Persimmon Tree Facts

Persimmon Tree Facts image by Creative Commons
Persimmon Tree Facts image by Creative Commons

Overview

Once grown widely in rural areas for puddings and candies, the persimmon has returned to American tables and fruit orchards. "New" varieties bear larger fruit that can "keep" longer, making transport of this sweet orange fruit more profitable.

Identification

Persimmons are medium-to-large, fruit-bearing trees that grow naturally in China, Japan, Mexico and the southern U.S.

American persimmon blossom.

Types

Trees have been adapted from wild specimens. The most commonly grown types are American, Japanese or Mexican.

Culture

Each type of tree has dozens of cultivars. Cultivated trees are often self-pollinating and grow well where the soil is moist but well-drained.

Many persimmons do not ripen until after all the leaves fall.

Features

Persimmon wood is very hard but is also brittle, necessitating protection for young trees. The tree has unusual form with drooping branches and fruit often ripens only after all the leaves have fallen. Persimmon trees can grow from 40 to 60 feet tall but are much shorter in their northern range.

Warning

Persimmon trees can be invasive in their natural growing areas. The slimy fruit can present hazards if the tree is planted near sidewalks or outdoor living areas. The tree is a member of the rose family; like their cousins, many cultivars are susceptible to black spot and verticillium wilt.

References

  • University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service
  • Common Persimmon

Who Can Help

  • California Rare Fruit Growers
  • University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service
  • Uncommon Fruits
Keywords: persimmon, fruit trees, orchards

About this Author

Laura Reynolds began writing professionally in 1974. She has worked as author and editor in nonfiction, professional journals and newspapers. Reynolds has also served in numerous appointed and elected local offices. She holds a Bachelor of Science in education from Northern Illinois University.

Photo by: Creative Commons