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Persimmon Trees


Persimmon Trees

Asian Persimmons - Diospyros kaki

'The persimmon tree has received more criticism, both adverse and favorable, than almost any known species," stated a U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers' Bulletin of 1915.

The bad press goes back as far as the early part of the 17th century, when Capt. John Smith, of Jamestown fame, wrote: "If a persimmon is not ripe it will draw a man's mouth awrie with much torment."

Smith went on to say that "when persimmon is ripe, it is as delicious as an apricot."

When ready to eat, an American persimmon is very soft, too soft for a market, fruit. But it's fine for back yards, where fruits need travel no further than arm's length. At that point, the flesh is something like a wet, dried apricot dipped in honey with a dash of spice. 

A trouble-free fruit to grow and beautiful in the garden as the red-orange fruits hang on the tree after the leaves fall. The fruit can be made into pulp and frozen, or sliced and dried. Persimmon trees do well in heavy soils and need little pruning after they are trained. All are on Lotus rootstock, which can grow up to 30 feet tall or be kept to ten feet by summer pruning. Trees can be espalier trained and are suitable for containers. Older wood is hardy to 0? F. They have a low chilling requirement (200 hours), and are self-fruitful. Zones 7-10.

When to harvest persimmons:   In general, there are two types of persimmons - astringent and non-astringent persimmons. Common varietals of astringent persimmons are Hachiya, Saijo, Tamopan and common varietals of non-astringent persimmons are Fuyu and Izu.  Astringent persimmons fully ripened and become soft on the tree is ideal. However, if they sit on the tree to long, birds, deer, raccoons and other animals may get to the trees. Due to the competition for the fruit, harvesting usually happens in the early fall, when the days are still a little warm. Harvest astringent persimmons when they are hard and fully colored. Allow them to fully ripen at room temperature in a protected location. They are ready to eat once they are very soft. Newly picked, unripe, hard astringent persimmons can be kept in the refrigerator for at least a month and can be frozen for up to 8 months.   Non-astringent persimmons are ready to harvest when they have their full, deep color. They are ripe and ready to be eaten when they are picked. Allowing them to soften will help with the taste, but they are ready at harvest time. The non-astringent persimmons can be stored for a short period of time at room temperature. They tend to soften too much if kept in the refrigerator with other fruits.  Harvesting technique is the same for astringent and non- astringent persimmons. To harvest fruit, cut from the tree with hand pruners or a knife, leaving a small stem attached to the fruit. Use a flat, shallow tray to collect them. Unlike fruits that can be stacked, persimmons cannot handle a lot of weight and will bruise easily. If you put too many on top of each other, they will crush the ones on the bottom.  Persimmons are eaten fresh, dried, raw, or cooked. When eaten fresh, they are usually eaten whole like an apple in bite-size slices, and may be peeled. One way to consume ripe persimmons, which may have soft texture, is to remove the top leaf with a paring knife and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Riper persimmons can also be eaten by removing the top leaf, breaking the fruit in half, and eating from the inside out. The flesh ranges from firm to mushy, and the texture is unique. The flesh is sweet and, when firm owing to being unripe, possesses an apple-like crunch

Hachiya Persimmon

Hachiya Persimmon

$49.95  $39.96
Save: 20% off

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Hachiya Persimmon
$49.95  $39.96
Save: 20% off