Persimmon tree in the winter.
image by Sheffnermarc/Flickr
Persimmon trees are native throughout America and Asia. There are a number of varieties to choose from, and each has slightly different fruit. Fuyu and Hachiya are two Asian varieties favored by home gardeners. Persimmons are usually hardy between zones 6 to 10 although that may vary depending on the type of tree. Even without the bright orange fruit, persimmon trees have an interesting branch structure. However, light pruning is needed to keep these trees in top shape.
Young Tree (1 to 3 Years Old)
Pinch all fruit off of the tree as it forms in the summer. Do not allow the persimmon trees to grow fruit until they are at least 4 years old.
Remove any crossing branches at the time of planting and every winter.
Cut back every branch by 2 or 3 feet in the winter of the second year.
Older Trees (4 Years and Older)
Prune your persimmon tree in the winter after the fruit has been harvested.
Cut off any over reaching, dead or damaged branches at the base of the tree. Cut off any horizontal branches at the base.
Head off each branch by one third to promote more fruit production.
Leave branches with about one foot of space between them to increase the amount of sunlight that reaches the fruit.
Remove root suckers and water sprouts as they occur year round.