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WillsC

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Reply with quote  #1 
Tony (Hllyhll I think) and I had a discussion awhile back about total growth of a young fig bush in a season and was kind of guessing at what I thought some could do.  Who wants to try to measure each limb of a fig and the branches and all that?  Well this morning I decided to measure one of my stepovers because it is so easy.  

Brief recap:

They are VDB and were started winter of 2013 and planted in ground as 1 gallons March of 2013 or close to that.  Each plant was allowed two vertical limbs and during the summer they hit 6 feet or so and I laid them down horizontally crisscrossing the two limbs to avoid a weak crotch angle plus I liked how it looked.  In February of this year I cut all the vertical growth off and chose the stubs I wanted about a foot or so apart alternating one to the right then left.  Once growth started each stub produced 2-5 sprouts and I went in and removed all but the weakest one which was allowed to grow.  I did not really understand at the time why you would keep the weakest.  

Ok back to the measuring.....I chose the biggest plant of the 7 to measure but they are all fairly close in size, within 10% of each other.  It had 19 verticals and the tallest of them is currently 14 feet tall.  The total growth of the 1 year old plant in 5 months is a staggering 194 feet and they are not even close to being done.  

Each and every node has a fig there are very very few nodes that are barren and there are still figs at each node 14 feet up:)  I now understand why they said use the weakest sprout. They are in full sun just from 9:00 am to noon.....after that the sun has to pass through two layers of screening before it falls on the leaves.  Part of the growth I am sure is from the ducks that like to hang out under it in the shade and ducks do what ducks do.  The figs are great, big, tasty but that said I am seriously considering ripping them out this winter and replacing them with what I will hope be a less vigorous variety.  Ideally I would like it to top out at 8 feet or so.  I have had none of them snap yet but the potential for that exists.  

For those that don't know you remove the entire vertical part each winter and each spring they grow up again.  If anyone has a suggestion for a less vigorous variety I would love to hear it.

The fruit pics are from a couple weeks ago.  The fruit now is ripening about 4-6 feet from the ground.

!cid_20140828_110354.jpg 

!cid_20140828_110420.jpg 

The support you can see is 6 feet tall. The vertical stems have still never branched which is a good thing.

!cid_20140919_080733.jpg 
The crisscrossed trunk, about the size of a tennis ball at soil level, perhaps a bit bigger.  You can see the rebar I welded and cemented in to support the horizontals.  The smaller horizontal in the picture that goes under the rebar...I started leaving all the late volunteers that sprouted in an effort to slow the vertical growth down. 

!cid_20140919_094657.jpg

RichinNJ

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Reply with quote  #2 
I've been watching this project in a few threads and at first I said "wtf ? " but I can see now what a good idea this was and how the VdB was a good choice for it.

How much fruit did you get out of you plants this year Will?
Grasa

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Reply with quote  #3 
are you going to have the heart to cut to '2-3 nodes'?  it sure looks great. Great job!
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WillsC

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Reply with quote  #4 
Grasa,

You absolutely have to.  Cutting the verticals off just does not matter.......next spring it will just grow back to 14+feet and the process repeats.  The real question is do I have the heart to rip it all out and replant another variety or varieties.  That will be tough.  But......I have been known to rip out 5 year old blueberry bushes just to make room to trial a new variety.  In fact this winter 50 4 year old 5 feet tall Emerald blueberries are getting yanked to be replaced by a new better variety......such is life. 

Part of the reason for this project in that spot is the pool cage needs rescreened every 7-10 years.  With this system in the winter there is nothing there but the horizontal trunk so it can be redone easily.
Grasa

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Reply with quote  #5 
Consider grafting new variety onto it!, with Grafting you get fruit quicker also.

Gosh, I just repoted my one Emerald BB.  I wish I was near, I would go 'rescue some from you'.

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GreenFin

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Reply with quote  #6 
Looks great!  I'm doing something similar, though up here in zone 6 I intend to run my horizontals at ground level so that I can bury them in the winter and so they can set extra roots (with my short season, I think I'll want all the root power I can get). 

Blackjack and Petite Negri are both supposed to be dwarfish, they might be less vigorous in your environment.

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DonCentralTexas

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Reply with quote  #7 
Wow, that is phenomenal growth!  Thanks for the update.

My VdBs are only 18", and I plan on pretty much copying you (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery) but in a smaller space.

There is no way mine will grow that much, I have part shade, less vigorous starts, etc, and I'm now seeing that as a good thing, good god that thing is a monster!

