First Pawpaw Planted

Edymnion(7a)July 16, 2012

I've got almost a dozen pawpaw trees that are now about a foot tall. Not old enough yet for full sun, but big enough I think to be transplanted out into the woods. Didn't want to plant them all in the yard anyway, but figure I'll ring the yard with them.

Found a nice shaded clearing with enough of an opening overhead that it will get some sun and water while having room to grow.

One down. Going to let that one go for a few weeks on it's own before I judge if the rest are ready to be put out in the woods as well.

Figure I'll keep one or two to put in the yard, rest I'm going to let go feral.

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I am so jealous, we cant buy american pawpaw in Australia!! Ive read about them for hard as it is can someone describe the taste?? Will they grow from seed? Maybe I can get some sent over.
Good luck with your pawpaws!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 3:12AM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

The taste probably varies by variety and who is eating it.I've only had it once and to me it was like a mixture of sweet squash,melon and peach.
I'm growing some plants right now from the seeds of those two fruit and some others that were sent to me.Growing from seed is most likely the easiest way to propagate.
Check out the Kentucky Champion Pawpaw website.He might have some in the Fall to sell. Brady

Here is a link that might be useful: Kentucky Champion Pawpaw

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 10:58AM
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And they will grow from seed, but the hoops you have to jump through to get that seed to sprout are pretty insane.

Naturally, the seed would be in the ripe fruit and hit the ground in the fall and get buried. It would then sit through the entire winter in a dormant phase, then sprout come spring.

For humans, that means it has to be stratified (kept cool, around 40 degrees F) for at least 3 solid months (your refrigerator will do nicely). They cannot be allowed to dry out during those 3 months, or they die. Then you have to plant them out in the spring, where it may take anywhere from 3-6 additional months before they sprout (about 3 weeks for them to germinate, and a total of about 9 weeks minimum of root growth before they send up a shoot).

So they are extremely slow to grow from seed. They're not that hard really, they just take forever (planted my seeds that I got from the boards here pre-stratified in February, and I'm still getting new sprouts here in July).

After that, they cannot tolerate direct sunlight for at least a year as they are supposed to be an understory tree, they have to be kept in shade (although after the first year or two they can tolerate and thrive in full sun).

If at all possible, get a seedling, not seeds. And make sure its not bare-root, these trees don't tolerate bare root very well at all.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 2:20PM
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And second pawpaw planted.

Went out to inspect the one I planted yesterday and it hadn't died a horrible death overnight. So, decided that since they have to grow in pairs for pollination I should go ahead and put another one out by the first, about 15-20 feet away.

Figure if I plant them in twos all the way around the house, I should be good with a single one out with my other fruit trees.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 2:32PM
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I bought 10 seeds that had already been chilled the appropriate period on ebay. None of them germinated. I would like to try a couple of plants. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 9:42AM
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Okay, its been about two weeks and I went to go check on the pair of pawpaws I planted (say that three times fast). Not only were they not dead, they seem to have grown noticeably. I take that as a good sign and planted two more out in the woods on the side of the yard (still within a couple hundred feet of the first two).

Got 5 more (at least one of which is spoken for), and one that will be going out in the yard with my other fruit trees (I'll rig up shade cloth for it for the rest of this year). The rest I'm not sure where I'll put yet. I'm thinking of making my pairs into triplets out in the woods to help ensure good pollination on them.

The one in the yard will be right in the middle of all of them, and I intend to try grafting branches back and forth from the other trees once they're big enough. That should drastically help it set fruit out in the yard by itself.

Just a couple of years and I'll be able to order the butterflies too. Excited? Yes I am.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 7:51PM
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Hey Charlie I recommend Forrest Keeling Nursery because they ship in 4 inch pots with tons of roots. Ive never had a single tree of theirs fail and they will ship out in the fall. I have a pawpaw orchard in its infancy and they are a good source if you are just starting out. They have a huge variety even the Peterson pawpaws which are supposed to be top rated for flavor. The trees are small but take off like rockets. If you want a bigger tree in the spring I recommend Englands Orchard and Nursery. The owner of this nursery is extremely knowledgeable and friendly and will answer any questions you might have. Those are the two places i highly recommend, also Nolin River Nursery but he is not selling trees this upcoming year 2013. You have to be careful where you buy your pawpaws from because they do not have a high success rate in transplanting because of the very sensitive roots. I highly recommend grafted varieties too because they will fruit in half the time. A pawpaw from seed can take 10 to 15 years to fruit. Good luck to all growing pawpaws, Americana's forgotten fruit also the healthiest cancer fighting fruit hands down, proven by university research.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 3:08AM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

One caveat about Forrest Keeling is that they may not sell to you, depending on what state you are in. They have, or at least had, an agreement with some other company not to sell in certain states. They would not sell to me here in Pennsylvania.

One Green World also sells potted pawpaws, including the Petersopn varieties, and the Kentucky release 'Atwood'


    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 3:04PM
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There, its not pretty, but it should be serviceable until next year.

Planted one of my bigger pawpaws from it's pot into the yard between my mulberry and cherry trees. Making a nice little row of fruit trees out there...

Anyway, pawpaws don't like direct light, needs shade, yadda yadda yadda, bam, tomato stake cage wrapped in screen door mesh shade cloth. Hopefully that'll be enough to keep it happy until next year.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 4:35PM
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Good System edymnion. The window screen never fails for shading pawpaws.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 1:24AM
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