Pawpaw in Maine

First harvest after 10 or so years growing these, I planted seedlings and then grafted a couple over to cultivars(Sunflower and Overlease) 3-4 years later. Some flowers last couple years and then finally fruit this year! Pawpaw persistence pays off. I’ve killed a few small grafted trees along the way, but I still want to add varieties noted for early ripening, if anyone has recommended ones let me know, thanks!


That’s exciting! I feel like I’m pushing the limits for pawpaws and persimmons down here in Nashua, so it’s great to see you getting ripe fruits up there. Clearly there’s more useful range for them than I think. Did you have the same slow start to spring we did?


you continue to inspire me to grow these trees that have never grown up here. keep up the good work! are you in a micro climate or have them growing with some kind of protection? what a feat to grow basically a subtropical fruit in Maine!


I have Sunflower and Shenandoah. To me, Shenandoah tastes better and creamier.

My Shenandoah has a long ripening time. The first one dropped on 10/7/23. The last one dropped on 11/4/23, about a month apart.

I am looking for other early ripening varieties, too. My Wabash have not ripened yet but that tree gets a lot of shade.

@SMC_zone6 ripened his Wabash in time. He is in zone 6a about an hour east of me.


No microclimate. 2 winters ago I wrapped my pawpaws with burlap to prevent what I believe was southwest injury. I have also protected graft unions on young trees by mounding up woodchips over the winter


This gives me real hope for pawpaws at my place in Maine. I have 4 two year old pawpaw trees as an experiment and wasn’t sure they could ever ripen in time. Good to see that there are varieties that do!


Short season pawpaws… Halvin, Kentucky Champion, Summer Delight, ksu Atwood…


Windstar, 2-10xSummer Delight, and VE-21. All three are delicious early cultivars. You should be able to get scion of all three from Cliff England. I have been to his farm several times to get fruit and these really stood out. Halvin might be worth a shot but I think the others are better tasting.


I don’t think Atwood is generally considered an early variety. From what I’ve read on here, it may actually be the latest of the 3 KSU cultivars (Benson being the earliest). I will hopefully find out next year with my own trees.
There tends to be a lot of overlap in ripening seasons of most varieties of pawpaw, so I’m not sure how much of a difference there is in ripening time of the early varieties compared to average.

I will say that my Allegheny started ripening a full 2 weeks before Shenandoah and Wabash last year, and 3 weeks before Mango. No reliable data for this year due to late spring freeze messing up bloom times.

I would include PA-Golden and Allegheny for early season pawpaws, though PA-Golden can have a bitter aftertaste that makes it less desirable imo.