|Fruit in November. Note the leaves are about to fall off. Leave the persimmon(fruit) on because it has to ripen a bit more. This one fruit was ready to pick the first week of December.|
The 3rd posting from the series "Fruit Trees for Tucson" will focus on the fuyu persimmon. While writing my last post, I mentioned having issues with bareroot fruit trees. You'll see the persimmon for sale bareroot and potted. The potted persimmon can be quite expensive. This unknown plant to me at the time was too much of a risk for me to waste money on....especially if the fruit tasted nasty. So I opted for the bareroot tree over the pricey potted plant and purchased the Fuyu persimmon bareroot tree for 25 dollars. This was much more expensive than the other fruit trees, most which were priced about 12-15 dollars. I followed the directions per the written instructions in the bag and let the stick in the soil for months. All the fruit trees planted during the same time period began blooming and producing fruit while my Persimmon tree just sat dormant. Finally I gave in and pulled the plant from the soil and discovered that there wasn't ANY growth at all!! And what did I do? I broke down and purchased a potted Fuyu persimmon for around 70 dollars. It was one of those impulse purchases, but one that I am glad I did. However I ended up spending more money for this plant! I put the new potted plant into the ground and within months, I had fruits on this barely year old plant. It then continued to grow and survive our summer heat. In Tucson, I saw two varieties primarly sold....the Fuyu and Hachiya. If you've never planted a persimmon before, you can read several of my previous blogs on my first experiences with this plant. It's a simple upright plant with simple, yet beautiful, white flowers in Spring. The green tomato like fruits form on the tree which later turn an orangish red. They will also be the last remaining thing on the tree which you can begin picking off the branches in November. The fruit has a short shelf life so be ready to eat them within a week after picking them.
|A fruit on my tree....yellow in October; not ready to pick.|
If I had to rate my experience with this plant, I would give it a 9 out of 10. I think once it's established, I'll have to do very little. This plant can grow in most types of soil(except sand) and is cold hardy here in the desert southwest. It's hardy up to 0 degrees. I didn't cover the plant during our extreme freeze and it looked great. The ease of growing this plant in your garden is pretty low care on your part after it's established. Trees can get to be quite large with 15 to 20 ft spacing and their height can reach 25 feet. Water this plant once or twice during the hot summer months on a long drip. I give this plant a 9 here because you have to watch the afternoon sun. The tree was given a sunny spot protected from the wind on the North Side of the building. If not protected from the afternoon sun, you will find the leaves tend to scorch and burn back. Minimal fertilizing is recommended to prevent premature fruit drop. Do not plant next to a eucalyptus tree as these two plants do not compete well together. I know that many of us here in Tucson have at least one euc in our yard somewhere:) While I haven't seen this tree at all in Tucson, it sure does grow well. I think the reason that we don't see the persimmon is due to the fact that not many people know what a persimmon is. If you see one in your store, I highly recommend trying the persimmon out. Until next time, happy fruit tree hunting!!