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I’m 6b. The fruit can stand some pretty hard freezes. Mine are ready in late November usually. I like to pick them before they are sweet and mushy while the are still a little bitter. Dehydrating them takes the bitter away. Add nuts and they make good trail mix.
 
Ken W Wilson
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I forgot to mention that my tree is on the north side of a privacy fence. They are also in a thick patch of black raspberries, so the soil is completely shaded. I’m sure this makes them ripen later and may be the equivalent of a zone colder.
 
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I have 4 non-astringent Asian Persimmons. When they are orange like a ripe pumpkin I pick them and eat them fresh.  If I pick too early they are only slightly sweet and when I pick when Ripe they are very sweet. Crunchy like apples.
I have started two American Persimmons that I will try to graft on my Asian ones.
 
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