Paw Paw Tree anyone??

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Eve von Paradis, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. Eve von Paradis

    Eve von Paradis Active Member

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    Hello,

    Over the last few years, I've noticed that my local nursery has been carrying a fruit tree called a Paw paw tree. I've done some research on this particular fruit tree but have not bought one yet.

    Anyone out there own one? Any feedback and/or advice?
     
  2. Grant Gussie

    Grant Gussie Active Member

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    Paw paws have delicous fruit and its well worth owning your own tree, as the fruit doesn't travel well and can not be produced and sold commercially. They are very tropical (mango-like) in taste and a real treat for temperate gardeners.

    Unfortunately they are problematic in our area.

    Paw paws are very diffucult to transplant, being considered "root sensitive". So they should be started in large pots and transplanted while small. Digging up an established plant is sure to kill it. The other problem is that it is difficult to get the fruit to ripen in the cool summers of the west coast. They need heat that we only get in bright sunny and sheltered locations, away from sea breezes. Unfortunately, they also don't handle bright sun (ultraviolet) very well, especially while young. The leaves will sun burn, as the plant evolved as under story plants in places with very hot humid summers.

    There are varieties that are very early ripening, like "Wilson", which have the potential for producing ripe fruit locally, but I don't know if people have proven this yet. You can get Wilson from "Tropic to tropic" (http://www.tropic.ca/), and would try them as your best bet for getting fruit.
     
  3. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    I've been growing about 15 for the past four years, 'Wilson', 'Mango', 'NC-1', 'TayTwo', 'Prolific', and a number of seedlings. They are difficult to transplant on account of their fleshy, brittle roots, but I've moved one 2 year old tree with a large rootball, and thus far, it's doing well. The roots break easily, though, and I'd imagine the adage is generally true. All mine were planted from gallon pots. I'd read a lot about sunburn on the leaves; mostly that they dislike it when young, and tolerate it when older. I planted most of mine in dappled shade on account of this. I planted 3 in full sun, though, as an experiment, and they weren't much affected. The Wilson looked downright happy. Perhaps the stock I planted was already old enough to be sun hardy. They’re pretty slow-growing thus far; ‘Mango’ and ‘NC-1’ seem fastest. Incidentally, the flowers (only one so far) are beautiful. A nice backyard tree, I’d say: small, pretty, and potential for unusual fruit...though you'll need at least two, unless you get a hold of a variety like 'Sunflower' which is purportedly self-fertile.
     
  4. Eve von Paradis

    Eve von Paradis Active Member

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    Having grown up in South East Asia, I was seduced by this very same description... promises of tropical ambrosia. Then the challenges involved with no guarantees of success...Ugh! that was what discouraged me thus far.

    Wow. 15! Did that one flower that bloom give you any fruit? How long does one have to wait for fruit?
    Yes, I've read that paw paw trees need either another unrelated paw paw tree nearby or one may have to actually perform the pollination with a brush.

    I doubt I will have success with it because I live in an area with a slightly higher altitude (my flora and fauna tend to bloom a few weeks later than other parts of the city).

    I'll restraint myself for now, and if I do get my garden in order (does that ever happen??), I'll consider bringing a paw paw home.

    Thanks for the first hand feedback as that was what I needed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2010
  5. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    When I here about a Paw Paw tree I faintly remember an old poem - something about a possum in the paw paw tree. Does anyone else remember this poem?

    Also, another "deep South" type tree came up the other day - CASTANOPSIS cuspidata or chinquapin - relative to oaks and chestnuts, w/ a nut similar to an acorn. any info on whether it would grow in the PNW? barb
     
  6. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    The 'NC-1' had the flower, but alas, no fruit so far. So...I don't know how long I'll have to wait, sorry. I've heard 3-5 years, but then again, that seems to be the standard generic estimate for a lot of fruit trees.

