Tuesday, October 13, 2009


It looks like there’s going to be a bumper crop of fruits and nuts this year at Blue Jay Barrens. Plants producing extra fruit as a result of last years drought stress have benefited by an abundance of rainfall this summer. Here is a freshly fallen fruit of the Persimmon, Diospyros virginiana, a medium sized tree that does well in dry soils.

A smashed fruit reveals the large seeds inside. The edible fruit is quickly consumed by animals such as foxes, raccoons, opossums, deer and turkeys. To me, the fruit tastes like a sweet mixture of oranges and plums, but with a bitter after taste left in my mouth a few minutes later.

This is a small specimen with only a five inch diameter trunk. The bark hasn’t yet taken on the blocky appearance of the mature Persimmon. If you want to learn to identify trees in their leafless condition, the best place to start is by studying the bark while the leaves are still on and you’re sure of what you’re looking at.

This tree has a defect at its base that will probably shorten its life. Judging by the shape of this opening and the vertical depression on the trunk above, I would guess that this tree began life as a stump sprout from a sapling that died back to the ground. The new sprout probably grew around the old stump and when the old stump finally decomposed, this hole was left.

The upper part of the tree shows a lot of character. The fruit sometimes stays on the tree well into winter. A woods-wise individual once advised me to use caution when shaking a Persimmon tree and not to look up to watch the fruit fall because a Persimmon in the eye can hurt. I would hope most people would figure that out without having to be told.

This Persimmon leaf seems to have had rough time of it this year. Looks like it played host to a variety of fungi, small galls and insects.


  1. ...I was thinking of getting a few of these trees for my yard. I would imagine the blossoms would attract hummingbirds in the spring?

  2. I assume that hummingbirds would visit the flowers, but most of the Persimmons I find have their flowers in the tree canopy at a height where I can't even see them. Some years you can really get a mess of squishy fruits on the ground around the tree, so keep that in mind as you decide on the right place for this tree in your landscape.

  3. ....hmmmm....well....I'll put them in the back! I read the birds like the fruit as well.

  4. Thanks for the post, I'll start looking up. We have a little persimmon patch in the front yard. The trees are a mile high since they grew amongst many others and had to fight for sunlight. They're still leafy so we can't see fruit yet, but I'm hoping it's a bumper year in north central Ohio, too!