Plant profile: Asian persimmons

Wednesday, 06 May 2015

Plant profile: Asian persimmons

by Debbie Lienhart

What's orange, sweet, crunchy, and grows on trees? Asian persimmons!

Asian persimmons grow on 15-20 foot tall attractive trees that form an umbrella canopy without pruning. They can handle a wide range of soils provided they have good drainage. The trees are less bothered by pests than most fruit trees, though persimmon borers can kill the tree.

We currently have three non-astringent varieties, which produce fruit can be eaten while it is still firm, like an apple, or left to soften, like a tomato.

Fuyu - Medium to large, non-astringent fruit, with excellent flavor, dark orange skin, and light orange flesh. Late ripinng. The most common Asian persimmon in the world growing on a very vigorous tree.

Hana Fuyu - fruit is larger and ripens earlier than Fuyu on a naturally dwarf tree. Though Hana Fuyu is rated for zones 7-10, the one in my orchard in a cold 6b area came through this winter without protection.

Jiro - Large, sweet orange-red non-astringent fruit. Upright tree with fruit ripening after 'Hana Fuyu'. A more cold hardy variety for zones 6-10.

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