The persimmon tree comes in various varieties which have some similarities and some distinctive features. The two main and popular persimmon tree species are the Asian persimmon or the Japanese persimmon – Diospyros Kaki, and the American persimmon – Diospyros Virginiana.
The American persimmon tree grows fruits that have a very thick texture, and they are rich in sugar. It can grow in a variety of soils and climates, it is also quite tolerant of low temperatures. This tree takes quite a long time to ripen the fruit; it can take about three months to ripe the fruit in a warm fall season.
The persimmon is an easy tree to grow in many types of conditions; it can be easily grown in your backyard. It is also not easily affected by pests, so if want to have an almost maintenance-free delicious fruit tree, then it is a good option.
China is the leader in the production of persimmon in the world, and in the U.S. California is the biggest producer of the persimmon. The American persimmon is very significant for wildlife, as it provides a lot of food for the animals in the wild.
Animals like to consume the persimmon fruit, and it also has a lot of calories which makes it a good source of energy for these animals. These fruits grow on the trees throughout the winter and sometimes up to the early spring.
The persimmon tree is an excellent plant to include in your landscape, although it has multiple benefits, it can be even grown only for ornamental purposes, as it has beautiful foliage with vibrant colors. The beautiful orange color fruits in the winter make it quite a decorative thing to look at throughout the season.
Persimmon Tree Basic Description
The persimmon tree is a member of the “Ebenaceae” family and it has a lot of different varieties. The persimmon is generally a small to medium height deciduous tree which grows in the height range of 4 to 18 meters.
It has an alternating leaves pattern, which means that the leaves grow along the stem but they never grow parallel to each other. One leaf grows on the left and the other on the right in a continuous zigzag pattern.
The bark of the persimmon tree is also quite unique; it looks like a mosaic pattern of small squares and rectangles. The bark has this peculiar feature with vertical ridges that run down the trunk.
The persimmon tree can be easily identified by its nice bright orange fruits that grow all over the tree. The persimmon fruits mature and fall to the ground, and they are at their maximum sweetness at that time. This is the reason that the animals in the wild love to feast on them.
The unripe fruit can be quite astringent and it can have a really strong taste. So make sure you eat properly ripe fruit. The fruit contains about six seeds in it, these seeds are long and brown and each seed is about one and a half inches long. The fruit is pulpy and slimy; it is also sweet and nutritious.
How To Grow Persimmon Tree
The best way to grow a persimmon tree is to propagate it from the seeds. For this you must make sure that you get viable and healthy seeds for starting the process of germination.
Many persimmon fruits that are available in the stores are grown for commercial purposes. And most of them do not have any seeds in them, or else you may see that some of the fruits have very tiny black seeds. These seeds are quite undeveloped and they are not quite suitable for germination.
So a good option for finding viable seeds for germination can be your local market, depending upon the area you live in. The natural persimmon fruits have decent seeds in them which are easier to germinate.
The persimmon seeds germinate in a unique way, the seed coating gets shoved out of the soil. And then eventually the leaves push this seed coating open and grow out of it.
The germination of the persimmon seeds can be done by the paper towel method. So basically you need to take some viable seeds, clean them properly, and put them in a wet paper towel. Put this paper towel in a zip lock bag and then keep this bag in a warm and partial shady place.
The seeds will take around two to three weeks to germinate properly, so you need to be a little bit patient. Keep the paper towel moist all the time, do not put excessive water. And you will see that it is quite an effective way of germinating these seeds.
The other way of germinating the seeds is to directly plant the seeds into the soil. It is also a good way of germinating persimmon seeds. These seeds do not require any special treatment, all you need to do is put the seeds into a proper soil mix and give them water and keep them in a warm spot.
Once the seeds germinate and the new seedlings grow to a length of about 5 to 6 inches, they can be transplanted. If you choose a pot for transplanting the seedling then make sure it is quite deep. This will allow the plant to develop a healthy root system.
The persimmon fruit can be characterized as a medium, almost spherical, or acorn-shaped fruit, that is orange or little brownish in color. This tree is cultivated for its fruit in many Asian countries such as China, Japan, and South Korea. The persimmon tree is also grown in most areas of the United States.
The main characteristic of a persimmon fruit is that it has a thin orange edible skin, the color of the skin of the fruit gets darker as the fruit ripens. The inside of the fruit can be soft or firm depending on the variety of the fruit; also some of the varieties can be fibrous while others can be gel-like.
The persimmon trees have two varieties of fruits; there is the astringent variety and the non-astringent variety. The non-astringent varieties such as Fuyu persimmon are more popular amongst the fruit lovers. Fuyu persimmon is one of the most popular of the non-astringent varieties.
The main difference between the astringent and the non-astringent is that in the astringent varieties the fruit is quite crisp and juicy. It can be eaten directly and its pieces are as firm as pieces of apple fruit. Whereas for eating the fruits of the astringent varieties you have to wait for them to become jelly-like and soft before you can enjoy the sweetness of the fruit.
There are many health benefits of eating the persimmon fruits, they are very fibrous, and they contain beta carotene, magnesium, vitamin C, and other nutrients.