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Persimmon Tree Care
Persimmons perform best in well-drained soil and with full sun exposure. Fertilize with nitrogen once a year in early spring or try adding 5 to 10 pounds of compost per tree in late winter. Water no more than once every two weeks during spring and summer. Prune to shape when dormant. The Fuyu Persimmon fruit is eaten fresh off the tree beginning in the fall. The Hachiya type fruit is picked when firm and bright orange in color and stored until soft. It is often used for baking. Both types can be dried as well.
Persimmons will tolerate some shade in hot inland areas. In cooler areas, full sun and wind protection are important. Persimmons prefer deep loamy soils, but will tolerate a range of conditions, provided soil salts are low. The preferred soil pH for persimmons is between 6.5 and 7.5.
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.
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.
Because fruit is borne on branch tips, 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" shape.
Since excess nitrogen can cause fruit drop, persimmon trees should be minimally fertilized. Trees may benefit from a 10- 10-10 fertilizer applied evenly in late winter or early spring, before fruit set.
Note on Dormancy:
Dormant trees still need to be protected (winterized) to remain healthy and free from diseases and insects. Prune dead branches in the later part of fall. Foliage and branches that are in contact with soil invite undesirable pests. Therefore it is best to keep the winterized potted dormant tree clean of debris. Set it in an unheated garage or basement and allow it to go dormant for the winter months. Water the tree as you would normally would through dormancy. It helps to have a moisture meter because in cooler climates the tree will not need to be watered as often. Water the dormant tree when meter reads 40%. Fertilize dormant trees in February.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 229-299-5555 if you need assistance with your Persimmon tree.