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Just got potted Peterson paw paws.

Posted by alexander3 6 (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 4, 10 at 17:35

I just received two potted Susquehanna pawpaws from Forrest Keeling Nursery..Quite an adventure with them, they clearly don't do much in the way of retail sales, they're primarily a wholesale nursery.

Last year I saw on their web site that they were selling Peterson pawpaws. The web page said "Not a wholesale customer? No problem! Retail customers may call us."

So I called, and the man I spoke with said, no, sorry, they don't actually sell retail.

This summer I saw that the web page had not changed, so I called again, thinking I would ask them who their wholesale customers are. But first I asked to buy a couple paw paw trees. The woman said OK! I placed my order, and she said it would ship October 15th.
I received an invoice confirming that.

Several days after the 15th, there was no charge to my credit card, so I called. The woman I spoke with asked where I was from, and when I told her Pennsylvania, she said sorry, we can't ship there, because of an agreement with a sister company. I asked if they had intended to inform me, and she said they just got a memo that day. I asked if they could ship to Illinois, and she said yes, so I gave them my Mom's address.

Three days later, I get a notice, postmarked the day after I spoke with them, that my order has been cancelled! I call up again, and get it straightened out. She tells me that she doesn't know when they will start shipping.

Two days later, the package arrives at my Mom's house. My brother shipped the package out to me on Monday.

The trees are in 3.5"X3.5"X4.25" pots. They're the sort of pots with a just a cross of plastic on the bottom, I guess for air pruning of the roots. They like to brag about their "RPM method" which supposedly results in much better root development, but I'd rather get something in a little more soil, and a deeper pot. We'll see how the roots look when I plant in the ground. I don't want to look now, because the potting medium is so loose. The grafts are really nice, barely visible, look like whip and tongue. The shoots are 10" and 14" tall.

Packaging was just OK. Plenty of packing material, so the plants didn't shift around, but the pots were only loosely wrapped in saran wrap, so a lot of the (pine bark based) potting medium fell out. Nothing dried out though, everything was still moist, so I think they'll be fine, but some tape or rubber bands to hold the wrapping on should be standard.

I'm sure Neal Peterson has his reasons for choosing Nolin and Forrest Keeling as the only nurseries licensed to distribute his paw paws, but I'm not that crazy about either choice.

Anyhow, if you're looking for Peterson pawpaws, you may be able to get them from Forrest Keeling right now, depending on where you live, and maybe depending on who answers their phone.

To be fair, I'll just say again that they are primarily wholesale, so maybe that's why they aren't adept at retail. Everyone I spoke with on the phone was quite nice and helpful.

Alex


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Just got potted Peterson paw paws.

You're lucky, I ordered two from Nolin river this spring and they didn't make it. Sometimes I just don't learn my lesson. Bare rooted pawpaw has the lowest survival rate.

Bass


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RE: Just got potted Peterson paw paws.

I got two from Nolin this spring also. I put one in the ground in a bed prepared last fall, put some shade cloth over it, kept it mulched, and watered it regularly. It made it through the season, and put on a few inches. The other one I put in a 5 gallon bucket with the 5:1:1 mix (pine bark:peat:perlite) and kept it in the shade. It put on a little more growth than the one in the ground, and was the better looking of the two by the end of the summer. I'll probably plant it out in the spring.

Alex


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RE: Just got potted Peterson paw paws.

I would rather buy scionwood from Peterson, and I'm willing to pay royalty fees since they're patented. It seems easier than buying a bare rooted pawpaw. I'll graft them myself.


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RE: Just got potted Peterson paw paws.

That would be a great solution if he would sell scionwood. I have no idea why he doesn't.


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RE: Just got potted Peterson paw paws.

At some point he told me it was OK to graft and send him $$ (assuming you had a source for the wood), but maybe he changed his mind on that. I have his original three varieties but decided it wasn't worth the hassle to try to chase down the new ones.

Scott


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RE: Just got potted Peterson paw paws.

Last year I had contacted Forest Keeling about their Peterson pawpaws. The salesman was very nice but seemed a bit puzzled about my request, as if no one had ever asked him about them before. He told me he'd have to look into it and get back to me. He called back later and seemed willing to sell to me retail, but at the time they didn't have the varieties I was after.

Instead, I got my trees from Nolin River. They sent nice big trees with large intact root systems. I planted them right away in containers and kept them in partial shade, and they have survived through the summer but have only put on a few inches of growth. This initial lack of vigor is a recurrent issue I've seen with shipped bare root pawpaws from several different nurseries. They do eventually come around though I'm thinking that I'll probably keep them in pots one more year, this time in full sun.


