This tree is along Vanderbilt Place where the Branscomb Quadrangle dropoff drive joins the street on the side nearest the main campus.
are not very distinctive. They have no lobes and have smooth margins. They are sometimes confused with the leaves of black gum
. The bark of all but the smallest trees will distinguish the two species. Persimmon bark
looks like alligator skin, with the bark splitting into square lumps. Black gum bark
is more ridged. The leaf scar of persimmon
has one banana-shaped bundle trace, while the black gum leaf scar
has three round bundle traces. If fruit is present in the fall, the two also look quite different. Persimmon fruit
is a large, edible, orange to black berry. Black gum fruit
is smaller and bluish-black.
Persimmon is a fairly common tree in middle Tennessee. Small mammals are known to gorge themselves on the piles of persimmon fruit under a large tree loaded with fruit
. Note that persimmons are dioecious (separate male and female trees), so if a tree is a male, it will never produce fruit. This particular tree is a female. It receives pollen from a nearby male
This tree is described on p. 55 of The Trees of Vanderbilt