Persimmon Trees

Persimmon Tree

dir added on October 19, 2014 | Answered

I would like to know if I could pick the persimmons on our tree before they get ripe? They are turning light orange, but the birds are eating them. If I can pick them and keep them in a warm room with newspaper over each layer, would that work??

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Answered on October 20, 2014

Many kinds of birds, animals, and insects like (make that love) ripening persimmons, so saving them from the beasties is one of your major projects. If you let them ripen on the tree, they are so soft they smash when they fall off.
Also, there are two common species of persimmons, notably the American and the Japanese; within these there are many varieties. Some are astringent and some are sweet; the astringent ones need to be jelly-like in texture before they taste good; the sweet ones can be eaten when they're firmer, or they can be softer.
Cut the fruits off the tree, leaving a piece of stem on. You can then ripen them in any number of different ways. If you have a lot of fruit, why not try all the ways to see what works best. (1) Let them sit at room temp, 7 - 10 days or more, depending on how ripe they were when picked; (2) in a bowl covered with dry rice, 3 - 5 days; (3) in a paper bag with a banana, close but don't seal bag; (4) freeze for a day or 2, then let ripen.
I have seen a couple of suggestions to dry the fruit even before it's ripe, which will eliminate the astringency, and make a date-like sweet.
If you've got lots of fruit, you can take a nibble now and then to see how they're coming along. You can also use the fruit in jams and jellies, breads, cakes, etc. Google for recipes.
Another thing you might want to consider is bird netting to protect the fruit in the beginning.

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