Q: What is wrong with my persimmon? Many of the leaves have browning around the edges. After talking to you, I went out and removed some of the stems and found a dark, discolored ring you suspected I might find. My friend thinks it is Botryosphaeria.
A: Thanks for sharing this info with me and after looking at the information on Botryosphaeria, I would agree with your friend. It is always nice to have someone this smart in your corner! Botryosphaeria dothideais a fungal disease and it is difficult to control in fruit crops. You may start to see cankers in the tree limbs and trunk, dieback on the outer limbs, stunted growth and oozing from the trunk tissue. The tree may live several years longer and still produce fruit but ultimately it will continue to spiral in decline and fruit production will also be reduced. The decline of the tree may make it more attractive to borers too. Fertilize using 6-6-6 or 8-8-8 and avoid high nitrogen products as they have a tendency to cause fruit drop. Keep the tree irrigated on a consistent basis but do not over water. Remember to keep lawn grass as far away from the tree as possible and lightly mulch 2-3 inches deep but 1-2 feet away from the trunk. Fuyu, which is the tree you have, is the recommended cultivar for Northeast Florida. Sometimes we can do all the right things and still the plant is not healthy and successful – don’t be too hard on yourself.