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A project of the National Center for Appropriate Technology                           1-800-346-9140 • www.attra.ncat.orgP...
Planting: Seedlings vs.                                Pollination                 Grafted Trees                          ...
Harvest and                                           with the fruit and its uses. If                                     ...
Summary                                                              Pawpaw shows promise in fighting drug-resistant tumor...
Hartmann’s Plant Company                                         J.H. Gordon NurseryDaniel Hartmann                       ...
NotesPage 6   ATTRA   Pawpaw—A “Tropical” Fruit for Temperate Climates   ATTRA   Page 7
Pawpaw—A “Tropical” Fruit for Temperate Climates                 By Guy Ames and Lane Greer, NCAT Agriculture Specialists ...
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Pawpaw - A "Tropical" Fruit for Temperate Climates


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Pawpaw - A "Tropical" Fruit for Temperate Climates

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Pawpaw - A "Tropical" Fruit for Temperate Climates

  1. 1. A project of the National Center for Appropriate Technology 1-800-346-9140 • www.attra.ncat.orgPawpaw—A “Tropical” Fruitfor Temperate ClimatesBy Guy Ames and This publication is intended asLane Greer, NCAT Agri- a summary overview of paw-culture Specialists paw (or paw paw) production,Published 1999, including overall culture, pests,Revised 2001 harvest, post-harvest, market- ing, and research which seeks toRevised 2010 by Guy develop the pawpaw’s potentialAmes, NCAT Horticul- for commercial development.ture Specialist© NCAT Introduction TContents he pawpaw (Asim-Introduction ......................1 ina triloba) has greatCulture .................................1 potential for commer-Harvest and cial development. Though thePostharvest Handling ....3 pawpaw’s only near relatives areMarketing ...........................3 tropical and the pawpaw looksPlant Extracts as like a mango and tastes like a "KSU-AtwoodTM" photo courtesy of Kirk Pomper, Kentucky State University.Anti-carcinogens banana, it is not tropical but isand Insecticides ...............3 native to most of the eastern U.S. and even into Dr. Kirk Pomper at Kentucky State Univer-Summary ............................4 Canada. The pawpaw grows best in areas with hot sity (KSU) announced in 2010 the first release,References .........................4 summers and cold winters (USDA Zones 5-8). It ‘KSU-AtwoodTM’, from KSU’s pawpaw breed-Websites .............................4 is hardy and relatively pest-free, and its tolerance ing program. With a flavor combining those ofPlant Sources ....................4 to shade makes it suitable for intercropping with banana, pineapple and mango, ‘KSU-AtwoodTM’ other trees. In addition, the pawpaw has genetic shows promise as a commercially available culti- variability that can be used to improve the plant. var (Kentucky State University Pawpaw Project). A major research effort centered at Kentucky State University and involving a few other uni- Culture versities (including Cornell, Clemson, Pur- Pawpaws thrive in moist, fertile, well-drained due, Ohio State, Iowa State, and Oregon State) soils having a pH of 5.5−7.0. Although the paw- should contribute significantly to the commer- paw tolerates shade, it produces best in full sun- cial development of this crop (Pomper, et al., light, as long as it receives enough water and isThe National Sustainable 1999). These universities have established iden- protected from high winds. The trees will growAgriculture Information Service,ATTRA (, tical plots of pawpaw cultivars, which they hope from 12 to 25 feet tall and should be spaced atwas developed and is managedby the National Center for will identify the best cultivars and best manage- least eight feet apart.Appropriate Technology (NCAT). ment techniques. They are breeding for the fol-The project is funded througha cooperative agreement with lowing desirable traits: yellow to orange flesh; According to Dr. Pomper, weed control aroundthe United States Department fruit size 10 ounces or larger; seeds small and trees, with straw or woodchip mulch, is impor-of Agriculture’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Visit the few; fruit of uniform shape and free of exter- tant to increase tree survival rates. PomperNCAT website ( nal blemishes; and mild, sweet flesh with no notes that voles that might be attracted to thesesarc_current.php) formore information on unpleasant aftertaste. mulches do not damage pawpaw trees as theyour other sustainableagriculture and would apple projects.
