Origin: Bloomington, Indiana
Improvement status: Single Plant Selection
Seeds per packet: ~10
BOTANICAL SAMPLE - NOT GERMINATION TESTED
Life cycle: Perennial
"The Giving Tree" is a large persimmon tree in an urban backyard in Bloomington, Indiana. The tree is well-known locally for its abundant yields, topping 1000 pounds a year (100 pounds is considered a good yield for the species), of medium-sized, sweet fruits which are free from the astringency that makes so many American persimmons unpalatable. Even slightly underripe fruits are not astringent.
Fruits typically begin falling in late August and continue through mid-October — a very long season for the species. Owner Louise Briggs hosts her annual "Perpetual Persimmon Pulping Parties" during this time. It has become a yearly tradition for the Briggs family to erect a net system and offer the fruits up to the community for free via an online Google spreadsheet.
The tree's provenance is uncertain, but it is estimated to be over 65 years old. It seems unlikely to be a wild seedling tree, but the exact parentage or variety is unknown (we can't tell from photos if there's an obvious graft union on the tree). Perhaps someday DNA technology and our beloved tree-mad friends like Eliza Greenman or Zach Elfers will figure out more of the story. Given the age of the tree and its prodigious and early fruiting, we know the genetics of The Giving Tree deserve to be saved, shared, and hopefully incorporated into future American persimmon breeding projects.
To read more about it and watch videos of the amazing operation around this tree in the Brigg's backyard (courtesy of arborists Bluestone Tree), click here.
Our seed was processed and supplied by Cory Lamping, who brought this tree to our attention and plans to offer his portion of the revenue it brings to the Briggs family, in honor of their careful and generous stewardship of this singularly wonderful being.
GROWING TIPS: Do not let seed dry out! Keep refrigerated. Plant in early spring in well-weeded bed. Prefers full sun for best fruiting (but will grow tall to reach sun if planted in a shadier spot).
Photo credit: Fruit image comes from a story about the 'Giving Tree' published online by Indiana Public Media, available here. Bare tree image comes from arborist Bluestone Tree in Bloomington, Indiana.