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How to Fertilize Persimmon Trees

furry fruits image by Yali Shi from Fotolia.com

Native to China where summers and winters are moderate, persimmon trees are now renowned and grown throughout the world for their succulent fruit. These trees grow up to 25 feet tall and produce pulpy persimmons provided they receive adequate amounts of sunlight, water and fertilizer, and are planted in the right type of soil. Fertilizing a young persimmon tree is essential to provide it necessary nutrients so it produces good quality fruit. With a little attention toward proper fertilizer application, you will have a good supply of persimmons you can use for baking or as a snack.

Measure the trunk of the persimmon tree at ground level to determine its diameter. Note the measurement on paper to determine how much fertilizer you need. Generally, you need 1 lb. of fertilizer for every inch of trunk diameter.

Purchase a fertilizer with balanced amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. A fertilizer too rich in nitrogen will cause the tree to grow unnaturally fast and drop premature fruit. Select a chemically balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 fertilizer, that has equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphate and soluble potash.

Wear your gloves and spread an even layer of fertilizer under the canopy around the base of the tree. Level it with a hand trowel. You can also shovel the fertilizer into the topsoil so it mixes well.

Water the soil around the persimmon tree deeply with a watering can or garden hose, so the fertilizer reaches deep down to the roots where it is absorbed.

Spread a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch over the soil around the tree to help retain moisture and prevent weeds. Do not spread mulch directly around the base of the tree, as it impedes proper circulation. You can also spread a 1- to 2-inch layer of compost over the mulch to hold it in place and make it look aesthetically pleasing.

Tip

Set a feeding schedule and stick to it, fertilizing the tree at the same time every year. The ideal time to fertilize a persimmon tree is in late winter toward the end of dormancy, or early spring just before fresh growth.

Apply a second round of fertilizer the same year if the leaves of an adult persimmon tree begin to turn yellow or light green, or new shoot growth is less than 1 foot long a year.

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