Category Archives: trees

Anthony finds more Persimmon trees

 

Yes, we’re gonna start on a bad note, like Reuben Studdard once said:

I’m Sorry!!

I am sad to report the lost of two Persimmon trees that once existed along a fence of Nicholas Orem Middle School in Hyattsville, Maryland. There was once a small playground there and the two trees were close to each other and I recall them bearing fruit during the winter. These are the two trees that I spoke of in a previous post, and going to the area years later I could see that where they were was nothing but a large expanse of mud. The small church/school that was once next door was now a large Montessori school. I used to live in the area right down the street so I would walk by them pretty often but for somehow I never thought to collect the fruit and plant the seeds, for then my project would have been in full swing a long time ago.

Although not exactly in a galaxy far, far, far, far, far away

Now that you have heard the bad news, let me share with you some good news: Not far from Prince Georges Plaza station there are six Persimmon trees with lots and lots of fruit. Its funny since I came across those trees over ten years ago before the building of a mall when that was just a large parking lot. I only remember one or two trees but once I saw them I decided to look around and to my surprise there were 4 more each appeared to be planted in twos. This made sense because the Persimmon is a tree that needs another one nearby in order to be properly pollinated.

Thankfully I was able to collect several pounds of Persimmon fruit. They are safely in my refrigerator and soon I will separate the pulp from the seeds and store them to stratify in the fridge over the winter. Once the winter is over, I will remove them and plant the seeds in some seed trays where hopefully they will germinate. In addition to the ones I sprout at home, I will be planting the seeds at a number of locations. In fact, this reminds me that I ought to label the location that I collected the Persimmons as well as time of year and pictures of the tree if possible.

I am choosing to do that with the goal of encouraging genetic diversity among the resulting seedlings. Since I have hundreds of seeds already and more to be collected over the winter there will be no shortage of Persimmon trees in the years to come. Your gonna like this project:

I guarantee it!!

Other locations where I have been pleasantly surprised to find Persimmon trees are in the Takoma neighborhood of DC, near the Takoma Aquatic Center. As well as Along Canal Rd in Northwest DC adjacent to the Palisades neighborhood. There are several persimmon trees growing along a stone wall, the best way to reach the fruit would actually involve going in the water to the narrow strip of land that is between the wall and a bike/walk trail.

One day while walking around minding my business, near 16th st. I came across a……you guessed it yet another Persimmon tree. It looked rather lonely sitting all there all by itself so I told her that you’ve got a friend in me.

Outstanding!!

Hopefully there are more trees to be found and lots more fruit to collect. So stay tuned for more updates on that as I assure you it will be something like a phenomenon.

 

Childhood memories and Persimmons in DC Part 2

 

Please forgive the picture quality

Please forgive the picture quality

Remember when I said that I had a surprise for you?  Well look above and you can see exactly what it is.  Just last week I was out for a walk and came across two familiar Persimmon trees.  Not really all that surprising at all.  But what I saw on the trees was something that made my jaw drop.

Ripe fruit in September!!!

But i thought they only fruited in the wintertime I exclaimed, but there they were, those beautiful orbs of sheer goodness.  An intensely sweet flavor that is even better when still warm from the sun.

Some kind of wonderful!!!

One of the trees kind of had a lean to it, not because of a bounteous bounty of fruit on its branches but just a lean.  I just hope that it doesn’t mean that  the tree is on the way down any time soon.

bigpersimmonbark

That would be a real bummer!!

Once upon a time, a bit over a decade ago  I knew of a lone persimmon tree in Hyattsville, MD in Heurich park, it just stood in the middle of the grass.  Unfortunately not long afterward the tree was gone it had likely fallen in a storm. I was curious if its seeds would indeed be fertile since there wasn’t another Persimmon tree in the general vicinity.

Goodness I miss that tree

That tree was quite interesting as it appeared to be the only one of its kind, good thing it wasn’t because there was one or two more trees not very far from it next to Nicholas Orem Middle School. I distinctly remember seeing fruit on the trees only in the wintertime.  I hope that those trees are still there as recent construction may have destroyed them so I will have to check it out and see if they still remain.

So now it makes sense that I would quite surprised to see the ripe persimmons in September.  It made me curious as to whether or not there will still be fruit on the same trees in December 2013 to January of 2014.  Also, will it be both trees bearing fruit at that time or just one like I saw last year.

Time will tell, apparently.

 

 

Childhood memories and Persimmons in DC

persimmontagI have been interested in native edible plants ever since I came across the book “Stalking the Wild Asparagus” by Euell Gibbons.  This would have been around the year 1995 which means I would have been about eleven years old at the time. Two of the plants that I recall from that book are the Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) and the Pawpaw (Asimina triloba).

You could say this was all because of my mother, who took me to various libraries when I was a child and so  I was able to explore a world far beyond anywhere i could get to physically.  This was a time before the Internet became a ubiquitous part of everyday life and folks actually read books.  Literal books in which you actually have to literally turn the page to get to the next thought.  It was a tactile thing.  As a result from a very early age I loved to read and it was one of my favorite things to do. Those books in turn motivated me to explore the outdoors near my home and over years I have learned so much from that.  The curious child that grew into the curious adult. I have been able to learn things that the vast majority of my peers just don’t and it’s given me an appreciation for the natural world that again sadly, most people I come in contact with just don’t have so for that.

Thanks MOM!!!!

In fact, it still is although now I find myself reading from my laptop or iPad screen than an actual book.  I am always amazed at how much things change but yet they stay the same at the same time.

What a wonderful life!!!

So anyway, last week I decided to visit the National Arboretum of Washington DC.  This was a place I loved to come to years ago when I moved to N.E. DC.  I would spend hours there sometimes with friends and sometimes by myself.   I recall walking down the street to Heart Pond and looking at all the beautiful Koi that was in the water.  I also remember seeing a Northern Water Snake.  It was in one of the few tributaries of the Anacostia to survive to modern times called Hickey Run.  I promise it wasn’t a romantic walk that ended with a kiss by the way it was just me enjoying a nice long walk…..

All by myself!!!

persimmonleaves

Anyway I came across a truly magnificent Persimmon tree (diospyros virginianum).  I could easily recognize it from its rather knobby bark. Unfortunately it seemed to be leaning like the tower of Pisa which I hope doesn’t spell a quick demise for it.

That would be quite sad  😦

persimmonbark

What I saw next you’ll just have to wait and see, but it was quite surprising.