Author Topic: Parkinson's in the setting of PawPaw consumption (and other Annonaceaes) article  (Read 3491 times)

Pouteria_fan

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Are there any other tropical crops that are unhealthy to eat a lot of? 

Taro and Monstera deliciousa come to mind ( oxalic acid ). Not a problem if prepared properly.
Both Cashew and Mango fruit have irritating sap, many for fruit pickers.
Durian and Jackfruit directly kill a bunch of people ever year, heavy fruit falling on their heads.
Apples have cyanide in the seed, can cause problems if not removed before brewing Scrumpy Cider.

Fair points, but irritating sap or a heavy fruit that can fall on someone are on an entirely different scales of "caution" than a neurotoxin...

NateTheGreat

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Both of my grandparents, and several of their friends that lived in Guam for a period of time on the base developed Parkinsonism/PSP. None of them were genetically related. My relatives never knowingly consumed pawpaw or annona fruits. We did a fair bit of research regarding cause when my second grandparent was diagnosed and it seems like it would be very difficult to unwind all of the potential causes. I'd be curious too, and I haven't looked, but about the overall increase in instances of Parkinsonism across the world and its territories and how much could be assigned to better testing, more awareness, or just overall greater case load. (before demonizing pawpaw)

Parkinsons in Guam is suspected to be linked to consumption of cycad-eating bats. But on-base it could be so many other things, as you say. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lytico-bodig_disease

Are there any other tropical crops that are unhealthy to eat a lot of? 

Taro and Monstera deliciousa come to mind ( oxalic acid ). Not a problem if prepared properly.
Both Cashew and Mango fruit have irritating sap, many for fruit pickers.
Durian and Jackfruit directly kill a bunch of people ever year, heavy fruit falling on their heads.
Apples have cyanide in the seed, can cause problems if not removed before brewing Scrumpy Cider.

Potatoes are also toxic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solanine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaconine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenape_potato

"After the Lenape variety was released for commercial production, a potato breeder in Ontario ate some to see if they might be suitable as new potatoes but soon felt nauseated. When the same occurred next time he ate them, he sent a sample to be analysed by a vegetable biochemist, Dr. Ambrose Zitnak of the University of Guelph, who found they contained exceptionally high levels of glycoalkaloids (mainly solanine and chaconine), the natural toxins found in potatoes that help protect them from pests and disease.[5] Lenape potatoes collected from around Canada were found to contain over 16Ė35 mg of glycoalkaloids per 100 g of fresh potato compared to 3Ė18 mg in other varieties.[4] Samples grown at 39 locations around the US had an average of 29 mg per 100 g of potato but ranged from 16Ė65 mg compared to an average of 8 mg for five other varieties."

If 29 mg/100g of glycoalkaloids causes nausea, how safe is the average 8 mg/100g? "potato farmers aim to keep solanine levels below 0.2 mg/g"  So the recommended safe limit is 20 mg/100g, but 29 mg/100g causes acute nausea? It's unclear if there are long-term deleterious effects, but why risk it when there are safer alternatives?

Oxalic acid is also a lot more common than you might think: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxalic_acid#Content_in_food_items

"Although spinach is touted as being high in iron and calcium content, and is often served and consumed in its raw form, raw spinach contains high levels of oxalates, which block absorption of calcium and iron in the stomach and small intestine. Spinach cooked in several changes of water has much lower levels of oxalates and is better digested and its nutrients absorbed more completely.[7][8] In addition to preventing absorption and use, high levels of oxalates remove iron from the body.[8][9]" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinach

tru

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I feel like there is a lot of doubt being thrown around with this study, CeeJey is trying to save y'all, please listen to them!

As someone on the forum is named; Acetogenins are a peculiar class of something in chemistry called 'Polyketides', that have both medical and agricultural significance.

Acetogenins, such as Annonacin, but many many more... with perhaps familiar names too, like, Bullatacin, Squamocin, Uvaricin... are in the same class as both Pikromycin and Spinosad.

So. Macrolides and Pesticides. Quite the coinflip.

As dangerous and unknown Annonacin is, there are also quite a few more. Please be careful eating anything in Annonacae family; and do your research. As previously said it seems Atemoya are considerably safer than pawpaw. I'm personally completely fine with reading other people's experiences instead of trying one myself. Stay safe
« Last Edit: November 04, 2022, 05:24:51 PM by tru »
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countryboy1981

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Quote
To the horror of every teacher I had growing up, I do generally trust Wikipedia. The Annonacin article cites more than one case study, but paints a picture of lifetime daily consumption (not just of fruit, but of nectar and tea as well) being linked to these issues, without mention of incidental consumption being linked to negative outcomes. Most people already consume things that would cause issues if eaten every day. You could have a heart attack if you ate a ribeye steak every day. You could get Type 2 Diabetes if you drank a can of coca cola with every meal. I'll view plants from this family as a 'sometimes food' going forward.

