Is Persimmon Wood Good For Anything? (13 Quick Facts)

persimmon tree wood

Persimmon is one of the most symbolic trees native to the eastern half of the North American continent.

With the tree reputed for its ornamental splendor, you could be understandably curious about what the wood can be used for. “Is Persimmon wood good for anything?” you ask. 

Persimmon wood is remarkably dense and strong, finding application in producing golf clubs and bows. Persimmon wood has high bending strength, making it more workable.

Persimmon wood collects glue and has no distinctive smell. That said, Persimmon wood is prone to cracking and is expensive for its prized nature. 

There is so much to know about Persimmon wood. Diving into the specifics, how strong is this wood? How dense is it? How about its stability? 

Take a walk with us in this article as we authoritatively answer these questions to tell you what Persimmon wood is good for.

What is Persimmon wood produced from?

Persimmon wood is derived from the Persimmon tree. The Persimmon tree is also commonly referred to as sugar-plum, possumwood, and simmon. 

The Persimmon tree is predominant in Texas, spreading as far as New England. Generally, the Persimmon tree thrives in zone 7 to 10 of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones.

The Persimmon tree is one inspiring deciduous tree that grows as tall as 25 feet. The tree’s spread closely mirrors its height, with the leaves (and branches) very inclined to drooping. This decorative posture makes the Persimmon tree suitable for landscaping. 

How does Persimmon wood look?

The Persimmon lumber derivable from the Persimmon tree comprises a reduced black heartwood core and prominent sapwood.

The sapwood has a creamy white color when it is freshly cut. But over time, the sapwood loses that fresh white, paling into a creamy grayish brown. 

While the lumber has significantly broad sapwood, the heartwood is thin and barely wider than an inch. The heartwood’s color ranges from deep black to dark black. 

How strong is Persimmon wood? 

It is rare to come across woods as strong Persimmon among the temperate species family. Persimmon wood is remarkably dense and strong, with equally high bending strength and moderate modulus of elasticity. 

Persimmon wood boasts uncommon resistance to shock and wear, although it tends to shrink and move.

When you mention the most commonly deployed hardwood species, none – expect hickory – can best Persimmon in strength and density. 

Let us talk about the numbers, shall we?

Persimmon wood’s modulus of rupture (MOR) runs into 18,000 psi at 12% moisture content. Also, you have its hardness coming at 2,300 lbs and modulus of elasticity (MOE) at 2 million psi. 

To give a more accurate idea of how strong Persimmon wood is, hard maple – one of the most-famed hardwood species – has its MOE at 1.83 million psi, MOR lesser than 16,000 psi, and overall hardness staked at 1450lbs. 

How dense is Persimmon wood?

Persimmon dazzles when the discussion comes to density. For a temperate species that it is, it is impressive to see dry Persimmon wood being as dense as 50lbs per cubic foot. 

Except for living oak and hickory, such density places Persimmon heads and shoulders above its peers in the North American continent.   

When green, Persimmon wood can weigh above 7lbs/board foot. The density dramatically drops upon drying, with Persimmon lumber dropping to 4lbs/board foot when kiln-dried.  

How stable is Persimmon wood?

It is not the most exciting adventure drying Persimmon wood. Drying Persimmon wood comes with the possibility of surface checking as the moisture content drops.

Persimmon lumber is notoriously unstable, with high shrinkage when dried. It has a shrinkage rate running to 9%, far above the 6%-7% commonly obtainable from most hardwood species. 

With such relatively drastic shrinkage rates, Persimmon wood is not advised to be used in applications where minor size shifts can trigger significant defects.  

How is Persimmon wood’s grain?

Generally, Persimmon has a straight grain. There is uniformity across its texture with moderate coarseness. 

The end grain porosity falls in the semi-ring category. As for the pore arrangement, Persimmon’s end grain is packed either in radial multiples of three or solitary structures. 

While you can’t accurately distinguish the rays without a lens, the growth rings are unique.

The Persimmon has vasicentric parenchyma. For clarity, the parenchyma comprises the sapwood fulfilling the duties of storage cells.

Is Persimmon wood good for firewood?

Persimmon is an outstanding source of fuel – commonly deployed as firewood. This wood has superior heat output. 

Other factors like minimal smoking contribute to the suitability of Persimmon as a fireplace log. When ignited, it also releases few sparks, making it safer to use for firewood.

Note that you stand to enjoy the best heat delivery from your Persimmon when it is appropriately dried. Unless you kiln-dry, it is advised that you fell and split your Persimmon lumber at least 12 months before using it for firewood. 

Drying it for longer inevitably enhances its heat output. 

Persimmon wood dried for two years before use will produce far more heat as firewood and emit far lesser smoke.

How well does Persimmon wood last?

Remember we said Persimmon has a large percentage made of sapwood. This – as all wood connoisseurs would understand – means that insects are particularly drawn to Persimmon. 

If not appropriately dried, persimmon wood has poor rot resistance, with heightened vulnerability to insect attack.

How workable is Persimmon wood? 

The tendency of permission wood to crack handicaps its applicability in manufacturing. Persimmon would not work with machine tools as excellently as with hand tools.

Also, it can be quite a battle-planing Persimmon wood as it quickly numbs cutting edges. When machine planing Persimmon wood, reduce the cutting angle to improve the smoothness of the finish. 

To reduce the chances of your Persimmon wood splitting when worked with screws, you can bore starter holes into it. 

Lastly, Persimmon wood doesn’t collect glue easily.

Is Persimmon wood allergic?

Permission wood doesn’t cause significant allergic reactions. However, when preparing the lumber from fell Persimmon tree, you can experience skin irritation.

What can persimmon wood be used for?

Persimmon has extensive applicability across the furniture space. Traditionally, it is the choice wood for paneling Japanese and Korean furniture pieces.

In the 20th century, Persimmon wood was abundantly deployed in producing golf clubs. The earliest golf clubs made from a metal-wood combination were called the Pittsburgh Persimmons.

The density of this wood – added to its flexibility – made it the favorite wood for making the heads of premium golf clubs. Yes, the golfing industry has shifted to metallic clubs, but Persimmon retains value for its excellent crafting of longbows. 

Persimmon wood is also moderately deployed in making cornbread knives, wooden flutes, and wooden spoons. 

How does Permission wood smell?

When adequately dried, Persimmon wood doesn’t have any distinct smell. However, the tree is renowned for the fragrance of its spring flowers. 

These flowers smell exceptionally well during spring, with a crisp and clean aroma. This makes it highly valuable in producing phthalate-free fragrance oils.

Is Persimmon wood expensive?

Persimmon wood has an uncommon combination of sapwood and heartwood. Its strength and density also make it a rare wood to come across among temperate species. 

The relative rarity of the features of this wood makes it a bit pricier than other kindred hardwood species.


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