Question: Do you know what would cause
wounds such as these to my Texas Persimmon? Is it an insect?
Answer: As Sherlock would say, "Elementary!"
This is the work of an intelligent being--much more intelligent than an insect.
Squirrels will do this from time to time, for reasons I’ve never
heard explained. Shown below is a similar example from Red Oak. You'll notice
that there is fresh damage plus some scars that have already formed
callus tissue. This suggests that some squirrels develop this behavior
as a habit and may do it year after year. Its relative rareness suggests
that only a few “weirdo” squirrels take up the practice.
Michael Merchant, Ph.D., BCE; Urban Entomologist; Texas Cooperative Extension