I bought a persimmon tree. It arrived with the main branch, 3 feet long, growing sideways off the main trunk. When I plant it in the ground do I place the main trunk sideways so the branch is straight?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Inez: I am wondering if you mailed ordered this tree and it was shipped to you after it had leafed out or possibly even bare root. Hopefully this is not the case since plants should not be shipped after they have broken dormancy and certainly not shipped bare root at this time of year. It also sounds like maybe you did not receive the best specimen in terms of structure. So, to answer your question, you want to plant the persimmon just as it is in the container. The roots should be oriented the same way they are now and the main trunk should be vertical. The side branch can eventually be pruned back if need be to create a better structure, but let it be for now since it may be the main source of stored energy for the tree. Dig your hole twice as wide as the container it is planted in and just as deep. Spread out the roots and back fill with the existing soil making sure it is not planted too deep. Water it well and give it about an inch of water per week for the first month. As the temperatures cool down you can cut back on your watering. Avoid fertilizing until next spring since it is better for the tree to become established in the soil/nutrients that exist naturally. Add a thin layer of mulch to help keep the moisture in and protect the roots during the winter.