[nafex] [midfex] Transplanting Pawpaw Root Suckers

Mike Levine mlevine at umich.edu
Fri Jul 5 16:54:22 EDT 2013


They were 10-12' high probably 2-4 year old suckers, but I wasn't paying
close enough attention.  I left anything under 2' for next season.
Surprisingly they weren't that hard to dig up with my king-of-spades (my
new favorite tool).

Mike



On Fri, Jul 5, 2013 at 3:25 PM, sherwin <sherwindu at att.net> wrote:

> On 7/5/2013 1:02 PM, Mike Levine wrote:
> > I just wanted to elaborate on what I've done recently (this year) with
> > pawpaws.
> >
> > I realize my sample size is small and I didn't use a control, but I had
> > great success digging suckers this spring.
> > Last year I cut the suckers from the mother on some but not all of the
> > trees I dug this year.  Probably half of them got cut last year and half
> > were just cut this spring while transplanting.
> >
> > This spring, a few weeks after bud break I dug 20 pawpaw suckers up from
> my
> > favorite tree and potted them up in large pots.  The suckers ranged from
> 2'
> > to 12' tall.  19 of the 20 trees lived and the one that died was about 4'
> > tall.  All the pots have been sitting in a hot driveway receiving weekly
> > watering.  I believe that most of my failures in the past were due to not
> > watering enough after transplanting.  Pawpaws like moist soils so it's
> hard
> > (though I'm sure it's possible) to over-water them
> >
> > Recently I've planted some of them in the field and it seems as though
> the
> > feeder roots have grown nicely since the spring transplant.  I'm quite
> > pleased with the results.
> >
> > I was quite surprised that the 10-12' pawpaws responded so well to being
> > transplanted in pots (in pots no less!) and are thriving.
> >
> > So there you have it, I successfully potted up 19 out of 20 suckers some
> of
> > which were cut last year and some of which were just dug up this year w/o
> > being cut last year.  I do think it's a good idea to cut them from the
> > mother the year before, but I suspect that cutting them from the mother
> > before leaf out and them transplanting after bud break might be
> > sufficient.
> >
> > No firm science here, as I'd prefer a sample size of at least 30 and
> would
> > have liked to pay more attention to which ones were cut last year, but
> I'm
> > convinced that it's not as hard to transplant pawpaws as some might
> think.
> >
> > I have also been digging grafted seedlings from the field into pots for
> > about 12 years now and rarely have losses over 10-20%.  Again, I do this
> a
> > couple weeks after bud break in the spring, but before the leaves are
> full
> > size.
> >
> >
> > Mike Levine
> > Ann Arbor, MI
> > Zone 5b
> >
> >
> >
>        Mike,
>
>        Were some of those trees 12 feet high, or did you mean inches?  A 12
>        footer must have had a very deep tap root, besides being rather
> large
>        to pot up.
>
>        It would have been more informative to know the 'age' of these
>        root sucker plants.  I would guess that after one or more seasons,
>        the suckers would be completely independent of the mother tree
>        for support.  That would probably insure their survival if
> conditions
>        allowed for their continued growth.  My issue was with the very
>        young suckers that could be removed prematurely.
>
>         Also, how old are these seedlings before you dig them up?
>
>                              Sherwin Dubren
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