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  • PawPaw trees

    Does anyone here grow pawpaws? I was reading about them last year and decided to try a few. I got 3 trees from Raintree Nursery and all 3 had their tap roots cut. My understanding is pawpaws have a tender tap root and any damage to it stunts the tree.

    If anyone knows about pawpaws roots, please let me know. It was obviously standard practice to cut the tap root, which appears to have grown through the bottom of a tree pot into the ground.
    Last edited by COGardener; 09-04-2017, 06:43 PM.
    Phil
    Zone 7A - Newark, DE; Zone 8A - Wilmington, NC;

  • #2
    I'm very interested in Paw Paws as well, especially since Cherimoya is one of my favorite fruits, a distant cousin to the Paw Paw. I've read all kinds of stuff digging on the web, seems it takes several years for them to take off since they are naturally under story trees, and have a sensitive Tap roots, but benefit from full sun once mature. I'm very interested in Perterson's Paw Paws who spent around 20 years cultivating top tier varieties and narrowed down his Peterson's Paw Paw collection of hundreds of seedlings to around 6 varieties... Peterson actually spoke to me regarding his Paw Paws giving me the brix count to 2 of his varieties coming in at 22 brix and 18 brix which is pretty sweet.

    I think every grafted tree is going to struggle the first few years and will need shade and wind protection from reports I've read..... If you have the time and patience to wait, then it shouldn't matter.... But what about grafting Top Tier varieties to seedlings already in the ground? That may be a better option for better growth and a strong tap root.

    Comment


    • Darkman
      Darkman commented
      Editing a comment
      Many of my trees are descendants of selected trees that where in the defunct LSU programs. I want to graft others onto my other wild seedlings. I have successfully put Arkansas Number 9 on one.

    • YATAMA
      YATAMA commented
      Editing a comment
      We have mango and prolific cultivars here fruiting that were planted from treepots 10 years ago .pawpaw roots run out 30 ft from mother tree an sucker ma and ssively creating a grove of genetically identical saplings ideal for grafting after thinning out the grove pf suckers to allow space.these suckers will not transplant even if attempts are made to get as much root as possible.Here I place free cardboard boxes from dollar store on the S side of newly planted pawpaws with rockssome inside to hold it in place and it's good for one season or so and easier than constructing any shading structure after trees are 18 inches tall, mine handle full sun fine.but takes 5 years to get enough fruit to really enjoy.
      As to pollination,people keep talking about flies.Never see any here on flowers, but its short work with a qtip to touch all the flowers .I pickoff one flower and take totree of another cultivar, get yellow pollen on the cotton and touch it to flowers on other cultivar,reloading pollen every 3 flowers done.None of my trees in shade bear any decent amount despite some being 20 ft tall,so are sun lovers like figs, but want moist soil.I love the fruit but harvest comes all at one timefor each cultivar.
      People here have commented on pawpaw relative cherimoya.Right on!Have enjoyed them and their other tropical relatives down south and always wished some plant breeder would cross pawpaw with some of them to try for a cold hardy tropical fruit!

      I can supply some free mango pawpaw dormant scionwood to interested grafters in February if I stay healthy enough.Let me know. will have maybe 6 pieces available. wouldnt mind a swap but just postage is ok.

    • Darkman
      Darkman commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi Yatama,

      I'd be very interested in swapping wood in February 2018. Hope your health holds up. Where are you located. I'm in Pensacola Florida.

  • #3
    I have one bought as a seedling and one I grew from seed. The tap roots are legendarily fragile, but I couldn't say if yours will be ok or not.

    In the future I'd only get container grown trees...
    https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
    SE PA
    Zone 6

    Comment


    • drphil69
      drphil69 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Kelby. I thought tree pots were containers, or did you mean something else? Two were in 9" tree pots, one was in a small (1 or 2 qt?) nursery pot.

    • Kelby
      Kelby commented
      Editing a comment
      Ohhh, for some reason I thought yiu had gotten bareroot plants.

  • #4
    I have about ten or so young PawPaw trees with the largest being about ten feet tall and the smallest a two foot whip. Four of my trees have bloomed with a couple blooming two years in a row. I have at least four maybe five genetic strains in my group. One is top grafted with Arkansas Number nine. I have both originally potted grown from seed and wild dug trees. They are not extremely fast growers and it seems that I loose some top growth each year possibly from squirrells climbing and breaking the tips back. I do not expect to get fruit for three more years. I gave my flowers this year to a lady friend who will try and hand pollinate her non diverse group of PawPaws. I have heard of two wild growing groups within fifty miles of my location. One is North of me and one is South. I will later this year attempt to visit the Southerly one as it reportedly has fruit. Some of my wild dug ones were from root suckers and did not have a tap root. Maybe it was because they were small. I'm sure the plants would be stronger with the tap root but I believe the will be fine without them. Growing from seed in place is the best way but it could take upwards of ten years to see a fruit.
    Darkman AKA Charles in Pensacola South of I-10 zone 8b/9a

    Comment


    • drphil69
      drphil69 commented
      Editing a comment
      Kelby I understand you want flies for pollenation. So kills some of the squirrels to attract flies. :-)

    • Kelby
      Kelby commented
      Editing a comment
      I've read spreading cottonseed meal attracts flies too. Don't think my wife will be happy about spreading carrion in the yard!