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RE: Just got potted Peterson paw paws.

I ordered a couple Petersons from Nolin River this past Spring. Got only a couple inches of growth out of both of them, but wasn't expecting much anyway. They made it through the worst of the summer, but one dried up in late September. Other one seems to have hung on though. Guess just have to wait for Spring and see how they do.


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RE: Just got potted Peterson paw paws.

Due to my limited spaces I will be grafting several varieties into my existing trees. So I hope he would respond to my request of selling scionwood.
I'm sure many growers will be more than willing to purchase scion wood of peterson varieties.
A friend of mine has an old variety from Peterson before it was a named variety, I tasted it and was excellent tasting. I'm wondering if that one is okay to propagate.


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RE: Just got potted Peterson paw paws.

I spent some time in September at the KSU field day and the Pawpaw Fest getting to know Neal . I asked him if he might sell scionwood. His answer was a definite "No." He explained that he was not interested in setting up another type of business. He has licensed the few nurseries, and that's his business for now. It's frustrating for us who are anxious to buy his varieties, but I respect his decisions and his right to control the fruits of his own labor. I did not ask him if it would be OK to propagate--I knew what the answer would be.

The nurseries are just getting up to speed now. Give them another year or two and there should be much more supply.

By the way, the pawpaw winning "Best in Show" this year at the pawpaw fest was a Sunflower, beating out Neal's. I didn't taste it, but it would have to be pretty good to beat Neal's. I actually joined a lot of people in paying $10/lb for some of his varieties! Imagine paying $7 for one pawpaw. It was really good, but I couldn't afford to pay that every day.


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RE: Just got potted Peterson paw paws.

When Sunflower is good its really good, I had some fantastic ones this year. They need to be fully ripe to taste the best, but then they rock. Do you know what the all top varieties were this year?

Scott


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RE: Just got potted Peterson paw paws.

Scott,
I missed the full rankings, but next year I will pay more attention. It was our first time to attend, and we really enjoyed it. We learned a lot, tasted some great fruit, ate sublime pawpaw ice cream, and drank very good pawpaw beer.

Marc


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RE: Just got potted Peterson paw paws.

I've tried pawpaw beer and liked it, but I had trouble discerning the pawpaw from the other flavors.

A good bit of my pawpaw crop this year ended up as an infusion in mixed drinks served at a fundraiser dinner featuring unusual cuisine with ingredients from local sources. It turned out to be a big hit there.


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RE: Just got potted Peterson paw paws.

Creekweb, I'd like to hear more about this. Please check your email.

Marc


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RE: Just got potted Peterson paw paws.

I ordered from Forrest Keeling when Peterson pawpaws became available. I was on a list Neal sent to the two nurseries. I waited for a long while after the expected delivery date, and finally called to see what was going on. I talked to the daughter of the man who started the nursery, and she informed me they couldn't deliver to Virginia, even though they had been sitting on my payment for months. I was very frustrated, and tried to find an alternative address to send to. There is actually a legal battle going on with Forrest Keeling and some east coast nursery that uses a similar air pruning pot. That is why they are not able to sell to certain states. A few months later I was called by Bob the sales guy, and he told me they had a problem with the pawpaws and wanted to make sure they could send out viable plants. I asked if they intended to send my plants and he said they did. I haven't seen them yet. I must stop procrastinating and call back. If they only will send to another state, well that could be difficult as most of my relatives are on the east coast.


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RE: Just got potted Peterson paw paws.

Any updates? Did you get the plants?

I looked at Forrest Keeling's web site and did not see the Paw Paw listed?

Does anyone hav experience in the deep South with Paw Paws? I live on the Gulf of Mexico in Pensacola Florida.


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RE: Just got potted Peterson paw paws.

One Green World also now sells 3 of the Peterson paw paws. As of about a month ago they still had them in stock when I placed an order.


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RE: Just got potted Peterson paw paws.

I did not get my order from Forrest Keeling, they finally told me they couldn't do it, even if i had it sent to a state they shipped to. They never processed my payment. Wasted too much time waiting, so I was happy when One Green World started to offer Peterson plants. I was happy with most of the plants they sent, growing in deep tree pots. Edible Landscaping also carries a few Peterson varieties now, also potted.


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RE: Just got potted Peterson paw paws.

I did not get my order from Forrest Keeling, they finally told me they couldn't do it, even if i had it sent to a state they shipped to. They never processed my payment. Wasted too much time waiting, so I was happy when One Green World started to offer Peterson plants. I was happy with most of the plants they sent, growing in deep tree pots. Edible Landscaping also carries a few Peterson varieties now, also potted.


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