[nafex] Pawpaws drought tolerance

mIEKAL aND qazingulaza at gmail.com
Wed Jul 18 22:30:30 EDT 2012


I guess I wonder what you mean by established.  My original patch is a
few seedlings planted in 2001, they are doing well and generating a
huge amount of suckers and slowly turning into a 'patch'.  It's
planted on fairly heavy clay loam, so during a dry year like this it
becomes pretty hardpan.  But I usually gauge the need for watering by
how limp and drooping the leaves seem, and they certainly had a period
a couple weeks ago where they looked incredibly stressed.  Also, this
planting is essentially in full sun also.  I ran a hose out there and
left it running full open for about an hour a tree and everything
recovered nicely.

I had a few kiwis drop all their fruit before I got to watering them.
It feels to me like they are fairly shallow rooted plants.  Pruning
them would make a huge difference, as you say.  And all the potted
kiwi yearlings I had were incredibly stressed by a month of 90+ even
with daily watering and being in full shade.

~mIEKAL


On Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 4:49 PM, Richard Moyer <ramoyer at gmail.com> wrote:
> mIEKAL,
> During our severe drought years of 2007 and 2008, I observed established
> pawpaw patches on the top of rocky ridges in SW VA, which set and ripened
> full crops for fruit.  They did not suffer premature fruit drop, during
> conditions that hurt other fruit crops, and caused a number of springs to
> dry up.  I mentioned this to a pawpaw researcher (forget now which one) and
> they agreed that established pawpaws are surprisingly able to ripen fruit
> well in a drought, relative to some other fruits.
>
> Pawpaws don't have a huge amount of leaves (even leaf ?area?) compared to
> other trees.  They also are clonal in wild patches, so have the potential
> to share water through an extensive, connected root system.
>
> Agreed that kiwi need more water than some other crops, but that could
> possibly be managed by multiple summer prunings.
>
> Richard Moyer
> SW VA
>
> From: mIEKAL aND <qazingulaza at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [nafex] Paw paw for sale?
> To: nafex mailing list at ibiblio <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
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>
> Pawpaws and kiwis seem to be the least drought tolerant.  Luckily I
> have 300 feet of hose that I can drag out to the pawpaw patch and see
> if I can keep the fruit set hanging on the tree.  I'm still trying to
> figure out how I got so many fruit to set with only one tree flowering
> this year.
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