The common persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) is a deciduous tree that is grown for its beautiful foliage and edible fruit, and it is prized for its beauty and wood density. A common persimmon in the landscape averages around 60 feet tall and in its natural environment can be found as large as 132 feet tall.
The common persimmon tree is a native species found in a variety of habitats from southern New England, throughout the southeastern United States, and westward to Kansas and Texas. It is one of the few trees that can grow in almost any type of soil, and can adapt to a wide range of climates. Its thick, glossy leaves are dark green in the summer and turn to shades of reddish-purple in the fall. In the late spring, white fragrant bell shaped flowers give the common persimmon tree a stunning display.
Diospyros translates from the Greek as “food of the Gods,” and it may come as no surprise that the common persimmon tree is most well known for the delicious orange fruit that it produces in the fall. The delicate male and female persimmon flowers grow on separate trees, and both are essential for adequate fruit production. Ripe fruit will have a pinkish orange tint with a frosted appearance. It is critical to avoid biting into a persimmon before it ripens or falls on the ground. Ripe common persimmon fruit is sweet with high sugar content, making it ideal for many deserts such as sherbet, custards, pudding and cake. Native Americans used to harvest and store dried persimmon fruit.
Persimmon wood is extremely dense and strong, making it ideal for textile shuttles and driver golf clubs. The wood is also used to produce wood turnery, spindles, furniture, and billiard cues. The bark on the common persimmon tree is very similar to alligator skin. It is thick with short furrows that form square block ridges. The unique bark texture and dark brown to black color create beautiful winter interest in a landscape.
A myth about the common persimmon tree is that when the ovary inside a persimmon fruit is shaped like a spoon, a bad winter is expected. When it is shaped like a fork, a mild winter can be expected. The majority of persimmon fruit that falls to the ground each fall ferments because it is difficult to harvest. A group of industrious Southerners observed the fermenting fruit and capitalized on the idea by creating a delicious persimmon wine.
If you’d like to establish common persimmon trees in your landscape, we can connect you with a reputable and qualified landscape expert that can help you purchase and plant new common persimmon trees. For a complimentary consultation with a certified arborist, contact the location nearest you.
Common persimmon tree service is not very difficult because of a natural immunity to most tree diseases and insects. Occasionally, the fall webworm and the hickory horned devil caterpillar may prey on the common persimmon tree. Tree service may be necessary in extreme cases, but these insects generally do little damage to the persimmon, making it a relatively easy tree to maintain. If you suspect a problem with your common persimmon trees, call a SavATree certified arborist right away for an evaluation and treatment options. Our tree care experts can help protect your trees and keep your landscape beautiful.
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