Persimmons, also known by their latin name Diospyros, are deciduous trees grown for their drooping leaves and branches, colourful fall foliage and attractive orange, jewel-like edible fruit on bare winter branches. Persimmons are either Astringent or Non-Astringent.
Astrigent varieties are better suited for colder climates (like ours), but taste foul until they are ripe and soft like a tomato. Non-astringent varieties require hot summers to ripen, but can be eaten when they are crisp like an apple.
Exposure / Light
Persimmons should be planted in full sun. Avoid planting them in low-lying frost pockets. Against a south facing wall is ideal.
Soil / Moisture
Plant persimmons in warm, sandy, well drained soil.
Persimmons benefit from a yearly application of Arts Garden Pro Fruit Tree and Berry Food. Apply in early spring. Note that Persimmons are very late to leaf out. More than one has been returned to the nursery as dead, but still completely healthy.
Most Persimmon trees will set fruit without external pollination. However, pollinated fruits will have seeds, may be larger, ripen earlier and have a different flavour or texture than their non-pollinated counterparts.
Like other fruit trees, Persimmons may be guilty of setting more fruit than the tree can handle. If this occurs, remove some of the fruit during the growing season to redirect energy into improving the quality of the remaining fruit.
Persimmons are also ripe very late in the season. Most will not be ready to pick until the late fall or early winter. Given our unpredictable weather, it is best to harvest before the weather turns really ugly in Late October or November.
The goal of persimmon pruning is to achieve an open centre in the tree. Prune enough each year to stimulate new growth which will produce fruit the following season. Pruning should be performed when the plant is dormant in late winter. As always, remove dead, damaged and diseased wood. Remove upright branches or those that cross, rub or otherwise grow in the wrong direction.
Persimmons can require more care than other fruit trees as their roots develop slowly and their leaves and fruit are produced late. When planting, use a liquid transplant fertilizer and/or bonemeal. Be patient in Spring. Apply a dormant oil, lime sulphur spray in late winter to kill overwintering insects and reduce the likelyhood of disease.
For More Information
For more information about growing and caring for Persimmons, visit us at Arts Nursery or call 604.882.1201. Our best selection of Persimmons is available in late March and April, although we do carry Persimmon trees all year round.