Persimmon Hardwood


Persimmon wood, also known by its botanical name Diospyros virginiana (Ebenaceae), is a versatile timber with a wide range of potential uses. The sapwood is white to creamy-white when freshly cut, and darkens to yellowish-brown or greyish-brown on exposure. The heartwood is black, brown or variegated, often with streaks of brown or orange-brown. It has a close and straight grain, with a fine and even texture. Persimmon is suitable for furniture, turnery, flooring and other uses. It is predominantly the sapwood that is sold commercially, and is sourced from sustainable and legal sources.

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Also Called:
American Ebony, Bara-Bara, Common Persimmon, Boa-Wood, Possum Wood, Butterwood, Virginia Date Palm, White Ebony,

Durability Notes:
Persimmon wood is moderately durable

The drying and seasoning of Persimmon is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Persimmon - Drying can be challenging, with considerable shrinkage. Other typical defects are end and surface checks and brown chemical staining. There is considerable movement in service. Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.

Persimmon is very hard, dense, elastic, tough and wear-resistant, with high crushing and bending strength and medium stiffness. Persimmon can be worked with hand tools, if they are kept sharp. It has a tolerable blunting effect on tools. Persimmon turns, drills and mortices well but requires pre-drilling for nailing and screwing. Gluing can be challenging.

Typical Uses:
Furniture, Cabinetmaking, Gun Stocks, Turnery, Decorative Veneers, Musical Instruments.

Moisture Content:
Guide - 10-18% for KD (+/- 2%)

Commonly asked questions about Persimmon Wood

Is Persimmon a hardwood or a softwood? Persimmon is a hardwood. It is the same for; is Persimmon hardwood or softwood? - Persimmon is a hardwood.

Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Persimmon family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.

What colour is Persimmon? Persimmon can be described as brown, yellow/brown

Is Persimmon good for outdoor use? or is Persimmon good for exterior use? Persimmon is most suited for internal/interior use. Persimmon should not be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).

Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance. We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect. All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change. For more about moisture in wood please click here - Moisture in wood

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