Persimmon trees are deciduous trees that bloom each spring with white flowers followed by fruit that grows and ripens for a fall harvest. While growing persimmon trees from seeds is possible, another way to propagate persimmons is through grafting. Grafting is a technique where you combine two trees into one by taking a branch from another tree with healthy buds and graft it onto a younger tree or one that has not been as successful. While there are many types of grafts, persimmon trees are often grafted using the whip and tongue graft. Wait until the dormant season to graft your persimmon trees.
Select and cut off your scion, which is the new branch from another tree. The scion should be about 3/8 inch in diameter and should be taken from another healthy persimmon tree. There should be two to four existing buds on it from last year’s growing season.
Select your rootstock, which is the persimmon tree onto which you are grafting. The main branch should be approximately the same size or slightly larger than the scion (about 3/8 inch in diameter).
Slice your rootstock several inches from the bottom. Make a smooth, angled cut near the bottom, about an inch and half long. The cut should form a wedge shape. Then cut a small straight slit into the wedge to form a “tongue.” You may want to practice slicing on random pieces of live wood (from pruning, perhaps) that are similar in diameter before actually slicing your rootstock. It is an art that takes practice.
Slice your scion and make a tongue. The scion cut should match the rootstock so they fit together. Again, you may want to practice first on other pieces of wood until you are able to comfortably slice a piece that matches the rootstock.
Combine the rootstock and the scion. Tie them together with twine or a rubber band. It should not be too tight that it damages the wood, but tight enough that it holds.
Use grafting wax to seal all exposed wood. Keep the “new” tree evenly watered and do not prune any new growth, even suckers, the first year while the graft heals.