Pawpaws 2023

Late freeze killed most of the blossoms, but the trees quickly put out more. Ambrosia beetles once again a problem. They have still attacked only trees less than 5 feet tall and repeatedly attack trees in the same location while ignoring others, but I’m unsure why. It might be dependant on the soil where those trees are located holding too much water, or it might be the cultivar, or maybe something else. 4 different trees producing this year. Good fruit set but not quite as heavy as last year for my most productive tree. Looks like there will be some very large fruit based on current fruit size.


I have two with leaves, three poking out elbows. one has been the same for months with the elbow sticking up, I’ll be patient. my Shenandoah didn’t make it.

Wabash is looking ugly. NC1 finally dropped the seed and is a bare stem.

the tallest one was sent from osteen. it’s doing marvelously. the other one with a leaf is 2 years old this summer. the seeds were started last year. I think I’ll buy two year old starts or saplings from now on, though I have hopes for the seedlings. they just grow so slowly.

these are in a winecap bed, always damp. the roof runoff is right there too. good loam.


That’s a Pawpaw grower’s resolution or should be.Here is photo of my seedling Kentucky Champion,planted ten years ago maybe,but no fruit yet,so I’ll be patient.


I planted three cultivars 3 years ago and though healthy, they have grown very slowly. I was hoping the sleep-creep-leap cycle was the case here, but seeing @Bradybb’s 10 year old tree, guess I better buckle in for a long ride. I think they are cool trees, fruit or no, but am looking forward to fruit one day.

I read in a thread last year that they like nitrogen, so I’ve added that to my spring routine.


My suspicion is that root stock has an impact on growth rate, but that’s only from my experience, where seedling trees planted in very similar conditions range from 15 feet tall in 7 years to a two foot dwarf I removed this spring. My largest tree went from seed to fruit in 5 years, while some others still haven’t fruited in year 8. @Blake or someone else with much more experience would probably know for sure if rootstock affects growth rate

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That makes a lot of sense, with the natural variability of asimina triloba. All three of mine came from Edible Landscaping and are keeping pace with each other.

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What also may matter,is environment,that is,amount of heat,possibly humidity and to some degree,rainfall during growing time.The latter one is fairly easy to compensate, with irrigation.

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Direct sown seeds for me have been much slower growing compared to container grown transplants.

Also I believe competition from surrounding plants is a much bigger issue for pawpaws than perhaps it is for other fruit trees.

I think rootstock would definitely have an impact as well.


With mine it’s like the tortoise and hare race.The KC seedling was planted a few years after an Overleese,about four feet away.About two years ago,the KC caught up in height and now is about three to four feet taller.

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Yeah I would think the direct sown would have the slower start since a lot of energy is going into letting that tap root go as deep as it wants. Once it’s happy it’s off to the races above the surface. It’ll probably be a longer lived tree as well and be less drought prone.

It reminds me of my shagbark hickory trees. Those things take forever to reach 1-2ft directly sown, but that tap root is huge. After a handful of years they start putting the size on.

I have 2 seeds from a KSU 3-10 fruit directly sown this spring and 1 in a root pruning pot. We’ll see how they compare at the end of the year.


I put in 2 hickory two years ago and both didn’t make it. bad spot, or the drought/freeze, I’ll never know. but the pawpaw from starts or saplings so so well. from seed they’re slow but happy it looks like, about 50/50. the bare root grow much faster than the seed but I will bet that the seed grown will be more hardy. these are all trees I would love to get food from, but know I’m planting for future people to eat!