[nafex] nafex Digest, Vol 242, Issue 1

Alan Haigh alandhaigh at gmail.com
Mon Nov 23 06:33:43 EST 2020


Dying paw-paws.  Reading your descriptions provides no real clue to what is
causing your paw-paws to die.  I've no idea where you live, but paw-paw
trees are very hard to kill in S. NY and I completely rely on rainfall for
every paw-paw I manage.  The only thing left for you to do that I can think
of is to send a sample to a plant pathologist employed by your state's Land
Grant university through your county's cooperative extension service the
next time one dies.

Paw paws are moderately simple to graft if you keep scion wood from drying
out with parafilm, so you should acquire some wood and transform a few of
those volunteers.  It makes no sense to me that they would thrive when
grafted varieties don't.   That said, I've had cambium kill of a paw paw
from a late hard frost of a single tree I manage and had another one badly
damaged the same way that I thought was going to die but recovered.  I plan
to gratt over the one that was killed to the ground because its roots are
sending up vigorous suckers.

Perhaps your selected varieties are ill suited for your climate.

On Mon, Nov 23, 2020 at 6:11 AM <nafex-request at lists.ibiblio.org> wrote:

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> Today's Topics:
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>    1. Re:  Elizabeth's grafted pawpaw sudden death (Patsy King)
>    2. Re:  The heartbreak of grafted pawpaws (Lee Reich)
>
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> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Sun, 22 Nov 2020 21:20:33 -0800
> From: Patsy King <pking888 at gmail.com>
> To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [nafex] Elizabeth's grafted pawpaw sudden death
> Message-ID:
>         <CABKaAWw-wcLO8YWNHX-DiOw_vw=
> x23EW0Fc5Cu5OKyDVoaN5mw at mail.gmail.com>
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>
> I know nothing about pawpaws but wondered about graft incompatibility.  A
> google search brought up this response to somebody whose trees die in the
> fall:  (I put bold formatting on the pertinent part):
> Several possibilities come to mind for the cause of your trees death.
> Pawpaws require a well drained soil and we have had two wet seasons back to
> back. Saturated soils make trees much more susceptible to Phytophthora root
> rot. If the roots are dead this is probably the cause. This particular tree
> may have been growing in an area where water pockets after a rain or in a
> drainage area. *If the tree is a grafted one and the roots are alive (You
> can cut through the bark with a knife and see green tissue), but the top of
> the tree is dead the problem could be graft incompatibility with the
> seedling rootstock. This can show up a number of years after planting.*
> There is not much that can be done about this other than plant another
> tree. Alternatively if you look very closely at the dead top of the tree
> and see a multitude of pin head sized holes with what looks like a
> toothpick sized extension from the hole of sawdust the problem is Ambrosia
> beetle. This insect attacks trees that are growing less rapidly or are
> stressed. A targeted spray program for this insect is needed if this is the
> problem.
>
> The URL of the info above is:
> https://ask.extension.org/questions/293442
>
> <https://ask.extension.org/questions/293442>
> I found more fascinating info here, mentioning that pawpaws usually are not
> grafted, and why.  But it does tell how the writer did the grafting when he
> tried.
> http://rarefruitclub.org.au/Level2/GraftingPawpaws.htm
>
> Were your grafted trees all purchased ones?   I was not able yet to find
> out in some quick googling, what rootstocks/scions to use in order to avoid
> graft incompatibility.
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2020 06:08:39 -0500
> From: Lee Reich <leeareich at gmail.com>
> To: mailing list at ibiblio - Northamerican Allied Fruit Experimenters
>         <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Subject: Re: [nafex] The heartbreak of grafted pawpaws
> Message-ID: <260D4F49-9D9B-49D3-9270-17644F4CA3DC at gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain;       charset=utf-8
>
> Just a couple of comments on your pawpaw experience:
>
> ?Water attentively? is not necessarily watering correctly which is all
> important to the health of a plant. If the soil is well-drained, whih it
> should be, I generally recommend 3/4 gallon per square foot estimated
> spread of the root system, once a week. (More frequently for an initially
> planted potted tree which is, essentially, still growing in a pot until its
> roots reach out into surrounding soil.
>
> As far as shading, older trees do best in full sun. A grafted tree?s
> portion above the graft was taken from mature, fruiting wood, so its top
> portion is mature and will do best in full sun right from the get go. (I
> also have seen no definitive substantiation that even seedling trees need
> shade when young if given good soil conditions, which mostly means adequate
> moisture.)
>
> Lee
> Lee Reich, PhD
> Come visit my farmden at
> http://www.leereich.com/blog <http://www.leereich.com/blog>
> http://leereich.com <http://leereich.com/>
>
> Books by Lee Reich:
> ?The Ever Curious Gardener: Using a Little Natural Science for a Much
> Better Garden
> ?A Northeast Gardener?s Year
> ?The Pruning Book
> ?Weedless Gardening
> ?Uncommon Fruits for every Garden
> ?Landscaping with Fruit
> ?Grow Fruit Naturally
>
> > On Nov 22, 2020, at 2:33 PM, Elizabeth Hilborn <ehilborn at mebtel.net>
> wrote:
> >
> > I planted my first pawpaws in 2009, I ordered the superior Peterson
> pawpaw varieties directly from Neil himself. One of four survived - a
> Shenandoah that was vigorous until 2015, then visibly declined. I removed
> the dead tree this summer. My working hypothesis was that the tree suffered
> a pruning injury back in 2013 or 2014 that became infected with fungus.
> That Shenandoah was an outlier, but it is the only grafted tree that has
> ever successfully matured fruit for me. It showed me how delicious selected
> pawpaws can be.
> >
> > Every other grafted pawpaw I have planted (about 16 of them) has died
> but for two five-year-old (at site) trees that are still less than 16
> inches high.
> >
> > The typical scenario is that the plant will sit for a few years in my
> artificially shaded site as it becomes established. Then in its third or
> fourth year at site it starts rapid growth. Within a year to three years of
> putting on height, it flowers, maybe begins to set fruit (they do not
> always get this old) then midsummer, the leaves suddenly wilt and the tree
> dies within a few months. Post mortems reveal seemingly healthy roots, no
> trunk lesions, no discoloration of cambium.  No clue.
> >
> > The kicker is that I have healthy seedlings all over the place. Some
> seedlings are seven years old, volunteers in the woods where I tossed
> overripe fruit. Some were planted intentionally. The rootstock sprouts well
> if I leave it and seems healthy. Rootstock has started producing fruit (not
> very good fruit). I have divided rootstock from dead grafted trees to start
> new patches with the hope of later grafting. I have not seen remaining
> rootstock, divided rootstock or seedlings die like the grafted varieties.
> >
> > How I care for them:
> >
> > I water attentively for a couple years after planting, then only when
> weather is unusually dry. I shade the young grafted trees for two - three
> years at site. I only plant trees in spring. I have tried planting at
> ground level and recently higher in mounds to discourage root rot (no
> indication of root rot, just varying procedures).
> >
> > I plant with no amendments in soil, but top with compost around the
> site. The trunks are not smothered.
> >
> > This year, I transferred soil from a native pawpaw patch in the woods to
> the struggling small grafted trees in the hope they would get something
> they needed. They still are struggling. I will see next year.
> >
> > Any ideas? Has anyone else dealt with this?
> >
> > Pawpawless in central NC zone 7a
> >
> > Elizabeth
> >
> > --
> > Elizabeth Hilborn, DVM
> > Bee Well Mobile Veterinary Services, PLLC
> > beewellvet.com
> >
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