What Native Trees are Fruiting this Week?
Fruiting trees are a wonderful addition to your garden if you have space and a suitable climate. The persimmon tree is no exception! The favorable taste of the persimmon fruit likely evolved as a tool for survival to attract megafauna to eat the fruit and disperse the seeds through their poop! The texture is similar to an apricot and taste is similar to... well you might have to find out for yourself.
American persimmon is a woody, deciduous tree in the Ebenaceae (ebony) family. It is native to the central and eastern United States and can reach 30 to 80 feet high and 20 to 35 feet wide.
Persimmons are dioecious, meaning there are separate male and female trees, and you need both in order to get fruit. The persimmon flowers in spring to early summer and produces fruits in the fall. Persimmon grows best in moist, well-drained, sandy soils in full sun to partial shade. It will tolerate hot, dry conditions, poor soils, urban conditions, and wind. Persimmon trees will not bear fruit right away. Trees propagated from seeds begin producing fruit in 4-9 years. It may take as many as 10 years for trees to come into full production.
Persimmon has a thick, dark gray bark that is divided by furrows into square blocks resembling a checkerboard, sometimes called “alligator bark.” Fall leaf color ranges from yellow to orange to bright red. Leaves are broadly oblong and pointed with smooth edges or some serration
The persimmon tree is a larval host plant of the luna moth and the hickory horndevil. The fruit of the persimmon tree is a food source for birds, small mammals, white-tailed deer, foxes, raccoons, and black bears.
Source - NC State Extension