Your Guide to Easy Fruit Tree Care

Episode 53: Pawpaw Fruit Facts

Paul DeCampo, Isaac Crosby and Susan Poizner talk about pawpaw fruit history in this episode. Photo Credit:

Pawpaw Fruit Facts - A history that goes back centuries

Forget mangos and bananas. If you're interested in an exciting taste adventure in tropical fruit, check out the Native American pawpaw fruit. Now pawpaw fruit may be juicy, silky soft and tropical tasting, but this fruit grows on trees across North America from the eastern edges of Texas, to Florida, and all the way up to southern Ontario.

Like any new craze, folks are turning this fruit into pawpaw beer, gelato and other goodies. But the truth is pawpaws are not new. In fact, these trees were here long before Europeans settlers came to North America. So in this episode of The Urban Forestry Radio Show and Podcast we'll explore the history of pawpaws, tracing it back to to the First Nations.

My guests on the show include:

  • Self confessed "pawpaw propagandist" Paul DeCampo, who is one of the first people in the city of Toronto to start promoting the planting and harvesting of these beautiful fruit trees.
  • And Issac Crosby, Lead Hand in Urban Agriculture at Evergreen Brickworks in Toronto and a member of Ojibwe Nation who remembers his great grandfather giving him a pawpaw to taste when he was just a child.

Those who emailed us during the live show with questions or comments were eligible to win this month's prize...a copy of Kate Frey's book "Ground Rules: 100 Easy Lessons for Growing a More Glorious Garden"

Cover of Kate Frey Book "Ground Rules"

What you will Learn about pawpaw fruit history in this show

  • When did the pawpaw revival begin in North America?
  • What does the tree look like and why two pawpaw trees can quickly turn into 20 trees.
  • What was the history of pawpaws in aboriginal culture?
  • How pawpaw cross pollination can be tricky and what are some ways to overcome that?
  • What the pawpaw flowers look like when they are in their male and female stages.
  • When is the best time to harvest pawpaws and what is the best way to keep the fruit fresh.
  • How pawpaws may once again become part of First Nations traditions.

More Information about The Urban Forestry Radio Show and Podcast

The host of the Urban Forestry Radio Show and Podcast is Susan Poizner of the award-winning fruit tree care education website (GWA Silver Award of Achievement 2016) and the author of the award-winning fruit tree care book Growing Urban Orchards (GWA Silver Award of Achievement 2014).  Susan is an urban orchardist and an ISA Certified Arborist. You can listen to previous episodes of The Urban Forestry Radio Show and Podcast at and you can subscribe to the iTunes podcast. 

Tune into The Urban Forestry Radio Show LIVE by going to on the last Tuesday of every month at 1.00 pm Eastern Time and email your questions in during the show to [email protected] This show covers fruit trees, food forests, permaculture and arboriculture.

  • Click here to listen to RealityRadio101 now!
  • Click here to watch a video of the show on YouTube
  • Click here to see previous episodes of The Urban Forestry Radio Show and Podcast

To listen to the podcast, click on the player below. To watch the facebook live video of this episode, click here.

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Susan Poizner of Orchard People

Speaks at conferences and symposiums across North America about fruit tree care, urban orchard design, fruit tree cultivars and more.
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At Orchard People we are careful to select sponsors who offer quality products and services for fruit tree growers. Click their logo to learn more about them!

Earth Alive
"Microbial Technology-based Products for Your Growing Needs"

WhiffleTree Nursery, Canada
"Cold Hardy, Disease Resistant Fruit Trees, Shrubs and More"

Peaceful Heritage, USA
"Pawpaws and Superior Hardy Edible Plants"

Mark's Choice
"Garden Products Approved by Gardening Guru Mark Cullen"