Persimmon trees native to both North America and Asia grow well in many parts of the United States, but the range of the best imported cultivars is limited to the Deep South and other regions with a moderate winter climate. South Carolina's winter minimums allow most home fruit growers in the state to cultivate both types successfully. Transplanting these deeply rooted trees usually fails unless the trees are very young. The American persimmon starts easily from seed and transplants well up to its second season. Established in the orchard, the American persimmon serves as hardy grafting rootstock for prized cultivars of both persimmon species.
Insert the full blade length of a transplanting shovel into the ground 1 foot away from the seedling's stem. Cut completely around the tree to free the root ball, driving the blade into the ground at different spots to complete the circle.
Press the shovel to its full depth again--in one of the previous cuts--and lever the tree out of the hole. Try to pry the tree out without losing much of the soil around the root system.
Lay the tree on a plastic trash bag and wrap both roots and soil with the bag. Tie the wrapped root-ball with garden twine to lightly close both ends. The plastic wrapping keeps tender roots from drying out before replanting. Place the tree in a bucket or wheelbarrow.
Dig a planting hole to match the width of the root ball, as deep as the longest root. The tree should sit at the same level in the new hole as it did where it originally grew.
Expand the hole to 3 feet across to prepare a well-tilled growing zone. Dig the outer part of the planting site at least 6 to 8 inches deep. Break up the soil and remove all rocks and roots.
Set the persimmon tree in place with the tap root in the deep center of the new planting hole. Don't bend the tip of the tap root to make it fit--if the root won't fit the hole, dig deeper. Fill the outer part of the planting hole with the tilled dirt.
Water the persimmon tree well and keep the site moist throughout the first growing season. The soil should be damp, but not muddy. Persimmons prosper in many types of soil, but will not survive in waterlogged areas.