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Pawpaw Trees

Pawpaw FruitAnother rare find. Going up several common names Papaw, Poor Man’s Banana, Hoosier or Michigan Banana,The Pawpaw is one of this country’s most over-looked fruits. Native to most parts of the eastern United States, the Pawpaw thrives with little or no care. A deciduous, small, pyramidal tree, with 3 to 6  inch long fruit that has custard smooth, white to apricot flesh. Delicious banana-like flavor is awesome. The fruit is eaten fresh or used in salads and for making custard pies and preserves.

Pawpaw are quite lovely in the landscape. The trees are tall  pyramid shape, with beautiful long broad leaves. They are one of the few shade growing fruit trees, a rare commodity in the fruit world.  For a delicious edible combination, use pawpaw trees as the center piece in a shade bed, pair with edible gingers, lettuce and cool weather greens.

Fairly free of disease this is a good fruit tree for Permaculture or Food Forest gardeners. The trees work well in southern guilds of dewberry, dandelions, and blueberry.  

Pawpaw Particulars

Picking Your Place
Pawpaw trees are an under story tree in nature. When choosing a site to plant your trees, choose a slightly shady spot or plan to artificially shade your tree for the first 2 years. They prefer a moist, well-drained soil with good organic content. If you don’t have this, amend the planting area well with peat or leaf mold and mulch heavily. They’ll be quite content. Pawpaws prefer well-drained soils and part to full sun.

Pawpaw Pollination
Now these are truly strange creatures. Their favorite pollinator is the green bottle fly. Some growers have gone to great lengths to attract this shy creature. One noteworthy method is to place rotten hamburger in buckets around the tree for a few weeks before bloom to build up the fly colony. Whew! Must be a better way!  (And remember, you need two pawpaw trees to tango).

«Not sure what to do with PawPaw Trees or how to grow them? Click here for Just the Facts on planting and care.

«Click here for the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map for your area.

Pawpaw Trees - Pawpaw Varieties

Buying and Growing Tips… 

Pawpaw can be difficult to transplant like persimmon and pecans. It’s best to buy container grown trees than bare root trees on these fruits. Container grown trees have a better root system and are less subject to being lost to transplant shock. Pawpaw trees need good pollination to set fruit. Plant two different varieties or two seedlings trees within 20 foot of each other to get fruit. 

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