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Thread: Paw Paws! Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-06-2019 07:41 PM
MBI I'm glad to see your paw paws starting to bear fruit. You're definitely having better luck than I am.

Of the three I've planted, two have died, the last one isn't doing well. It keeps appearing to die, then I'll get a sucker start off from the base of the trunk and it tries to start over from that sucker as the new trunk. I think I may just put it out of it's misery. Perhaps my soil here just isn't suited to them, even though on paper it should have been fine.

Most of my fruit trees haven't really thrived and all of them are much smaller than they should be for their age, mostly because of the soil here, I think. But with the exception of the peaches (three died and the last one was killed accidentally by my nephew) and the paw paws, at least the rest are all bearing fruit.

A partial exception is my nectarine tree (just the one), which is a tiny over-achiever. It won't seem to grow over 5' tall, but produces so much fruit the branches break if I don't thin out and remove about 80% of the fruit that starts growing. Every branch is pretty much solid nectarines growing out of them, all around the circumference and down their whole length, with leaves trying to poke out between them. It's odd and I haven't seen anything like it before. The fruit on this tiny tree is so thick, to the point that there just isn't room for them to grow because of them all being packed so tightly together. Then I thinned it out and removed most of them to leave room for the remaining fruits to grow.

But anyway, I don't mean to derail the thread. Congrats on your paw paws. I've about given up on mine.
09-06-2019 10:21 AM
Major Mjolnir I pulled the two remaining fruit this morning. I was unsure of how to tell ripeness since the skins were still pale green but they had rotated downwards on the stem and a thumbnail left a mark in the skin. There was also a marked softness that only became evident in the last 4 - 5 days.
I decided to 'harvest' them before Mrs. Possum came along and helped herself. The fruits were fairly small, about 6.6 ounces apiece and the one I ate had 12 seeds! The taste was delicious IMO, not too sweet but hints of banana and something else I can't put to a name. Five years from seed to fruit.
I plan to add a couple of named varieties to the small cluster of 4 I have growing and hope to start some of the seeds this Fall.
08-22-2019 12:53 PM
Major Mjolnir Well, got my first taste of Pawpaw in almost 60 years yesterday, since my vague memories of eating them at my Granddads at about the age of ten. Not intentionally since I believe that the few fruit on my young trees are still a few weeks from full maturation. We had some 50 mi./hr. straightline winds come through day before yesterday and while mowing yesterday I 'found' the fruit pictured at post #41 with the tire of my lawn mower. :\
The inside was pale golden yellow and the part that was soft enough to eat was similar in taste to bananna and slightly sweet. Not fully ripe of course but getting close. I did manage to salvage 6 large brown seeds and have them in the fridge to try to plant in pots in about 3 months. No idea if they are viable.
Hoping to have better luck with the two fruit still on the sister tree.

https://www.survivalistboards.com/sh...0&postcount=41

Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Mjolnir View Post
Another exercise in futility his year :/ Dozens of fruit appeared to 'set' on both trees but currently only a single fruit appears to be growing, the rest are gone. The 110 in the pic is to show scale. These trees are siblings and both were covered in blooms and later small immature fruits. The singular fruit that is still growing gives me hope that I may be able to hand pollinate the two next year. I'm also hopeful that the two named varities I planted the year before that died back to the root stock may begin to flower next year since both are approaching 6' in height and could possibly add some genetic diversity.
Turns out each tree had two fruit try to grow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don H View Post
...I know they have to cross pollinate with an unrelated Paw Paw.
Probably true in order to get a full crop but the two siblings I mentioned in post #41 appear to have pollinated each other, at least two fruit on each tree. Not much of course but these are 5 years old and the first fruit they have 'set' and grown close to maturation. I have two non-related plants in the cluster that I hope will bloom next year and I also plan to try some hand pollination on selected limbs.
06-06-2019 03:10 PM
Don H I have a patch of Paw Paws in the white oak stand behind my house. They're about 4' tall now but I haven't seen any fruit yet. I know they have to cross pollinate with an unrelated Paw Paw.
06-06-2019 02:09 PM
Major Mjolnir
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prepper_Ed View Post
What state is this in? Could the excessively wet weather in the Midwest have anything to do with the lack of fruit?
Kentucky - same thing happened last year when only one tree bloomed so I doubt weather played a part but suspect lack of pollination.
06-06-2019 01:02 PM
Prepper_Ed What state is this in? Could the excessively wet weather in the Midwest have anything to do with the lack of fruit?
06-06-2019 06:52 AM
Major Mjolnir
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don H View Post
Do you think some animal is getting them? I know squirrels, and raccoons eat them.
I doubt that's the case. There are dozens of small fruits in clusters of 2 - 4, less than an inch long on both trees after the flowering stops and within days most of them are gone. If you look at the pictures at post #35 you'll see what I mean.
I think that the fruit sets but if unfertilized drops off or is re-absorbed but that is just conjecture on my part.

