The common persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) is an incredibly attractive, economical food source we should all manage or incorporate on our properties. Healthy sources of mast such as persimmon are beneficial to bucks, but does and their nursing fawns receive added benefit through the vitamins and minerals found in ripe fruit.
The persimmon tree is adapted to an incredibly wide range of moisture, fertility, and pH levels, and can be found anywhere from the lowest-lying swampy sites all the way up the hill to the poorest, eroded uplands. Like most trees, persimmons put on the best growth in a moderately to well-drained fertile soil, but their best use may be in areas that aren’t so productive for timber or food plots. Some good sites to consider planting persimmons are: logging decks, openings along ridge-top roads or trails, old home-sites, around old ponds, fence rows, and food plot edges. Everyone has a food plot with a low spot or hump that’s unproductive, and establishing persimmons in these areas can fill this void saving on seed, fertilizer, lime, diesel, and time.
Like Mulberries (Morus spp.) and blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica), persimmon trees are dioecious, meaning male plants produce the pollen and the females produce the fruit. This is why you often find a huge persimmon tree on your place that never produces fruit. Persimmons in the wild vary quite a bit in their fruiting habits, and that’s a good thing! Some trees may drop all at once during September, and others may not ripen till early November and drop sporadically over the next five or six weeks.
Every knowledgeable deer (and deer hunter) knows the only thing better than having a loaded persimmon dropping her sweet treats is having a GROVE of “simmons” to choose from. Those single trees are great but it seems the deer don’t go too far out of their way for just one tree. If you really want to bring ‘em in close from great distances, establish patches of trees to see some real results. Since persimmons can produce fruit on small stature trees, you may also want to plan ahead by planting a faster growing tree to hang a stand in nearby.
With the help of a proper planting job, tree tubes, and maintenance, a persimmon tree on an average site with plenty of sun can begin producing fruit in six to ten years. Considering the male to female ratio is usually 1:1, we recommend planting at least ten trees per patch to get enough fruiters to really draw ‘em in.
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