Arbor Day: Planting Your Persimmon Tree

Planting Instructions for the Persimmon Tree

In honor of Arbor Day 2019, we planted a Persimmon Tree near the Al Hattendorf Center (225 E. Elk Grove Blvd., Elk Grove Village, IL) with the support of the Village of Elk Grove Village and our community. Attendees of the Arbor Day Celebration additionally received free saplings to plant in their own green spaces to share and spread the love for trees, green space, parks and the Earth. 

Here's how to plant and care for Permisson tree saplings.

Submerge the tree seedlings in a bucket of water. Do not allow seedlings to sit out exposed to the air for any length of time after unwrapping, or damage to the young tree may occur. Allow 3 to 6 hours of soaking for the roots to become completely hydrated.

Dig a hole for each tree seedling. The depth should equal the length of the longest root. Turn the soil with your shovel in the hole to ensure room for the roots to spread. Take care to avoid compacting the soil if you use a special planting tool, as roots will die if they aren't able to penetrate the surrounding soil.

Set the seedling into the hole with the roots fully stretched out. The collar of the tree, or line on the trunk that indicates where the tree was planted in the nursery, should rest at the soil line. A color shift on the trunk may also be a good indicator of the collar location. Gently back fill the base of the hole around the lower roots, firming as you add soil to the top of the hole. Avoid tight packing of the soil.

Create a small berm of soil a few inches away from the trunk encircling the seedling. This will act as a water basin, keeping water near establishing roots. Do not fertilize tree seedlings at this stage in their development. Fertilizer in the planting hole may cause root burn, damaging the new tree.

Add 2 inches of organic mulch, such as pine bark, starting at an inch away from the trunk outward to a 2 1/2 foot radius. Mulch touching the trunk may cause the spread of disease.

Keep soil moist, watering every week to 10 days during the first year of growth.

Persimmon Tree Facts

Persimmon trees can tolerate temperatures as low as -25F. Trees grow best in a soil pH of 6.5-7.5 range, and don’t require much pruning or fertilizing. A persimmon tree can grow to 60’ at maturity. The trees are either female or male trees, and female trees only bear fruit if pollinated by a nearby male tree.

Ancient Greeks referred to the fruit of the persimmon as “the fruit of the gods.” Although, the fruit is what the tree is known for, the wood is very useful, and one of the hardest found in North American trees. The wood is often used to make golf club heads and pool cues.

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