I do have some areas though that get more sun, I see this as a way to squeeze more plants (fruits) into a smaller foot print, so I will try other varieties as well.  What fertilizer do you use?

Thanks again!

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WillsC

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonCentralTexas
What fertilizer do you use?

Thanks again!


None:) No fertilizer at all,  Just the duck manure that they place there themselves.   I may have to fence it off to keep the ducks out just to reduce the fertilizer so that the growth is less.  They really like the spot though and are now mostly immune from the dogs barking at them from 6" away.  Funny thing is one of my dogs ran up and barked ferociously at one of the ducks that had a new brood of ducklings with her.  They were only a couple of days out of the eggs.  It startled the duck and she reacted by trying to attack the dog through the screen wings a flapping...was just instinct to protect them even though they were 100% safe with the screen there.  Anyway it scared the dog when she hit the screen and the dog backed up so fast that, well you know what happened..splash:)  They are Italian Greyhounds, very small dogs and HATE the water.  The dog has given the ducks a bit more respect ever since. 
rcantor

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Reply with quote  #9 
You could try a heavily infested Black Jschia from UCD.  I hope you're keeping track of how many pounds of fruit you get from each plant.
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Zone 6, MO

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Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig
Charlie

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Reply with quote  #10 
That's my favorite tree on f4f and you want to rip it out!  haha
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WillsC

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Reply with quote  #11 
Come dig them up and they are yours:)
brackishfigger

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Reply with quote  #12 
I second the grafting idea. 

Between now and the spring, you can collect cuttings of up to as many varieties as you have verticals, and come springtime, put a chip graft of each variety evenly spaced along the top of your horizontals.  Each graft will give one vertical, unless it branches. . .

I don't have anything on your wishlist, but I'd be delighted to contribute some cuttings if you go that route.
WillsC

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Reply with quote  #13 
Brackishfigger,

Hmm...I had actually missed Grasa's last post so thanks for mentioning it.......It is something to consider.
Chivas

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Reply with quote  #14 
You should try it with the col de dama's, they are still vigorous from what I have seen but maybe these are better figs for your climate with less growth than VdB.
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coop951

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Reply with quote  #15 
Great post Wills, I really enjoy the progress through the photos.
Fig food for thought

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Coop  
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ascpete

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Reply with quote  #16 
WillsC,
Thanks for posting the Updated picture and progress info.
Your success has added more proof for the merits of the Japanese espalier pruning techniques.
Moonlight

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Reply with quote  #17 
Wow I wish I can do that.
pino

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Reply with quote  #18 
WillsC, how did you train your ducks not to eat all the figs..LOL

Grafting would make a great conversation piece not that you need another one with the ducks and all.

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Wish List: Brogiotto Bianco, Fico Datto, Fiorone di Ruvo, Fracazzano Multicolore, Fiorone Oro, Popone, Rigato del Salento and other multi colour striped figs

Pino's Figs / Pino's Photos; 2017 Brebas / 2017 Main crop

WillsC

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pino
WillsC, how did you train your ducks not to eat all the figs..LOL

Grafting would make a great conversation piece not that you need another one with the ducks and all.



Ducks can't jump:)  Have never figured out if it is because they don't have the right muscles or if they are just not smart enough to figure out how to jump.  I think it is the latter.  They do take what they can reach and that is ok with me.  They turn figs in to....

!cid_20140917_180732.jpg 

figherder

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Reply with quote  #20 
Very impressive growth. I look forward to having something big enough to do this someday as well.

Is there a limit to how many horizontals you can have? For instance , if you have a 50' diameter space to work with could you lay down your first 2 horizontals. From there you have all your verticals producing. At the end of the season select from those verticals and so on. I can imagine many different shapes and patterns if this is feasable.

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Black Mission, Angelos dark Yellow Neeches, sport, Kasariani, Planera, Emalyns purple, Galicia Negra, Italian 376, Olympian, Valle Negra
 

 
 
WillsC

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Reply with quote  #21 
Jeff,

I don't think there is a rule:) It is all an experiment really.  For people in the north it would make it easier to protect but if you remove the verticals it would delay the harvest.  
HarveyC

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Reply with quote  #22 
Wills, would you consider trying this with other fig trees of yours, possibly in an area where they get full sunlight?  I notice that my fig trees that are sheltered from wind and partially shaded grow much taller....reaching for the sun.  Perhaps reducing soil moisture would slow them down (assuming you irrigate them, I seem to recall a drip hose in your other thread).  My trees trained on wires (instead of rebar) get lots of wind and that definitely keeps them shorter.  I haven't put in crossarms yet for the vertical supports and was thinking I'd put them at 3' above the horizontal limbs, but now I'm wondering if that will be high enough.
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WillsC

