Shading for young pawpaw?

bart1(6/7 Northern VA)April 19, 2013

My understanding is that pawpaws need to be shaded during their first year to get them off to a good start. I just put some burlap over the top of some small vegetable cages that I had.

Will one layer of burlap provide enough cover?
Is top shade enough, or should I shade them from all sides (down lower)?

Here's a photo of one of them:

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Seems like not much shade cast by that setup. If you're bothering to do it in the first place, you might as well use real shade cloth, and cover the sides, where the hot afternoon summer sun will be coming from...

This just a guess, as the only pawpaws I tried died after their 2nd summer in my sunny arid climate. They were partially shaded.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 10:57AM
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I really don't know, but I wonder if your pawpaw needs any shade at all. If it's a purchased, grafted tree, then this will probably be its 3rd (if not 4th) year of growth. Do you 3 year old pawpaws still need shade? Don't take any advice from me, because pawpaws I'm going on 6 years of growing pawpaws and I have yet to eat my first fruit (although I might have last year apart from the late freezes) and most of my trees have been extremely unimpressive growers, but they practically all survived, so I don't think too much sun has been their problem. Surely there's a size/age at which potted pawpaws can be set out in full sun, right? Assuming that's the case, I've been weighing the alternate stategies of keeping my pawpaws in pots until they can take full sun versus direct seeding them and shading them. Keeping them in pots until they're ready for full sun seems like it might be the easiest way to go, but a tree (or at least rootstock) grown in place from seed would seem like the way to mostly get the best, healthiest tree, especially with trees like pawpaws that have a reputation from transplanting issues.

As far as your current set-up, I don't know if you'd need to, but you could extend the burlap down the west (and potentially east) side if you were concerned about direct afternoon (and morning) sun.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 3:13PM
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I did something like that with mine, only I used cheese cloth, over the top and half way down.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 3:52PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)


I agreed with CF, if a pawpaw started from seed then you needed to protect it from the sun for the first season. Grafted pawpaw do no need sun protection. I bought two grafted ftrom Starkbros about ten years ago and they did fine without sun protection.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 4:31PM
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I emailed Neil Peterson this question last year and he he said a grafted pawpaw does not need shade.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 6:05PM
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I just purchased two Pawpaws from starkbros and they arrived today. I had two big pots for them, but another poster mentioned on a different post that pawpaws have really long tap roots, so I am going to pot them in those really deep pots and maybe bury the bottom half (i live in a rental, so I don't want to plant in the ground).

I was wondering if you had any other tips or knew of any other pawpaw pitfalls to avoid? Any suggestions or info would be great!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 6:16PM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

There was a gentleman goes by Gonebananas on this website, he used some 20-25 gallon pots for his pawpaws and successfully fruited them. I think you will be ok to grow them in a large pot. They are very slow grower. You can also put Gonebananas name in the search tab and see some of his old posts. I have not heard from him in a year or so. Good luck.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 8:51PM
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Bart,that's what I did,growing paw paws in northwestern PA.I extended the burlap down the east side ( my full sun side).
I also used a smaller mesh ring of fence,for rodents ( voles). I lost a couple apple trees from these guys.
Remember to water deep,for the tap root.
Kentucky state university has a great web site with lots of paw paw info.
Good luck

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 11:14PM
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As far as I know I would also say that a pawpaw does not need any shade, you don't need to do the arrangement for the shade. But if indeed you want to give it the shade then the one in the picture isn't working anyways. It would be better if you use a cloth on top and a little on the sides as well.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 1:24PM
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