paw paw roots: Forrest Keeling vs. Nolin

alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)November 7, 2010

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.


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bonsaist(Z6/ Bethlehem, Pa)

Certainly big difference. I just wish it was that easy to order form keeling nursery.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 4:05PM
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I have an order in to F-K, done by phone. There was no problem in ordering. I haven't received the plants yet though.

I am going to do some potting-soil experiments, mainly by eliminating or varying pine bark, varying peat, and varying or eliminating vermiculite, all with about 1/4 perlite.

I have some suspicions about pine bark, and many former growers have recommended vermiculaite. Those are mainly what I will be checking.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 3:54PM
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I planted 5 trees from Nolin last spring. The seemed to take a while to recover and didn't seem to do too well over the summer and seemed to drop their leaves early this fall. I thought they might die.
I am more encouraged now though. We had a very mild winter here in Michigan and all my trees already have lots of buds and little twigs growing. I'm hoping they have a better second season.
Planning to fertilize with holly tone later this spring.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 10:06AM
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