Potted Paw Paw Plant Nursery?

hestlauss(8 ?)January 9, 2010

Does anyone know of a nursery that sells potted Paw Paw plants that offer established or older paw paw plants? We have tried many plants in one gallon pots over the years from Rain Tree, One Green World and Burnt Ridge but of all the plants we have planted only one Davis pawpaw has survived and bloomed but we need a pollinator. We were going to try Trees of Antiquity since they are driving distance and used to sell large container plants but they no longer offer PawPaws.

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viburnumvalley(z5/6 KY)

Contact the good folks at Kentucky State University, where supremely excellent research on all things Asimina takes place.

I'd bet they could steer you to growers of Pawpaws.

Here is a link that might be useful: KSU pawpaw research and information

    Bookmark   January 9, 2010 at 4:21PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Pawpaws are difficult to transplant. Big/older pawpaws are much harder to transplant. I would either plant a seed where you want a new tree, order a smaller potted pawpaw, or get another cultivar from somewhere like Nolin River Nut Tree Nursery.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 2:20AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Hmm, Nolin River sold out for 2010 already.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 2:15PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Dang, they need to step up production a little, don't they. They have a good reputation and a good selection. Sounds like they just can't keep up with demand.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 6:06PM
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hestlauss, did you plant them in full sun? If you're in zone 8 like I am they most likely need some shade. I bought some from MailOrderNatives about four years ago and planted them underneath some larger trees and they're growing just fine (although somewhat slow).

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 6:22PM
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viburnumvalley(z5/6 KY)

Careful listening to rookies from TN.

I have purchased and transplanted more than a few 2" caliper Pawpaws into the parks here in Louisville. NOTE: these are onto public property, with far and few between aftercare visits. NO LOSSES. Wolford's Nursery here in Louisville is the source, and they still grow this species.

These were B&B production plants, not even Rootmaker container production which is what I'd recommend today. I really don't think there is any reason to be afraid to go for well-grown Pawpaws of any size, though if you are after clonal selections you are probably only going to find young grafted plants.

Worry about whether someone transplanted a large Pawpaw out of the woods, where I'd expect failure from a plant not prepared for being moved to your landscape.

Pawpaws also do perfectly fine, no, dare I say, they do WONDERFULLY in full sun. The best looking most ornamental "I'm the world's best reason to never plant a Callery Pear again" small lollipop tree is Asimina triloba planted in full sun.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 10:23PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)


Actually, I probably know much more about pawpaws than you do. Besides that, being rude is not nice.

I have a pawpaw grove, participate with research projects concerning pawpaws, and have pawpaws in my yard at home. There is a reason pawpaws are not widely commercially available in larger sizes. They aren't impossible to transplant at larger sizes, but are definitely more challenging than most types of trees.

I think Alabamatreehugger concern was also legitimate. Pawpaws are an understory tree and are much more likely to survive (in their earlier years) with sufficient shade when grown in the warmer parts of their range.

"Shading for the first year, and sometimes the second, is normally required outside, and it is for this reason that pawpaws are almost always found in nature as an understory tree." - KSU's Pawpaw Planting Guide (the source you recommended above)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 11:29PM
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I have purchased 2 paw paws in 3 gallon size from a nursery - both have done fine. I have transplanted small ones from the woods, but of course that is tricky and I always transplant them into pots first.

I don't know where the OP is, but based on this comment, he/she might be in California?:

We were going to try Trees of Antiquity since they are driving distance

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 9:08AM
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viburnumvalley(z5/6 KY)

Come, come, brandon7; disagreement is not rudeness, though it is often equated by those not used to being challenged and debated. Dost thy ox be Gored?

Rude would be:

"Nothing sucks like a Big Orange!" - a common KY refrain concerning college football/basketball contests. Or would that be Citrus x 'Macrocarpa', given current context.

You've been on GW Trees long enough to have a thicker skin than that. And you are quite a bit newer to plant production, propagation, transplantation, et al, than me - Asimina and all - though you seem to be well on your way in many senses.

