Persimmon Trees are easy growing, low maintenance, beautiful trees that produce loads of delicious fruit. Planning your planting location and setting up regular feeding/watering schedules is key to your success.
These hardy fruit tree's ideal location should provide full sunlight for 6-8 hours per day, well-draining soil (avoid hardpan or clay soils) mounding up if needed.
Persimmon trees can be found all over the web and in stores either potted or bare root depending on availability. While the tree you receive will be quite different, the planting instructions are actually relatively similar and easy. Once you have selected a location and your ground is ready to plant, dig a hole a little deeper and wider that the root ball. Do not add peat moss, compost, organic materials or fertilizer to the planting hole, since this can burn new roots. Shovel enough loose soil back into the planting hole to create a mound on which to set the tree. The top of the root ball should stand slightly higher in the soil, to allow for settling. Prune off any broken, rotted, or twisted roots, making clean cuts. Now you are ready to place your tree in the planting hole and backfill with native soil that can be lightly amended if needed. Be sure that the graft is sitting at least a 4"-6" above the final soil level. For potted persimmon trees, place the tree into the planting hole and back fill so that the top of the root ball is level with the existing soil. Water your new tree slowly and thoroughly to soak the ground and allow the water to fill any possible air gaps in the soil.
Persimmon trees produce larger and better fruit when watered regularly, ideally receiving 36-48" per year. They will drop leaves and fruit in extreme drought conditions, but can withstand shorter drought periods. In hot areas it may be necessary to water a couple of times a week, unless they are growing in heavy clay soil.
A monthly dose of a balanced fruit tree fertilizer during the growing season will help your tree in its first few seasons to get established. An annual topdressing of compost and mulch will be more than enough to keep the tree growing strong and healthy once your tree has rooted into its new location.
Persimmons can be grown as large specimen trees or pruned heavily to create a hedge. Persimmons can even be trained as espaliers if cut back to about one half the original height at planting. Aggressive pruning will help reduce the overall tree height but also can also reduce your overall yield.
Keep in mind that persimmon fruit is borne on branch tips, so it is best to prune selectively and thoroughly in the first few years so the tree will develop balanced structure and strong branches for fruit. Regular maintenance pruning involves heading some branches and removing others, usually resulting in a general "Open Vase" or "Central Leader" shape.
Removing excess or rotten fruit left on the tree will discourage the pests and diseases from getting established. The rotten fruit and leaves will be great food for your compost bin or can otherwise be tossed in your green waste bit. This is also the perfect time to implement some of the pruning tips above.
Protect your fruit trees from the hot summer sun, winter cold, pests, and rodents with Plant Guard tree paint and foliar spray.
Check out Choose the right Persimmon Tree for more information on our varieties!
Author Israel Osuna