Though the pawpaw’s (Asimina triloba) only near relatives are tropical, and the pawpaw looks like a mango and tastes like a banana, they are not tropical but native to most of the eastern U.S. and even into Canada. It is hardy and relatively pest free (even deer don’t like it), and its tolerance to shade makes it suitable for intercropping with other trees.
Pawpaw fruits are nutritional powerhouses, even boasting more protein than a banana. The twigs and bark are known to contain a powerful anti-carcinogen, and the fruit has trace amounts, too.
Unlike all the other fruit plants pawpaws should not be planted when dormant. Best planting time is spring when the tree is just waking up from dormancy and showing some new green growth. We have also successfully transplanted in late September when the plant is still active but when the weather is cooler. Also, in the first few establishment years, pawpaws put much of their energy into their root systems, resulting in a tree that seems small for the first couple years and then takes off!
Pawpaws are also the only plants that we grow in containers, and, again, this is because the roots are intolerant of damage that might occur during digging. We grow the pawpaws in special, deep pots to allow the roots the room they need, and this will greatly improve the survivability of the tree in its establishment year. We do not ship pawpaw plants.
All our seedling trees are either from local fruit collected in Washington County, AR or from the Kentucky State University breeding program, the only pawpaw breeding facility in the country. These seed are all from named cultivars or from advanced selections in the KSU program; thus, the trees and fruit are superior! Specify “local’ or ‘KY’ seedlings when ordering.