Fuyu Persimmon Tree Care
Fuyu persimmon trees are medium-sized, hardwood, deciduous fruit trees. Fuyu persimmons (Diospyros kaki) are non-astringent, unlike persimmons native to the United States (Diospyros virginiana), according to Richard A. Hayden, a horticulturist with Purdue University. Also called Japanese or Oriental persimmons, these trees are desirable by home gardeners for their hardiness and their crisp, sweet fruit. Fuyu persimmon trees are also attractive, as the deep-orange fruit often clings to the bare branches of the tree long after the leaves have fallen.
Fuyu persimmon trees are less cold-hardy than their native counterparts. They cannot tolerate very cold temperatures even while dormant, and freezing temperatures will kill the leaves and blooms of the tree if they occur during the growing period. Fuyu persimmons should be grown outdoors only in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) hardiness zones 7 through 10. Very hot sunlight will scorch the bark of the tree, so it is not recommended for growth in the high desert or tropical areas.
Persimmon trees thrive in full sunlight and need plenty of space and air movement to avoid fungal diseases such as leaf spot. In warmer climates, these trees will tolerate locations where they receive some afternoon shade. In cooler climates, Fuyu trees should be planted where they will be protected from cold breezes, according to information published by the California Rare Fruit Growers Association.
Soil and Water
Fuyu persimmon trees are exceptionally hardy and will grow on a wide range of soil types, including sandy or clay soil, save soil that has a high content of salt. They thrive in loamy, well-drained soil with an average pH of around 7.0. While these trees can survive periods of drought, they produce higher-quality fruit with consistent watering. Water enough so that the soil is continually moist, but not soggy. In some areas, this could mean watering up to 3 times per week. Use a soaker or drip hose and let the water slowly seep into the ground over the course of several hours, as these trees have deep tap roots.
Prune your Fuyu persimmon in December and again in early summer. Remove branches that cross or rub against each other, and branches that make tight angles. Opening up the tree will allow a more stable crop production and reduce the heavy load of fruit. This tree tolerates heavy pruning, so you can also head it in December to maintain a manageable height.
Fuyu trees are not heavy feeders. In fact, too much fertilizer can burn the leaves of the tree, which will turn brown. Still, they can benefit from a light application of a balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer in early spring. Use 1 pound of a slow-release, water-soluble fertilizer for every inch of the trunk's diameter. Apply it to the soil out to the edge of the tree's canopy.