    • Darkman
      Darkman commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh No! You don't have to spread them! Simply hanging the dead rotting putrid maggot infested carcass from the tree will suffice. Preferably about head high so the wind can gently waft their pungent fragrance all around for better attraction to those lovely carrion eating insects. Personally I like the idea of Squirrels. Their so cute hanging there with their tail fluttering in the wind.

  • #5
    I put in 3 paw paws last year. They all came in those tall tree pots and didn't appear to have had their taproots cut. Maybe it's because they weren't big enough yet. They were all 12 inches tall or under. Growth was kind of slow last summer, which I expected since I imagine the tree is establishing it roots. The Mango paw paw put on the most growth, and the Susquehanna hardly grew at all.

    Paw paws are a fruit I'm excited to try, though they are more of a long term growing experiment. I've been putting in tons of berries to tide the family over until the bigger fruit matures.
    Johnny
    Stuff I grow: Google Doc

    Comment


    • drphil69
      drphil69 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks and good luck.

  • #6
    I grow several varieties of Pawpaws. I also raise them for sale, as grafted plants and as seedlings. If the tap root is cut and has been grown in a pot it should be okay, but to transplant them and cut them while they're dormant off the ground, they'll have a hard time growing back. Transplanting them in mid summer has a better success rate as it needs the warm weather to regenerate roots quickly just like a tropical plant would.

    Comment


    • Darkman
      Darkman commented
      Editing a comment
      Bass what varieties do you have and do you sell scion wood.

      If not what are your prices?

    • drphil69
      drphil69 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Bass... I did not realize you sell them. Raintree had the varieties of pawpaws and poms that I wanted, but it looks like I will be returning the pawpaws if they let me.

    • Harborseal
      Harborseal commented
      Editing a comment
      Bass sells his fig and other trees at

      www.treesofjoy.com

  • #7
    Thanks for all comments. I am going to see if I can return them. For a tree that if healthy will take 4 years or more to fruit I'd rather not risk a bad start on top of it.
    Phil
    Zone 7A - Newark, DE; Zone 8A - Wilmington, NC;

    Comment


    • #8
      I planted a bunch of seedlings 2 years ago. Both transplants and direct seeding (I germinated them first in potting mix). The transplants grew much faster their first year in containers but I think the direct seeded ones will catch up (they were supposed to be from a dwarf tree also). They all have Blue-X tree tubes, the leaves bunch up sometimes but they work well. Many transplants did not leaf out in spring and I noticed several of those had a damaged taproot resulting from growing out of the container.

      I am thinking of ordering from http://www.nuttrees.net/pawpaw_seeds.html to fill in a few holes.
      .

      Comment


      • drphil69
        drphil69 commented
        Editing a comment
        Very nice Brent.

    • #9
      I grew some grafted trees in NJ and they were doing fine when I left. About a year old and seemed fine. They were potted so I never looked at the root but pot was pretty deep. I am getting 3 for for my new home in NC. They are also potted and are going directly into the ground. I decided the location on the stream bank in dappled shade is perfect so I am picking up 4 ft trees.
      NC Zone 7a-b

      Comment


      • #10
        I have several varieties growing in pots. Paw Paws have a long tap root which means you have to make sure your soil drains well. The smell of ripe fruit is pretty overwhelming! My plan is to plant all of mine along the side of my creek bed.
        Dennis
        Charlotte, NC /Zone 8a

        Comment


        • #11
          Has anyone tryed any of Perterson's Paw Paws? He has released several from his breeding program of hundreds of seedlings sampled... Sounds promising. I'm hoping their flavors can rival some of the best Annonas such as the Cherimoya!!! I haven't tasted a better fruit to this day that can rival a top tier Cherimoya... Zill's Cultivar of Mangoes such as Lemon Zest and Coconut Cream may come close.....Lychee deserves an honorable mention.... I'm new to Figs so can't comment.

          Comment


          • eboone
            eboone commented
            Editing a comment
            FYI - Petersen's Paw Paws are often referred to as coming from his 'breeding program', but what he did was test then select & name several good varieties that he found in the wild or found in previous collections. He may have been breeding them also but the named varieties are not those.

          • Darkman
            Darkman commented
            Editing a comment
            Much like what LSU did with their program.

