How dependable is American Persimmon in zone 5

Does anyone here grow American Persimmon in zone 5? I know its rated for down to zone 5 but if theres anything I’ve learned about nurseries its that just because they write down zone 5 because it can survive there, it doesn’t mean it will do well or fruit in that zone.

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There’s a Meader persimmon in my town that’s 40 feet high, 26 years old, has survived -20 F, and fruits annually…

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Most of the American (northern) varieties seem good to -30F at least given hardy rootstock. I got burn back at -30. Strange spring temp fluctuations might be a bigger issue.

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Persimmon fits into the category of the apricots or peaches where I live. I have only had persimmon less than a year but I read a piece on persimmon and they basically said they could have a issue where a late spring crop wipes the fruit out some years. They will be hardy to here, stay on the tree well past freezes into the new year, are fairly drought resistant or drought resistant once established and are long lived so I would not worry too much. The hardiness of American Persimmon is nothing to be worried about. Hybrid persimmon will depend on the cultivar. I hear JT-02 is the most hardy hybrid persimmon but good luck getting your hands on that now the Englands Nursery is closed. There is another variety that has not a lot of information on it people think is hardy enough called something like churchupaka. Asian persimmon will not survive here in zone 5. Pest wise persimmon are less likely to be bothered by pests. Deer seem to avoid my persimmon tree and no pests seem to want to eat it. Those native plants seem to have very little pest pressure in general.

Thank you all for the answers! Why are persimmon hybrids better than American types? I know Asian persimmons are nice because you can eat them while still firm but I’ve read hybrids are still considered astringent types and still need to soften. Is the flavor superior?

I’m still waiting for my trees to fruit, so take this with a grain of salt. Zone 5 should not pose a hardiness issue for most (if not all) American persimmon cultivars. The bigger issue is growing degree days. I’m right on the line of zone 5 and zone 6 in New Hampshire, and I need varieties that ripen early and with less heat. A solid Zone 5 in Illinois or Nebraska gets substantially more heat and a longer growing season than I do, so should be able to ripen just about any variety. But their springs have wilder swings and are more likely to have a late freeze than here close to the coast. So the question is: what sort of zone 5 are you in?

With the caveat that I’ve only had one small taste of one type of hybrid persimmon, I’d say the taste is different rather than better. It’s got some elements of Asian and American persimmon flavors blended into one fruit. It’s very good, but I can’t say it’s unilaterally better.

@elivings1 Cricket Hill Farms and Perfect Circle Farm are grafting and selling JT-02. I think cricket sells it as Mikkusu. I expect more nurseries will start carrying it as its gained a lot of popularity

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You are getting Asian and American persimmons mixed up with Astringent vs non astringent. Some Asian are astringent and some are not. All American and hybrid on the market right now are astringent though as far as my understanding goes. Hybrids are getting so popular because they combine the traits of American and Asian persimmon. A hybrid persimmon will be 20 feet opposed to an American Persimmon getting 50 feet. My understanding is hybrid taste leans towards American Persimmon taste. Prok is likely the most mentioned American persimmon among gardening circles and is described as a date like taste. Rossyanka, Jt-02 and Nikitas Gift are the ones mentioned most for hybrids. Issue is Nikitas Gift is closer to zone 6 while some claim it is zone 5 and Rossyanka is also in between but has been determined to have more winter hardiness than Nikitas gift which some say can only handle to -10.

Also I forgot to mention the fruit size is bigger on hybrid persimmon ranging from 2 something inches to 3 something inches. Pure American Persimmon are smaller than that. For the flavor comment it depends on the person on if they like astringent or not. Astringent persimmon will need to be ripened completely or will be way too sour because of tannins. Once fully ripe I hear a astringent persimmon is sweeter. The texture is more jelly like which some do not like though. A non astringent persimmon will be more so used or eaten like a apple. Sweet but not to the point it is like a jelly. Different uses I suppose too. Like I said the non astringent type will not grow here unless you plan to overwinter it in a pot though.

I’m in SE Vermont, and my Mohler persimmon has been dropping 20-30 fruit a day or so as of last week. My other fruiting trees are Prok and Szukis, both of which are later, but reliable most years. Mohler is nice size- not huge, but decent- and has a great flavor. They have almost zero astringency if you let them drop. This year with so much dry heat, they dropped a lot of green hard fruit at fist, but even those ripened nicely sans astringency after a day or two on the counter.

When I planted these 15 years ago, I didn’t know how experimental they were. They done welll enough the I’ve added 19 new varieties including several hybrids in the past few years.

I think growing zones are kind of a semi-useless concept, since they only factor in the coldest temp. Climate as it pertains to growing fruit encompasses so much more, most of which is way more pertinent. In this neck of the woods though, I’d say it’s all about having a good site and early ripening varieties.

Mohler are the flattened ones. Prom is round. Taken this morning.


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I´m very encouraged to see your Prok and Mohler fruit. I´m in a cool 5A upstate NY. One of my seedling trees, set out in 2013, is fruiting for the first time this year (see photo below). No hint of color though and it´s 9/3 already. Temps tend to drop starting the third week of this month. I did have some modest success this year grafting early varieties I-115, J-59, H-120. Set out Prok, and have Mohler on order. The trees are certainly hardy here, but the first few winters of a newly transplanted tree are hard on it, and overall they tend to grow at a much slower rate than elsewhere with warmer summers. My graft of H-118 on an established seedling survived last winter, but I have yet to have a grafted tree purchased from a nursery survive it´s first winter outdoors.

