Not just a city in southwest Michigan where St. Julian makes wine, these native small trees are found growing in the shade of hardwood forests throughout the southern half of the lower peninsula. The trees have huge, tropical looking leaves and odd shaped, soft fleshed fruits that weigh from a few ounces to a pound.

Pawpaws ripen in late summer to early fall and each fruit contains several large seeds the size of kidney beans, The flesh tastes like anything from bananas to vanilla custard depending on who you talk to, and is considered by many to be a super fruit because of their high levels of anti-oxidants and vitamins.

These are 18″- 24″ tall, bare root, dormant trees. Pawpaws require very careful transplanting because their fleshy roots are easily broken. These seedlings require about 80% shade for the first few years. If you don’t have a shady site to plant them in, drive four stakes around each tree, and wrap burlap around the stakes to provide shade, Also put several inches of mulch around each tree to keep the ground cool and retain moisture, and keep trees well watered. The stakes and burlap can be removed when the trees are 5′ tall.

Overall height at maturity is 15′ – 20′ tall, and trees should be planted in light to medium shade. Plant at least two trees near each other for proper pollination. Pawpaws are hardy to -30 degrees, so can be planted in most of the lower peninsula.  Supposedly pawpaw’s are deer resistant, but I’ve never found any plant that is deer proof, so I recommend some type of protection from the animals until the trees are about 6′ tall.

These are seed grown trees from an ancient Michigan source, so cold hardiness is not an issue. These are not grafted, named varieties.

                                                                                                                                               18″-24″ well rooted trees are $14.00 each.


Last Modified on December 26, 2023
this article Pawpaw