Persimmon Leaf Drop – Why Is Persimmon Tree Losing Leaves

(Image credit: ficio74)

Persimmon trees (Diospyros spp.) are small fruit trees that produce round, yellow-orange fruit. These easy to care for trees have few serious diseases or pests, which make them popular for home orchards.

If you have one of these delightful fruit trees, you’ll be sad to see your persimmon tree losing leaves. Leaf drop of persimmon can have a variety of causes. Read on for information on the causes of persimmon leaf drop.

Why is Persimmon Dropping Leaves?

Whenever you see a tree such as a persimmon dropping its leaves, look first at its cultural care. Persimmons are generally undemanding little trees, tolerating most types of soil and a range of sun exposures. However, they do best in full sun and well-draining loam.

Here are some things to look for when you notice leaves falling off persimmon trees:

  • Water – While persimmon trees can tolerate drought for short periods of time, they don’t do well without regular irrigation. Generally, they need 36 inches (91.5 cm.) of water a year to survive. In times of extreme drought, you need to water your tree. If you don’t, you will likely see leaves falling off your trees.
  • Poor soil – While too little water can result in persimmon leaf drop, too much water can produce the same outcome. Generally, this is caused by poor soil drainage rather than true excess irrigation. If you plant your persimmon in an area with clay soil, the water you give the tree won’t move through the soil. The tree’s roots will get too much moisture and rot, which can cause leaf drop of persimmon.
  • Fertilizer – Too much fertilizer can also result in your persimmon tree losing leaves. Don’t fertilize more than once a year. Apply a balanced fertilizer in late winter or early spring. If you’ve already added nitrogen heavy fertilizer to your garden soil, don’t be surprised if your persimmon tree starts losing leaves.

Other Reasons for Leaves Falling off Persimmon

If you notice your persimmon dropping leaves, another possible explanation may be fungal diseases.

Leaf spot, also called leaf blight, is one of them. When you note leaves falling, take a look at the fallen foliage. If you see spots on the leaves, your tree may have a fungal infection. The spots can be tiny or large, and any color from yellow to black.

Persimmon trees aren’t likely to suffer permanent damage from leaf blight. To prevent the issues from coming back, clean up fallen leaves and other detritus under the tree and thin out the canopy to allow greater airflow in the branches. 

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.