If it is lists that are needed:

**I too have Pawpaw on my property.
**Pawpaw is native and naturally occurring on adjacent properties to mine.
**I have planted Pawpaws for private clients and in my public practice.
**I've watched/supervised others plant Pawpaws, from seed, seedlings in Rootmaker fabric containers, seedlings in standard nursery containers - up to the aforementioned 2" caliper B&B field grown specimens. Total probably reaches a couple hundred.
**I expressed emotion, consternation, and outrage when a ten inch caliper Pawpaw was unnecessarily cut down in one of our historic park woodlands when a drainage culvert was undergoing repairs.
**I am acquainted with the research ongoing at KSU.
**One of my best friends in college (Cindy) did her masters and/or Ph.D. work on Asimina triloba.
**I count the late Joe Hickman among my mentors in life as well as plants (see subsequent comments on his accomplishments).
**Current responsibilities include 15,000 acres of park land in Louisville Metro (KY), many properties which are graced by Pawpaw in the native plant community under myriad soil, moisture, light, and aspect conditions.

Talk to a few commercial producers of nursery stock who've been in it for the long haul, not only university researchers and some on-site trials. Those are really different endeavors. Few Pawpaws are produced as an overall commodity (not just limited to larger sizes) because the market is extremely limited. It can be that simple. With the advent (around here) in the last 10-15 years for appreciation of more types of native species, Pawpaw has gained some attention and stature BECAUSE it can be transplanted with quite high success rates. If you want to talk difficult - let me introduce you to Carya spp.

"Hickory - Brandon; Brandon - Hickory."

Larger sizes are not that challenging today because of advances in seedling and liner production, and the types of field production (e.g.: Rootmaker and RootTrapper containers) now available to the nursery professional to grow these highly desirable native plants. This experience isn't limited to Asimina alone. Note the expanded production of formerly rare-to-commerce species like Nyssa sylvatica, many Quercus, and even Sassafras.

Again, one cannot but stipulate that Pawpaws perform very well as full sun ornamentals. There are many fine specimens across the middle part of the eastern US - not just my experience. Probably the most exceptional and knowledgeable individual about Asimina triloba - the late Joe Hickman, Esq. of Benton IL; I had the pleasure to have known him for about 15 years - grew his voluminous collection of selections of Pawpaws in full southern Illinois sun. He was an attorney by vocation, but avidly pursued plants. There are others who've posted here for many years who knew this gentleman as well - and grow their own Pawpaws quite happily.

As for my comment about Callery Pear replacement: the best great example I've experienced was on campus at the University of Kentucky at the site of the old Landscape Arboretum (now really rudely occupied by the new Plant Sciences Building - how twisted!). There was an extremely uniformly upright pyramidal Pawpaw that was planted right next to the main drive there. No shade provided, intended, or expected - and that was OK by it. It was good glossy green every summer (even through that difficult drought decade of the '80s), turning a beautiful butter yellow every fall, and retaining its sunny disposition (and purplish tripartite blooms) till the 'dozer came calling. It had a good 30+/- year run.

Of course, if someone is interested in reproducing native habitat then by all means seek understory conditions. That was never part of the OP's question. If one is attempting to grow Pawpaw for fruit production, I'd say it is heading down the wrong trail to NOT provide a position that will allow maximum flowering potential, i.e., full sun. What is the answer, solution to conundrum: provision of moisture. That should get the OP on the road to good establishment and onward to growth and fruiting. Provide a netting tent with 40-60% opacity if one feels a heat wave coming on.

Per esh_ga's inference: it appears the OP IS in CA, where one might expect it to be hot/dry sometimes.

Where...to...stop...constraints? This plant is found in nature as an understory tree IN THE EASTERN U.S. Should it be taboo to even attempt a west coast implementation? If one held to this hard and fast a rule, then get out there and stop all those darn people wanting to grow Cornus florida (another plant generally relegated to nature's understory). Of course, you wouldn't - because life, experience, and innumerable examples would refute this tack.

Make provision for moisture as Asimina would enjoy, or don't expect a lot of luck with Pawpaw most anywhere (sun or shade).

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 12:13AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)


I don't think it has anything to do with having or not having a thick skin: advising people to be careful about listening to a rookie from TN (I guess you were talking about me. I'm certainly not a rookie compared to many, but I am from TN.), seems rude. If I disagreed with something you wrote, I'd present my case instead of lobbing cheap shots. Maybe I misunderstand you in some way. You post, just above, doesn't make a lot of sense to me (but maybe it's because I'm tired?), so maybe you meant something that wasn't apparent?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 2:13AM
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You could try Just Fruits and Exotics, www.justfruitandexotics.com they are located 19 miles south of Tallahassee, FL and had quite a few seedling pawpaw trees that were around 4-6' tall a couple of weeks ago. they are pot grown and the pots are about 36 inches deep.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 6:49PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)


The website you listed is either some type of SPAM (what I expect) or a site that is no longer used by whoever used to use it. Either way, it doesn't represent a valid supplier.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 9:17PM
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^^He missed a letter. They're a very reputable company.

