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How to Plant & Care for Persimmon Trees

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How to Plant & Care for Persimmon Trees

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Overview

Persimmons come in two main varieties: those that ripen when fully soft (and taste bitter otherwise) and those that ripen when hard. Both types perform best in hardiness zones 7 to 10 and require only 100 chill hours each winter. The fruits turn orange in late autumn after the tree has lost its foliage, making an attractive landscape tree. Common types of persimmon that gardeners can find include Fuyu, Hachiya, Chocolate, Eureka and Maru.

Step 1

Test the soil pH using a pH kit. Persimmon trees prefer a soil pH of 6.5 to 7.6, or fairly close to neutral (7). Amend your soil using lime to raise the pH and sulfur to lower it.

Step 2

Dig a hole that's twice as wide as the young persimmon tree's root ball and just as deep as the root ball. Jab your shovel at the bottom of the hoe to roughen up the soil, which makes it easier for the young tree roots to take hold.

Step 3

Remove the persimmon sapling from its container and break apart the tree's root ball with your fingers and unwind any tangled roots. Place the persimmon tree in the hole so that it's vertically straight and spread the roots out with your fingers at the bottom of the hole.

Step 4

Backfill the hole with soil without compressing the soil around the tree and water.

Step 5

Water the newly planted tree weekly until the soil becomes saturated, unless the tree receives rainfall that week.

Step 6

Fertilize young persimmon trees with nitrogen in the springtime. North Carolina State University recommends 1 ounce of nitrogen for each year of your persimmon tree's life as a guideline, though clay soils require less nitrogen than sandy soils. Sprinkle the nitrogen on the soil around the trunk of your tree, then water the soil to work in the nitrogen.

Step 7

Prune persimmon trees annually in the late winter once frost danger has passed using anvil pruners for small cuts and lopping shears for large ones. Train young trees to a vase shape by selecting three to four outward-growing limbs from the young tree and cutting off all other outward and upward growing limbs. Then allow the tree to grow for two feet, removing all branches, and create another set of fruit-bearing limbs at that height. Remove suckers from the tree trunk and cut back shoots to promote branching. Prune away upward-growing branches that shade the tree canopy.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • pH test kit
  • Lime (optional)
  • Sulfur (optional)
  • Persimmon sapling
  • Water
  • Nitrogen
  • Anvil pruners
  • Lopping shears

References

  • California Rare Fruit Growers: Persimmon
  • Rain Tree Nursery: Persimmons
  • North Carolina State University: Growing Oriental Persimmon

Who Can Help

  • The Garden Helper: Acid Soil
Keywords: persimmon tree care, plant persimmon tree, grow persimmons

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.