  2. 2. Planting: Seedlings vs. Pollination Grafted Trees The slightly foulsmelling flowers are fly polli- There are a number of cultivars that produce nated, and that may be one of the reasons that superior fruit. An unbiased description of most fruit set is so inconsistent in the wild. An old of these cultivars is available at Kentucky State recommendation to hang road kill in your trees University’s pawpaw website: www.pawpaw. to attract fly pollinators (Black, 2009) might Grafted trees of these actually be helpful if you have only a few trees, named cultivars can be relatively expensive (up but Sheri Crabtree at Kentucky State Uni- to $35 for a single potted tree; wholesale quan- versity says that hand pollination is probably tities would presumably cost less per tree), so more effective…and less objectionable. She also prospective growers might be tempted to plant offered that at Kentucky State’s relatively large ungrafted seedlings. While seedlings are much research orchards, pollination has not been a cheaper than grafted trees, there is so much major issue, probably because the presence of genetic variability in the pawpaw that commer- so many trees is simply that much more attrac- cial-scale growers will be taking a significant tive to pollinators. More detail about hand pol- gamble if they plant ungrafted seedlings, and lination of pawpaw is available at a Virginia they will not know the outcome of their bet for Cooperative Extension website http://pubs.ext. around 5-7 years since it can take that long for seedlings to begin bearing (grafted trees usually start bearing in 3-4 years). Pests and Diseases Propagation by seed is quite slow but not diffi- Pawpaws have very few pest problems. There are cult. Either plant the whole fruit after collection, a few lepidopteran pests (caterpillars), the prin- or separate the seeds from the fruit and sow about cipal one being the pawpaw peduncle borer. The an inch deep. Fresh pawpaw seed must be strati- peduncle borer (Talponia plummeriana) burrows fied (given a cold period). This can be done by into the pawpaw flower and causes it to drop. holding the seed in refrigerated storage in plastic Usually, however, so little damage is done that bags with moist peatmoss for at least four months this is not a serious problem. and then sowing the following spring. If the seed Other reported pests include earwigs, slugs, San is directly sown outdoors, it may take two cold Jose scale, and tent caterpillars. To discourage periods before germination is initiated. Never dry earwigs and slugs, Ray Jones, a California paw- the seed or freeze it; this will kill the seed. paw grower, ties a three-inch band of aluminum If you live in an area where pawpaws grow foil around each trunk and paints the middle wild, you might be tempted to transplant from two inches of the foil with Tanglefoot® (Pyle, the wild, but wild pawpaws have long taproots 1992). San Jose scale can be controlled with dor- which are very easily damaged. Often pawpaw mant oils. Tent caterpillars can be physically trees in wild patches are actually rootsuckers removed from the tree by cutting out the “tent” from the original tree with poorly developed or the branches holding the tent. root systems; these rootsuckers do not transplant Phyllosticta and flyspeck or greasy blotch (Zygo- well. Even nursery-grown pawpaws are ordinar- phiala jamaicensis) can be problems of pawpaw. ily quite difficult to transplant. They have fleshy, This occurs only during periods of high humid- brittle roots with very few fine hairs, which ity and frequent rainfall. Dense foliage and lack inevitably get damaged when transplanting. of proper ventilation contribute to this condi- Experimentation has shown that, to be success- tion, so proper spacing and pruning can reduce ful, transplantation should be done in the spring it. Phyllosticta can infect the leaves and the sur- at the time that new growth commences or soon face of the fruit; it can cause the fruit to crack after. If many roots are lost, it may be desirable when it expands and destroy it. to prune the top to bring it into balance with the remaining roots.Page 2 ATTRA Pawpaw—A “Tropical” Fruit for Temperate Climates