Here is a link that might be useful: Justfruitsandexotics

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 11:40PM
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Edible Landscaping suppose to sell only container-grown paw paws, from both wild and seedling stock, as well as two grafted varieties.

Edible Landscaping

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 11:59AM
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Will Paw Paw bear fruit & grow healthily in a large(?) pot in an east facing balcony that only gets direct light from early morning to 10:45am then indirect light for rest of day( less in winter), in West Los Angeles, near Santa Monica(less than 3 miles from the coast? Actually in the past I visited some one's yard about a mile west of me & she had several flourishing fruiting Paw Paws, but she had direct sunlight in a yard & they were planted in the ground.

And when I say fruit I mean more than 10 pieces of fruit in a season.

I had had hoped to grow other plants, but recently had a reality check given to me by someone working in a nursery who said that things like blackberries, which I had wanted to grow, wouldn't guaranteedly fruit or would fruit negligibly with less than 5 hours of sunlight, especially if its the weaker morning light. I sure thought I'd seen blackberry bushes with alot of fruit in shady areas... but I don't want to invest the time and $ & end up with a weak or sickly plant &/or negligible harvest.

Right now I'm still thinking I'll grow a Thimbleberry which everywhere on the internet says either partial shade or partial shade to shade. And I've been told by some that blueberries don't need as much light, but told by others that they do, so not sure about those yet.

I read that evergreen & red huckleberries are also shade tolerant as well as some other dark round berries like elderberries & others I haven't heard of... but I've never tasted them, & don't know where I could. And though berries like blackberries, raspberries etc are my favorite I'm less fond of grapes, currents, etc.

Its true I have never tasted a Paw Paw, but I love bananas, cherimoyas, mangos, sapote, custardy things, & tropical fruit... so I figure its more likely I'll like it. Plus though its probably out of season, if it isn't I could get a taste from a farmer I will see in a couple of weeks. And of all the fruits I've mentioned, & seen listed on the net, Paw Paw is listed as the only 1 truly loving shade(even if it can flourish in the sun).

Thank you for any advice you can give me!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 10:15PM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)


"Paw paw" is slang for papaya (Carica papaya) in a lot of places, and the paw paw being discussed in this thread (Asimina triloba) needs a winter cold period to flourish, so I'm wondering if your friend is growing papaya?

I really doubt that you could get much, if any, fruit from an Asimina triloba in a pot in Los Angeles.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 10:58PM
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Yes my neigbor 'is' growing a Paw Paw, not a papaya, & it 'is' fruiting generously( she is about 1/2 mile west of me and 1/2 mile north of me; I am less than 3 miles from coast on Santa Monica/ West LA border.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 1:34PM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

Interesting to find out they can grow there! I guess the chilling requirements are more variable than generally reported. Do you happen to know what varieties she has?

How big a pot do you think you could use?


    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 7:57PM
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Well actually I have 2 responses now:
1). My neighbor is actually growing Florida varieties( they don't need the chill of the original ones), but she has been able to grow them quite sweet-- though she admits they are not as sweet as the ones from chill areas; I can't remember all the ones she has growing, but she said her favorite I think was called Davis, and I remember for sure she said the Sunflower variety was the most productive. Hers are in the ground.

2). Ed in Katy, Texas has successfully ground a paw paw in a 15 gal pot( grafted) fruited its 2nd year( was 5 feet then) it was called something like the Wampau variety( I imagine it is a chill variety). The only catch is that you can't ever plant it in the ground because the taproot gets so round around in the pot that it can't recover from the trauma of repotting.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 1:17AM
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Oikos tree crops in michigan sells potted Asimina, and they do mailorder. Google them.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 11:37AM
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i found a place for you anna nusery, in cobden. here is there website.

check it out.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 11:44AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)


Anna Nursery is a wholesale only nursery. Hestlauss was looking for just one tree (I think). In any case, the KSU website has tons of retail suppliers listed for anyone wanting a pawpaws.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 8:33PM
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Does anyone know if Paw Paw does well in Los Angeles?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 12:06PM
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