The beautiful, fruit-bearing North American persimmon is a deciduous shade tree native across much of the eastern United States with some disjunct populations in the West. Mature specimens become quite large and attractive, but trees are slow to reach maturity and can be quite weedy when young forming dense thickets where birds and other wildlife drop their seeds. The small, astringent, bright orange persimmons are produced in fall and delicious when cooked or added to baked goods. They are inedible before fully ripe but sweeten up after hard frost. In the wild, the common persimmon can be found growing in both upland and lowland hardwood and coniferous forests.
Common persimmon trees have deep taproots and strong, straight trunks lined with dark, blocky, almost checkered bark. Their simple, elliptical leaves are medium green and turn shades of yellow, orange and red in fall. The trees are dioecious, meaning some trees have male flowers and others have female. All the flowers are small, urn-shaped, brownish yellow and produced in late spring. The male, or staminate, flowers are small and in clusters of two to three while the female blooms are borne individually. The waxy orange fruits are flattened spherical berries with leafy tops and eight flattened seeds inside. They are thick-skinned and inedible until they soften after hard frost. Wildlife relish the fruits.
For best fruiting, plant this tree in full to partial sun. Overall, common persimmons are adaptable and may be planted in many soil types as long as they are not too wet. Specimen trees look best if grown in open lawns. Female trees are pretty but messy in fall. In the wild, fruits vary widely in quality. On one tree they may be delicious when ripe, on another barely edible. The same is true of trees grown from seed. A few cultivars, selected for the size and flavor of their fruits, are available from nurseries that specialize in fruiting shrubs and trees. Some of these are purported to be self-fruitful.
Persimmon fruit is high in fiber. Before eating, they must be skinned and run through a food mill until a smooth mash is yielded. This sweet mash can be used to bake persimmon pudding, rolls or muffins. (source: learn2grow.com)
Genus - Diospyros
Species - Virginiana
Common name - Persimmon
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 4 - 9
Height - 15'-30' / 4.6m - 9.1m
Spread - 15'-25' / 4.6m - 7.6m
Plant type - Medium Tree
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Shade
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral
Soil type - Clay, Loam, Well drained
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Edible, Feature Plant, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Shade Trees
Germination rate - 89%
Bloom season - Late Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Green / Yellow Green
|Germination||1. Soak seeds for 24 hours in warm water.|
2. Planting persimmon trees from seed takes a bit of time and patience. Germination of persimmon tree seeds requires a period of consistent cold temperature to bring them out of dormancy, which can be accomplished by using a technique called cold stratification. This is done by simply wrapping the seeds in moist paper towels and refrigerating them in a plastic bag or container for three to four months.
3. Starting your persimmons seeds indoors can be done in late winter or early spring. Be sure to use a deep container for these seeds, as persimmon seedlings develop a very long taproot. The taproot develops long before any growth shows above the soil line and, if your pot isn't deep enough, will push the seed right out of the soil. Place your seeds about two inches below the soil surface, using a well drained potting mixture. Persimmon seeds can take as much as six to eight weeks to germinate, and should be kept moist and warm, between 70 and 85 degrees, throughout the process.
4. Seedlings should be planted outdoors at the end of their first season of growth, as later transplantation can be damaging to the taproot, which can cause the young tree to wither away. Persimmon trees will grow best in a sunny location that is sheltered from heavy winds, and in soil that provides efficient drainage. Be sure to dig planting holes deep enough to accommodate the taproots comfortably, and tamp soil in around the roots gently, removing any air pockets. Water the seedlings after planting, then keep them moist, but not waterlogged throughout the active growth period.
5. Staking or caging your seedlings is recommended, providing support until their roots have grown enough to give your little trees a firm foothold in the garden. Keep the area around your young persimmon trees clear of weeds, eliminating competition for the nutrients needed to get them off to a healthy start. And, have patience, your persimmon trees will need several years of nurturing before they begin to produce their wonderful fruit. (source: ehow.com)