Common Persimmon

 

Common Persimmon

Ebenaceae Diospyros virginiana

Native

Common Persimmon is found from Connecticut to southern Florida and as far west as southeastern Kansas south to eastern Texas. Though it’s range crosses the Appalachians it does not grow across the majority of the range or the oak-hickory forest of Allegheny Plateau. It is a key species in Sassafras-Persimmon forest cover types though otherwise not an indicator of any particular forest type. It prefers bottom-land hardwood habitats.

To wildlife it can be an important food source when present on the landscape. In the northern part of its range the leaves and twigs are a supplementary forage for white-tail deer. The fruit is important for squirrel, fox, coyote, raccoon, opossum, quail, and hog in late summer as the fruit ripens.

Most landowners consider it a nuisance tree despite it having some value as a wood product due to livestock mostly ignoring the tree and it’s fruit. It is often classified as an invasive in abandoned fields. To control the spread of persimmon Garlon 4 is an effective defoliator despite repeat treatments being needed and is most effectively applied in May.

To propagate persimmon for wildlife a standard burning regime will promote vigorous vegetative growth unless the fire is especially severe. The seeds are often spread by birds carrying the seeds or squirrels caching them for winter.