New to Pawpaw Growing

I have fruit for the first time on my 2 trees. One is a seedling and the other one is Mango supposedly. As of today both have small fruits about the size of a medium egg growing in zone 7b. Do Pawpaw fruit size up quickly just before harvest or I am doomed to small fruit on these?


I have Mango. It produces well. Every year.
No disease issues so far. Squirrels don’t even bother it much at all. I’ve found that mine sets smalls (roundish, eggsized), mediums (bartlett pearsized, but not so wide), and larges. The smalls stay grainy and don’t develop good flavor. They stay a little bitter. This is the first year I actually removed some smalls to see if the others will grow larger. Mediums are especially good for sucking out of their skins as I work outside. Larges are great for everything. I don’t recall them sizing up quickly near the end. It’s just a matter of waiting for the right softness at the end. They definitely do grow early on, though.

They ripen here in central NJ zone 6b mid September. My pawpaw photos are all Sept 13-18. I put them in the fridge and they last a week or two. I squeeze out the pulp and separate the seeds. Then i freeze the pulp into sheets in gallon ziplock bags. The pulp is great blendered with milk and a little vanilla and sugar.
I’ll post some pics of what is set now, and what they turn into.

I have my first orchard fruit this year too and sorta have the same question.
However, I’ve been visiting a wild patch frequently for years and the observation there is that YES they size up quickly at the end of the season.
Of course yes - Some will be smaller than others.

I had a very rainy season up until 3 weeks ago. The seedling tree has large black splotches on the fruit. The Mango does not. This year I planted Shenandoah and Susquehanna to fill out my area with a total of five trees.

Frost got me the last two years so this year I put some work lights in the trees and it was the only thing that saved me. First time in my memory we had 32 degrees in May.
Wild trees in my area rarely have much fruit and I haven’t been able to time it right to find any ripe ones. Probably could if I searched harder but people are suspicious about strangers on their property asking to search for fruits they have no idea what I am talking about. One was sure I was looking for Civil War relics and another thought I was going to go fishing off his river bank.


Sounds like you have phyllosticta fungus on your one tree. Pretty common at least in home plantings (I’ve seen it in the wild but for me it’s rare).
There’s no silver bullet that we know of yet.
Yeah, frost here in May too which is crazy. Basically there will be few to no Pawpaws in much of the south this year.
It’s indeed hard to find ripe wild Pawpaws before the critters get em.
Glad to know I’m not the only person crazy enough to knock on doors of people who have Pawpaws on their property :rofl:

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The larger one on the right was thinned by a squirrel about a week ago. The middle 3 I just removed. The left one i removed also, but regretted it. The one i regret is eggish-size.

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Here’s the size of the mango pawpaw i regret thinning.


As with many fruit, it’s the seed ( pollonation ) that causes the fruit to size up.
Those small fruit on the left likely only have one seed in them .
( poor pollonation )
The second from the right maybe only 2 seeds
The biggest one likely more seed.
While some wild seedlings just never size up.
It is good pollonation that gives the best fruit size.


You know, I’d never thought of that before. Makes sense.
Though of course genetics plays a role in fruit size (Some trees will just make small fruits) along with environmental conditions and fruit load (many small fruits versus a few large ones).



Both of you are right.

I just read one of the most interesting published papers of any I’ve read. I thought I’d take a look at this conversation in comparison to the size of persimmons derived/harvested when parthenocarpy (fruit development w/o pollination) plays its role in an orchard w/o pollinators. I learned a lot. While Advocado is the tree of choice, Advocados produce both parthenocarpic and pollinated fruit on the same tree due to differing patterns in flowering; and as I learned a very distinctive trait you might say is temperature at the time of flowering. Furthermore it was concluded that ‘air, soil, rain, roots, sun: side of tree toward sun & side away from sun; leaves blocking, and more I’m sure’ each plays a large role in fruit size and number of parthenocarpic-fruits per Avocado tree. I hope this helps and maybe some of you will read this link, below. I think it took about 45 minutes to absorb, for me. It’s not short, it’s not long.


It should also be noted that parthenocarpy among fruits/vegetables should produce fruits the same size as those being pollinated. That there lies the story of American Persimmon. A pure orchard of American persimmon (females only) do not need males, ever. Avocados on the other hand need pollen to produce, quote, “normal size fruit” says the Author. It’s a very interesting read that can be related to ALL orchard trees: apples/figs/jujubes, it should not matter which trees I select unless they’re Avocados :wink: (humor) because you will learn that not just pollination but that timing “patterns” of when flowers are opening (the course of flowering for a certain cultivar, for example) and the additional relations among temperature or whether the tree/shrub being observed is Early, Mid, or Late-flowering, have impacts, too.

I do hope what I’ve written is comprehensible to some degree to most anyone since its’ fresh on my mind.



I’ve been watching a wild patch for since spring and was wondering this same thing. They look nicely shaped but still on the small size. Good to hear they may get bigger.

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Cool! Yeah - let’s see how my observations (or memory of my observations) pans out - I feel pretty sure there’s some late sizing-up that happens.
Someone Out there who has years‘ experience with a pawpaw orchard would know, surely.


And here are some definite keepers that will be larges.

I took this photo the same day as the others. I just couldn’t post another photo because I’m new. By the way, my pawpaw is a solo act. I’ve never seen another pawpaw, either in the woods or in anyone’s yard. I’m not sure where it gets pollinated from, but it’s been working great for years.

I do wonder if magnolias can pollinate them possibly. We have magnolias around.


Vid, those look good. At least, for NJ they would.

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This is a Paw Paw from my tree thats nearly 20 yrs old. My PawPaws were hit hard by Late May Frost. However, 2nd Growth has these about same as yours, I’m in NCWV. Last year by August 1st I was canning & processing. From the looks of these, Id say it will be at least Late August, maybe Early Sept. No Idea of Varieties I have, but seems to me you’re on track.


I didn’t even consider how long they live. Do you know?

And cool that your pawpaws are ready a month and a half before mine

Interesting. I have noticed that the side of my pawpaw that reaches over into my neighbor’s yard makes consistently big, beautiful fruit. It’s away from the sun, but the branches there have more sun and air flow because he has an empty yard. There’s a large shed and tall row of trees shading the pawpaw corner on my side of the fence.

This is how big mine get. Some of the 2018 harvest.


Very nice!
On the general topic of pawpaw sizes, some named varieties can be massive, well over a pound.