Entry: Diospyros texana – Texas Persimmon – USA
Texas Persimmon, Diospyros texana is primarily a deciduous species but will retain its leaves From San Antonio, Texas and southward. I collected this tree in an area west of San Antonio. The species is very slow about growing and replacing its root structure. It is best to let it recover for about two years. This Yamadori is a female evident with the green fruit in the picture. It size is 26” tall and 32” long. It has small leaves and fruit making it an excellent candidate for bonsai.
The Texas Persimmon makes an outstanding specimen tree because of its interesting, gnarled branches, which become smooth and gray with age, like those of the crepe myrtle. When mature is has exfoliating bark. Its extremely drought and disease tolerant, and its leaves are often persistent. Birds and other wildlife are also fond of the fruit not to mention people find it rather delightful.
This Texas Persimmon has fully recovered from the trauma of collecting. I want to introduce the unique attributes of this species to the greater bonsai community. I originally selected this material because of the extreme reach of the lowest branch. A wonderfully unique feature of this plant is the deadwood turns black as if charred in a fire. There is no need for special treatment of the deadwood, it is extremely hard. I hope too accentuate the slant or windswept look, carve the base and enhance the deadwood feature.
One Quarter Progression
The tree has been wired and left to freely grow through the intensely hot summer. I have chosen the new front to show off the more dramatic trunk line. Limited carving has been carried out but will be continued this winter.
Half Way Progression
The tree continues to be left to grow some limited adjustments on the branches have been completed. I have left a new branch closer to the base of the tree to grow out and it has doubled in caliper in just a couple of months. This branch may dictate a new front.
Three Quarter Progression
Texas Persimmon, Diospyros texana is primarily a deciduous species but will retain its leaves from San Antonio, Texas and southward. I collected this tree in an area west of San Antonio. The species is very slow about growing and replacing its root structure. It is best to let it recover for about two-three years. Starting measurements of tree 26” T x 32” W. Finished height for the contest at this stage of the original front 23” T x 36” W x 4” trunk, for the new view it measures 23” T x 24” W x 4” trunk.
The Texas Persimmon has an average development of ramification. Two more years should see nice progress in that area. I will continue carving the base area of the tree working with the shape to better conform to the outline of the upper trunk. Other areas of carving are smaller and scattered up the trunk. These areas will also create a visual movement up the trunk. As the carving progresses the deadwood will continue to darken to a coal black color. The tree has considerable age on it because the bark has been shedding and is nearly gone. The Persimmon has a similar look to the Crepe Myrtle, smooth bark but gray in color.
The front side of the tree (as indicated in the photo) appealed to me because of the idea of movement like a bird taking off. I will continue to develop three main areas of leaf pads, separating them more as the ramification develops. The bottom branch has thickened considerably but will it develop enough to create a substantial counterbalance, maybe. If not I will remove it.
This brings me to my now favorite view (the right side). The three pad areas enhance the movement up the trunk and the tree is some what in your face but has a more dramatic impact when viewed. The first limb becomes more relevant and I will cut it back this spring and it could double in size like it did last fall. I will carve the trunk more to develop a smooth transition. The movement that I mentioned before still has a strong presence, like a bird taking off. I am sorry about the wire but it is not ready to be removed.
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Final Outcome: 4
extremely challenging material, the top could have been cut half way and thus creating a bonsai in much better proportions
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Final Outcome: 5
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Final Outcome: 5