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Question
I have a persimmon tree in my back yard. It looks very healthy and produces many persimmons. The problem is the Persimmons disappear before they are ready to eat. The tree is quite tall so I have ruled out rabbits, ground hogs, and other small animals. We do have deer here but I don't think they could get to the upper branches either. I only occasionally find the small fruit on the ground. Any suggestion? Thanks!

Answer
Hi Helene,

I love puzzles like this.  My answer will be influenced by which kind of persimmon it is.  The first is the native Virginia Persimmon.  It makes small fruit that is astringent and inedible until it's ripe.  It likes to grow in fence-rows on the edge of the woods.  The second kind is a cultivated Japanese persimmon which is only edible after it gets soft, too. It makes fruit about the diameter of the mouth of a coffee cup.  The third is a Japanese persimmon like Fuyu.  The fruit is flatter, and it can be eaten while still hard.  Squirrels love these, and they pick them when they are small, carry them a short distance (in my case it's back yard to front yard) take one bite, throw it down, and go get another.
When birds attack them, there is always something left hanging on the limb.  Birds will attack only soft fruit.  Raccoons or Opossums could be getting them by night, but you would see tracks or poop or tiny bits of chewed up fruit.
If it was a disease, there would again be evidence - spotty green fruit lying rotting on the ground, etc.  
This exact thing happened to me once.  I had just almost ripe persimmons, and the next day I didn't.  Then my next door neighbor gave me persimmon chutney for Christmas...hmmmm.
Susan

Horticulture

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Susan Tabor

Expertise

Entomology,plant pathology, agronomy, native plants, useful and edible plants,medicinal plants,landscape design and installation, plant taxonomy and identification, cultivars and varieties, Botany, nutrient deficiencies, plant recommendations and troubleshooting.

Experience

35 years as a professional horticulturist and landscape contractor. I have a network of contacts at leading universities and with acknowledged experts in the field. I've restored the landscapes of several plantations, 2 Governors mansions and owned/managed 3 nursery/garden centers. I discovered a new subspecies of Emelia in 1997. I've locally introduced several native or volunteer species into mainstream landscape design.

Publications
Morning Advocate The Register Better Homes and Gardens All Experts - Approx 1996-97

Education/Credentials
Louisiana State University - horticulture David L. Hoffman - California - phytotheraphy

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