Will it die if I prune too harshly.

Papaya (pawpaw)    None Given

Hi, please could someone help. We've moved into a home with a HUGE papaya. It's magnificent..... But has hundreds of small fruit that drop too soon and go to waste ........ And the few 4 to 6 pound ones are very hard or impossible To get to. I don't want to kill it but I'd love to cut it to about 3 meters in height. Can this be done. Our summer has just started and the last fruit is falling. Thanks in advance. Lyndsay

Posted by: Lyndsay (1 point) Lyndsay
Posted: November 1, 2016


Generally papaya tree can grow 33 feet tall and live up to 25 years. To rejuvenate the old tall papaya tree you can cut off the main stem 3 feet from the ground and make sure to cover the stem with garbage bag to protect it from rain water. After some time several shoots will emerge from the base of the tree. When this new shoots reach 1 foot tall, keep one or two healthy and vigorous shoot as main stem and remove the remaining ones.


Posted by: Dr. Ravishankar Narayana (11 points) Dr. Ravishankar Narayana
Posted: November 1, 2016

Lyndsay commented,
Thanks Doc! That is very helpful, I've been searching for advice for a while 😬. The tree is about 6m tall, no idea how old - we get cold frosty winters which may have slowed growth. I'll cut through the main stem (and side branches)at 3 foot, cover and protect at the cut and wait for shoots. Thanks again 👍🏻
almost 4 years ago.

If you receive winter season..Normally i would wait until late winter to do any trimming. That way all the energy the tree absorbed during the growing season is back in the roots of the tree persevered for the new season to come and put out again, but since you are just starting summer trim it now before all that preserved energy goes up the tree.
I would cut old weak looking branches , branches that are intersecting one another> I would cut back the weak one..giving room for the strong. Also trimming some top branches will help the lower branches receive more light.
Fruit drop would be the trees way of ridding some energy to preserve it for the other fruit production..Also saying it had a lack of nutrients..I would look for a low nitrogen fertilizer..or some delicious compost. And serve it to the tree every new season.
And maybe a ladder for the hard to reach fruits:)

Posted by: deactivated (16 points) deactivated
Posted: November 2, 2016

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