          • shah8
            shah8 commented
            Editing a comment
            eboone, no that's not what the deal was. He collected what was in the previous collections, those that survived, and grew open pollenated seedlings from the best of the trees. Ultimately speaking, he selected seeds from Overleese and two trees that originated from the Blandy Experimental Farm. The original number of selected trees were 18, that got paired down to six. He most definitely did have a breeding project and the Peterson varieties resulted from one, as shown in various genetic assays you can find online... The only "redundant" variety is Shenandoah, which is mostly an "Improved" Overleese, in terms of size and amount of edible flesh. The others, I think, are at least a second generation from a recognized variety like Sweet Alice.

        • #12
          Tasted my first and only Pawpaw a few years back. Makes me sad that they do not do well as a containerized tree, and that they usually take so long to start producing. At my age, (tick-tock) I realize growing these trees, is a young man's game. I just don't have the patience to wait for the fruit to start. That's why I grow figs.

          By the way, the Pawpaw that I tasted was just a delectable piece of creamy fruit...tasting like a custardy blend of pineapple, mango, peaches. Made me want eat more.

          How ironic....one of the most delicious fruits in all God's Creation, isn't sold in stores.


          Frank

          Comment


          • #13
            Bass and a few other outfits will ship pawpaw fruit. Start looking in September.
            Bob C. KC, MO Zone 6a. Wanted: Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig

            Comment


            • #14
              Originally posted by BronxFigs View Post
              Tasted my first and only Pawpaw a few years back. Makes me sad that they do not do well as a containerized tree, and that they usually take so long to start producing. At my age, (tick-tock) I realize growing these trees, is a young man's game. I just don't have the patience to wait for the fruit to start. That's why I grow figs.

              By the way, the Pawpaw that I tasted was just a delectable piece of creamy fruit...tasting like a custardy blend of pineapple, mango, peaches. Made me want eat more.

              How ironic....one of the most delicious fruits in all God's Creation, isn't sold in stores.


              Frank


              Bronx figs

              You should really try a good quality Cherimoya if you can find one.. Mark Twain compared the Cherimoya while he was in Hawaii with the Paw Paws he ate growing up, saying " The Cherimoya is the most Delicious fruit known to Men, it has a soft pulp, like a pawpaw, and is eaten with a spoon.”

              Comment


              • COGardener
                COGardener commented
                Editing a comment
                They show up in one of the local Asian markets from time to time. And yes they are quite amazing.

            • #15
              Claymango-

              I would actually LOVE to try a properly ripened Cherimoya...if I could find/buy one. It's true...while you can find anything that your heart desires in New York City, finding good fruit, is not on that list....especially true, for the "exotic" fruits. The fruit that is sold here is lousy, and it has been for years, including the fruit that's sold in the super-pretentious, snobby, high-end "gourmet" stores. Fruit in NYC is like "Starbucks" coffee....costs too much, ain't worth the wait, and leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

              I've eaten Star Fruits that tasted like the wax...."Red Delicious" apples that tasted like raw potatoes, I've choked down dry, punky oranges, bitter grapefruits, spongy peaches, watermelons that smell and taste like pumpkins..... gritty, hard-as-a-rock Guavas, tasteless tomatoes, tart strawberries, moldy-in-ten-minutes blueberries, blackberries, raspberries....I've had roasted chestnuts that tasted like wall-plaster.....the list is endless. The only fruits that are consistently good in NYC are mangos and bananas. It's a crap shoot for all the rest. Nothing is grown locally. All the fruit that's sold in our stores was probably picked green, and then gassed until it gets some color. Then I come along and buy it. Most of the fruit never gets ripe before it starts to rot.

              However....you can still get a good Corned Beef on Rye here, but good fruit....not so much. ; )))))


              Frank

              Comment


              • #16
                It's to die for Bronx!!! A Very delicious fruit riminicent of Pineapple, Banana, Mango, Papaya, and it's own complexity that you literally eat with a spoon like Ice cream...You maybe able to find them in an Asian Market....If not there is online catalogs which sell quality cherimoyas during the season...

                Bronx we're all suffering right now in the Markets... The sad thing is, the varieties of Fruit being sold are commercial fruit ideal for good shipping, long shelf life, good eye appeal wiht nice colors and shapes, Ironically flavor is often sacrificed for all these other features.... these days I literally avoid the produce Aisle unless I'm getting Bananas or apples.

                Comment


                • #17
                  I have a fruit and vegetable market one block from my house and I just ate a Star fruit yesterday from there. It was really great.
                  Darkman AKA Charles in Pensacola South of I-10 zone 8b/9a

                  Comment


                  • #18
                    Phil, any luck with your trees?

