Paw Paw Ripening & Questions

meatchickenApril 26, 2010

I ordered 2 Grafted Paw Paws, A Wells & 1 other ...

Here's a couple of questions for those that are familiar: ...

1 - When they are mature & make fruit, can the fruit be picked under-ripe, & allowed to ripen on a counter, like bannanas? I've read conflicting reports on this around the 'net.

2 - How much/what type of fertilizing should I be doing this & next year to maximize growth to maturity?

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Best is to wait for the fruit to fall off ripe from the tree or begin to turn yellow. It is difficult to know when to pick the fruit early as it may not ripen if picked too early.
Pawpaw responds moderately to fertilizer. I'd avoid heavy fertilization for a tree of equal size. It will be several years before you will be picking fruit.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 12:26PM
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I've gone through my 2 trees and picked all of them at once AFTER a decent number, say 10-15% of the crop, has begun to fall on their own. At that stage, some are a little greener and harder than others, since the fruit ripens naturally over about 2 weeks, but I see no difference in quality in the picked fruit.

Once picked, it ripens pretty fast, and needs to be processed in a few days.

I peel them, then freeze whole with the seeds, dusted with fruit fresh. I find it too much work to de-seed them in bulk, I just do it as I use them.

They are great to use much like banana pulp. One of my favorite recipes is Paw Paw blondies, a nice, moist bar.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 12:46PM
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logrock(7b (NW of Atlanta))

Well, this may be the year I get to test Pawpaw ripening!
On my two 4 year old trees, combined I have about 8 of these hands, so if each one gives one two fruit, I'll be happy.

The cool thing about starting a backyard orchard is that every year it gets better.
I'm going to try and keep my photo album updated so you can watch them develop.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 2:28PM
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smintheus(z6 PA)

I have a Sunflower pawpaw that finally produced small fruit this year, but one after another all 15 fell off or disappeared within about a month. The tree is over 10 feet, was planted 7 years ago, and produced flowers (but no fruit) last year as well, so it should be able to support fruit. It's fenced and deer cannot be doing this. Is it normal for pawpaws to lose so many fruit? These were not cross-pollinated from another cultivar. Could that be the problem?

By the way, if anybody has seeds on offer I'd love to plant some more pawpaws.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 7:45PM
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That is the problem. I'm almost 100% sure Paw Paws have to cross-pollinate with another cultivar to get any fruit. Also try hand pollinating to get fruit also. Paw Paws are pollinated by bees, but by flies, and sometimes it isn't always successful. I've also heard of people putting raw meat or road kill below their trees, so they attract more flies. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 9:29PM
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*****Sorry I meant to say in the above post:

Paw Paws are NOT pollinated by bees, but by flies...

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 9:32PM
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smintheus(z6 PA)

Well these did pollinate and some 15 fruit began to form in about 7 clusters. (It's a Sunflower, which is supposed to be self-polllinating.) But then little by little all the tiny pawpaws dropped. A cluster of 4 would be reduced to a single fruit, and then even that one would disappear. They all seemed perfectly healthy fruit right up until they disappeared.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 12:13AM
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Pollination isnt the problem. My sunflower pawpaw is now 3 years old, and a little over 6 feet tall. I produced its first flowers this year and lots of gnats and other things were hitting the flowers pretty good, and there were dozens of blossoms. Most of them formed a fruit very small just like the picture the other poster above posted. They all fell off except for one. It is now around the size of a quarter and appears that it will be staying for good now. I think its just an issue of trees being very young to hold the fruit maybe. I expect a better crop next year. Im satisfied that it is gonna bear anything at all this early and is putting on good growth in branches and height.

I believe growing conditions etc. determine when and how the trees will produce their first crops. I had been fertilizing mine according to recommendations and watering during dry spells etc. Someone who might not take as good care of their tree or in poorer soils might not get their first fruit till a couple of years later.

There also was no pollinator for this tree, it self pollinated. Im in the middle of town and know there is not another pawpaw for miles at least.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 6:16PM
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