Saturated fat wrongly received the blame for heart attacks when it was actually refined sugar and seed oils.  High consumption of seed (vegetable) oils has been linked to parkinson's disease.  Seed oils are in nearly every pre-packaged food product and used by every restauraunt:

https://davidgillespie.org/every-drop-of-vegetable-oil-takes-us-further-along-the-path-to-parkinsons-disease/

Gulfcoastgardening

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Both of my grandparents, and several of their friends that lived in Guam for a period of time on the base developed Parkinsonism/PSP. None of them were genetically related. My relatives never knowingly consumed pawpaw or annona fruits. We did a fair bit of research regarding cause when my second grandparent was diagnosed and it seems like it would be very difficult to unwind all of the potential causes. I'd be curious too, and I haven't looked, but about the overall increase in instances of Parkinsonism across the world and its territories and how much could be assigned to better testing, more awareness, or just overall greater case load. (before demonizing pawpaw)

Parkinsons in Guam is suspected to be linked to consumption of cycad-eating bats. But on-base it could be so many other things, as you say. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lytico-bodig_disease

Yeah, I'd also heard about pesticides as a likely cause of parkinsonism. They sprayed chemicals every night for hours at a time to control mosquitos and bugs. My mother and all of the other kids on base vividly would recall the smoke-show and how it would hang around for hours and hours at a time. Many of the houses did not have air conditioning and had to have their windows open during the spraying.

Daniel

roblack

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Combining a naturally occurring neurotoxin with others, and synthetic compounds and neurotoxins and pesticides, in different people, likely leads to myriad results.

Gonna drink less beer to justify continuing to eat some annonas.
 

Plantinyum

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I feel bad about this! Not that i eat alot of anonna fruit, i only happen to eat like one cherimoya here and there.... Arent there any researches on cherimoya? My plants have just started fruiting and knowing my conservative family i will have to eat the fruits myself. I love cherimoya, and i dont really think in my climate i could produce a guantity that would be dangerous to be eaten by one person.
Can it be that since there isnt any deep research on cherimoya, does this mean that it doesnt really have enouth of the toxin in the flesh? Like it having such a tiny ammount ,that its not worth it to be researched more ?
Correct me if i'm wrong ,but i had the impression that cherimoya is the most widely grown and commercially important anonna fruit, it is kinsa strange if they didnt do research on it....

pagnr

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Some years ago I worked on a Custard Apple farm near Byron Bay, Australia for 3 months.
One of my infrequent jobs was to dip the fruit in an insecticide bath to kill insect pests / fruit fly that might emerge in transit to Sydney markets.
Forget what the chemical was, ( hope that is not a symptom ).
Anyway I ate plenty of free fresh picked Custard Apples and Avocados from the orchard, second grade etc before they were packed/treated for market.
Since then I have rarely bought a Supermarket Annona fruit, even then sometimes only for seed.
Frankly I am probably more concerned about post harvest chemicals on fruit, especially imported fruit and supermarket fruit.

Adacaosky

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As someone from Guam, I can add a little bit to the discussion of Parkinson's/Lytigo Bodig. What isn't mentioned in the studies is that Lytico Bodig disease on Guam is specifically from within one single family clan in the South. The disease is not known to be prevalent on neighboring islands to the north of us who share cultural and dietary similarities. Consumption of bats was a very common practice in the past, especially during and after WWII, when the entire population was held captive by the Japanese Military and farmed crops were stolen by Japanese troops under threat of death. Wild-sourced foods, such as fruit bats, were relied upon by the local population. In addition to the bats, which are laden with the bioaccumulating neurotoxin, its also worth mentioning that toxic cycad nuts themselves (processed but still assumingly containing enough toxins to be detrimental) are used as a food source, as are 3 species of Annonas: soursops, sugar apples and custard apples. Another point worth mentioning is the entire island used to be sprayed with DDT by the Military during the Vietnam War to combat mosquitoes and possible malarial outbreaks from within the camps set up for transitioning Vietnamese refugees headed to the US. Up till this day, mustard gas and dangerous rainbow chemicals used during WWII remain hidden in jungle pathways and such. If it's the bats or the cycads or the annonas or WWII chemicals at work or possibly a synergy of everything? Hard to say why Lytico Bodig isn't as widespread on island and why it has decimated one family clan and not the next. What is apparent now a days is the decline of poisonous cycads in our forests due to invasive insects, the decline of bats due to an invasive snake, and the decline of bats as a food source and the decline of cycad nuts as a food source. The 3 species of annonas remain popular with the older generation but with the introduction of the Western diet, the younger generation struggles to identify a custard apple. Also apparent is the disappearance of Lytico Bodig but the persistence of Parkinson's within the local population.
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pagnr