I should add this cluster of 4 trees is right next to the N. side of my house and I haven't seen any sign of animal activity.
06-05-2019 08:15 PM
Don H Do you think some animal is getting them? I know squirrels, and raccoons eat them.
06-05-2019 12:30 PM
Major Mjolnir Another exercise in futility his year :/ Dozens of fruit appeared to 'set' on both trees but currently only a single fruit appears to be growing, the rest are gone. The 110 in the pic is to show scale. These trees are siblings and both were covered in blooms and later small immature fruits. The singular fruit that is still growing gives me hope that I may be able to hand pollinate the two next year. I'm also hopeful that the two named varities I planted the year before that died back to the root stock may begin to flower next year since both are approaching 6' in height and could possibly add some genetic diversity.
05-11-2019 09:22 PM
Offrink When paw paws flower you are suppose to hang rotten meat. The flowers also smell of rotten meat.
05-08-2019 08:41 AM
Major Mjolnir Both Pawpaw siblings bloomed this year, and both appear to have set fruit. I did see some large bluish/black flies buzzing around them. Hoping for better luck than last year.
07-10-2018 12:34 PM
Major Mjolnir
Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Mjolnir View Post
I took some more pictures today and several, if not most of the blossoms, appear to be setting fruit! I'm not familiar with Asimina triloba's fruiting behavior - unfertilized fruit might just dry up and fall off. I simply don't know.
Unfortunately that appears to be the case here. The small fruit 'sets' were there for a few days and when I thought to check them a few days later, they were gone. Maybe next year.
05-23-2018 01:35 PM
RufusJ Dang. Paw paws need acid soil.
05-11-2018 11:37 PM
blackriver Iím growing pawpaws just outside Toronto. I bought them as saplings, it has taken six years to get fruit. This year they are late, flower buds not open yet. I found they were shade sensitive for only two years.

I also have pawpaws at my country retreat north of Toronto, zone 4. It can go as cold as -30C there.
05-11-2018 02:18 PM
Major Mjolnir I took some more pictures today and several, if not most of the blossoms, appear to be setting fruit! I'm not familiar with Asimina triloba's fruiting behavior - unfertilized fruit might just dry up and fall off. I simply don't know. Again, my understanding is that pawpaws are pollinated by flies/beetles. I never saw any bees but did see a fairly large 'bug' or two that just appeared to be sitting and resting.
I've walked virtually all of the surrounding woodlands, many times, and have never seen local pawpaws that would serve as a "partner."
05-09-2018 08:43 AM
Major Mjolnir I took these pics a couple of weeks ago. It had been decades since I last saw blooms and I had forgotten how dull they are:
04-22-2018 09:20 PM
Hound Dog I used to have a large patch in the woods where I grew up. I could never beat the animals to them. I live on a very small mountain in VA (out west it is a hill). While the elevation is not that high, I notice a big difference in vegetation from the lowlands near by that I grew up in. Here gum oaks, red oaks and large polar dominate compared to white oaks hickory and maples down low. Mountain laurel is thick up here and I had never seen it growing up. I am just one half a county over from where I grew up. Anyway, I wondered if paw paw would grow up here.
04-22-2018 03:08 PM
MBI I tried planting paw paws for three years, with no success.

Research told me that paw paws don't transplant well unless you buy one grafted onto a hardier root stock. I ordered from Stark's because they sell bare root, grafted paw paws in several varieties. Hoping to get a quicker start, I also paid extra for their "hand selected" plants, which are supposed to be significantly taller than their standard ones, and have more foliage.

I bought one of every type they had, both for variety as well as pollination, and an extra tree of the two varieties that sounded like they had better flavor. The first "select" paw paw tree was only 6" tall, broken in half, with one single, tiny, 2-3" bare root on it. Needless to say, it didn't survive planting. None of the "select" plants were very impressive and were actually MUCH smaller than any of the standard bare-root trees I bought from them.

I followed planting instructions to the letter, particularly on the paw paws since they were supposed to be a bit finicky. None of the rest of the paw-paws survived the first winter, despite being allegedly suited to my zone and soil type. In accordance with Stark's guarantee I requested replacement trees. After multiple calls they grudgingly agreed to send replacements when they were available. Just before Thanksgiving, the following year, with a foot of snow on the ground, they sent replacements for TWO of the paw paw trees. They didn't respond to my emails asking about the rest of the trees they were supposed to send.

With the ground frozen I couldn't plant the trees outside, so I planted them in large pots inside, filled with my local soil. The instructions were specific in stating you should plant them in the local soil so the roots can get accustomed to it (or something like that) and NOT to backfill the hole with any kind of topsoil mix. Just local soil.

The plants seemed to do fine inside in pots. I planted them outside in the spring and they survived the transplant. However, they died during the following winter, again.

Between that experience, and other troubles I've had with Stark's, I'm not ordering from them ever again.

I'd like to try growing paw paws again sometime, I just need to find another source.
04-20-2018 11:56 PM
Frisco85132 Nice find. I haven't had a paw paw in years, but I remember how good they are. We have a BIG blackberry patch on our land in northern AZ. It is like "oustside candy" as my daughter called it when she was a kid. Here in southern AZ we have prickly pear fruit on our land. My wife makes the best prickly pear jam. I bet the paw paw would be great in preserves.
04-20-2018 09:17 AM
Major Mjolnir
Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Diehl View Post
I have some that are barely over 1 foot tall and bearing fruit. Kentucky State University says 5-8 years from a seed. But, grafted trees that you purchase should bear fruit in 3 years.

http://www.pawpaw.kysu.edu/pawpaw/ppg.htm

Al
Pawpaws grow easily in my area but I didn't have any particularly close to me. In the Fall of 2014 I planted two named 'bare roots' and watched anxiously for signs of life the following Spring. Unfortunately both grafts failed but suckers sprouted from the rootstock. Both are now about two feet tall.
A friend of mine started 6 unknown cultivars from seed that same Fall in pots and gave me three plants that I planted Spring of 2015. One is now a spindly 12 footer and has produced it's first blooms. Three and a half years from seed to flower. It's sibling is just over half that size and has nothing but leaves. Pawpaws often bloom before they leaf out so now, depending on your area, is a good time to hunt for them so that you can go back in the Fall.
I'm not likely to get any fruit from this tree since "Asimina triloba" is almost never self fertile, but one can always hope.
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