Ohio Paw Paw Festival Bike Ride
^Thanks. I understand their success rate is rather poor, and even when conditions are good they take a long time to get going. See here http://www.pawpaw.kysu.edu/pawpaw/ppg.htm
I keep meaning to hang some roadkill in those trees in the spring to help them along. The flowers are fertilized by flies, which are drawn by meat; that’s why the flowers look like it. I imagine dead animals suspended in trees in Schenley Park might strike some people as Blair Witch project-esque, though.
I think that’s part of the reason my two little trees do so well; they are planted next to where I put the trash out.
I saw tens of pawpaw trees along the trail there but only got close to one of them. On that tree, I scanned the branches for several minutes but saw only one fruit, still green and strongly attached to its branch, so I didn’t pick it. Is it normal for a 20 foot tall pawpaw tree to have only one fruit?
I read “Poor pollination has always plagued the pawpaw in nature, and the problem has followed them into domestication. Pawpaw flowers are perfect, in that they have both male and female reproduction parts, but they are not self-pollinating. The flowers are also protogynaus, i.e., the female stigma matures and is no longer receptive when the male pollen is shed. In addition pawpaws are self-incompatible, requiring cross pollination from another unrelated pawpaw tree. Bees show no interest in pawpaw flowers. The task of pollenization is left to unenthusiastic species of flies and beetles.” https://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/pawpaw.html
The other reason the trees in Schenley Park might not be so productive is that they’re all related; I planted those trees. They’re descended from my trees. Which are producing ripe fruit now, so come by if you want some.
BTW, there are also some trees on Mission Street in the Southside Slopes; I don’t know the policy on picking, though.
Picking up fallen fruit would be OK, wouldn’t it? How would you preserve seeds if you did so?
Also, my daughter has contacts in the Athens OH area who can probably acquire some seeds. It would be good to have some seed stock from a different bloodline, so to speak.
The seeds are pretty durable. They need to go through a cold cycle (like a frost) to sprout. Helen S puts them in his fridge in damp paper towels I think.
I see @caitlin’s poster link from 2010 now points to the 2016 poster, but just to top the thread, here’s a tweet from a couple hours ago:
— Athens Transit (@AthensTransitOH) September 16, 2016
I planted about 75 pawpaw seeds along the Great Allegheny Passage (Steel Valley Trail section) between the Whitaker flyover and the Duquesne flyover today. This is the wooded area near Kennywood. I collected the seeds last Fall from Jon Webb’s pawpaws and from pawpaws bought at East End Food Coop. I kept the seeds in the refrigerator wrapped in moist paper towel sealed in a ziplock bag over the winter. Yale planted a bunch of pawpaw seeds along the SVT in the past month, also. I hope some of them grow!
I’ve planted maybe 10 pawpaw seeds along this trail in past years and I’ve never noticed any of them sprouting, but this is the first year I used the wet paper towel & fridge storage method.
The seeds I have been saving (from Jon’s trees, overwintered in the fridge) are very slow growers- my understanding is they spend a lot of early energy putting down a long root and not so much above ground the first years. I have one I planted next to my house two years ago as a seedling (overwintered as such) that is still only 2 feet tall. I have some seedlings from last years sprouting ready to go out, and a bunch of seeds that I guess I should warm up about now. I have tried distributing a few around the area but often they get disturbed and do not grow.
This is REALLY awesome. Thanks, guys.
Best place to plant them, in my experience, is some place that’s pretty wet.
On the C&O, just about 5 miles west of Williamsport, Maryland, we came across a whole stand of Paw Paws that were dropping ripe fruit to the ground last September. We filled one of my panniers and that evening had dessert! A couple of ladies that I work with at SCI-Fayette baked some into a cake (no files) and it was pretty tasty.
A photo, hopefully you can see it. The Paw Paws in this photo were not ripe but the seeds can be seen.
When ripe, the inside has a slight orange cast and a creamy texture. They are pleasantly sweet but not overly so.
FYI you don’t have to ride to Ohio to go to a pawpaw festival anymore. One’s coming up in Pittsburgh this Saturday at Carrie Furnaces.
43 minute radio program about pawpaws, with quite a bit of history.
Living On Earth radio program on pawpaws
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