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What isn't mentioned in the studies is that Lytico Bodig disease on Guam is specifically from within one single family clan in the South.
The disease is not known to be prevalent on neighboring islands to the north of us who share cultural and dietary similarities.

That is a stunning revelation.
It would seem to point to an inherited tendency to develop Parkinsons type disease as the cause as the simple explanation.
Or even an inherited higher susceptibility to Cycad toxin as a secondary possibility.
People can vary in their enzyme capability to absorb nutrients or break down toxins
I think that this is fairly well known that Parkinsons can run in families.
Interesting that the population statistical studies of the disease seem to have missed this Family Clan factor.

I wonder if Guadeloupe was examined more closely, would the patients be linked to a common ancestor.
If early settlers had large families, and again in the next generations, it doesn't take much for one small group to be highly represented.
About a third of the current population of Tasmania are descended from one couple from the early settlement.
If i recall correctly the man was a Tasmanian Aboriginal and the Mother a White convict.
An inherited disorder is found in this now large group.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2022, 03:49:28 PM by pagnr »

Guanabanus

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Something that is alluded to several times above, but not clearly emphasized, is that natural chemical content of different varieties of one species can vary dramatically; and that samples gathered from a single tree at different times of year, also vary from near zero to potent.

Studies in Puerto Rico of the ingredientes of Soursop (Guanabana, Graviola) pulp aroma, found over a dozen chemicals, which in different varieties were "all over the map" in concentrations or absence.

Studies at Purdue University, by pharmacognocist Jerry McGlaughlin, using brine shrimp assays to find alkaloids for futher study in uses against cancers, found that some samples from Soursop trees had nothing to offer, while others were of value.

He also found that Pawpaw twigs, gathered at most times of year had very weak alkaloid content, but gathered in May, were potent.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2022, 09:07:14 PM by Guanabanus »
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Draak

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OK! I dug out my old notes on this one, and learned a few more things! I really appreciate the discussion on this thread. It's really important for us to know the safety of our hobby :).

Pomper et al. looked at the toxicity of soursop, cherimoya, pawpaw varietals, peach, and banana: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf9018239. They measured toxicity by finding the amount of extract needed to kill 50% of a brine shrimp population. Among many things, they found:
1)   that cherimoya flesh was 100x less toxic than soursop, and is almost as benign as peaches (yay!).
2)   that some pawpaws were 100x more toxic than soursop, and that some pawpaws were about as toxic as soursop.

The amount of annonacin in some pawpaws is truly staggering! But, itís this dramatic figure which likely proves the point that this is rather well tolerated by >99% of the population. A homeowner binge-eating fruit from their pawpaw tree could end up eating ~3lbs of pawpaw in a day (or 3~5 pawpaw fruits). Assuming a typical soursop weighs 6lbs, thatís roughly like eating 50 soursop fruits in a single day! A single tree could yield 30~80 pounds of fruit, so that could amass to eating the equivalent of 500~1300 soursops per tree. Thatís a dose higher than eating a full 6lbs of soursop every day *and* drinking the soursop leaf tea every day for a year, but administered all in 1~2 months! If thatís the case, fruit fanatics and pawpaw lovers in the american midwest should be suffering just as much or more than the people of french west indies due to the Indiana banana!

However, there are definitely a small population of people who ARE very strongly affected by this toxin: people with Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Developing this extremely unfortunate condition is mostly strongly linked to genetics. In caucasians, the insertion/deletion polymorphism in intron 9 of MAPT is associated with this risk. In Guadeloupe, it's likely some other genetic issue (https://movementdisorders.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/mds.22297). Caparros-Lefebvre found in 2005 that younger people who were diagnosed with PSP greatly diminished their PSP symptoms when they stopped consuming annona products. I don't have access to the original paper, but you can see it on slide 14 here: http://www.pawpaw.kysu.edu/PDF/AcetoUpdate3.pdf.

