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 Best Paw Paw Options for Battleground, WA 
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Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:40 pm
Posts: 3
Post Best Paw Paw Options for Battleground, WA
Hi there, I am new to this forum.

I have a small and young hobby orchard in Battleground Washington, about 30 miles north of Portland. It is a couple of degrees cooler than Portland but otherwise similar weather.

I have 3 young Paw Paw starts. NC-1, about 5 feet tall. Sunflower, about 4 feet tall. Rebecca's Gold, about 18 inches tall. All were planted from container plants that I bought at a local nursery during the summer 2012.

I am not getting any younger. I would like to taste my own paw paws some day.

The Rebecca's Gold was eaten off by a herbivore last year, which is why it's so small. The roots are well established, but it took a while to recover from being eaten off. It was the smallest one from the outset.

Here are my questions... thanks for letting me ask them.

1. Do these varieties seem OK for the local climate? If none are likely to bear due to poorly adapted to here, such as ripening too late in my cool summer / chilly fall, maybe I should replace one or more of them.

2. I think I have seen some nurseries offer paw paws in the 3 to 4 foot tall range. Would that be likely to get me there faster than continuing to nurture that 18 inch one? All of my starts were in the 1 foot to 18 inch range when I bought them, so I know I am doing something OK with the taller two. But if buying a taller one is likely to help, maybe I should.

3. I suppose a good boost of nitrogen would not be good for a bearing tree. But what about getting a tree up to a bearing size faster? Should I feed them with the intention to stimulate more rapid growth next season, figuring they won't likely bear for another year? I use organic methods, and the nitrogen would be organic too.

Thanks for suggestions you might have.

Daniel
Battleground WA


Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:21 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1406
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Best Paw Paw Options for Battleground, WA
Hi Daniel,
Sunflower does require some sun, but it is partially self fertile. THey will probably all ripen in our climate if they are in full sun (at least 6 hours). The biggest challenge is likely to be pollination. You need to take the pollen from a mature flower from one tree to a young flower from a different tree. WHen I did that, I recieved astonishing amounts of fruit from my paw paws.
John S
PDX OR


Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:23 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 5:03 pm
Posts: 86
Location: Vancouver WA
Post Re: Best Paw Paw Options for Battleground, WA
I live half way closer to you than John does. Having had two of them for twenty years I would have to say that John is right on both his points about increased fruit setting efforts and some sun. You must be pretty good enough with plants to get them established which is the hard part considering they don't plant from containers very well. So at this point I would encourage speedier growth by adding an inch layer of horse manure every spring and they will really take off after having been established like that. Mine are at least 20 or 25 feet. The fruits can be very large in years that I use the manure. Maybe I am pushing the limits for you if your not well drawing in soil types like I have. My favorite place to go is Arabian Stables in Battle Ground near the fairgrounds. It's well composted but it's not always available.


Wed Nov 26, 2014 10:19 pm
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Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:40 pm
Posts: 3
Post Re: Best Paw Paw Options for Battleground, WA
Thank you John and Rooney for your advise! These are all in good sun, with full south and southwest, and full east exposure and fair west exposure. I keep them well mulched and have them in cages due to deer.

I have read up on pollinating. Last year two of them had a couple of flowers, but only a couple. I figured I either caught them at the wrong time, or they were just too young to set fruit.

I successfully cross pollenate my Asian pears and other fruits, using a paintbrush. I attribute this years very good crop to that - last year I did not play the bee and only had one pear on a large tree.

Thanks for the manure advise. We have chickens and there is slso a larger chicken farm that sells chicken manure. It's also good stuff.

Very anxious already to see what Spring brings! Fortunately there are lots of other types of fruit trees to keep me occupied.

Daniel W


Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:01 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1406
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Best Paw Paw Options for Battleground, WA
Hi Daniel,
You might want to get some Mason bees. Do you have another pollinating variety for your Asian pear? I never hand pollinate and I always nearly break the tree with fruit. I do have 5 varieties for pollination.
John S
PDX OR


Fri Nov 28, 2014 8:16 pm
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