FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 23, 2019
Persimmon Tree in Wilson Park Recognized as State Champion
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — On Saturday, October 21, Washington County Forester Kevin Hickie confirmed the measurements of a persimmon tree (Diospyros virginiana) at Wilson Park as being the largest of its species in the state, making it the Arkansas State Champion persimmon tree. Nathan Albertson, grounds crew leader and certified arborist with the City of Fayetteville’s Parks and Recreation Department, noted the tree’s size and submitted the documentation to have the tree confirmed as an Arkansas State Champion.
State Champion trees are decided by using a “Bigness Index,” which is a formula based on the tree’s circumference, height, and 25% of the crown width. The Wilson Park persimmon tree measures 69 feet tall, with a crown width of 34 feet and a trunk circumference of 64 inches, giving it a Bigness Index of 142. For more information, and additional photos of this Champion tree, visit https://www.aad.arkansas.gov/common-persimmon-diospyros-virginiana.
The persimmon is an important native tree that produces an edible fruit enjoyed by humans and a wide variety of wildlife. The fruits turn an orange to purple color when they ripen in the fall, and can be made into jelly or preserves. The trees are easily identified by their gray bark that is broken into small blocks. Persimmon trees typically grow to 35-60 feet tall in full sun to part shade and will tolerate poor clay or rocky soils.
The State Champion Persimmon tree can be found from the trail on the south side of Wilson Park just south and west of the Wilson Park Pool across the creek. Urban Forestry staff are excited about the news and will soon place a plaque near the tree commemorating its State Champion status.
Urban Forestry staff will have persimmon trees to give away to Fayetteville residents during the annual Celebration of Trees this Saturday, October 26, starting at 7 AM on the square. For more information on the Celebration of Trees visit http://www.fayetteville-ar.gov/234/Celebration-of-Trees.