USA –-(Ammoland.com)- Deer hunters who hunt property with persimmon trees know how lucky they are. Throughout their range, persimmons produce fruit that deer find extremely attractive.
What time of year persimmons bear fruit, depends of a variety of factors. Climate zone and type of persimmon are both large indicators of when persimmons bear fruit. Usually, they are capable of ripening fairly early in the fall – a period strongly correlated with archery season in many areas. In much of their range, persimmons provide new, fresh soft mast before acorns are in abundance. Further, even agricultural crops have declined in nutritional value and palatability in late summer. So for deer, ripening persimmons are simply the best-tasting food around.
That's a big bonus to bow hunters. Because deer find persimmons so tasty, most of the deer in the area will visit the tree periodically – and some deer will do so every day. A bow hunter who hangs out around a productive persimmon tree long enough will get a close look at most of the deer in the area.
What if you're not lucky enough to hunt land with persimmons?
Instead, the best option would be to plant your own Chestnut Hill persimmon trees. Chestnut Hill orchards have decades of experience developing “food plot” trees for wildlife and have a new “deer candy” collection of several American Persimmon varietals.
Why more than one variety of Persimmon? One important reason is that Chestnut Hill has developed different varieties that drop their fruit at different times – by planting more than one variety, you can extend the persimmon season for your deer.
For example, the Deer Candy Early Drop Persimmons bear fruit as early as late August and will continue to produce through October. The trees are fast-growing and vigorous. Even if you are not yet hunting when these trees begin bearing, the deer will become accustomed to making the trees part of their foraging pattern by the time bow season rolls around. Deer Candy persimmons are also all-female grafted trees – so every one of them will bear fruit.
Land managers can also plant Chestnut Hill Deer Magnet Late Drop Persimmon. This variety bears heavily and drops fruit slowly from October to November – extending the period deer will visit persimmon trees.
Many people think of the persimmon as a Southern tree, but the Deer Magnet Lake Drop trees are also very cold hardy and will grow as far north as Southern Michigan, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
Deer also like Oriental Persimmons (Diospyros kaki) as much as the native persimmons and Chestnut Hill sells a number of varieties of Orientals. These trees bear crops of large fruit, and some varieties are non-astringent, so they will never pucker your mouth. Though traditionally grown from Zone 7-9, they have some varieties of Oriental Persimmons that will grow as far north as Plant Zone 6.
Another option for land managers is to buy less expensive seedling (non-grafted) American persimmon trees. These trees are either male or female, and you can plant several together, anywhere from 3 to 10, to ensure that you will get at least a few females that will bear fruit.
This year, as you review your long-term strategy for improving the hunting on your deer land, consider planting Chestnut Hill persimmons. You'll be doing yourself – and the deer – a favor for decades to come.
For more information on Chestnut Hill Outdoors persimmons and other food plot trees – as well as easy-to-follow tips on how to successfully plant and grow your trees – check out www.chestnuthilltreefarm.com or www.chestnuthilloutdoors.com.