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Reply with quote  #23 
Harvey,

I am going to try it in a different location but I don't think it is the lack of sun.  The node spacing on the plants was normal so they were not light starved.  The uprights are not wispy as you can see in the pictures.  It would be easy in Ca to reduce soil moisture in Florida that would be tough as it rains frequently in the summer.   You probably did see irrigation as I have lines run to every plant on the property, micro spray heads, drip does not work well with our sand.  Here the rains don't start till June as a rule plus I use the heads for fertigation back fed from a pump tank.   This may just be a very vigorous strain of VDB or so I have been told.....no clue but I still blame the ducks. 
hllyhll

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Reply with quote  #24 
Probably a lot of things you could try to reduce vegetative vigor:
  • constrain the roots by trenching, permanent or yearly
  • french drains to draw away water
  • plant a cultivar that produces a heavy breba crop and main crop to focus energy on fruit (can't leave all of last year's wood but could leave some)
  • periodically during summer strip a lot of leaves
  • allow 2 verticals to grow per node and possibly strip ALL the leaves of one of the verticals periodically
  • simply allow multiple verticals to grow per node (this won't reduce total vegetative growth but could reduce height of any growth, and height seems to be the issue)
I would try the last option first, since it would seem to be the least labor intensive, maybe even labor saving - if it works.

Nice problem to have!

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Tony WV 6b
mgginva

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Reply with quote  #25 
Wills,
I have not been paying attention. Can you point me to a thread that will allow me to start at "chapter one" of this project as it looks very interesting.
A possible variety to try = Osborn Prolific.
thx,
mgg

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Michael in Virginia (zone 7a) Wish list: Tiberio, Campera, Calabacita, Cuello Dama Blanca
WillsC

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Reply with quote  #26 
Michael,

Sure...I think these two and the current one are it.  Pete has talked about it also and I know a couple other people were trying it.  In the first thread I said the verticals would be at least 4 feet tall.......I was a bit off on that guess.

 
Grasa

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Reply with quote  #27 
your project is comendable.  I wonder if varieties like Hollier, Hardy Chicago, Marseilles would work also. 
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Hershell

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Reply with quote  #28 
Great work Wills. I'm just wondering. When you trim the figs are you going to sell cuttings, fishing poles or pulpwood?
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hllyhll

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Reply with quote  #29 
Wills, another thought on this, just a guess, but would seem that the bigger the fruit and the more productive the fruiting then the less the upward vegetative growth.
If so, VDB would be near the worst possible cultivar for cordon growing in your Florida climate given its small fruit size.
(Unless possibly you allow those cordons to bush out each year. Then you would be growing VDB like berries on cordoned bushes.)
LSU Gold and I believe Golden Riverside have big fruit size. Don't know about big dark varieties.
If fertilized properly to increase node per inch ratio, then the fruit weight could thicken the verticals and simultaneously reduce vegetative height.
Upward vegetative energy would be redirected to stem (vertical) support (thickening) and to intensified fruiting and to larger fruiting.
You might need to grow figs as big as apples in dense clusters to limit vertical height given your high quality growing conditions.
And you might regardless need to grow more verticals closer together. I can't see this as a problem.
I don't understand why you grow your verticals so sparsely. This seems to be asking for rampant upward growth.

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HarveyC

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Reply with quote  #30 
I grafted a Black Madeira on a Brown Turkey and it seems to be growing more vigorous than it normally does.  Maybe using a non-vigorous variety as rootstock would be helpful in your situation.  Grafting onto your VdB might still result in vigorous plants.

Branches pulled down horizontally also grow slower for most things and I wonder what pulling the tops down to the supports might do.  I also saw one cherry grower take the rather drastic step of bending branches down and partially breaking them.  That certainly slowed them down but they continued producing fruit.

Many years ago I read of pear growers training branches horizontally and it was explained the horizontal branches bore fruit earlier in the season. This might not work in the system you (and I) are using but I'm still wondering if this might somehow be used to produce fruit earlier.  Just brain-storming.  I plan on pretty much all of my trees being grown in this manner.  So far I've not had more than 6-7 feet of growth and hope it stays at that.

