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paw paws

637 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  henry Kester
I have a number of paw-paw groves on my property. One is close to the house and I recently had to cut a few trees down around it so I am thinking that it would be an especially nice grove to encourage and harvest (maybe 30 trees). I have picked the occasional wild paw paw before but never actively tried to grow them.

Any advice on how to improve my wild grove(s) would be much appreciated.

My understanding is that you need to mix varieties/genetics to get full pollination. So, my intent is to introduce a few new trees to the existing grove. Assuming that this is even necessary… question is whether it will be adequate to transplant trees from my other nearby groves or is it advantageous to buy and plant an established cultivar and let my wild grove pollinate the “good” trees. Having said that, my paw paw budget is pretty thin.

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I haven't had pawpaws in forever. Since my granny passed. I don't know anything about growing them, but you sure brought back summer memories.
Every wild paw-paw I've tried to relocate has died.

In the wild, paw-paw trees grow in protected wooded areas, under the canopy of large trees. I do not ever see them growing in open areas or at the edges of fields and such.

With cultivated paw-paw trees, every time I've placed them in open areas, they died. Those placed back in tree lines would live, but browse problems with deer has almost always resulted in total loss.
i planted trees and they didn't grow..i put in fresh seed last year..and they didn't i am not a good one to ask
You do not have to have a different variety, but you do have to have 2 genetically different trees. That means that it can't be a clone of the other tree, such as a root sucker. In the wild, root suckers are the most common form of reproduction in pawpaws.
I have 2 trees that have lost a bit of production since I cleared some sweet gum trees that were shading them. This winter, while they are dormant, I think I am going to make an effort to dig them up and move them.
The stigma(female) of the pawpaw ripens before the pollen is ready, so the flower cannot possibly self pollinate. The natural pollinator is carrion type bugs, such as blowflies. When I was a child, my grandpa would always empty the "pot" around the pawpaws starting in late February, to attract flies to the area. LOL. Your best bet is going to be get an artist brush or a makeup brush and spend a few minutes every week pollinating them manually.
From Wikipedia;
"The name, also spelled paw paw, paw-paw, and papaw, probably derives from the Spanish papaya, perhaps because of the superficial similarity of their fruit. Pawpaw has numerous other common names, often very local, such as prairie banana, Indiana (Hoosier) banana, West Virginia banana, Kansas banana, Kentucky banana, Michigan banana, Missouri Banana, the poor man's banana, and Ozark banana."
I think that is a great idea. Next spring I'll go out and try to manually pollinate to see how that works. Although it sounds like a lot of work, it's easier than planting a bunch of trees and I wouldn't have to wait years for the results! I have also heard of the fly attracting method and will try that. Thank you!
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