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What Paw Paw varieties are best for pacific northwest?

Posted by eukofios 8 Maritime NW (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 2, 11 at 18:24

I'm buying a place with a bigger yard and would like to add some Paw Paw trees, but only if I have a chance to see fruit in my lifetime - I'm planning on living at least 10 more years, 30 if I can quit the potato chips.

My grandfather grew Paw Paws in the midwest. My climate is quite different, with cool summers and rainy wet winters. There is maybe 1 week of freezing per year.

Other fruits that do well here in my yard are apples, pears, cherries, grapes and figs. For some, I have to choose late-blooming varieties due to late spring frosts, and early ripening varieties due to cool summers.

One nursery offers the following varieties of Paw Paws: Mitchell, Mango, Sunflower, Taylor, Taytwo, Pennsylvania golden, and NC-1.

Anybody want to weigh-in on the best choices for my area? Will they bear fruit in my lifetime? Don't bother? I can probably afford 2 or 3 trees if I don't tell my "supervisor."


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RE: What Paw Paw varieties are best for pacific northwest?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 3, 11 at 12:39

I've eaten fruit from local trees. Don't worry about getting them to grow or fruit. The only reason I am not growing the tree myself is the small grafts we ordered and planted on my friend's Camano Island place were destroyed by slugs. So apparently you have to watch for those on small specimens where slugs are prevalent.

Jacobson, Trees of Seattle - Second Edition (2006) gives addresses for examples there as much as 28' tall. He does also say you have to choose particular cultivars for ability to ripen consistently in this area. If the list you give here is from the Burnt Ridge catalog they are growing all of those there in Onalaska.


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RE: What Paw Paw varieties are best for pacific northwest?

Was the fruit from local trees good? I read that paw paws are very variable. I like that they are not easily obtained, but I would hate to spend a lot on them then have soemething inedible! Still, I think I will take a chance. Slug bait is easily applied - I use it for my other slug-attracting plants too. I read that they need an overhead shelter for the first couple of years. I can build one if needed. I'll look up Burnt Ridge's selections. Thanks again.


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RE: What Paw Paw varieties are best for pacific northwest?

Below is a good link to info on growing pawpaw. It states that the required climate has "warm to hot summers", a growing season of 160 days, and 2600 growing degree days to ripen the fruit.

It sounds like you might be a tad cool, but then again if you can grow figs and grapes, you should be fine with Pawpaw.

And I can definitely recommend Burnt Ridge.
Good luck

Link: http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/ho-220.pdf


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RE: What Paw Paw varieties are best for pacific northwest?

I read the article linked above, good resource. The one thing I read in it and heard before is that deer do not eat them. I am not convinced of this. I planted one paw paw this spring (my first) and fenced it. I had two other trees ordered but had not received them yet. Between planting the first and receiving the other two, I read where deer don�t eat them. So i didn't fence the last two. The fence one has huge leaves and is doing well, the last two as of last night have all the leaves stripped off and the tops nipped off of them. I am going to fence them and hope they bounce back. If they do no one will be able to convince me that deer don't eat them.


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RE: What Paw Paw varieties are best for pacific northwest?

  • Posted by skyjs z8 OR USA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 10, 11 at 16:12

The big thing for the PNW is heat units, as some have alluded to. Better to buy early ripening types. I have had three producing paw paw trees in Portland and all of them ripened on time, but they were in full sun. If it's a baby, it will need to have shade from full sun for 1st, maybe 2nd year. ALl 3 of mine were unnamed seedlings, and the flavor was different. I'm going to try to graft the one kind on to my seedlings. One ripened in Sept. and two in Oct. They are amazingly productive, delicious, nutritious and pest/disease free. Beautiful tree too, with big leaves and yellow fall color. I left them at my old house. I tried to move one and it died. With their taproot, they don't like to be moved. One Green World, in Molalla OR has tastings of different exotic fruit at their fall harvest show. I have tasted several fruit trees before deciding to buy or not buy them.
John S
PDX OR


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