mixing peterson pawpaws with wild?

thecityman, Zone 7a/6b near NashvilleApril 1, 2014

To my delight, I have recently discovered a stand of wild pawpaws a couple miles from my home, but of course I've never tasted their fruit and don't know if they are good or anything else about them. Meanwhile, I've ordered 2 Peterson Pawpaw varieties on-line which are expected to arrive in 2 weeks.
I'm very, very tempted to move some of the wild trees to my property (lets assume I am able to do that for now). If I do, they would have to be very close to my petersons. My question is this....will I potentially negate the higher quality Peterson fruit by cross pollinating them with my wild trees (assuming the wild fruit is average, and therefore probably less good than Peterson fruit)? Or will the Peterson trees automatically bear pretty much the same, good quality Peterson fruit no matter what pollinates them? I hope my question is clear.....basically, if you had 2 expensive Peterson pawpaw trees and had a chance to get a 3rd, unknown wild pawpaw tree to put with them, would you do that? Why or why not? Thanks.

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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

The Peterson's. paw paws quality remain the same but the seeds will be different from the parents.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 6:48AM
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thecityman, Zone 7a/6b near Nashville

what a perfect, simple answer (and one everyone here but me probably knew). Thanks tonytran!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 10:23AM
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From reading other posts it sounds like pawpaws are delicate in regards to both grafting and transplanting.

So maybe take a burlap bag you can get from a coffee roaster place and keep the original dirt undisturbed on the roots.. or take an extra tree.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 12:35PM
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They are well known to be difficult to transplant, but I've grafted them (topworking) and they didn't seem especially difficult.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 3:49PM
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Wild pawpaw are exceedingly hard to transplant. They have a huge tap root that when damaged will kill the tree 9 times out of ten.

Try grafting (as suggested above) or wait till fall and gab some fruit and plant the seeds in situ near your new petersons.

In spring you do have the chance to dig up seedlings. The thing with pawpaw seedlings is that they put put a large tap root before anything above ground shows, so you can have an inch plant with a root roughly a foot or more long.

IN terms of cross breeding (petersons pollinating wild, or vice versa), the peterson seedlings even being isolated will still grow up different then the peterson trees. Keep in mind pawpaw only recently gained popularity in the nursery trade (10-15 years), so any named plant will still have a ton of wild genes. Mixing with the wild trees would just increase diversification, which just means there are more genes to work with.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 3:59PM
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thecityman, Zone 7a/6b near Nashville

thank you for the very helpful answers. Well, I gave it a try today but, as you all have just said, am quite doubtful I was successful. Even though I selected quite small trees to dig up, I found exactly what you have just told me....in spite of my digging up a very large root ball with each small tree I tried to move, they both had a very large root that had to be cut to get the root ball out of the ground. All that being said, there were still a fair amount of smaller roots with the tree and I got about 3 feet of the big taproot with each tree, so maybe one of the 3 I tried will survive. If not, no big loss...there were plenty of large pawpaws where I got these 3. BTW.....my peterson's that I have ordered are both grafted, so hopefully that means they will give fairly predictable fruit. For what its worth, I ordered Susquehanna and Shenandoah from edible landscaping.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 11:18PM
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I also have Susquehanna and Shenandoah from edible landscaping. Mine are entering their second full year and are only about 2 feet tall. Their first growth apparently was devoted to their tap root. I am growing three wild paw paws from seed in pots. One has germinated so far. My intention is two plant the wild ones near my pertersons and in a few years to graft onto the wild root stock.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 11:18AM
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thecityman, Zone 7a/6b near Nashville

Sounds like me Charlieboring are on the same wavelength with almost exactly the same plans! Since you are a year ahead of me I'll follow your progress with great interest. If my transplanted wild pawpaws don't live, I'll try to find some fruit this fall at the patch so I can try to grow some seedlings like you are doing. I'm a little disappointed to hear your edible landscaping pawpaws are only 2 feet tall after 2 years, but as long as they are alive and growing I guess that's ok! Thanks for the insight....keep me posted!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 12:25PM
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