Since the caucasian farmer in the 2020 paper had been diagnosed with PSP, and likely had the H1 genetic factor, he definitely should not have been consuming annona fruits or products. It's unfortunate that this wasn't more well known! He lived to be 80 years old, which is pretty good, but he could have lived longer. What he likely experienced was a huge surge in symptoms every time he consumed pawpaw. Since symptoms were only observed to diminish in younger people with PSP when stopping annona products, he may have felt a permanent increase in the severity of his symptoms whenever he consumed pawpaw. It's unfortunate that he didn't make the connection that his symptoms got worse when he ate the fruit.

tru

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OK! I dug out my old notes on this one, and learned a few more things! I really appreciate the discussion on this thread. It's really important for us to know the safety of our hobby :).

... It's unfortunate that he didn't make the connection that his symptoms got worse when he ate the fruit.

Wait, so if I understand this right, whether or not annonas will harm you seems to be in some way genetically linked? fascinating idea. It would make sense for the studies to be skewed (similar to say, a study on starfruit using people with bad livers) and appears that annona is harmful to you given the results.

What we really need is a control group of completely normal, 'healthy' people, and then people with PSP and other mentioned illnesses in the studies, and a better way of measuring whether or not it is affecting rats in the same way it would affect humans (like say dogs and chocolate)

Also, I have no indepth knowledge of anatomy so idk how realistic the dog and chocolate comparison is to rat and human brains. Still though, very interesting.
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roblack

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OK! I dug out my old notes on this one, and learned a few more things! I really appreciate the discussion on this thread. It's really important for us to know the safety of our hobby :).

... It's unfortunate that he didn't make the connection that his symptoms got worse when he ate the fruit.

Wait, so if I understand this right, whether or not annonas will harm you seems to be in some way genetically linked? fascinating idea. It would make sense for the studies to be skewed (similar to say, a study on starfruit using people with bad livers) and appears that annona is harmful to you given the results.

What we really need is a control group of completely normal, 'healthy' people, and then people with PSP and other mentioned illnesses in the studies, and a better way of measuring whether or not it is affecting rats in the same way it would affect humans (like say dogs and chocolate)

Also, I have no indepth knowledge of anatomy so idk how realistic the dog and chocolate comparison is to rat and human brains. Still though, very interesting.

No. From what I'm reading, annonacin is neurotoxic. Not good for anyone's neurons. Like alcohol in a way. Some people are more susceptible. Annonacin levels of fruit appear to vary greatly between species, and within the same species and plants, depending on time of harvest and other variables.

Most of us can probably get by with eating our favorites, within reason (whatever that means). Paw paw appears the worst of those assessed so far, followed by guanabana.

 

tru

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No. From what I'm reading, annonacin is neurotoxic. Not good for anyone's neurons. Like alcohol in a way. Some people are more susceptible. Annonacin levels of fruit appear to vary greatly between species, and within the same species and plants, depending on time of harvest and other variables.

Most of us can probably get by with eating our favorites, within reason (whatever that means). Paw paw appears the worst of those assessed so far, followed by guanabana.

yeah gotcha. I'm considering soursop and paw paw straight up DO NOT EAT from now on, maybe science will reach a day where we can neutralize the toxin in some way?
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Plantinyum

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Its nice that they found out that cherimoya is one of the least toxic from the anonas. Ive ate paw paw only once, it was really good and i have several plants in my garden, i wont be discarding them though, wont be having fruits in like  3-4 years from now. Hopefully the scientists find out that  its not the pure fruit thats causing it and the toxicity ends up being dependent on other factors....

tru

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if only I majored in chemistry...
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TheORKINMan

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Has there been any info on how processing the fruit affects the toxin levels? Say cooking a soursop or a pawpaw into jams, breads, cake flavorings, caramelizing it and blending it into a milkshake etc...? I'm assuming the cooking process likely reduces the toxicity quite a bit.

pagnr

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Wait, so if I understand this right, whether or not annonas will harm you seems to be in some way genetically linked?

Genetically linked, along with the ability to metabolise alcohol, the ability to digest cows milk ( higher in dairy herding cultures), gluten tolerance ( higher in grain growing cultures ).
Also the likelihood of developing obesity and diabetes is higher in some groups, namely some Indigenous peoples who are more efficient at extracting nutrients from their original unrefined food types and can't handle modern western diets so well ( this seems to apply in part to all of us to some degree ).

