Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Pawpaw Tree #ThursdayTreeLove

Today, a saga of a tree I started from seed back in 2014, and its life since.

In 2013, I bought three paw-paws.

The paw-paw is a native fruit here in the United States which produces an edible fruit.  Up to now, you needed to have these trees growing wild on your land, meaning you most likely were living in the countryside if you were familiar with the fruit.  Now, however, they are being cultivated, although (in 2020) it is still difficult to purchase the fruit.

In 2013 I was able to find paw-paws for sale in a store specializing in local food, and I purchased one fruit.  For those not familiar with paw-paws, they taste something like a banana, with a flavor note that is unique.  To me it is something like a mango.  Yet, this is not a tropical tree.  When I lived in rural Arkansas many years ago, we had these trees on our property.  At the time, they were too strongly flavored for me.  My senior palate accepts them better now.

Eventually I was down to one plant in a pot.  I planted the pot in the ground, thinking I would take care of it in 2015.  Unfortunately, 2015 totally got away from us - my mother in law, who did not live locally, developed health issues that eventually required her to move her up here to be close to us and my brother and sister in law.  Between trying to sell her house, dealing with her surgery, her rehab, then pneumonia, more rehab, and other issues, 2015 was a lost year for us.

Meanwhile, the paw-paw wasn't waiting on us.  It rooted itself and has been growing in our back yard ever since.

And here it is.

Another view.

Right now, the paw-paw tree is about 10 feet (3.05 meters) tall.  It hasn't flowered yet, which is no surprise as they usually don't bloom before they are about eight years old. Maybe next year?

We do have one problem.  Paw-paws are not self fertile, nor do bees pollinate them.  We need another paw-paw tree if we want the fruit.  It's doubtful there is a wild tree anywhere near our urban yard.  Our yard is small and we wouldn't have put this tree in this location if we had been able to react before it planted itself.  More than one tree is too much.  One tree may be too much.

What to do?

Linking up with Parul at Happiness and Food and other bloggers who love trees every second and fourth day of the month for #ThursdayTreeLove.


  1. that's something that you don't see everyday.

  2. I've never had a pawpaw, or seen one for that matter. I only know of the song! At least it's an attractive tree, even if you never get fruit. I know the feeling about needing two of some fruit trees. A lot of pears do, and I do NOT need that many pears! My Pluot would do better with a type of plum to pollinate, but not just any plum. I'm about done with fruit trees anyway.

  3. I SO love fruit trees! The pawpaw is such a fun-sounding fruit. And what a problem to have--to plant more trees or not. ;)
    I was raised in a particularly arid part of the country. We worshipped trees. (Not really, but you get the point.) Any trees in the countryside had been hand-planted by someone's grandpa.
    Now, here in Northern Alberta, we have apple trees, a few berry bushes and just finished planting a cherry tree. Really excited about that one!

  4. It's supposed to be good luck to have a fruit tree on your property.

  5. Oh my, that’s an interesting problem

  6. That is so cool. I love the song - used to sing it to my daycare kids years ago. I've never seen one here in California.

  7. I guess the tree liked where it was planted. Hopefully you'll be able to work with it.

  8. Loved reading this story of your paw paw tree!

    -Priya (

  9. This is a completely new tree for me! I love the way you have nurtured it and it loves you back!! Maybe a gardening group will have some ideas on pollination...

  10. I have never heard or seen PawPaw. I will look up the pictures but I did love your story so much. I think your desire to grow them helped the tree plant itself in your backyard despite the challenges.
    Thanks a ton for joining and sharing with us. I hope to see you back tomorrow.

  11. I had to google Paw paw to see if its the same as Papaya and it wasnt. Nature is ingenious and if that one tree has survived in your backyard, there will be a way for it to pollinate too - hang in there with this one Alana.


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