When my late wife & I started in the mayhaw business in 1990 we never dreamed it would turn into such a great passion for the two of us. Our first trees were pulled up from Bearhead Branch which runs through our property and is loaded with mayhaw trees. I don’t know why the location where we found the ‘Maxine’ tree still sticks in my mind, but I can still walk to the spot from where it came. The tree was pulled up and put in our orchard in 1992. The second year after transplanting, I noticed it was a very late bloomer so we marked it as a project to watch. The berries were large, had a great taste and were very resistant to fire blight. The third year the same thing happened. I talked to Billy Craft and Bobby Talbert about this unusual tree. They both visited our orchard and looked at the tree agreeing it was exceptional. Billy came the next year when it was blooming, collected pollen and later got cuttings. I told Billy that he could have all the cuttings he wanted, but any trees must be named ‘Maxine.’ By this time, it was producing five to six gallons of berries. This was probably around 1996. The tree has continued to flourish and become a great producer of our beloved fruit. Last year (2009) I harvested approximately thirtyfive gallons of fruit from it. My wife, Maxine passed away in 2004 and that tree was her pride and joy. Anyone who came to our place for a visit had to go see her tree. I just wish she could be around to see how it has matured. Johnnie Smith of J&D Nursery has gotten a lot of cuttings from it as have people from Georgia, Florida, Texas, Mississippi, and other locations. My only hope is that all the people that have this tree in their orchard enjoy it as much as I do. When I look at the tree I always think of her.
James M. Eaves Sr.
The Mayhaw Patch 2496
Schuetz Rd. De Ridder,La. 70634 Ph.