                    One of my two is just about open flowers, finally. I hope the flies get to the nearest tree to pollinate (maybe 100 yds), but I'm not holding my breath. Got some nice scions to work with though, have to graft those soon.
                    https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
                    SE PA
                    Zone 6

                    Comment


                    • #19
                      My trees have been blooming for more than a month,but I haven't spotted any fruit yet. The roadkill helps with the pollination.I need to graft some known good varieties on some of my smaller trees next year.
                      You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 2 photos.
                      Barry
                      NE GA ,Zone 7b Low Temperature of 4F in 2015,17F in 2016,17F in 2017,6F in 2018,17F in 2019

                      Comment


                      • #20
                        I completely forgot about this thread! I complained to Rain Tree about the cut tap roots and they refunded my money. Since I had already up potted them, I figure I will grow them at least this season in pots and see what they do.

                        All 3 are leafing out, with one being a little slow about it, its leaves are barely opened.
                        Phil
                        Zone 7A - Newark, DE; Zone 8A - Wilmington, NC;

                        Comment


                        • Kelby
                          Kelby commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Hope they take for you! Even without fruit I think they are neat looking trees, very tropical in appearance.

                      • #21
                        Kind of a cool picture I thought I would post. I was out yesterday walking aroud my place and was going to hand pollinate my pawpaw. When I went to start, a fly jumped out of the flower. I heard that flys pollinate, but I thought mostly the wild bees would do it. This guy was in my mango pawpaw. No meat was present. It was kind of cold out early in the morning so the pollen dusted fly was cold and didn't fly off leaving me time to take this picture. Enjoy!
                        You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.

                        Comment


                        • #22
                          I have read (can't recall where) that spreading cottonseed meal can attract the flies. No clue if it actually works, but maybe it'll help someone?
                          https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
                          SE PA
                          Zone 6

                          Comment


                          • Darkman
                            Darkman commented
                            Editing a comment
                            It does have a smell!

                        • #23
                          Hoping to go out to England's Nursery next week as he is holding some Paw Paws for me. Work was making me crabby so I went for a walk in the woods during lunch. Found a nice sized grove of wild Pawpaws about 150 feet into the woods. I'm going back to see if there are any flowers or signs of fruits.
                          NC Zone 7a-b

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                          • shah8
                            shah8 commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Can you tell us what varieties you're getting, and why?

                        • #24
                          I have a Susquehanna paw paw that's only about 16 inches tall right now. Right where it is grafted to the rootstock there is a nice branch that is leafing out quite well, but the leaves going up the rest of the tree are small and struggling to put on size. Because the branch is right at the graft I'm not sure but I think it is actually coming from whatever the rootstock is. Should I maybe prune off that branch and see if the tree will focus its energy on leafing out the Susquehanna part? (the branch in question is about the size of a #2 pencil)

                          regards,
                          billy
                          Middle Tn. - 7a
                          Seeking: Chiappetta. Cuttings or plant. P.M. me an offer please. ~billy

                          Comment


                          • Billy
                            Billy commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Mine are just starting out also, very skinny (and still potted for now). I'm really wondering whether I should plant them now or keep them potted this season and set them out next spring. The taproot thing concerns me, but mine are all grafted, so I'm not sure if the taproot situation is more/less of a concern. I know pawpaws grow much further north than Tennessee, but still not sure how these skinny things would fare through this coming winter. Opinions very welcome please.

                          • Darkman
                            Darkman commented
                            Editing a comment
                            PawPaws are indigenous to North America and particularly to areas that have very cold Winters. If you have it planted in ground now and let it grow throughout the year fertilizing it till about two months before your first freeze date it should do fine. IMHO

                          • Billy
                            Billy commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Thank-you Darkman

                        • #25
                          The only concern with planting now is they say paw paws should be shaded when young but direct sun is needed for fruit production.
                          Phil
                          Zone 7A - Newark, DE; Zone 8A - Wilmington, NC;

                          Comment


                          • Billy
                            Billy commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Thank-you Mr. Phil. I'm going to shade them with 3'x4' burlap pieces zip-tied between four 1" pvc pipes that I have cut and drilled for them. I have 2 Susquehannas, 2 Shenandoahs, 1 Mango, and 1 Overleese to plant. I think I chose my varieties well, and now the wait for fruit begins.

                            ~billy

                          • jkuo
                            jkuo commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I did something similar last summer. I tied burlap to some bamboo stakes to make a mini-tent for my trees. I took off the burlap in the fall, maybe a month before the trees went dormant. They seemed to have adapted to full sun ok.

                            I'm planning on planting one more paw paw this year, whenever my tree ships. My plan for that one is to plant it near some shrubs and a pine tree. It should be partially shaded most of this season, and I'll trim back the shrubs and trees around it next season so it should have more direct sun exposure.
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