Paw Paw trees

flower_gardenMay 31, 2011

In the catalogs these always sound like wonderful trees, ornamental and covered in banana custard-flavored fruit. Has anyone actually grown them on the front range, and if so, did/do you get fruit? Is the taste as good as described? Even one of my gardening books calls these trees "our most underappreciated native fruiting tree." Sounds like a challenge to me!


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I have thought about it. To be honest it is on my list of things to plant but it is on the lower end of the list. I think I remember Milehighgirl having said somewhere that she has or was growing it.
Let us know if you decide to plant it. I am very curious about how it does.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 3:45PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

Yes, I do have two trees. I kept them indoors in the garage for the past three winters because I didn't want to plant them until they could handle some sun. They did really well on my back porch that only gets morning sun. I forgot to water them this winter and they are having a hard time coming out. They seem alive, but a little water would have been good. If they make it I'll plant them in the ground this year. One of them bloomed last year.

If not, I will reorder. Neal Peterson said that Allegheny and Shenandoah are his earliest. If I have to reorder I'll get these.

The nurseries that carry his trees are Nolin River Nut Nursery( and Forrest Keeling Wholesale Nursery (

Oh, and by the way, Neil also corrected me and said that they are "Pawpaw", not "Paw Paw".

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 11:14PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

I didn't know anything about pawpaw and was curious when I saw the post, so I googled it for pictures and when I saw the large fruit, the first thing I thought was that they must need a lot of water. Looked around a little more and found that they prefer an acid soil, and I was way right about the water. The three best sites I found are linked below. One of them says they need a second tree for cross pollination, and the other says they're self fertile! Interesting! Ah-ha! I found some good info re pollination on the third site! Sounds like you DO need at least two for pollination, and like they have a low pollination rate even then. One other thing I found on all the sites I looked at is that they all recommend "some protection from wind" due to the large leaves--described as up to 12" on one site. I'm not trying to talk anyone out of growing them--it looks like a pretty cool thing to try--but it does sound to me like growing them out here in the high, dry, windy conditions we have in the Rockies would make it a challenge.

The fruit sounds yummy, and if anyone is ever successful, I'd love to hear the tale!


Pawpaw Cultural Advice

Pawpaw trees and fruit

Pawpaw - Asimina triloba

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 12:45AM
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Wow, thanks for all the info and help. Milehighgirl, I hope your trees make it after all the time you've put into them! I'd love to hear how they turn out. Skybird, I didn't know about the acid soil...that plus the wind and water needs may change my mind about getting them. We are in an especially windy area, and I definitely do not have acid soil. I'll have to give it some more thought and research...they do sound yummy.

Thanks again,

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 4:40PM
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I've been growing a pawpaw tree in the ground north of Denver for 8 years now. Since most pawpaws require cross-pollination to bear fruit, I originally planted two, but one of them died after 2 years.

My remaining pawpaw has bloomed for the past two years, but without a pollinator I am not able to get fruit. This year I conducted a search through Denver Botanic Gardens and identified another pawpaw tree being grown in Denver; just last weekend I exchanged pollen between my tree and the Denver specimen, but unfortunately all of the flowers on my tree have since fallen off, so no fruit for me again this year.

Pawpaws will grow along the front range; I've now seen two trees in bloom as evidence of that. They may have a high mortality rate getting established though (my experience is 50% mortality so far!) and their large leaves probably warrant some shelter from our obnoxious winds; mine is in a somewhat sheltered location about 20 feet east of my house.

Just this week I received a shipment of 4 more grafted pawpaws; hopefully within a few years I can get some fruit!


    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 7:36PM
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