Anyone in Dayton or Cincy? I'm looking for a wafer ash & paw paw

ann85May 31, 2009

I have called so many garden centers I have lost count. Does anyone know where I can buy a Wafer Ash or a Paw Paw tree around Dayton or Cincinnati Ohio? I usually visit the butterfly garden forum and I am looking for these trees for that purpose. Thanks Ann

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Earthscapes in Loveland has a large selection of native trees, however, their online website address has been suspended. I don't have an old catalog to check at hand, but that might be a possibility for both.

Another source for the Pawpaw is

that's in KY, but it might be helpful.

If you go the pawpaw route, if you want fruit, you should have more than one. According to what I've read, they require a genetically different tree to polinate (they are not self-polinators), and the young trees need to be sheltered from the sun for the first 1 or 2 years as they usually start out life as an understory.

They like acid soil which might be a problem. I don't think I can even try as they say they need good drainage...and I have clay, but then again, I don't usually see trees or plant descriptions that don't say that they need good drainage!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 11:30PM
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I see (or I think that I do) pawpaws in the woods in all our parks around here--so I wonder just how hard they are to grow.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 9:57AM
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Probably not hard if you are actually seeing Pawpaw. They have a characteristic LONG single leaf....sort of a light green, not a dark green like you see on a Bullbay magnolia.

If you are seeing pawpaw around, then no, in your area (as long as your planting spot is similar to the wooded area) then it probably isn't hard to grow.

If you have a friend who has a wooded area with pawpaw, then digging a small volunteer might be what you want to do. Do a search on Pawpaw to check the leaves and on growing Pawpaw.

Another thing to think about, is wafer ash affected by the emerald green ash borer?

Where I am, I have very alkaline soil, and so I doubt a pawpaw would do well.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 10:52AM
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Thanks for all of the feedback. In regards to the Paw Paw
I guess I should test my soil again. It tested OK for my asparagus a few years ago and that is in an overlapping range. Can I treat the soil or tree with something if it needs a bit more acid? I spoke to the man at the site and will probably order the Paw Paws from him.

Also the Wafer Ash is not really an Ash, it is in the citrus family. I was happy about that because we have two big beautiful ash trees and I am not sure how long they will last. The Wafer Ash is a native Ohio tree that is the host plant for the giant swallowtail caterpillar. It is a short tree with a medium growth. I found it recommended on several public utility sites as a good tree for under power lines. Despite this I can not find the tree. I have found a place to order it online and I had two local garden centers (Siebenthalers in Dayton and Andy's in Troy) tell me they would probably have it next year.

Thanks again, Ann

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 4:00PM
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Andy's is around the corner from me and they are really good about getting things you want. Their prices are usually good too. Siebenthalers is nice...but sometimes a bit on the dear side.

The "ash" thing is a good example of why sometimes just the common name isn't good enough! I was totally unfamiliar with this tree....too bad it says it is an understory because I'm dealing with a power line right of way (all the right of way is on my property as the last area to be developed from this field), sewer, name it! I'll have to keep an eye out for it. Thanks for the heads up!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 12:21AM
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I live pretty close to Andy's too! We may be neighbors. I also spoke with Sharon at Chaney's. She was interested and may be willing to get them next year.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 10:04AM
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livingfossil(6a Dayton OH)

I believe Earthscapes is no longer in business. It is sad as they had a nice collection and I miss going there to find some cool native plant.

Burkharts in Miamisburg may have pawpaws although I don't see them listed online. You could give them a call. Here is there website:

I have been growing my two pawpaws (bought from Earthscapes) for over 5 years now and they are easy to grow for me. They are in half sun/half shade and last year they fruited for me. :) I also seem to get more Zebra Swallowtails on my butterfly bushes than every before too.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 12:44PM
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picea(6A Cinci- Oh)

There are several mail order souces for Pawpaw. The seed grown varieties are normally less expensive than the grafted varieties. I would check with Edible Landscaping who has seedlings for $15 or the Ohio PawPaw Growers Association website

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 10:42PM
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I have a couple young Paw Paws you could have if you're willing to dig a few minutes south of the Ohio River

If you happen to have any wood poppies or yellow epimediums, we could swap.

Otherwise, I'll pay it forward . . .

e-mail me

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 2:15PM
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Hmm. It didn't include my e-mail addy. Is there a way to get that info to you?


    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 11:32PM
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I'm enclosing a link to a native plant nursery in Cincinnati that should have the paw paws. They are located near Spring Grove Cemetery.

I don't know of a source right now for wafer ash.

Here is a link that might be useful: Keystone Flora

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 9:53PM
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Shooting Star Nursery near Georgetown KY has them listed on their website. Google their name for a link.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 10:05PM
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I bought my little paw paws from this site on e-bay: dogwooderitternet (you can do a 'google' to find him).

I also purchased a number of other butterfly nectar and host plants from him (liatris ligustylus, spicebush, different asclepias, etc.). This seller is very nice to deal with and his plants are very well priced. I find it easier to buy from him rather than to schlep around to all the nurseries (since Earthscapes closed).

I understand that wafer ash is quite a common tree in the woods (one nurseryman called it a 'junk tree' to my face!) so if you can ID one, you can probably find it in the woods somewhere. My problem is trying to ID one!

Also, the Midwest Native Plant Society is having a Native Plant sale this Saturday July 25, OPEN to the PUBLIC, and I bet they will have some along with lots of other interesting Butterfly garden plants.

I believe reservations to the conference (for the whole conference or/and different events) are still available and they will be having lots of good speakers, including Judy Burris and Wayne Richards on Buterfly Gardening.

Here is a link that might be useful: Native Plant Society Dayton Conf. flyer and info

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 3:02PM
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I want to thank all of you for your input. I now am the proud owner of 2 wafer ash trees. I found them at Keystone Flora as recommended by someone here! It was worth a drive to Cincinnati.


Here is a link that might be useful: Keystone Flora

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 1:36PM
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