Persimmons: Best Varieties for Reno

Asked February 21, 2018, 9:10 AM EST

Hi, I'm trying to select a few persimmons (2xF, 1xM) for our yard in Reno, NV. We're also in a bit of a microclimate, so I think it's more like a USDA 6a instead of what's listed for Reno which is 7. Understood that I need American persimmons (and for best results a male as well), but I have yet to come across any information on which F varieties work well in our area. I'm assuming I need something relatively late blooming, but also relatively early ripening. Anyone have any information on which varieties have worked well in Reno?

Washoe County Nevada

2 Responses

Depending on where you live it will vary on how well a persimmon will do. Many varieties will grow here, but not produce sweet fruit. Also, if they do not have the correct rootstock they have the potential to die when temperatures drop below 10 degrees Fahrenheit. The most successful trees are going to be American Persimmons, but the flavor may not be there. The fruit is smaller than the common sweet Asian persimmon which is commonly found in supermarkets. The American persimmons require a long season to ripen and unripe fruits are extremely astringent and rather unpalatable.

This long ripening season is challenging as there blooming time can be early making them very susceptible to frost killing the flowers or the fruit. Most of the American Persimmons are self fruitful, but will benefit from a pollinator of another variety.

Here are three possibilities, but it truly depends on where you live and what specifically you are looking for may it be beautiful trees or apple harvests. Micro climates will be key in fruit production.

Yates American Persimmon - Diospyros virginiana

Prok American Persimmon - Diospyros virginiana

Meader American Persimmon - Diospyros virginiana

This is an article a former colleague wrote about persimmons in our area. I suggest if you find specific varieties you like,I would make sure that you are familiar with your soils and temperatures around you home before you make a purchase. Persimmons in general will not produce fruit for anywhere between 3 to 5 years and that is an investment for a tree that may never produce sweet fruit.

2015 - JoAnne Skelly, Carson City / Storey County Extension Educator,

Persimmon, a Fruit Treasure

A couple of years ago a friend introduced my husband and me to persimmons. The ‘Fuyu’ she gave us to eat was the flatter type of persimmon that can be eaten while still firm like an apple. It is a non-astringent type of persimmon, rather than the astringent type that needs to be "mushy and pudding-like" (Sunset Western Garden Book) to be ripe, or it will make your mouth pucker. My husband asked me if we could grow the firm persimmons here.

Since I knew nothing about persimmons, I did a little research. There are two kinds grown in the West including an American species, Diospyros virginiana, native to eastern U.S. It is cold tolerant and will grow where winter minimum temperatures average 15 to 25 degrees with occasional extremes down to -20 degrees. It produces smaller fruit than the Asian (Diospyros kaki) types do. The American type grows slowly to over 30 feet tall. Many American persimmons are the astringent type.

Some American varieties need a male and female plant to produce fruit, while others are self-pollinating. ‘Early Golden’ needs cross-pollination, but produces more flavorful fruit than ‘Meader’, which is self-fruitful. ‘Prok’ is a self-pollinating, astringent type and ripens in mid-September to late fall. ‘Yates’ is another self-pollinator, but it is a non-astringent native from Indiana. It is heat and cold tolerant. It bears within three to four years of planting and ripens in early September.

Although many of the Asian persimmons are the astringent type, the ‘Fuyu’, variety, a non-astringent, is one of the most popular fresh-eating Japanese persimmons in the world. It is self-pollinating. Its firm ripe fruit is delicious and seedless. It will grow where minimum temperatures stay above 0 to 5 degrees, maybe a marginal choice for our climate. It bears well at a young age.

Edible gardener and author Rosalind Creasy says that persimmons are relatively easy to grow. Both types tolerate many kinds of soils as long as drainage is good. They require deep watering and can withstand short periods of drought. They usually grow best in full sun. Both kinds make good shade trees, lovely accent plants or espaliers. They have striking fall color and the deep orange fruits remain on the tree after the leaves fall.

If you are growing a persimmon tree successfully in Northern Nevada, let me know what variety it is and how you take care of it. I think I will try to grow the ‘Yates.’

Thanks for the info! I have a reasonable amount of yard, so having a couple of beautiful trees which don't produce fruit isn't the end of the world (already have four apples, three plums, two mulberries, asian pears and regular pears, and some non-fruiting stuff).

I'll make sure to put the persimmons on the sunny side of the house to try to extend the season.

Thanks again, Ken