This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
In a recent number you enquire in regard to the hardiness of the Japan Persimmon in New York. I will give my brief experience of it here. Last Spring I ordered two trees of different varieties, carefully planted them, and they both made a moderate growth. Last Fall, before the cold weather set in, I turned a flour barrel over each. Both of the plants were worked on the native stock; I have examined both; the entire top and the whole graft is killed down to the junction of the graft and stock, which was four inches from the ground. Below the graft the native stock was as green as ever.
Now, Mr. Editor, let me say, the Japan Persimmon tree is like many other expensive curiosities extravagantly puffed by propagators, and which to the purchaser is only to end in chagrin and disappointment. I should think them to be about as hardy as the fig tree. Perhaps they would do in South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and some parts of Texas.
I have now given my experience; if any of your readers in the Northern or Middle States think they can raise them as a hardy standard tree, let them try it.
[Four years ago a Philadelphia friend wishing to get ahead with a stock for nursery purposes, secured a dozen. They grew admirably during the Summer, but were all killed but one the succeeding Winter. This was however referred to the extraordinary severity of that season. We believe that the one plant is still living, though it has not been risked to the "full severity of the Winters " since.
As for the value of the fruit in this climate we do not know of any one in California or Eastwardly than have fruited any. We have very often had sent to us specimens of the dried fruit, prepared by Japanese and imported from Japan. These are excellent; but how much of this delicious character is due to the preparation and how much to the persimmon, we would not like to decide. We know that these Asiatics are famous for their mixtures. A couple of dozen of very different dishes were set out at a Califor-nian banquet, and the guests assured by the Chinese waiters they were "all samee labbit" - it was rat. And we have a strong suspicion that when this much vaunted fruit bears in our country, it "all samee persimmon " over again. At any rate we are in no haste to procure a "very long persimmon pole, " whereby to knock down the first prize. - Ed. G. M].