Protecting Pawpaw Trees in Autumn by Peaceful Heritage | Oct 14, 2020 | Uncategorized | 8 comments Protecting Pawpaw Trees in Autumn – PAINT YOUR TREES! Below you can see two photos. The top photo shows a pawpaw trunk which has split due to winter sun thawing and subsequent freezing. The bottom photo shows an undamaged tree that has been PAINTED. Why does this work? The white paint REFLECTS warm winter sun. If that sunlight is not reflected, it warms up the SOUTH side of the trunk (the side facing the sunlight all winter.) If the south side of the trunk warms up (and expands slightly), it can then freeze rapidly at night, and thus shrink down. When it rapidly shrinks, it can SPLIT. This can kill or severely damage the trees! I had it happen! It’s nearly always on the south facing side. How to fix this? PAINT YOUR TREES! You need to paint the trunk up to the first branches, and the “armpits” of the bottom branches. See the bottom photo. A 50-50 blend of water and WHITE INDOOR Latex paint works perfectly. Don’t use OUTDOOR latex, only INDOOR latex paint. Paint the trees NOW in autumn before the severe cold arrives. The paint job might also help decrease insects like ambrosia beetles also. Nothing draws ambrosia beetles like a split trunk and a stressed out tree! So go out now and get some paint, mix with water 50% and paint those trunks! Otherwise they can split and this is very harmful to them. The bottom photo is from a pawpaw at KSU that was painted. Once a tree trunk splits, there’s nothing you can do (except paint it so it does not get worse). Happy growing! 8 Comments Jim Dicken on October 15, 2020 at 10:19 pm WOW, wish that was in my plant purchase. HOWEVER thank you going out tomorrow and get a quart of indoor latex. FLAT work or should I use a gloss? Reply Peaceful Heritage on October 15, 2020 at 11:14 pm I would go with FLAT. And make sure to DILUTE it 50-50 with water. Reply james Dicken on October 15, 2020 at 10:29 pm Should I also paint my Pear, Apple, Plum, and other Fruit Trees Reply Peaceful Heritage on October 15, 2020 at 11:15 pm It’s never a bad idea. Many old time orchardists always painted their trees. Any tree, especially cherry and pawpaw are prone to split. Reply Warrick Hess on October 16, 2020 at 12:45 am Do you paint new trees? Mine are tiny. About a foot tall. Planted this year. Reply Peaceful Heritage on October 16, 2020 at 2:51 pm Tiny new trees don’t need painting. Paint when they are about 4-5′ tall and older. Reply Rita Butler on October 16, 2020 at 4:11 am My Pawpaws have not split but they have never produced any fruit. I believe that they are about 5 years old at this point. Any growing or pruning tips that might help with this problem? Reply Peaceful Heritage on October 16, 2020 at 2:53 pm It could be due to a number of factors, not including the need for pruning, They either do not have another genetically different pawpaw for cross-pollination, or may be too young still to produce fruit. Or they may be in too much shade. Plant more and try hand pollination if they are flowering. Also make sure to fertilize every spring. See our pawpaw FAQ. Reply Submit a Comment Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.