Hi I'm Tricia an organic gardener I grow organically for are healthy and safe food supply, for a clean and sustainable environment, for an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
Persimmons are beautiful and adaptable fruit trees and the fruit can be eaten fresh dried or pickled. The oriental persimmon is native to China and Japan and is a relatively pest free tree to grow it has glossy dark green leaves that turn red orange and yellow for a fiery fall display even after all the leaves drop the deep red orange fruit hangs on the bare branches for a dramatic fall picture. Once established persimmon trees are drought tolerant but they'll bear more fruit with regular watering don't over water your newly planted persimmon tree the biggest cause of death for persimmon trees is too much water. You need full sun and good drainage for your persimmon tree but they will handle heavier soils than most fruit trees especially if the tree that your planting is grafted onto a "D Lotus" rootstock for more information on how to plant a fruit tree checkout our how to plant a tree video.
The persimmons sold at groworganic.com are self pollinating, they're hardy down to zone seven and have a low chill requirement and they bloom late enough to avoid most late spring frosts. This persimmon tree has had some harsh pruning in the past you want to train your persimmon to a modified central leader system and you can watch our video on how to prune cherries trees and apricots and its a similar way but you will prune this one in the winter. Persimmons are heavy producers a mature full-size tree can produce three hundred and thirty to six hundred and sixty pounds of fruit each year so it's important to thin it. Persimmons bear fruit on these long shoots thin out some of these long fruiting shoots to limit the amount of fruit the tree is able to set flower or fruit thinning may be necessary later in the season especially for the Hachiya cultivar prune out week twiggy growth and water sprouts. What not to do; don't head back your scaffolding branches like this it just produces way too many shoots. Find a lateral at least a third the size of the branch you're taking out then use a thinning cut to take the branch back to that lateral this will keep the tree smaller and more compact without creating a lot of messy water sprouts.
There are two types of persimmon fruits a none astringent type like this Fuyu and the astringent type like this Hachiya. The Hachiya's needs to be fully ripe and very soft before you eat them. The Fuyus' can be eaten right off the tree like an apple. In order to enjoy an astringent persimmon like the Hachiya it needs to be fully ripe or else it taste like eating straight alum powder and that means pick them when they're fully colored but still firm they can be left on the tree to ripen but more often than not birds will eat them before you do. To ripen them put them in boxes and leave them in the garage or you can ripen them on the kitchen counter when they're ripe they will feel like holding a bag of jello and they'll be translucent instead of opaque and don't worry if there's a little bit of sun scald that can actually help the fruit taste sweeter. Once they're fully ripe you can freeze them whole and then take them out and enjoy them whenever you want it's a beautiful tree and a delicious fruit so try it and grow organic for life!