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All About Pawpaws
Tree & Fruit

Pawpaw Trees & Fruit
Get to know this wonderful plant.
How about a Pawpaw in your patch?™

The Tree
The Pawpaw, known to botanists as Asimina triloba, is a small, tropical~looking tree, seldom taller than 25 feet. Grown in full sun, the Pawpaw tree develops a narrowly pyramidal shape with dense, drooping foliage down to the ground level. In the shade it grows tall, with a more open branching habit, horizontally held leaves, and few lower limbs. Shading for the first~year, and sometimes the second, is normally required, and it is for this reason that Pawpaws are almost always found in nature as an understory tree. Although the Pawpaw is capable of fruiting in the shade, optimum fruit yields are obtained in open exposure, with some protection from wind (on account of the large leaves). Plant at least two trees for fruit production, to ensure cross~pollination. Some Pawpaw patches never fruit, because all the trees are actually clonal root sprouts from one original tree. In such cases, the patch may be made to bear fruit by planting new trees in and around it, thus providing cross~pollination. Little Pawpaw trees coming up in a patch are usually root sprouts from larger trees, and do not have a sufficient root system of their own. This is why Pawpaw trees dug up in the wild rarely survive.

Pyramidal Pawpaw tree growing in an orchard.

Looking up at a lofty Pawpaw tree in the forest.

The Fruit
The delicious and nutritious fruit look like short, fat bananas. They have a fragrant aroma, a custardy texture, and a tropical taste. The best ones are rich, creamy and sweet, reminding some people of banana cream pie. Compared to apples, peaches and grapes, Pawpaw is higher in food energy, and has more than double the amount of vitamin C, and is much higher in minerals. It is higher in protein, fiber, and carbohydrate. It has a much higher content of amino acids in a good balance. It has mainly unsaturated fatty acids, and is a good source of linoleic and linolenic acids. They are high in antioxidants. Pawpaws are related to the tropical Annonacae, such as the Cherimoya and Guayabana.

A realy nice Pawpaw fruit.

Ready to eat. Yum!

Growth & Bearing
Pawpaw trees are capable of rapid growth, under ideal conditions. They respond well to mulch, absence of weeds, an acid soil high in organic matter, and applications of fertilizer. Seedling trees will come into bearing when they are about six feet (2 meters) tall. This may take five or six years. Grafted trees often bloom the year after planting, and will bear fruit as soon as the tree is able to sustain it, possibly as early as three years after planting, because they have grown from buds taken from mature trees.

How about a Pawpaw
in your patch?