The flowers of this small tree that finally appeared belong to North America’s largest tree fruit–pawpaw (Asimina triloba). It is the only local northeastern member of the mainly tropical family–Annonaceae. The flower forms a fruit that resembles a small green potato. The taste is somewhere between mango, vanilla, and citrus. In any case, you can see my pawpaw has a deer fence around it. But apparently, deer do not eat it. A neighbor down the road has an unfenced one that is completely full of foliage to the ground, or browse-free. Apparently, a study conducted by the National Park Service down south indicated that pawpaw saplings are establishing more abundantly, due to the fact that they are 99% deer-browse free. If you plant one, make sure to plant another. They need to cross-pollinate, and should be close too, since they are pollinated by flies and beetles. 

Ryan Trapani

Director of Forest Services

Catskill Forest Association