Minimum Spacing: 15-20’ min
Light: prefers full sun
Shade: does not tolerate much shade
Moisture: medium to some drought tolerance
Pollination & Propagation: needs two to pollinate; propagates with seed
Harvest begins at: 3-6 yrs
Interesting Growing Considerations: will “litter” sidewalks that makes tracking through homes a nuisance and potentially brings in pests; underripe fruit are full of tannins -- only eat ripe fruit which is when nearly all the leaves have dropped and after first frost (if we get one before fruit drop) -- they can also be ripened in a paper bag.
Overview: Full grown Persimmons are usually 50-100 ft tall, with thick, gray black bark, divided into square blocks of about 1 ½ inches per side, the trunk resembles a mosaic. This member of the ebony family has hard, dense wood, like its relatives. The alternate, toothless, short-stalked leaves are elongated ovals.
The persimmon has a globular fruit, that is orange throughout, 1 to 1 ½ inches across, covered by a thin, leathery skin that discolors yellowish-brown. There are one to six large, brown, flat seeds inside. They normally grow in dry woods, on rocky hillsides, along roads, in rich bottomlands, in or along the edges of old fields, and along roadsides.
Planting: Plant in well-drained soil, in a hole twice the size of the root ball. Persimmons prefer semi-moist soils and partial to full sun. Do not fertilize this tree, it has to adapt to the nutrients in the soil that surround it but you can supplement with mulch at the tree base. Plant somewhere where it will not shade out other plants such as a north or north-east corner.
Harvests and Uses: Fruits can be harvested in late-fall. The fruit is great in puddings, supplying all the sweetness and thickening you’ll need. It can be added to bread, pancakes, juices, pies, or made into jams, but they are especially good on their own. Persimmon wine or beer is a popular favorite. Like most fruit, canning and
freezing helps preserve harvest. Persimmons are one of the most caloric fruits and a great source of potassium, Vitamin C, and provides a lot of calcium and phosphorus. Persimmon leaf infusion is very high in Vitamin C, and tasty too.
Medicinally, unripe persimmons can be placed on burns, their astringency counteracts the burns tendency to ooze, and persimmons are slightly antiseptic. They also help treat wounds and stop bleeding. Persimmon leaf infusion is very high in Vitamin C, and tasty too. They also contain digestive enzymes papain and bromelain, so their good for your guts.