Transplant large Paw Paw trees? Not many blooms.

wertach zone 7-B SCJune 10, 2013

I have 3 Paw Paw trees about 12' tall that I planted 5 years ago.

They are not grafts. Either started from seed or cuttings I didn't ask when I bought them from a small nursery.

I planted them in a spot that is really shaded, they get almost no direct sun. I planted them there because I read somewhere that they grow well as an understory tree.

They are growing vigorously and are really healthy, but they only have 4 or 5 blooms on each one every year.

Could this be because of too much shade?

I have a spot with full sun that I can transplant them to if that would help.

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Noogy(6 sw mi)

It's (shade) probably the culprit. I'd wait till february to transplant, and you might have to head it back if you don't get enough roots.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 12:15PM
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megamav(5a - NY)

Pawpaw root systems are very fragile, especially the tap root.
If you aim to transplant them, you would have to ensure not to disturb the tap root.

I'd probably choose to get some seeds and go thru the process of growing a new one rather than risk losing them all due to root damage.

Its a tough species to uproot without killing.
Maybe others with more experience have better ideas.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 12:17PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

I have a backhoe with a large bucket and the ground is very soft so I could probably get all of the taproot in one scoop.

It would be disturbed but probably/hopefully not too bad?

If they aren't ever going to produce, loosing them wouldn't be much of a loss.

I could thin out the trees that are shading them and sell the wood for saw timber or firewood, 40" diameter oak and hickory trees.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 12:51PM
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I transplanted a number of 5 - 7 year old pawpaw trees early this spring without taking monster root balls and all are doing well. Not to discourage taking as much root as you can - the more, the better - but it will still be okay with a smaller root ball. I would transplant just before bud break in the spring.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 3:11PM
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Very late winter or early spring transplanting is part of the secret. Pawpaw, unlike most deciduous trees, does not have recovery root growth while still dormant.

Thinning the top growth to balance for loss of roots is always a good idea, but strongly consider painting the truck and branches with thin white (or in any case light colored) diluted latex pain or whitewash (which will wear off in a year or two).

Full sun in 7b may be too much though. It is for mine.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 8:31PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

Thanks to all, I will be transplanting next March or so!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 2:50PM
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