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Harvesting Pawpaw Trees

Are you ready to enjoy delicious homegrown fruit? Harvest is the time to enjoy the results of your hard work. Keep a few things in consideration as you reap the fruits of your labor: the best time to pick the fruit from your tree, and how to store the fruit.

NOTE: This is part 9 in a series of 9 articles. For a complete background on how to grow pawpaw trees, we recommend starting from the beginning.

When to Harvest

This native North American fruit has delicious custard like flavor. Pawpaws normally start bearing fruit in the sixth or seventh year, so have patience and reap the rewards in a few years.

Pawpaws begin to ripen mid-August thru September. Harvest them when they are soft to the touch. If you give the pawpaw a gentle squeeze the skin will usually lighten from green to yellow or brown. Occasionally they will develop blackish splotches. These splotches do not affect the quality of the fruit.

Annual average yield per tree: 1-3 bushels, 9 pounds at 5 years old.

Storage

Pawpaws will keep for 2 to 3 days if picked ripe. If not fully ripe, they will keep up to 3 weeks refrigerated.

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