paw paw roots: Forrest Keeling vs. Nolin
I posted in a recent thread about getting potted paw paws from Forrest Keeling nursery. Right now, there are two nurseries licensed to sell Peterson paw paws. Nolin River Nut Tree Nursery and Forrest Feeling. Nolin sells them bare rooted, grafted on field grown root stock. Many contributors here have had difficulty with field grown bare rooted paw paws, perhaps because the roots get damaged during the bare rooting process. Certainly the roots are not intact. Forrest Keeling sells them grafted onto potted rootstock, grown using their "RPM" method. Here are pictures of both:
From Nolin. Shenandoah on left, Wabash on right
Close up of the same two trees
Susquehanna from Forrest Keeling. I shook off some of the potting medium to spread out the roots in my soil. I guess I should have held it over grass for the picture, and not soil the same color as the roots!
The apparent differences:
More root mass from Nolin
Intact roots from Forrest Keeling
Minimal tap root from Forrest Keeling
More woody roots from Nolin
More feeder roots from Forrest Keeling
Larger plants from Nolin. ~30" total shoot length from Nolin (they sell various sizes) vs ~12" total shoot length from Forrest Keeling.
Time will tell if there's a significant difference in performance. I expect the Forrest Keeling tree to put on good growth next season, with virtually no transplant shock. The trees from Nolin put on just a few inches of growth, presumably due to the expected transplant shock. Hopefully they will be over that by next season.