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hllyhll

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Reply with quote  #31 
Yes more than 8 feet of growth per vertical is almost an absurd problem to have but a good problem it seems to me. Since there are not a million verticals, maybe the simplest solution is to simply walk down the cordon 2 or 3 times per summer with long handled clippers and clip off the top of each vertical. Mulch or compost with the clippings. Or maybe a local nursery would want to come by and do the pruning on regular basis for nursery stock. It's possible that summer pruning could produce too much branching but there might be a pruning technique that could limit that.
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WillsC

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Reply with quote  #32 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hllyhll
Wills, another thought on this, just a guess, but would seem that the bigger the fruit and the more productive the fruiting then the less the upward vegetative growth.
If so, VDB would be near the worst possible cultivar for cordon growing in your Florida climate given its small fruit size.
(Unless possibly you allow those cordons to bush out each year. Then you would be growing VDB like berries on cordoned bushes.)
LSU Gold and I believe Golden Riverside have big fruit size. Don't know about big dark varieties.
If fertilized properly to increase node per inch ratio, then the fruit weight could thicken the verticals and simultaneously reduce vegetative height.
Upward vegetative energy would be redirected to stem (vertical) support (thickening) and to intensified fruiting and to larger fruiting.
You might need to grow figs as big as apples in dense clusters to limit vertical height given your high quality growing conditions.
And you might regardless need to grow more verticals closer together. I can't see this as a problem.
I don't understand why you grow your verticals so sparsely. This seems to be asking for rampant upward growth.


I don't think the fruit on these VDB are small at all?  They are quite nice size fruit.  

Far as the spacing the Japanese site said 12"-18" so I went with the minimum......it is all an experiment.  
WillsC

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Reply with quote  #33 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarveyC
I grafted a Black Madeira on a Brown Turkey and it seems to be growing more vigorous than it normally does.  Maybe using a non-vigorous variety as rootstock would be helpful in your situation.  Grafting onto your VdB might still result in vigorous plants.

Branches pulled down horizontally also grow slower for most things and I wonder what pulling the tops down to the supports might do.  I also saw one cherry grower take the rather drastic step of bending branches down and partially breaking them.  That certainly slowed them down but they continued producing fruit.

Many years ago I read of pear growers training branches horizontally and it was explained the horizontal branches bore fruit earlier in the season. This might not work in the system you (and I) are using but I'm still wondering if this might somehow be used to produce fruit earlier.  Just brain-storming.  I plan on pretty much all of my trees being grown in this manner.  So far I've not had more than 6-7 feet of growth and hope it stays at that.


I'm pretty sure if I pulled the tops down they would explode with branches in a tangled mess. Still pretty surprised that they don't branch at all.  

Sure the difference is mostly the water, just can't control the water here as you can in CA.  I am on a lake so 5' down is the water table anyway.  When they put the pool in which is 6' deep they had a heck of a time and had to run a pump the entire time.  In fact the pump is still there.....The rebar was installed over it and the cement guy said "not my pump" and just encased it in concrete.  The general contractor later asked "where is my pump" I told him...he was not amused.


hllyhll

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Reply with quote  #34 
I can't quite judge the size of your VDB. I was assuming they are about the size of a typical Mount Etna type fruit or smaller? which is the size mine run.
I've always considered that size to be small-to-medium especially when compared to some of the larger light varieties available. 
I don't have a good feel yet for the main crop size of larger dark varieties. And maybe I am misjudging the size of your VDB.


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WillsC

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Reply with quote  #35 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hllyhll
I can't quite judge the size of your VDB. I was assuming they are about the size of a typical Mount Etna type fruit or smaller? which is the size mine run.
I've always considered that size to be small-to-medium especially when compared to some of the larger light varieties available. 
I don't have a good feel yet for the main crop size of larger dark varieties. And maybe I am misjudging the size of your VDB.



I will take a better picture tomorrow for scale.  Is it smaller than Longue De Aout yes:)  Picked one today that was huge.
ascpete

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Reply with quote  #36 
Tony (Hllyhll),
A variable that was not mentioned and which should be considered is WillsC's Zone and length of the growing season. His growing season is at least 2 times longer than mine, which would allow his trees that much more time to grow. For colder zones the espalier pruning techniques results in earlier and consistent fig production on the verticals, they may never grow as tall as WillsC due to the shorter growing season and the vigorous growth should be encouraged.

