At Native Forest Nursery we grow bare root seedlings and #3 container trees. Our container trees are grown in a #3 air pruned pot. This root making container eliminates nearly all potential for root wrapping. This allows for an excellent root structure and delivers an extremely healthy tree. The bare root seedlings at our nursery are grown in a sandy loam soil with high organic matter content, which provides an extremely healthy environment for our seedlings. Our bare root liners and seedlings are hand lifted, packaged, and kept in cold storage until you are ready to plant. Conservation uses for our products include reclamation, mitigation, reforestation, restoration, wildlife habitat improvement and wetland uses. Horticultural uses for our products include field liners, container liners, landscape plantings, budding stock, grafting stock and ornamental uses.

Family: Ebenaceae
Latin Name: Diospyros virginiana
Foliage: Dark green
Fall Foliage: Orange to reddish-purple
Bloom: White to greenish-yellow
Bloom Time: May to June
Shape: Round to oval
Bark: Dark gray and blocky
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Zone: Zone 4 to Zone 9
Size: 35 to 60 feet
Spread: 25 to 35 feet
Care: Medium to dry, well drained soil

Extremely adaptable, slow-growing, ecologically significant, and quite a handsome specimen, the Persimmon tree—binomially classified as Diospyros Virginiana—is widespread throughout the eastern United States, found sporadically from Connecticut to Florida and as far westward as Oklahoma and Texas; its largest population has been identified in the Mississippi River basin. Fossil remains of the Persimmon have been discovered even in Nebraska, Greenland, and Alaska, harking to an evolutionary lineage that indicates this plant’s consumption by the megafauna that prowled the earth 10,000 years ago. Today the Persimmon is best known for its fruit, a globular berry that is infamous for its intense astringency when unripe and its surprising sweetness when mature.

With a 4-9 hardiness zone rating, the Persimmon is best cultivated in full sun to partial shade, and grows best in uplands with medium to dry, well-drained soils. A mature tree’s rounded canopy can extend up to 35-60 ft., with a 25-35 ft. spread. Its bark is dark gray and blocky, cloaked by glossy deciduous foliage whose colors shift from summery dark green to beautiful autumnal hues of copper-orange and reddish-purple. Like most other species of the Ebenaceae family, the Persimmon produces lovely little flowers from May to June. These are usually creamy-yellow with fused petals, shaped like tiny bells, which underpin the Persimmon’s popularity as a beautiful decorative tree.

This tree’s binomial name actually springs from the Greek words “Dios” and “pyron”, translating to “divine fruit” (or literally, “Zeus’ fire”). “Persimmon” is derived from the Powhatan term “putchamin” or “pessamin”, words that are construed to mean “dry fruit”. This fruit is extremely coveted, though it is notoriously bitter when unripe due to its high levels of tannin. As the reddish-bronze berry matures, these tannin levels decrease, resulting in a very sweet flavor that is most traditionally enjoyed in steamed puddings (a common recipe in the Midwest). These berries are chockfull of antioxidants, flavonoids, and phytonutrients, but also secrete a fair amount of fructose.

“My mother said every persimmon has a sun inside, something golden, glowing, warm as my face.” –Li-Young Lee

Native Forest Nursery Photos:

Mature Tree Photos: