The Persimmon tree is native to the Southeastern US but can be found across the eastern US thanks to breeding making this tree hardy to zone 4. The persimmon is self fertile but will produce more and better fruit with a companion. The fruit is elongated and oval shaped. When ripe, the persimmon blushes bright orange with slight redness and is NOT to be eaten before it is ripe.
It is horribly astringent before ripeness. Unusual to fruits and in a process called bletting, the fruits needs a touch of frost to push it over the ripe edge. Therefore, the fruit ripens in October. However, once allowed to ripen, the fruit is incredibly juicy and wonderfully sweet. Popular in desserts, the persimmon is also excellent for drying, canning, and eating right off the tree. For those who haven't eaten a persimmon- its sort of a cross between an apple and a tomato.
Known to Native Americans in ancient times, the wood from the persimmon tree is incredibly hard. Its heartwood is considered ebony in color and is extraordinarily thick-grained. While it may take a century or more to grow this wood- there is one, more common use. Woods in gold clubs are made from persimmon wood.
USDA Zone: 4-9
Mature Height: 30'+
Sun: Full Sun
Ripening Time: October
Pollination: Self Fertile but better fruit is produced with a companion tree
Scientific Name: Diospyros virginiana