Persimmons grow on trees that produce two different sorts of fruit, astringent and non-astringent, according to California Fruit Growers (CFG). The point at which the fruit is ready to pick differs according to which type it is, although the way you harvest the persimmons once they're ready to pick is the same.
Wait to pick astringent persimmons until they are completely, and brightly, colored. The skins of persimmon fruits change color from green to shades varying from yellow to dark orange, depending on the species of the tree, when they're ripe.
Pick astringent fruits while they’re still hard. If you leave them on the trees till they’re fully ripe, birds and other wildlife will get a lot of your persimmons.
Pick non-astringent persimmons as soon as they’ve completely changed color.
Cut each fruit off the trees individually with hand clippers. Unless you plan to dry the persimmons, cut the stems off as close to the tops of the fruits as you can.
Handled the fruit gently—even if it feels as hard as a rock, it bruises easily. As you pick each fruit, put it gently into the basket.
Things You Will Need
- Hand clippers
- CFG says that you can't eat astringent fruit till it is "jelly soft," because it will be extremely sour and will make your mouth pucker. You can eat non-astringent fruit, on the other hand, from the moment it's soft enough to bite into it.
- Store astringent persimmons at room temperature till they soften, which may take a week or longer.
- If you put non-astringent persimmons in the refrigerator, they will continue to soften.
- You can freeze astringent persimmons for 6-8 months.
- You can dry either type of persimmons, whole or in slices.
- Don't store non-astringent persimmons at room temperature for more than a few days, as they may spoil.