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What's happening to my paw paw?  RSS feed

 
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We planted this tree a couple months ago here in Brevard NC. We are zone 7 I believe. Our soil has lots of heavy clay. We did some mending with mushroom compost and organic bagged soil. We've had lots of rain.  The tree's location gets mostly sun light with morning and evening shade. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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pollinator
Posts: 288
Location: Stevensville, Montana; Zone 5b
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Heavy clay and lots of rain probably resulted in water logged roots. This isn't much of an issue with a mature and established tree, but with a newly planted one it may be too much water which will cause the roots to rot. The leaves will turn yellow and brown crumble off. My best guess.
 
pollinator
Posts: 528
Location: Western Washington
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It looks alright to me. A lot of my trees here in Washington look that way right now, since they've been in the heat and sunshine for so long. It might just be an end of season thing. Also, young pawpaws often benefit from a little shade, to prevent their leaves from burning. But this one's pretty big and is probably alright as is.
 
pollinator
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I planted 3 this year. Much smaller than yours. The leaves turned brown then fell off. Luckily it sprouted more leaves a week later. Fwiw
 
Posts: 71
Location: NJ
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Hi Scott,
All in all it looks like you have a good looking Paw Paw tree! My initial thoughts are similar to what others mentioned with a few pointers to help going forward.

Water
Like Daniel said the yellow leaves could be from too much water from all the rain you said you received (These leaves will end up falling off in most cases)  
Try to mix in some sand (or something that drains well) in your planting area next time you plant a tree to help with drainage.  It’s hard to do this after the fact but if you are careful of the root zone it’s possible.  

Sun burn
Young Paw paws also are sensitive to full sun during hot summers.  Since this tree has only been in this location a couple months you might have those upper leaves being affected by too much sun.  

Chances are wherever you got the tree from it had way more shade and the strong summer sun is a bit of a shock.  Shade cloth/burlap attached to two wood posts can provide enough afternoon shade.  It will be hardier next summer so you probably don’t have to shade it this year.  Although a little shade for the next month or so won’t hurt.  

I also noticed at least one leaf had a hole in it. Check the leaves for pest signs.  Check the back side of the leaves from insect pests, eggs, etc.  dispose of as necessary.  

Overall your tree looks great!  Good luck with it and keep us updated!
 
pollinator
Posts: 251
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6b
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A couple of months ago means you transplanted an already quite grown tree in high summer. It looks great, considering the circumstances.

You had a lot of rain but the planting site looks like it's on a slope which will help against waterlogging. It also looks like an older tree used to be nearby so the soil has already been "conditioned" by its roots.

I'd do nothing and wait for spring to see how it behaves in its first full season.

Note that the leaves will naturally turn very yellow indeed in the following months - that's what pawpaws do, in the fall they can be considered ornamental.
 
pollinator
Posts: 365
Location: Ashhurst New Zealand
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I'm new to pawpaws, having just sown 200+ seeds in root trainers and hoping that we get some good trees out of the bunch. Everything I've read about them says that they cannot tolerate full sun when young, and that they need to be shaded during the summer months. They also are apparently notorious for not liking transplanting, on account of dependence on a deep taproot. I suspect that once the taproot gets down to groundwater they start to handle sun better. Anyway, if that's the case with yours I'd say to get some shadecloth over it stat and see if that helps. It does look like it's in shock.
 
Crt Jakhel
pollinator
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Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6b
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Um, I've just noticed that on your picture one can see the roots coming out of the trunk above ground level. Did you plant like that from the outset or did the materials you used compress with time? Maybe adding some more soil would not be a bad idea.
 
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