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When I lived in Michigan, I used tree tubes for the first two years. Out of several dozen trees (grafts snd seedlings), I never lost one to overwintering. I think they created a mini greenhouse environment.

The person who bought my old place leveled every one of them, though. So there’s that. :confused:

Up to now I’ve avoided purchasing tree tubes. I have instead been using rolls of hardware cloth that I have on hand and mulch—but I’ll try the store bought tubes. Certainly won’t hurt. Grafted nursery stock isn’t cheap, so might as well invest in helping them overwinter.

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Honestly I like the grow bags. Grow bags get your tree a nice big root system with a big tree.

@hobilus Dear Sir (I presume) I tend to agree with you a lot because I believe hardiness zones is a rough estimation and do not take into consideration a lot of factors. If I had listened to all supposed specialists I had spoken with who said I had zero chance of successfully grow quince so near the North Pole I would not have planted quince trees but I did and everything is just fine.

Right now I have a pawpaw trees that has survived 2 freezing winters and had 8 flowers Spring 2022:

And since I am so very stubborn I’m growing persimmon trees to plant in 2/3 years. We’ll see who will have the last word!!!

Marc

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Most experienced gardeners will tell you zone is just a starting point. My issue too is many plants people will debate heavily on which zone it truly grows in. I have 2 of each different kind of 4 in 1 pluots stated to only grow down to zone 6 on order despite being zone 5. You may ask why I have invested in something as costly as that being in a colder zone. Well the individual varieties on it are rated to zone 5 and many state it will survive zone 5 but for some reason they state the 4 in 1 only grows to zone 6 on nursery websites. Same with pluerry. I have a pluerry on order which some claim is zone 6 but others claim is zone 5. My Utah Giant cherry some claim is zone 6 and some claim is zone 5 but it has survived 2 winters in zone 5 just fine. A lot of my hazelnuts people debate can be zone 5 or zone 6 as well. There is so many things that go into growing things it is not even funny. There is rain (too much rain can cause issues with stone fruit or too little can cause issues with things like Paw Paw), how variable the spring time temps are (mine fluctuate a lot which can create more of a challenge than zone 5 places that are gradual), seasons very a lot even in zone (my zone 5 is a entire month over some other zone 5 area), how hot the area is also matters (jujube and pluots are examples I have found where they rate them higher zones because they expect a longer hot summer but my summer is pretty hot a decently long but I am zone 5) and I could go on. I have found the trees that do amazing are often times mentioned in news articles or county extensions. Plums, pears and apples do amazing here and will grow like weeds in CO and you can find many articles about them. I have seen mixed articles on persimmon. I see the CSU article I mentioned above and then I see many news stories about them growing here. Persimmon have done well for me so far. I should also add that some people may do one thing differently and that can change a entire result. A year or two ago I grew strawberries. All the strawberries died when I had them in ground. I simply could not water them enough even at watering every 2-3 days. This year I bought strawberries again and put them in a pot. The strawberries prospered in the pots and I only had to water every week or 2. Sometimes with fruit trees you can get a rootstock and the tree will die or decline and then you get another rootstock and it will do amazing. Sometimes even the same type of rootstock can make a difference. I bought a Warren pear tree from Edible Landscaping and it struggled all summer. It almost looked like it has been grafted two to 3 times which I found weird. The trees had no growth all summer was black on the branched out leaves and looked all around bad. I ended up having to cut it back too because to blackness spread into the stems. I almost wonder if it was a mislabeled Warren and had fireblight since Warren is supposed to be heavily resistant to it and have not heard of much else than fireblight spreading into stem tissue that is black. I spent 92 dollars plus 17 dollars shipping on a callery pear only it was a Comice from Nature Hill Nursery. Sounds expensive until you realize Edible landscaping charged me something like 60 dollars shipping for the Warren pear. Even though both are on callery rootstock the one from Nature Hills nursery seems to be doing better in my area. ironic since Comice is supposed to be harder to grow than Warren. My area gets so little rain that as long as you prune during winter you don’t have to worry about fireblight though. I just think maybe it came with it.

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How hard is it to obtain fruits from said Meader, and how are the fruit? I have a 25-ft tree that’s on its way out and I’ve been thinking about getting a persimmon in its place, thinking that it would (hopefully) drop fruit and save me some effort picking.

They are about the size of a golf ball. Astringent until ripe, but will ripen off the tree if they have started turning orange. This one had seeds about the size of pumpkin seeds, but it doesn’t need a pollinator to set fruit. My guess is that the fruit hangs a long time and only falls off once it’s gone through some freeze-thaw cycles.

https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/diospyros-virginiana-meader/

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You could consider basically any variety of American persimmon. www.nuttrees.net is a good place to start for descriptions. If you are looking for the absolute best taste, from my reading I’d recommend 100-46, H63A, Lena and Morris Burton. If you are going for production, England’s lists Celebrity and Barbara’s Blush as more than enough for one family.

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This is a little silly to admit in a forum about fruit production, but the old tree was in a statement area of the garden and I’m also considering looks. I also only have room for one tree. I had heard that Meader was somewhat self-pollinating and had some rather fine autumn foilage, which was what caught my eye to that variety in particular.

All female American persimmons should be parthenocarpic, i.e. they do not need pollinated and will produce seedless fruit in the absence of male flowers. If looks are what you want, Dollywood is a wider spreading tree rather than a tall grower based on England’s description. Also a select few hybrids might work, I’d research JT-02.

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