The leaves on my persimmon tree have gone brown after a couple of frosts. Is there anything to worry about?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi Jim, in California: Persimmon trees are deciduous, meaning they will lose their foliage during the late fall/early winter months depending on the weather. So, not to worry, this is perfectly normal and it does not mean there is anything wrong with your fruit tree. During the colder months while the tree is dormant and defoliated is a great opportunity to step back and look at the branching structure. Proper pruning is essential to a healthy, long-lived tree and is especially important for fruit-bearing trees. Branches that are rubbing together or crossed should be removed as well as any branches that are diseased or weak. Persimmon fruit is quite heavy so it is important to encourage strong secondary branches that are close to the main leader. Pruning out thin branches and keeping the canopy open is essential for good light penetration and air circulation, which can help prevent potential disease issues. If you need more specific information on pruning your persimmon you can visit homeorchard.ucdavis.edu/8057.pdf. While the tree is dormant it will not require additional moisture or food.