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How to Transplant a Persimmon Tree

The American persimmon tree grows wild from New York to Florida and from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to parts of Texas and Kansas. Persimmon trees are either male or female, and pollination from both is necessary for fruit production. Fully ripe fruit has a sweet flavor similar to an apricot. The trees easily grow to 25 feet in height. The best time to transplant a persimmon tree is when it is still relatively small and manageable. If the tree is fully grown, a professional tree service will need to be called. Transplant persimmons in the winter when they are dormant.

Decide on the size of the root ball that you can handle and transport. A large root ball will help the tree transition after the transplant. Look closely at the tree to be transplanted and decide how far out you can safely dig and still be able to move the root ball. Ideally, you will dig around the tree as far out as the tree's drip line. The drip line is where the tree's foliage ends. Persimmon feeder roots are at the ends of its large, woody roots, which normally reach to the drip line.

Dig the hole where you are going to place the transplanted persimmon. Persimmon roots are extremely delicate and will dry out quickly, so the tree needs to be promptly placed in its new hole. Persimmons planted in full sun will thrive, but the tree can tolerate partial shade. The new planting site should also offer good drainage. Dig the hole twice the size of the transplant's root ball. Mix 50 percent peat moss with 50 percent garden soil to provide the persimmon tree with a rich soil base to begin establishing itself

Dig in a circular pattern around the tree. Push the shovel down and under until you have loosed the tree's root ball. Stay even with the tree's foliage drip line as you circle the tree. The persimmon spreads from rhizomes and roots that spread out from the tree in a horizontal pattern. Dig deeply under the tree to loosen all existing roots.

Gently grasp the tree close to the ground by the trunk and lift from the ground. Try to not shake off any existing dirt and transport as many of the roots as intact as possible.

Carry the tree gently to the planting site and set it in the hole. Place dirt and hummus around the tree's root ball. Tamp down the soil to hold the tree firmly in place. If the tree is relatively small, place stakes on either side of the tree's trunk and tie the tree to the stakes to provide additional support until the tree is established.

Water the tree thoroughly. Allow a garden hose to gently dribble water around the tree until the area is fully saturated. Keep the tree well-watered as it establishes itself, but do not let it become water-logged.

Place at least 3 inches of mulch around the base of the tree and over the transplanted root system. This will help the tree retain water and also offer protection during winter freezes. Peat moss or bark chips can be used for mulch.


A transplanted persimmon tree can take up to a year to establish itself. In March, apply a 10-20-20 fertilizer to the tree once new growth begins. Place 1/2 cup of fertilizer around the base of the tree and water thoroughly.

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