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Giving pause with the paws

Posted by Todd Parlo 
Giving pause with the paws
January 07, 2014 05:40PM
Paw paws for some reason are becoming one of those new upstarts in permaculture planting, and we get a lot of questions on them some years. Unfortunately we are in the zone 3ish area of the country which makes things a little dicey for things like paw paws, despite their newfound popularity. I caution folks off them here but they still order them from somewhere or other.

I am in the process of replanting an big orchard for a local family, which includes a lot of poorly selected options from a local nursery (not ours). Paw paws were among them. Score this past year: mother nature 3, paw paws 0. That is, they all died, outright, roots to tips. Interestingly, they bit it in a year that was frankly pretty mild (their house likely didn't hit beyond teens below zero) which means they would have died zones warmer in a typical year.

Good to have fun and experiment, but be warned.

Walden Heights Nursery & Orchard
Zone 3 in Vermont
Re: Giving pause with the paws
February 23, 2014 04:58PM
If you want to push the northern limit on paw paws; then a least use selections from Corwin Davis(deceased) of Michigan: the pawpaw guru of Nafex for many years. If I recall correctly, from 35 years ago, two of his named selections were Sunflower and Taylor2. Michael McConkey of Edible Landscaping Nursery would have these and possibly others that may be as hardy. The person currently the most in the know on paw paws is Neal Petersen of the Wash DC area. I think paw paw native range goes up into NW NY state, John Campbell of Northern Nut Growers Assoc., is from that area, and has paw paws collected from that area. Bill McKently's Nursery of Pottsdam, NY, is always pushing hardiness frontier for fruits and nuts, so check with him.

In my experience with oriental persimmons at the northern edge of hardiness in zone 6, It was getting the grafts through the first few years and then they were ok, there are 50 year old trees growing in this area , but now we are almost zone7 in SEastern PA, so they should be much easier to establish. Try wrapping the trees with breathable protection/ insulation to cut wind dessication and rapid temperature fluctuations. In my area a commercial fig grower uses shade cloth to accomplish this on mature fig trees/ bushes.

Dan Lefever
zone 6b - 7b
Re: Giving pause with the paws
March 09, 2014 03:37AM
I have six paw paws coming this spring, I'm excited to try them out. I went to see Lee Reich's garden, he has a dozen of them, very healthy and vigorous. He says there is no need of pruning or spraying of any type. I tasted the fruit, and it's an exciting exotic flavor. I'm happy to try them out.

I'll let you know what happens in a few years.

Westwind Orchard
Zone 5b in New York
Re: Giving pause with the paws
January 15, 2021 08:09PM
Trying to connect with PawPaw growers in Maine...anybody out there?

5 Star Nursery and Orchard
Zone 5, Brooklin, ME
Re: Giving pause with the paws
May 28, 2021 02:11PM
Our homestead pawpaw’s are Davis seedlings and have withstood-24,-26, and-32 winters here with no dieback. Zone 4b/5a sw Wisconsin. They are on the order of pears in terms of the patience you need, in their ninth year I see they have finally set fruit, (though last year it was only a late late freeze that killed the crop.) Hopefully they are true to their parents good flavor. Uniquely tastey and absolutely disease free no wonder the permies like them.
Re: Giving pause with the paws
February 03, 2022 08:11PM
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