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Persimmon trees & shade
49 Posts
December 19, 2020 - 5:55 am

My small orchard (46 trees) is doing well but I'd like to add some Persimmons. Want to keep them on the downhill side for deer & bear but still inside my orchard fence (I think). Will they do OK in partial sun/shade or do they really need full sun? Anyone have experience with Persimmons in less than ideal sunlight conditions? We've got some native Persimmons on our farm about an hour away that are in the woods that produce OK & some on the edges that produce a little better. Final question... where's a good place to purchase from & what kind for the mountains of VA - Zone 6b?

1400 Posts
December 19, 2020 - 6:57 pm

A reverse-pioneer over east here, I’d fallen in love with several ‘native American’ persimmons up in DC.  Yard trees around the neighborhood, most got partial sun due to massive street trees and adjacent homes, though had balanced structures and good crops the season I was there.

I think I’m in zone 6b here in Floyd Co. VA, and had done the research when establishing my fruiting yard trees five years ago.  As I’d had multiple Asian persimmons in OR, I think the info I’d found indicated they’d be marginal survival wise ‘over here.’  Instead, I went with a ‘Russian-American’ cross … which died at it’s graft union after 3 years in..

In the meantime, I’d procured scion wood from one of those DC persimmon trees, mail ordered local ‘American persimmon’ rootstock, and grafted 3 trees.  Two grew, one living until ‘this year,’ and since it’s ‘American rootstock’ sent up a vigorous shoot, I planted it out.  It did great, though in full sun.  So, I’ve a one-year-in American seedling persimmon as tall as me Smile

Assuming they’d be all over these hills, I’ve not found one native persimmon tree in all my exploring..  Don’t know if our altitude, twixt 2 to 3K feet is too much for them, but I’ve not even noticed a specimen ‘yard tree’ in the area.  

With the following from ‘Wiki’ -- “Diospyros virginiana is a persimmon species commonly called the American persimmon, common persimmon, eastern persimmon, simmon, possumwood, possum apples, or sugar plum. It ranges from southern Connecticut/Long Island to Florida, and west to Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Iowa.” -- you’d think “Diospyros Virginiana” would be all over this state!

Our ‘local facebook group’ had discussed the topic recently, I believe someone was looking for native persimmon seed, but I found nothing worth ‘writing down’ or anyone worth contacting on the subject.  Honestly..  Interest and knowledge in fruiting trees over east is the opposite of what I'd experienced out west Confused  

I’ll watch this thread for recommendations, and know I’ve heard persimmons described as an ‘under-story tree.’  But not sure if I’d dedicate another location to anything unproven or marginal in my area.

John S
2593 Posts
December 20, 2020 - 8:52 pm

You guys get a lot more heat units back there than we do here in PNW.  It's hot all day and all night for 6 mos. back there.  Here it's hot during the day for 4 months and always cool at night. Great for humans trying to sleep. Not as great for growing tomatoes or persimmons in the shade.  I think semi-shade back there, full sun here.

John S

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