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Persimmon trees put on a fall show!

This time of year, trees are turning colors and putting on a show. In addition to the yellow, oranges, and rust color of leaves, you may also notice a bright orange fruit standing out from the crowd. It’s persimmon – a tree that makes a striking, edible addition to your landscape.

Persimmon are easy to grow and adapted to most locations in Texas. There are two native species in Texas: American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) and Texas persimmon (Diospyros texana). D. virginiana grows in the eastern part of the state while D. texana is found in the hill country and areas west. But, the tree you will most commonly see for sale in nurseries is the Asian persimmon (D. kaki).

Persimmon-pixabay

Asian persimmon are small, sprawling trees that can reach 25-30′ in height, but will normally stay a more large shrub size of 15′ tall. The trees have gorgeous, dark green leaves that turn all shades of red, orange, and yellow in the fall. Dark, gnarled bark adds to the character of the tree. Of course, the most striking feature is the large, bright orange fruits that persist after leaf drop.

Persimmon trees are either astringent types or non-astringent types.

  • Astringent type fruits are hard & bitter until frost, which allows the fruit to ripen fully. They ripen to a soft, mushy consistency. Fruit should be left on the tree for as long as possible before harvest. The longer the fruit stays on the tree, the better the flavor.

  • Non-astringent fruit can be eaten much sooner – as soon as the fruit develops a bright orange color. Non-astringent fruits can be eaten much like an apple, with a crisp & crunchy texture.
PTSpersimmon

Persimmon fruits

Some of the best varieties of persimmon to plant in Texas are:

Fuyu‘: medium sized, non-astringent fruit, self-pollinating

Eureka‘: heavy producing, astringent fruit

Hachiya‘: vigorous growing tree with astringent fruit

Izu‘: non-astringent fruit that ripens earlier than most

Persimmon should be planted in well-draining soil. They do not like standing water or poor draining soils. Persimmon should be planted in full sun to flower and fruit the best.

If you are looking for a show-stopping edible tree for your landscape, persimmon is the tree for you. Not only do you get to enjoy fall color, the gorgeous fruits are a fun addition to baking and canning.

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