  3. 3. Harvest and with the fruit and its uses. If you have a cultivar thatPostharvest Handling tastes like banana orPawpaws ripen very quickly and bruise easily, mango or cus-which limits shipping time. Though the fruit tard, tout thatof some cultivars will exhibit a slight color shift in a very visiblefrom green to yellow, Dr. Pomper’s research way since mostshows that skin color is a poor indicator of ripe- consumers won’tness. Pomper claims that the best indicators are have any idea what aa slight softness when gently squeezed and the good pawpaw tastes like.ease with which the fruit releases from its stem Because it is so nutri-when gently pulled. Fruits picked just before tious, nutrition informa-they are fully ripe, but have begun to soften, will tion might be a good salesripen indoors at room temperature or slowly in tool, and can make good poster or black-a refrigerator. Already ripe fruit will last only 2 board text as long as you don’t overwhelm theto 4 days at room temperature, but refrigerated reader with too much (shoppers are at stores or NCAT photo byfruit will last up to 3 weeks. Research is being farmers markets to shop, not read; emphasize the Robyn Metzger.conducted to determine the effectiveness of using high points: one of the highest protein contentmodified-atmosphere shipping and ethylene con- of any fruit; high in potassium, vitamin C, ribo-trol sachets to extend shelf life (Galli, 2007). flavin, etc.; see /cooking.htm#Nutritional%20Information forPawpaws are not suited for certain value-added more detailed nutrition information). Lastly,products like jams and jellies. Heating pawpaws recipes to take home can be another inducementchanges their flavor, so pawpaws would be best for the consumer to make that first purchase ofused in foods such as ice cream. Recipes using a new food. Go to are available from several sources, .htm for recipes. The Ohio Pawpaw Growersincluding the Kentucky State University website Association ( html) has many members from around the coun-Iowa State scientists are researching mechanical try. This organization can also help individualspulp extraction and freezing techniques. Because in pawpaw marketing destroys important flavor components,and shelf-life of fresh pawpaws is so limited, such Plant Extracts asresearch could be crucial to the commercializa-tion of the pawpaw (O’Malley, 2010). Anti-carcinogens and InsecticidesMarketing Dr. Jerry McLaughlin, now retired, of Purdue University found that pawpaw was a sourceGiven the fragility and short shelf-life of the of phytochemicals called acetogenins withfruit, the uncertain status of processing pawpaw powerful anti-carcinogenic properties (“Paw-pulp, as well as the simple novelty of the fruit paw shows promise in fighting drug resistantitself, the enterprising pawpaw marketer should tumors,” 1999). An herbal extract made fromhave a good sales plan before hitting stores, res- pawpaw is on the market. For more informationtaurants, or farmers markets. Careful handling, on pawpaw as an anti-carcinogen go to www.of course, is a must because the fruit is so eas- pawpawresearch.comily bruised. There are a few commercial-scalegrowers in Kentucky and Ohio leading the way, Dr. McLaughlin also isolated a botanical insec-including one who successfully processed and ticide, asimicin, from pawpaw twigs and barksold 1,000 pounds of pulp in 2009 (Ohio Paw- (“Pawpaw those pests,” 1999); however, withoutpaw Growers Newsletter, 2009). financial backing to shepherd it through the reg- ulatory process, it is unlikely to be on the mar-Beyond that, the pawpaw marketer would be ket anytime soon (Bratsch, 2009).well-advised to have some printed material(posters or hand-outs) to acquaint the ATTRA Page 3
