Tanenashi persimmon tree laden with ripe fruit
image by Katorisi:commons.wikimedia.org
Tanenashi persimmons, often referred to as Japanese persimmons, are a seedless varietal of heavy fruiting sweet persimmon with a yellow-orange skin. They are the favored varietal used in producing dried persimmon fruit in Japan and are grown widely in the Southeastern United States and California. Hardy in USDA zones 8b through 11, tananashi persimmons thrive in full sun and evenly moist soil.
Select a planting location for your tanenashi that will accommodate the tree at its mature size of up to 60 feet in height, with a lateral spread of up to 20 feet. Each tree produces fruit for as many as 40 years and they do not like to be moved once established, so consider your choice a permanent home. Choose a siting with full sun to partial shade exposure for the most abundant fruiting.
Prepare a planting hole in your soil that is twice the diameter of the root ball and at least as deep. Tanenashi are not finicky about soil conditions, but a loose soil that new roots can easily penetrate will be helpful in establishing the tree. Till up and loosen the soil in the bottom of the planting hole and amend with a few pounds of compost. Slide the tree out of its nursery pot or remove its burlap wrapping. Gently set the tree in its hole and turn it until the most pleasing aspect faces front.
Back fill the soil around the root ball and tamp down lightly with your hands or heel to fill in any air pockets. With the excess soil, make a moat out two feet from the trunk to act as a catch basin for water. Fill the moat and allow the water to percolate into the soil. When it is completely absorbed, fill the moat a second time. Mulch with cocoa hulls, shredded bark or leaf mold to keep weeds down and prevent moisture loss. Water your newly planted tree each week, ensuring that the soil is uniformly moist when feeling it a few inches down.
Feed your persimmon tree for the first time in the early spring using a 6-10-6 formulation. Apply one pound of fertilizer for every year of the tanenashi's age. Feed one half of the dose in the spring and the second half in the early summer, if you prefer. Always apply fertilizer over wet soil and water in well. Err on the side of under-fertilizing, as overdoing it can cause the tree to precipitously drop its fruit.