cold tolerant persimmon
Are there varieties of persimmon that would do well, or at least better than others, in the southern half of zone 7 (near 6)?
Hamilton County Ohio
There are 2 types of persimmons, Asian or Oriental and American. The American native varieties are more cold hardy. Early Golden, one of the oldest American persimmon varieties and its progeny, Szukis, are hardy through hardiness zone 5 and bear large early fruit. Meader, another older variety, is hardy to 30 degrees below zero, Fahrenheit. American persimmons are dioecious, meaning that each tree produces either male or female flowers and requires a mate, or pollinator, nearby, i.e., both male and female trees must be planted to produce a crop.
I only knew about Asian varieties. How do American varieties compare on flavor/sweetness?
While I have not grown persimmons myself, the research says that the "unripe" fruit is described as bitter, sour or astringent, but the fruit has a "richly sweet, honey-like flavor and jelly-like texture" when ripe. I also found this tip: To ripen American astringent persimmons in a jiffy, place the fruit in the freezer overnight. Remove the fruit from the freezer and allow the cold-ripened fruit to thaw.
Following is a link to a fact sheet from the University of Kentucky Extension with more information: http://www.uky.edu/Ag/CCD/introsheets/persimmon.pdf