Colorful Persimmon Trees

    • Primroses and pansies will add instant color to pots and flower beds. Combine them with bulbs for an extended season of bloom.
    • King Alfred daffodils, those big, showy, golden, trumpet-flowered daffodils, can be planted now from bulbs for glorious spring flowers.
    • Broadcast wildflower seeds and annual ryegrass on hillsides to stop erosion and give you lots of flowers next spring.
    • Empty birdbaths and fountains and cover them for the winter, to prevent water freezing and cracking the bowls.
    • Mulch asparagus beds with three inches of well-rotted manure.

Colorful Persimmon Trees for Home or Orchard

Oriental persimmons are the perfect trees for fruit enthusiasts who have little time for orcharding. They form a perfect umbrella shape without any pruning and they are virtually pest and disease free.

Persimmons are a favorite fruit throughout the Orient where they are native. The botanical name, Diospyros, means “fruit of the Gods”. They are prized not only for their fruit but also for their attractiveness as a medium-size ornamental tree.

Because they bloom so late, the blossoms are rarely bothered by late frosts. Fall frosts deepen the color of the fruit. In October or early November they yield a crop of bright red-orange fruit which, if not picked, stay on the tree after the leaves fall. Persimmons put on a brilliant display of autumn color with crimson leaves and orange fruit.

Although regular watering increases yields, persimmon trees are drought-tolerant and thrive in most well-drained soils. They must have good drainage around the crown of the roots. Trees reach 30 feet tall with broad leaves shading an area 25 feet in diameter.

There are two basic types of persimmons: the astringent varieties which must be allowed to soften before their astringency changes to a rich, sweet flavor; and the non-astringent types which are sweet and firm when ripe. In cool summer areas, where limited heat is available for ripening fruit, non-astringent types are recommended. They are well adapted in most areas around Willits.

The best known persimmon is the ‘Hachiya’. It is large and acorn-shaped with deep orange skin. Astringent until ripe, the soft red flesh is exceptionally rich and filling. It makes delicious breads, cookies and cobblers. It can be picked while still hard, by cutting the stems with shears, and allowed to ripen indoors.

‘Chocolate’ persimmon has sweet, spicy, firm, brown flesh with superb flavor. It is self-fruitful but astringent until ripe.

There are several non-astringent persimmons available. ‘Fuyu’ persimmon is very popular in the Orient. The shiny red, smooth, tomato-shaped fruit are light orange with firm flesh and a delicate, sweet flavor. The fruit can be peeled and eaten like an apple. It is good for baking but best when eaten fresh.

‘Coffee Cake’, pollinated by ‘Fuyu’, and ripening a month earlier, has a unique spicy-sweet flavor that instantly brings to mind hot coffee and cinnamon pastries. Plant the pair for the perfect persimmon experience.

‘Izu’ has large, round fruit that is very sweet, tasty, and non-astringent. It makes a relatively small tree, a good choice for the backyard.

Persimmons are a wonderful fall fruit to add to your orchard or to stand alone as an handsome ornamental tree.

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