It would not be unusual to find that people how have been using foods certain for millennia would be more tolerant of them.
In the case of Annonas, it puzzled me that because of the deep Ethnobotanical knowledge of various Jungle peoples that consume wild Annona fruit,
why this issue has not appeared before.
They seem to have a very high awareness of plant toxins in foods and how to deal with them.
Some of the complex dietary requirements around Hallucinogenic plant use and the use of additional plant species to facilitate the use are fascinating.
It seems unbelievable to me that Annona toxins would not be well known in those cultures if they were a problem.
Perhaps the lifespan of people was shorter and symptoms did not appear, but that seems unlikely.

tru

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Wait, so if I understand this right, whether or not annonas will harm you seems to be in some way genetically linked?

Genetically linked, along with the ability to metabolise alcohol, the ability to digest cows milk ( higher in dairy herding cultures), gluten tolerance ( higher in grain growing cultures ).
Also the likelihood of developing obesity and diabetes is higher in some groups, namely some Indigenous peoples who are more efficient at extracting nutrients from their original unrefined food types and can't handle modern western diets so well ( this seems to apply in part to all of us to some degree ).

It would not be unusual to find that people how have been using foods certain for millennia would be more tolerant of them.
In the case of Annonas, it puzzled me that because of the deep Ethnobotanical knowledge of various Jungle peoples that consume wild Annona fruit,
why this issue has not appeared before.
They seem to have a very high awareness of plant toxins in foods and how to deal with them.
Some of the complex dietary requirements around Hallucinogenic plant use and the use of additional plant species to facilitate the use are fascinating.
It seems unbelievable to me that Annona toxins would not be well known in those cultures if they were a problem.
Perhaps the lifespan of people was shorter and symptoms did not appear, but that seems unlikely.

I wish I had money to throw at this for research. Maybe I can ask around, maybe inspire a chem student or professor, get my college to do some tests? I know they have a centrifuge, and there's a TON of people that eat these. More than likely just wishful thinking :( It's honestly really concerning. But yeah, I'd think they'd know it'd be toxic too but who knows, part of it is symptoms appear so much later than typical 'toxic' foods, so it'd be pretty hard to connect the two compared to something causing immediate upset

edit: I'm reading that people cooking annonas in an attempt to remove the neurotoxin, ended up concentrated it when heating? We need numbers from cold press or something, idek. the rabbit hole only gets deeper
« Last Edit: November 13, 2022, 03:45:32 PM by tru »
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Gone tropo

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Hi

So can anyone confirm this i have 2x soursop trees, we dont eat the flesh because we dont like it we do however squeeze the juice out of soursop it makes nice juice.  Is the juice likely to be less toxic than eating the flesh do yall think ?

If not these trees are getting ripped out

tru

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Hi

So can anyone confirm this i have 2x soursop trees, we dont eat the flesh because we dont like it we do however squeeze the juice out of soursop it makes nice juice.  Is the juice likely to be less toxic than eating the flesh do yall think ?

If not these trees are getting ripped out

Not to scare you, but according to the wiki juice (they refer to it as canned nectar, im assuming nectar = juice) actually has 2x more toxin. : (
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pagnr

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If not these trees are getting ripped out.

It is probably difficult in Rainy Nth Qld, but I would keep your powder dry on that.
In your area alone there are a bunch of fruit freaks who have been eating Annonas for years.
As far as I know none of them has developed symptoms.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annonacin
Wikipedia is prone to being hijacked by over zealous experts. Factual but skewed.
This article on Annonacin only covers the toxin in relation to Parkinsons and clusters in Guadeloupe etc
Nothing about the plant itself, why it has a toxin, the wild animals that eat the fruit and disperse seeds, the pests the toxin protects from.
Insecticidal properties of soursop seeds being investigated as a pesticide.
To me that is like discussing Radiation only in the context of an Atomic Bomb.

At this stage of this thread I would say it might be wise to consume in them moderation, but avoid demonising the plants ?

Unfortunately either way I don't think some growers are going to enjoy these fruit as much as before ?
 

TheORKINMan

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I have two pawpaws in my yard that were just planted this year and are very young trees and ngl this thread has made me debate replacing them with something else  ;D

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I have two pawpaws in my yard that were just planted this year and are very young trees and ngl this thread has made me debate replacing them with something else  ;D

As the thread author, sorry! But I think the information is useful. I have deliberately chosen not to plant fruit within this particular group partly due to these concerns and partly because I'm mostly out of space!

 

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