This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
I notice in the January number of the Gardener's Monthly that Mr. Berckmans, of Georgia, sent you some specimens of Japan Persimmons and that they were good fruit. You say all the trees planted around Philadelphia have been killed by the severe winters. You then ask, "Why can they not be grown in tubs like oranges ?" These trees can be grown in tubs like oranges without difficulty and make beautiful dwarf shrubs.
I had a tree of the Japan Persimmon growing for several years in a nine-inch pot, and in 1880 this shrub ripened five fruits, yellow as an orange and of a most delicious quality - none of the astringency of our native varieties. Last spring I gave it a larger tub and it bore no fruit, but made a good growth. All my native persimmons bore no fruit last season. Though the trees (half-dozen) were not injured I suppose the fruit buds must have suffered by the severe cold of the winter of 1880 and 1881 - 22° below zero.
Yes, these Japan persimmon shrubs may easily be grown in tubs and they can be placed in a cellar or some out-house in the winter. The ground in the pot of my plant was frozen hard as a rock, yet it did not injure the plant, unless the cold may have injured the buds, but the shrubs grew well last season. I have now several other varieties which I intend to grow in the same manner, in tubs.