The American persimmon’s genus name, diospyros, means "fruit of the gods". It is hard to over state how delicious a ripe persimmon is. There really is nothing like it. Because American persimmons are very soft when ripe, they have never been suitable for shipping and so have escaped widespread cultivation. They are not known in our grocery stores, but the backyard grower and the wild forager can appreciate the amazing gifts that this tree brings.
The bright orange fruits of the persimmon ripen in the fall and can sometimes hang on the tree well into winter providing for people and wildlife. Persimmons can be eaten fresh, dried, made into puddings, breads, cakes, and even beer.
Collect the fruits when they are dead ripe (they will be very soft with wrinkled skin); otherwise they are quite astringent.
Persimmon trees are very drought tolerant and can grow anywhere except overly wet sites. They are shade tolerant, but will produce more fruit in the sun. Seedlings can be male, female, or both, so it's best to plant at least a few.
Persimmons can be quite big, with individual trees occasionally reaching 80 feet, but 15- 30 feet is a more common height at maturity, especially here in the north. They are hardy to -30 degrees farenheit. Our seed source is one of the most northern plantings of persimmon in the country. Mother trees are 30 years old and proven producers here in upstate NY.