    Barb: I have 2 chinquapins (castanea pumila) growing, they've been in the ground for 3 years now. Healthy growth, but no flowers-nuts so far. Bush chestnuts were too intriguing to pass up. And yes, I recall the old poem from the south about the "pawpaw patch": apparently they sucker profusely and from thickets in those parts, so I suppose a tree becomes a 'patch'.
     
  7. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Great Woodschmoe, I'll tell my friend that at least they do grow here if not to produce nuts. He's from Texas and remembers them fondly. Now if I can just find the words to the old poem. Every time I try to google it I get "Old Possums Practical Cats" or where to order the trees. barb ;))
     
  8. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Other castanea produce abudant nuts around here; chinquapins might not be so different. They're said to be quite sweet; perhaps that speaks to your friend's fondness for them. PS...just type "pawpaw patch" into google, and the poem is yours.
     
  9. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Woodschmoe - that's it. Guess there wasn't anything in it about possums after all. It's funny when you get older you remember the darnedest things! barb
     
  10. Eve von Paradis

    Eve von Paradis Active Member

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    Woodschmoe,
    Did you play matchmaker and attempt to pollinate your paw paw flower?

    On a different note, my poor bamboo grove looks like they are having a spider mite infestation. Any advice?
     
  11. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    No, I couldn't pollinate as I only had the one flower unfortunately, so no suitable pollen.

    Are you sure you have mites? Most bamboo leaves are looking rough right now, just prior to the new leaves emerging. Look for the tell-tale signs of cholorotic leaf patches, and patches of white webbing under the leaves: mite nests.

    If that's indeed what you've got (mites are an ongoing problem here in the Northwest), you have three options: manual control, ie. in a very small plant, scrape the mites and their web nests off the leaves; in a larger plant, cut the clump to the ground, burn the culms and leaves, and hope that does it. Secondly, you could use a miticide. Thirdly, predator mites work, in some cases anyways. A good summary:

    cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/eb1992e/eb1992e.pdf

    Of the three, predator mites are the most appealing, but their effectiveness is yet to be determined...I've read mixed reviews. My bamboos are mite free thus far, due in no small measure to a fairly excessive degree of paranoia on my part: if I'm around a bamboo elsewhere, I completely brush off my clothes, shoes, hats...whatever..and I generally avoid retail nursery stock, only dealing with a grower whose stock is free of mites. That being said, I imagine I'll still get them eventually: the little buggers seem to get around.
     
  12. Paw Paw Dana

    Paw Paw Dana Member

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    I was lucky to stumble upon 3 Paw Paw trees at Cedar Rim that were 6 to 8 feet tall with massive root balls (erroneously labeled 'Georgian Allspice'). They transplanted very well with no ill effects (but I was uber-cautious!).
    I believe they are not a 'variety' but rather of seed stock, so therefore how they will do in this climate as well as the quality of their fruit is anyone's guess.
    I live on a bit of a hill and get lots of sun and wind, but all my fruit trees are doing fine.
    All 3 Paw Paw trees had flowers and I hand pollinated them with success!
    I have 3 'sets' of fruit developing.
    If we have a warm enough summer I am hopeful to be trying my first Paw Paw fruit some time in late September!
    Also, don't be frightened off by the 'smell' of the flower. Only my daughter was able to detect any smell what-so-ever. This ain't no skunk cabbage! It is a beautiful tree with very cool flowers and leaves.
     
  13. EvevonParadis

    EvevonParadis Member

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    Hi Dana,
    how very encouraging to hear your successful story so far. Is Cedar rim a nursery?
     
  14. Paw Paw Dana

    Paw Paw Dana Member

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    Yes. Cedar Rim Nursery.
    www.cedarrim.com
    They are located in Langley. It was just dumb luck, really. They didn't even know they had them... But somebody must supply them at that size. They were about $120 each.
    However there is another nursery in Richmond called Art's Tree Nursery that has all kinds of fruit trees. They have some very young Paw Paws (Tay Two & NC-1) at about $30 each. I cannot imagine they would produce anything anytime soon as they are really nothing more than sticks with leaves. (I bought 2 of those too and will eventually graft branches from them to mine to make a 'self-pollinating' Paw Paw.) I don't think I have room to keep them so might give them to some friends in South Delta. Still considering...
    Here is a picture of 2 very, very, very immature Paw Paw fruit. The 'horns' will hopefully each produce a Paw Paw.
     

