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Persimmon trees withstand various soil conditions and climates, but do best in areas with mild summers and moderate winters. They thrive in full sun and soil without a high salt content. Regular irrigation produces larger and more plentiful fruit, and a balanced fertilizer should be applied if leaves begin to lose their dark green color. Pruning persimmon trees creates stronger branches to help support fruit. Persimmon trees should not be planted near eucalyptus trees because they compete with persimmon trees for nutrients, causing one tree to die.
These plants tolerate some shade in warmer areas and do best in well-drained soil. A young persimmon tree should be planted deep to accommodate the main tap root. Once established, the tree can withstand brief periods of drought, but long, arid stretches might cause fruit to prematurely drop. Fruit and bark might also burn from extreme temperatures and lack of water. In hot regions, the tree should be watered two or three times a week.
If a persimmon tree grows in a mild area, it might only require water once every six weeks. The irrigation schedule can taper off in the fall, but ample water should be applied in the spring when fruit begins to ripen. Too much water might cause root rot, and mature trees should be watered away from the trunk.
Persimmon trees are considered hardy and require infrequent fertilization because excess nitrogen in the soil causes fruit to drop early. These trees resist most pests and are easy to maintain without routine pesticide applications. One particular pest might blemish the skin of fruit and can be controlled via insecticides. Most fruit loss comes from animals, including deer and birds, attracted to trees when fruit appears. Rodents might also attack the root structure.
The branches of a persimmon tree are brittle and could break in high wind. Proper pruning helps major branches gain strength to bear the weight of fruit. Some new growth should be pruned away to prevent spindly branches. Pruning can also keep the size of the tree manageable. Some gardeners prune the tree into a shrub or hedge as a landscaping option.
More than 2,000 varieties exist, including astringent and non-astringent varieties. White flowers produce a pleasant fragrance, and the dark, glossy leaves usually turn red or purple in the winter. Wood from persimmon trees can be crafted into golf clubs, billiard cues, and furniture.
The dark brown or black bark of a persimmon tree resembles alligator skin with a blocked surface edged by ridges. Two myths about the seed of the fruit might pass from generation to generation without scientific supporting evidence. Some people believe a seed shaped like a spoon indicates a harsh winter. A fork-shaped seed means the season will be mild, according to folklore.
If you have a hill on your property where you can plant a persimmon tree, this is a good location for it. Not only will the tree get a lot of sun in this type of landscape, but excessive amounts of water will drain away from the tree's root system.
When you dig the hole for a young persimmon tree, it helps it begin to take root when you add a mixture of peat moss and fertilizer and put it in the hole before planting it. The peat moss will soak up extra moisture if it rains a lot during the tree's first year, and the fertilizer will add extra nutrients to the soil to help it thrive.
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