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Old 02-27-2011, 03:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Asimina triloba "paw paw"

I'm wondering if anybody has some experience with growing asimina triloba from seed. I've read that they are fairly cold tolerant but will they survive a zone 7? Also, as they can't pollinated themselves is it enough with 2 plants to get fruit or does it have to be one female & one male? How about the growth rate?

In other words: is it even worth trying?
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Asimina triloba "paw paw"

The paw paw tree grows abundantly here in zone 6 of West Virginia. A couple of years ago, in September, my kids picked paw paw fruit growing wild and brought it home to make smoothies. They put the seeds in a clay pot and covered it with a few inches of soil. The pot sat outside all winter with little or no watering. I was amazed that nearly every seed sprouted and grew quickly. I had heard germination was difficult but found that hard to believe since they grow wherever the fruit drops in the woods. The smell of the fruit ripening in the late summer is wonderful. Not sure about pollination or gender because I gave the seedlings away to friends.

Good luck!
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Asimina triloba "paw paw"

Allright! Just what I wanted to hear! So they can survive harsh winters even the first years?
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Asimina triloba "paw paw"

I kept one seedling for more than a year in a pot, thinking I might eventually plant it. Overwintered just fine, despite lots of snow and bitter wind. Looked like a sad little stick all winter then put out lush, green leaves in spring.
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Asimina triloba "paw paw"

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sourc...SVWdfA&cad=rja


PAWPAW Fruit Facts
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asimina triloba "paw paw"

Yes, you need 2 for pollination, but those 2 need to be male and female. Two roosters may still be chickens, but you ain't gonna get any eggs.

It will be a long time before you see seedling flowers and you know which is which, so I'd start with more than 2.

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Old 02-27-2011, 06:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asimina triloba "paw paw"

PawPaw's are great!!!!! The fruit is delicious, and quite an experience. One you will never forget. I grow PawPaws here in Zone 10. People think I'm crazy, but really the only difference is when germinating seeds, which they do need stratification for 90 days in a refrigerator or freezer. I get roughly 75% germ this way. The only down side in my climate is even though the fruit size and full flavor potential develops because of the sun and warmth, the chill time is almost nothing, which means flowers are not abundant, and I need to hand pollinate to assure every single flower has the potential to fruit. I pollinate them like I do the Cherimoyas, so it's pretty much just an addition to the laundry list, and not such a huge undertaking.

When growing Asimina seedlings it's really a good idea to grow them in groups... not only because of increased pollination, but because seed stock can be a gamble because the flavor can vary quite a bit. Sometimes you can get an incredibly sweet rich fruit, or you can get a pungently sickly flavored fruiting seedling that came from the same fruit.

PawPaws are still underimproved for wide distribution of cultivars. Though there are several, it's certainly difficult to find the cultivars. I have a few of the better tasting cultivars that I will be grafting on some of the root stock, but it's quite a tedious project, and I am only getting about 1/3 success rate on grafts. It will probably be year 2050 before I get 50 of them to take successfully and fruit! LOL

Overall, PawPaws are beautiful trees, they are a pleasure to grow, they are pest free in my area, and I am aware they grow in the wild all the way up to South Michigan and hardy to Zone 5. One thing to keep in mind is that they have a strong, deep tap root which needs to be undisturbed once they are transplanted. If the tap root gets broken, the entire tree will die. However, this makes them exceptionally drought tolerant when they are mature.

Good luck!
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Asimina triloba "paw paw"

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeedForSeed View Post
I'm wondering if anybody has some experience with growing asimina triloba from seed. I've read that they are fairly cold tolerant but will they survive a zone 7? Also, as they can't pollinated themselves is it enough with 2 plants to get fruit or does it have to be one female & one male? How about the growth rate?

In other words: is it even worth trying?
Pollination: Poor pollination has always plagued the pawpaw in nature, and the problem has followed them into domestication. Pawpaw flowers are perfect, in that they have both male and female reproduction parts, but they are not self-pollinating. The flowers are also protogynaus, i.e., the female stigma matures and is no longer receptive when the male pollen is shed. In addition pawpaws are self-incompatible, requiring cross pollination from another unrelated pawpaw tree.
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asimina triloba "paw paw"

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunfish View Post
Pollination: Poor pollination has always plagued the pawpaw in nature, and the problem has followed them into domestication. Pawpaw flowers are perfect, in that they have both male and female reproduction parts, but they are not self-pollinating. The flowers are also protogynaus, i.e., the female stigma matures and is no longer receptive when the male pollen is shed. In addition pawpaws are self-incompatible, requiring cross pollination from another unrelated pawpaw tree.
Great explanation Tony! In many ways, they are like Avocado trees. The self-sterile feature is a stumbling block, but I think what really helps is how they grow in groves in nature, so I've found out early on when growing them and mimicking this by growing them side by side can definitely boost fruit which matures. One last way they are like avocadoes, is the fruit. They cannot be plucked before they are ripe, as the flavor will not develop after removed from the tree, and I warn they must be allowed to drop to fully appreciate the flavor potential.
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Asimina triloba "paw paw"

I enjoy pawpaws from seed. Very easy to grow, no pests etc.

Is it worth it? About a fourth of the people I serve them to like the flavor right away, totally love them. About half are in the middle, will have a bite or two, sorta like them, but not go out of their way for more. About a fourth think they are unfit for humans.

The quality of seedlings varies, of course, but if you start from a good fruit they are usually OK.

Trees have both male and female flowers, so any two are fine.

The best quality trees / fruit have been selected by Neal Peterson. His "Shenandoah" is probably the best all round. I forget the name of the nursery that has them but can dig it up later. forest something.

The cheapest seedling trees are at Burntridge.

I grow them in Iowa and Arkansas.

Good luck in your pawpaw patch.
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Asimina triloba "paw paw"

Here is the link to Peterson's Pawpaws, which is just down the river from me and a wealth of good information.

Peterson Pawpaws | Home
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:29 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asimina triloba "paw paw"

I've always wanted to cross a sugar apple, cherimoya or sour sop with a paw paw, all are in the same family Annonaceae. Though I am not sure if it is possible to grow paw paws in south florida. They may need some winter chill.
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:59 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Asimina triloba "paw paw"

Asimina triloba information from NPGS/GRIN
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