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  15. Cilla Watkins

    Cilla Watkins New Member

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    If anyone is still following this tread, I highly recommend this blogger for more Canadian Zone 5 information about the Paw Paw tree. Well documented and successful in growing. paw paw | Search Results | durgan.org
     
  16. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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  17. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    It should be noted that Durgan lives in Brantford, ON, which is in or near the native range of Pawpaws. His results may not apply to southwestern BC.
     
  18. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor

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    There is a local gentleman who belongs to the Hardy Palm Society here in Vancouver who actually harvested fruit from his trees this year and I was fortunate enough to be able to sample....sort of bland in flavor but an interesting texture.

    I also have a couple of trees that are growing well but not mature enough to produce fruit yet
     
  19. pmurphy

    pmurphy Contributor

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    UPDATE:
    My trees have tried producing fruit but the squirrels keep getting them before they can mature.
     
  20. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    We need a "would like if only" button.
     
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  21. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    —————————————————————————–
    Final Harvest 2019
    17 October 2019 Pawpaw Fruit 17 October 2019 Pawpaw Fruit
    One pawpaw (of two) trees produced seven pounds of fruit. There has been two light frosts over the last four days and all the fruit was released by the tree. Prior to the frost the fruit was held strongly to the tree branch. The fruit is slightly soft and quite ripe and sweet tasting.
    http://durgan.org/2019/October 2019/17 October 2019 Pawpaw Fruit/HTML/dsc_3405_std.jpg
    [​IMG]
     
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  22. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    Also Raccoons & Rats? (A serious matter on the Lower Mainland BC)

    We’d have bears camping on the lawn if i had fruit garden (I guess they know the PawPaw name?!) —- the bears don’t like rhubarb but sure seem to enjoy neighbor apples etc (based on scat (aka poop) observations in our driveway)

    If you have had a chance to harvest - did you make food for humans with it? I see there are recipes suggesting PawPaw is like banana for quick bread
     

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  23. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    I think you are being charitable but I admit to not being a great fruit-lover.

    My friend, @Al Chomica grows them successfully here in mid-Vancouver Island.
    Paw Paw
     
  24. Paw Paw Dana

    Paw Paw Dana Member

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    Well, it's been 10 years since I have commented and in that time my 3 Paw Paws have grown quite a bit (and are between 3 and 5 metres tall with massive exotic-looking leaves) and have been productive. The trees are gorgeous and I get fruit every year. The plants do prefer a warm May and September, and on those few years the warmth continues into October, the fruit has been best. The fruit from each tree is unique, but all 3 trees have produced edible fruit. The rats and racoons interestingly pay little to no attention to them. Indeed, the rats are more interested in eating the insulation off wiring than my Paw Paws. This year the hummingbirds have been observed at the flowers, so they must produce nectar of a sort. The flowers are said to smell like 'rotten flesh' but I have not noted this. If I get my nose right in a flower, it smells a bit like fermenting fruit. The flesh, when ripe, has the texture of an avocado with the flavour of a banana, then mango with a hint of strawberry. Here's some photos of the Paw Paws from our trees.
    DSC04248.JPG DSC04496.JPG
     
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  25. Jaywo

    Jaywo New Member

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    Hi Paw Paw Dana. My wife started gardening this year and she mentioned an interest in getting pawpaw tress. (I guess one needs at least 2 trees and of different varieties to get fruits, right?) Noticed that you are in New West which is very close to where we are so wondering if you have tips on where to buy and grow them. Your pictures look amazing!
     

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