  4. 4. Summary Pawpaw shows promise in fighting drug-resistant tumors. 1997. Purdue News. may be a viable enterprise for small-scale farmers McLaughlin.pawpaw.htmlwho can develop a local clientele. However, the amount oftime that must be invested before the first fruit crop (five years Pawpaw those pests. 1999. Organic Gardening. October.or longer) is a deterrent to many would-be producers. The p. 16ongoing university research should answer many of these ques-tions regarding cultivars, culture and processing/marketing. Websites Kentucky State University Pawpaw Research ProjectReferences www.pawpaw.kysu.eduBratsch, Anthony. 2009. Specialty Crop Profile: Paw- Provides information on pawpaw research, guide to growingpaw. Virginia Cooperative Extension. http://pubs.ext. pawpaws, cultivars, suppliers, PawPaw Foundation, links to other pawpaw Web sites.Pomper, K.W., D.R. Layne, and R.N. Peterson. 1999. The Purdue University’s facts sheet on pawpawspawpaw regional variety trial, p.353-357. In J. Janick (ed). on New Crops and New Uses. ASHS Press, Includes production information and suppliersAlexandria, VA. California Rare Fruit Growers’ information on pawpawKentucky State University’s Pawpaw Project Atwood Research FacilityKentucky State University Virginia Cooperative ExtensionFrankfort, KY 40601-2355 Ohio Pawpaw Growers’ AssociationCallaway, M. B. 1990. The pawpaw (Asimina triloba). Ken- State University Publication CRS-HORTI-90IT. 22 p.Finneseth, C., S. Kester, R. Geneve, K. Pomper, and D. Plant SourcesLayne. 2000. Propagation of pawpaw (Asimina triloba). Blossom NurseryCombined Proceedings International Plant Propagator’s Mark and Kathleen BlossomSociety 50:413-416. 216 CR 326Black, Craig Summers. 2009. America’s Forgotten Fruit. Eureka Springs, AR 72632The Christian Science Monitor. February 4, 2009. (479) 253-7895 BlossomNursery@gmail.comPyle, Katherine. 1992. Picking up pawpaws...and growing www.blossomnursery.comthem, too. California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc. December. p. Cultivars: Marla, Mitchell, Overleese, Prolific, Sunflower,24–25, 35–36. Sweet Alice, Taytwo, Seedlings, Seed. Container and bar-Galli, F., D.D. Archbold, and K. Pomper. 2007. Pawpaw: eroot (quart or gallon, 8”-18”)An Old Fruit for New Needs. Acta Horticulturae, 744:641- Nolin River Nut Tree Nursery666. John & Lisa BrittainO’Malley, Patrick. 2010. Pawpaws for the Upper Midwest. 797 Port Wooden Upton, KY 42784workshop10/omalley_pawpaw2.pdf (270) 369-8551 john.brittain@windstream.netOhio Pawpaw Growers Association Newsletter. 2009. Mar- www.nolinnursery.comketing pawpaws. Spring. p. 1. Cultivars: KSU-AtwoodTM, Allegheny, Potomac, Rappahan- nock, Shenandoah, Susquehanna, Wabash, Davis, Green- river Belle, IXL, Mitchell, NC-1, Overleese, PA Golden, Prolific, SAA-Zimmerman, Sue, Sunflower, Taylor, Wells. Bareroot (1’ – 6’)Page 4 ATTRA Pawpaw—A “Tropical” Fruit for Temperate Climates
  5. 5. Hartmann’s Plant Company J.H. Gordon NurseryDaniel Hartmann 1385 Campbell BlvdPO Box 100 Amherst, NY 14228-1403Lacota, MI 49063-0100 (716) 691-9371(269) 253-4281 253-4457 Cultivars: NC-1, Overleese, PA Golden #1, PA Golden #2, Seedling. Container (1 gal), and KSU-Atwood TM PA Golden #3, PA Golden #4, SAA Overleese, SAA Zim- merman, SAB Overleese, Taytwo, scionwoodTrees of Antiquity (former Sonoma Antique Apple Nursery)Neil Collins & Thomas Linden One Green World (Formerly Northwoods Retail Nursery)20 Wellsona Rd. Jim Gilbert, OwnerPaso Robles, CA 93446 28696 South Cramer Rd(805) 467-9909 Mollala, OR 97038(805) 467-2509 (877) Cultivars: KSU-AtwoodTM, Davis, Mango, Mitchell, NC-1, Cultivars: Rebecca’s Gold, Sunflower, Wells. Container Overleese, PA Golden, Prolific, Sunflower, Sweet Alice, Tay- (plastic sleeve, 8-12”) lor, Taytwo, Wells, Wilson, seedlings "KSU-AtwoodTM" photo courtesy of Kirk Pomper, Ken- tucky State ATTRA Page 5
  6. 6. NotesPage 6 ATTRA Pawpaw—A “Tropical” Fruit for Temperate Climates
  7. 7. ATTRA Page 7
  8. 8. Pawpaw—A “Tropical” Fruit for Temperate Climates By Guy Ames and Lane Greer, NCAT Agriculture Specialists Published 1999; Revised 2001 Revised 2010 by Guy Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist © NCAT Tracy Mumma, Editor Robyn Metzger, Production This publication is available on the Web at: or IP373 Slot 34 Version 100410Page 8 ATTRA