Pawpaw Chewers?

Anybody ever have mice or rabbits girdle a pawpaw tree? Or do the chemicals in the bark prevent this? Deciding whether to put trunk protectors on them. They’re not big enough for buck rub yet.

I have seen rabbit slice some small branches of my pawpaw trees just for kick and not eaten at all.


1 Like

Since I only have two very small grafted paw paw trees, I do not to chance it.

Yesterday, I put those white spiral tree wraps on each of them. M y trees are about 1-1.5 ft tall. The spirals totall cover them.

Yes, rabbits will prune like secateurs.

Murky- Are you saying they will girdle pawpaws specifically? I’m painfully aware of what they did to some of my apple trees long ago but had read that pawpaw bark is chock full of powerful chemicals.

One of mine was eaten off by a rabbit. I made chicken wire tubes and had no more problem. When they get bigger, deer do eat mine. So they also each get fencing for deer. Some websites say deer dont eat them, but our deer do not have web access, so did not read that.

The one that was eaten off was about 18 inches tall. not as big around as a pencil. The rabbit shortened it to about 2 inches tall.

1 Like

No, I’m saying they will sever it cleanly, like it was done by pruners.

OK am convinced. Guards go on tomorrow!

Murky, that is what mine looked like. Sliced off and either eaten on the spot or taken away. It was above the graft and grew back. Pawpaws are slow and it is at least a year behind, maybe two. It is not even a good variety -Rebecca’s Gold.

If you know anyone who eats rabbit, they can have mine. I have many. They are organic, since my yard is organic. My dad used to hunt them, but I became vegetarian as an adult so not for me. I hear they taste like chicken.

Hambone, that sounds like a good policy to me. I always regret not putting on guards. Now it is part of the planting process. I take the guard along with the shovel and tree to the planting spot, so I dont procrastinate.

Big enough hasn’t stopped bucks from rubbing and destroying some of my tiny saplings.

OK, new policy here, Nothing Is Safe!


pawpaws are easy to graft.

Yes pawpaws are easy to graft especially if you don’t wrap the rubber band too tight like I did, thinking that they have difficulty forming callous to heal the graft, so wrap 'er up tight. Pawpaw bark is thin and I managed to strangle the graft. Live and learn, fruit lesson number 417.

Murky, thanks for that info. I am thinking if I can find pawpaw scion for early bearing types, I would convert the Rebecca’s Gold to something else more likely to give fruit here in our shorter cooler summers.

I bought Rebecca’s Gold because it was one of the 3 that Portland Nursery offerred that summer, and I bought all 3. The others being Sunflower and NC-1.

They are all growing nicely now. I would love to have some pawpaws next year.

Hambone, that’s good to know. I have never grafted one. Firm but not tight, got it.

I did my pawpaw grafts as I do apple, pear, plum with similar results if I recall correctly. They were probably whip and tongue grafts. If the cuts are clean (well fitting) you can probably get away with a range of wrapping pressure and be fine.

A month or so after I strangled my rough pawpaw grafts to try to force cambium contact, my cuts got a lot “cleaner” when I bought a Victorinox grafting knife sharpened only on one side. Cuts so straight and flat it’s almost cheating. Highly recommend. I know a lot of veterans can do the same with a double edged blade but I’m never going back. Just bought a stropping board to keep it sharp.

Sounds like you’ve got it all straightened out :smile: