Pawpaw People Weigh In

I would ask Cliff, he has been propagating it.

And Jerry Lehman told me when I asked about pawpaw wood that he had sent everything he had to commercial nurseries already this year.


Has anyone tasted Tropical Treat pawpaw? Another Jerry Lehman cross I believe.

I’m wondering if anyone has tried Summer Delight and is it really as early as reported?

Halvin looks interesting too…


About 25 years ago I planted a paw paw…and maybe twice it had flowers… I just recently learned you need to have two different types for pollination but am I correct in saying the tree should at least have flowers?
Being a wiser man last year I planted two other types close to the Big Paw Paw tree and I plan on grafting onto the big tree…but no flowers at least??

Yes, you should at least have flowers, or there will be nothing to cross-pollinate.

I have about a dozen or so paw-paw’s growing, some bought from Raintree or Greenworld and Forest, i also dug up wild little tree’s. My experience with them is, your best bet is to grow from seed and then graft . Here is my point, Paw-paw have a taproot and if that is cut of the new roots will spread wide and then they are subject to competition. All my tree’s from Keeling have died, they have a good rootsystem when you buy them but unless you grow them in a decent moist area they have hard time in the summer.

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Yes, should have flowers
Try a good strong dose of fertilizer. High N.
2yrs should bring them on.

This looks like as good of a place as any to post a pic. of


That is a normal size paper plate ,sorry no pic of inside ,it did not last long after I cut it open,…delicious !


Dax - I took a brief look at Red Fern Farm’s nursery catalog and saw they were sending out scions of their named varieties which they took to naming after stars - Rigel, Regulus, Atria, and Betria. Interesting, but not too surprising that they aren’t seeking any sort of protection on them.

Two years ago when I was down there they were proud of them, so I think they must be worth a look. It looks like they are crosses between Shenandoah and Susquehanna.

I don’t believe I had any of them when I was down there, but I don’t know for sure as I had some pawpaws off of then unnamed trees. Shenandoah was my favorite from that trip.

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All four of those are every bit as good as Shenandoah or Susquehana.

Regulus is pretty cool because when it’s a full crop the branches bend to the ground. It looks like a weeping pawpaw.



I remember reading an article Neal wrote, in it he mentioned after so many years a lot of grafted pawpaws die back to the rootstock. I’ve also noticed how grafted pawpaws lack vigor, which I feel is necessary in my poor, heavy soil. I wonder if dug suckers would be as vigorous as the original mother seedling?


Yes sad but true, general decline around 12yrs on grafted pawpaw .
Rootstock suckers retain vigor and can be top worked again.
( personal communication Kirk Pomper , and others.)


Anyone know the cause of grafted pawpaw decline around age 12? Just delayed graft incompatibility? Sorry to hear this. At least I’ve got four seedling trees and three grafted. I will stop recommending grafted trees to young friends.

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Cause is yet unknown,
Don’t stop recommending grafted trees,
Teach those young people to graft !!!

My plan is to use above average fruit quality for seed.
Graft on top good varietys
Regraft if and when decline occurs , if I am able .
If not, let the above average root suckers fruit forming a thicket of " new " varietys

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Basically I’m doing the same with a bunch of hand pollinated seeds. However, I’m looking for low chill varieties that do well everywhere. I would still recommend grafted trees. Every plant has its quirks. Even the mighty no spray pawpaw has an insect nemesis, the pawpaw peduncle borer, which bores holes in more than just the peduncle. I imagine cold and/or freeze/thaw damage is a contributing factor to decline. This is speculation.

And asimina web worm moth !
When I left here this August to go to NAFEX ,pawpaw looked great

A week and a half latter when I returned , web worm moths had caused severe damage to a young planting . Eating leaves, and twigs ! Makeing tents out of brown leaves . So mid August (in Wv.) Watch for these .

Also saw pawpaw Sphinx moth, looks like tomatoe horn worm.

AND … That zebra swallow tail … Can really put a dent in the foliage of young trees . Has about the highest feed convertion of anything I have seen, …leaf/ meat
Maybe grow them to eat ???

I know of several members in " the south"( N. Ga. Etc.). Who are having real issues with ambrosia Beatles .
Would like to hear from members ,to know how widespread this is ?

Phylosticta ,etc etc

SO they are not without pests as is widely promoted .
Most of these issues may be manly of concern on young trees,
And a mature planting may be relatively trouble free ???

Most concerning to me is the so called “blue stain decline syndrome "
More on this soon…”

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Are most paw paws grated onto wild rootstock? If the plant dies at the graft union, then I assume you could just let the rootstock grow out and hope for the best. I also suspect that it could take many years before fruiting. My Mango paw paw died at the union last year. I decided to just let the rootstock grow out and see what happens. It’s planted next to a Sunflower and PA Golden.

Yes , at this point in time , I think most seed for the production of rootstock is wild harvested.
This will change in coming years as new plantings of grafted trees come into production , prossesed , seed extracted .
Since wild geneictcs are highly variable , and fruit quality can range from barely edible – to the best one yet. One never will know the quality until it fruits.

Good quality fruit tend to have better than average offspring .?

My seedling trees (probably seedlings of Mango) produce fabulous fruit so I see no need to plant grafted varieties in future and risk “decline”. I will drop plans to graft two more seedlings this Spring- save myself some work.

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David, did you sit in on Dr. Ron Powell’s presentation? I thought he did a good job.

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