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 Pawpaw pollinators? 
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Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:09 pm
Posts: 16
Location: NE Portland, Oregon
Post Pawpaw pollinators?
Last evening prior to dusk, I went out to see the state of flowering on the pawpaws to determine how quickly I need to get my hand pollination mindset in order (right now!!). A lot of, what I would describe as, fruit fly/ vinegar fly sized critters were milling around on the branches and exterior petals of the pawpaw flower. Seemed like two or three of these 'flys' were on many of the blossoms. Has anyone seen these guys as pollinators?

Must be time to acquire a magnifying glass.

This morning now in direct sun and warmed up- no evidence of any of last nights population.

A few of the furthest out flowers on the branch have dropped their petals and the remaining parts seem to have some light greenish-bluish pollen. Is this old non-viable pollen or is this the working stuff.
After last years reading, I think I know that the flowers start out as pollen excepting and later become pollen generating. I am wondering if at this particular point the pollen in these flowers is past use; or if by some happenstance these are the most readily available collection sites.

John? any one got thoughts / observations to share?
Thanks

James


Mon May 14, 2012 10:34 am
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Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 5:03 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Vancouver WA
Post Re: Pawpaw pollinators?
I can tell it better if you would come by if your in the area to look at how I do things between my two pawpaws. That is 506 SE 102nd ave, Vancouver, but as you say it would have to be "real" soon while you can still see some of the still greenish flowers.

I have flies but even though my two trees are right next to each other the production is less than half of if I was to help. I take a soldering flux paste brush "acid brush" and collect the loose pollen from the most fresh flowers. I transfer to about three other flowers to the other tree to which flowers have not loosened the pollen yet but that the pollen area has changed from green to yellow which is the color stage I believe to be most accurate for female reaction to the pollen you put in it. Frankly it is rather easy if you are accurate or have the experience and have such an acid brush as the bristles are just the right stiffness to collect most of the pollen out of one ripe flower.

I have been doing this for about 6 years now and about a dozen trips back and forth yield me pawpaws forming like clusters of banana in those areas of the tree that I did and that the flies didn't do.


Mon May 14, 2012 10:49 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1314
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Pawpaw pollinators?
I agree with Rooney. Kentucky State has a great site where they explain about paw paw pollination. I'm no real scientist, so I had to read it about 7, 000 times, but I finally got it. A paw paw tree is amazingly productive if you pollinate it, and you really need two varieties. I just use the kids artist paint brushes you get at the Dollar tree. 75 of them in one package costs $1.
John S
PDX OR


Thu May 17, 2012 9:44 pm
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:16 am
Posts: 11
Location: San Diego, CA
Post Re: Pawpaw pollinators?
Are you saying that a fly is used to pollinate? you mean to tell me you don't want to get rid of flies, at least that one. What type of fly is it?


Fri May 25, 2012 7:49 am
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1314
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Pawpaw pollinators?
It's a carrion fly. Theyr'e out in the yard, not in the house. I think that regular houseflies pollinate them too because I have seen them up there before the fruit was pollinated.
John S
PDX OR


Sat May 26, 2012 11:01 am
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:16 am
Posts: 11
Location: San Diego, CA
Post Re: Pawpaw pollinators?
Way cool!! A carrion fly, one type of fly we don't have to get rid of.


Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:53 am
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:16 am
Posts: 11
Location: San Diego, CA
Post Re: Pawpaw pollinators?
James, have you started pollinating yet? The best of luck to you and your paw paws.


Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:04 am
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Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:09 pm
Posts: 16
Location: NE Portland, Oregon
Post Re: Pawpaw pollinators?
Looks to be a little bit more productive take this season as opposed to last (8 fruit in total, last) provided not too many more drop (non-pollinated).

Wilson seems responding well, fingers crossed. Mango, my more favorite taste, not so much.
About four weeks ago was my time to get to it, nearly late in the game. I believe the mango had mostly older flowers at that time (pollen giving) and not much in the way of younger flowers (pollen accepting)
Experience is pretty limited at this point, but it seems to me the Mango came ripe a few days to a week later than the Wilson. Mangos flowering is more sparse, possibly because it was not as exposed as the Wilson for the first 4-5 years ( maybe now 8yrs old), shading Ume is now not an issue. Wilson, more prolific, longer blossom span, has been the expression as seen. Could have seen fruit starting three to four years ago, if I'd have been diligent about learning about pollination.

James



Thanks for the response Rooney and John and the comments Shauna
Rooney maybe I can arrange to see how you do what you do next spring, thanks for the offering.


Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:55 am
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:16 am
Posts: 11
Location: San Diego, CA
Post Re: Pawpaw pollinators?
We have been blessed with a bunch of apricots this season. Many of them have beef frozen for future use. Man you have to get out there when they are ripe or the birds start to devour them. Now we are waiting on the peaches to ripen. Haven't had to worry to much about how to get rid of flies. We picked them before they got to them.


Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:58 am
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1314
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Pawpaw pollinators?
Good to see you again at the budding class, James.

I literally had to read their description like 8 times and go through a year of pollinating and looking at the flowers to get it, but now I get it.

Once you get into the rhythm of hand pollinating, you'll be amazed at how much fruit you get.
John S
PDX OR


Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:47 pm
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