Tree Notes is about trees -- especially native trees, trees for wildlife, and trees in history.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The ongoing quest for my persimmon trees!

Bark of the persimmon tree; Diospyros virginiana


This evening, my son and I walked down a narrow back-road near our home. The road has an interesting mix of natural features. It starts out on top of a hill in a wooded area and goes down the slope to a valley with a small stream. Along the way there are woods, pastures and fields along the roadsides.

Persimmon barkWe noticed several persimmon trees growing along the roadside in the valley, so this might be a good place for me to dig up a seedling or get a cutting of persimmon root.

I will actually need to acquire several persimmon trees because they are not self pollinating, according to the nursery catalog that I was reading a few days ago. I guess I'll have a little persimmon grove.

There's a black walnut growing fairly near the place where I want to plant some persimmons, so I was a little worried about that. Black walnuts emit a chemical called juglone which is poisonous to some plants. However, the West Virginia University Extension Service and various other reputable internet sites say that persimmons are tolerant of juglone, so I guess I don't have to worry about that!

I also learned that I can get a bundle of 50 persimmon trees from the Kentucky Division of Forestry for just $30, but that's approximately 45 more persimmon trees than I want. Even if I plant 10 and half of them die, I'd still have 40 extra persimmons. I suppose I could try to give them away.

The Kentucky Division of Forestry's order form can be downloaded as a pdf document (574 K.) It lists about 30 species of native tree seedlings that are available. (All are native except the Chinese chestnut.) Prices are good through March, 2007 -- just a few more days.

Related post: I want a persimmon tree!

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Enrich your life with the study of trees.

"The power to recognize trees at a glance without examining their leaves or flowers or fruit as they are seen, for example, from the car-window during a railroad journey, can only be acquired by studying them as they grow under all possible conditions over wide areas of territory. Such an attainment may not have much practical value, but once acquired it gives to the possessor a good deal of pleasure which is denied to less fortunate travelers."

Charles Sprague Sargent (1841-1927)

Print references I frequently consult

Benvie, Sam. Encyclopedia of North American Trees. Buffalo, NY: Firefly, 2000.

Brockman, C. Frank. Trees of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. Ed. Herbert S. Zim. New York: Golden, 1986.

Cliburn, Jerry, and Ginny Clomps. A Key to Missouri Trees in Winter: An Identification Guide. Conservation Commission of the State of Missouri, 1980.

Collingwood, G. H., Warren David Brush, and Devereux Butcher. Knowing Your Trees. Washington: American Forestry Association, 1978.

Dirr, Michael. Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs: an Illustrated Encyclopedia. Portland, Or.: Timber, 1997.

Elias, Thomas S. The Complete Trees of North America; Field Guide and Natural History. New York: Book Division, Times Mirror Magazines, 1980.

Grimm, William Carey. The Book of Trees;. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole, 1962.

Hightshoe, Gary L. Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America: a Planting Design Manual for Environmental Designers. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1988.

Little, Elbert L. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees. New York: Chanticleer, 1996.

Martin, Alexander C., Herbert S. Zim, and Arnold L. Nelson. American Wildlife and Plants. New York: McGraw Hill, 1951.

Mitchell, Alan F., and David More. The Trees of North America. New York, NY: Facts On File Publications, 1987.

Randall, Charles E. Enjoying Our Trees. Washington: American Forestry Association, 1969.

Settergren, Carl D., and R. E. McDermott. Trees of Missouri. Columbia: University Extension, 1995.

Sternberg, Guy, and James W. Wilson. Native Trees for North American Landscapes: from the Atlantic to the Rockies. Portland: Timber, 2004.

Wharton, Mary E., and Roger W. Barbour. Trees and Shrubs of Kentucky. Lexington: University of Kentucky, 1973.

Wyman, Donald. Trees for American Gardens. New York: Macmillan, 1965.

Photos and text copyright © 2006-2010 by Genevieve L. Netz. All rights reserved. Do not republish without written permission. My e-mail address is gnetz51@gmail.com