[nafex] Pawpaw question and observation

Dr. Lucky Pittman lpittman at murraystate.edu
Wed Aug 19 14:56:15 EDT 2015

Lol, Jerry. 
I was just speaking colloquially when I said 'chunk 'em in the ground'. 
I do dig an appropriate hole, gently remove the plant from the pot, unfurl
any circling roots - sometimes I'll cut some off if it's been 'imprisoned'
for too long, then backfill water in well and mulch appropriately.  I'll
usually water first-year transplants, as necessary... but after that,
they're on their own.  


-----Original Message-----
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Jerry Lehman
Sent: Wednesday, August 19, 2015 8:45 AM
To: mailing list at ibiblio - Northamerican Allied Fruit Experimenters
Cc: Cliff England
Subject: Re: [nafex] Pawpaw question and observation

On 8/19/2015 8:56 AM, Louis Pittman wrote:
> My experience has been similar to mIEKAL's - container-grown pawpaws 
> that I grafted and transplanted a year or so later, often grew for a 
> year or two, then the graft 'woke up dead' after winter, and the
understock re-grew.
> Now... in-groung established seedlings that were topworked to named 
> selections... no decline or death of the grafted variety.
> But, again, it may be that if I did more than chunk 'em in the ground 
> and walk away, they might have fared better.

Thanks for your input, I would like to hear if others have had the same
experience. It is quite common for a grafted tree to abort the graft the
year of planting if it comes under stress. I've not heard reports of this
following survival of the 1st year. This may be problematic with pawpaws and
may be involved with the pawpaws dislike for being transplanted.

In thinking about personal experience. I've only planted 3 grafted potted
pawpaws and none of them survived the past 2 years. One that did survive
after the graft failed died the 3rd year. But my experience with only 3
instances isn't enough to draw a conclusion. I believe it was partially my
fault as I may not have cared for them sufficiently. We need to hear from
more planters of grafted potted pawpaws.

About 5 years ago I planted 33 pawpaw seedlings from the IDNR nursery.  
I also have a wild population and took the tractor back and brought in dirt
from those root systems in an attempt to bring in the Mycorrhizae fungi
specific to a Asimina and back filled the holes of every other one with this
soil. I do have a water wagon that I can hall 200 gallons at a time and
spray onto the ground, simulating rain. I had also applied pelletized sulfur
to the ground and tilled in before planting. They were planted in well dug
holes, not chunked in. (Lucky, not trying to put your method down as it's
difficult not to do much else when planting potted pawpaws.)  After planting
when active growth had begun which is when I normally graft trees I grafted
all of them using the Omega or saddle graft. Of the 33, none of the grafts
survived past the 1st year and only 3 of the under stock survived. It's hell
a be a total failure, and after all that work of planting those 33!


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