The Espalier procedures were actually devised for production in a shorter growing season, but extending the length of the cordons (horizontals) will produce slower growth in the verticals. The verticals don't branch due to the Auxins that are produced in the growing Apical tips, when the tips are pruned or pinched excessive branching will occur. Trialing and experimenting with the posted procedures in your zone will answer many of your questions.
WillsC

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Reply with quote  #37 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascpete
Tony (Hllyhll),
AThe verticals don't branch due to the Auxins that are produced in the growing Apical tips, when the tips are pruned or pinched excessive branching will occur. Trialing and experimenting with the posted procedures in your zone will answer many of your questions.


Pete,

 Even with the apical bud undamaged trees including figs still branch.  Yes they branch much more if we interfere and pinch but even without human intervention trees still branch.  These verticals have not branched at all so something different is occurring.   That is about 1000 feet of total growth over 7 plants and not a branch?  There has to be a reason why with this system that branching is so reluctant.
ascpete

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Reply with quote  #38 
WillsC,
IMO, its due to the uninterrupted flow of nutrients from the roots and Auxins back down to the roots.
The same condition occurs when the Japanese Pruning technique (cutting back fruiting branches to 2 nodes at the scaffold or cordons) is applied to the Tree Form. 
HarveyC

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Reply with quote  #39 
Wills, my water table is higher than yours in most areas on my farm and especially where my figs are planted. I've installed drip lines in my new fig orchard but expect I won't be watering them once all the trees in each row have become established.  My fig orchard is at an elevation of about -5 feet and the Sacramento River located about 1,500 feet away averages around +3 feet (0 to +5 is typical except for when we have heavy run-ff).  I still "hope" that the soil will dry up some during growing season as it does for other crops.

I was just looking at my Panache which is partially shaded by a jujube but also sheltered from wind.  It also doesn't look to be suffering from lack of sunlight but has about 9 feet of growth on it (this is in a fairly dry location, water table about about 6-7 feet).  I wonder if more of the rapid growth is due to wind protection.  One of my alfalfa fields has trees on three sides and alfalfa grows faster and taller in that field than my other larger fields.  Corn in a neighbor's field protected by one of those same rows of trees also grows extremely tall every year.  Not much you can do about adding wind.

Some varieties do seem to branch much more than others.  My RdB and Socorro Black come to mind as being more of a bush than a tree.

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Harvey - Correia Farms
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WillsC

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Reply with quote  #40 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascpete
WillsC,
IMO, its due to the uninterrupted flow of nutrients from the roots and Auxins back down to the roots.
The same condition occurs when the Japanese Pruning technique (cutting back fruiting branches to 2 nodes at the scaffold or cordons) is applied to the Tree Form. 



Pete,

How is that different than in any other fig?  Have you ever grown a fig that shot up to 14' over 5 months and did not branch?  None of them branched, not a one.....branching is a normal plant behavior why would this style of growth inhibit that natural process? 
ascpete

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Reply with quote  #41 
WillsC,
There is no difference...
The reason why the pruning techniques work is that it uses the inherent growth properties of the fig tree. IMO, The straight verticals are a direct result of the scaffold branches (Cordons) creating an unrestricted path for flow of nutrients and plant hormones (Auxins and Cytokinins) between the Roots and Apical bud.

Its been my observation that when young potted trees are trained as single vertical stem as opposed to multi branched, the tree will develop a larger caliper and total height in that single trunk. Yes, I've gotten over 6 feet of growth in several different potted cultivars in one season. This is applicable to the observed growth of the espaliers. My stepover espaliers developed similar growth, with over six feet of growth in most verticals with normal to long internode spacing and without any branching.

 
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Rob

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Reply with quote  #42 
Wills,
It is interesting that there are zero branches.  However, this is not necessarily a bad thing.  If you grow in this style, don't you actually want the verticals to just keep growing upward with a fig at each node?  Isn't that ideal?  Yes, the fact that they are 14' high might mean that you need to use a ladder, so maybe you'd rather have them at 7' high.  Maybe try spacing them closer together? 

Maybe they are getting slightly less light than they want and that's why they keep growing straight up?  That combined with the stepover method?  Some types of trees really don't branch much.  Think about some types of pine trees.  There is one central leader and then a bunch of small branches off that.  Maybe since your central leader is now growing horizontally with each of the verticals essentially a branch.  There is clearly abundant nitrogen and water.  So the limiting factor on the the trees' growth appears to be sunlight, so growing straight up might be an attempt to get more sunlight. 

I don't know if that makes sense or has any basis in horticultural theory, it just seems to match up with the growing conditions to me. 

As an experiment, maybe rip one of them out of the ground after they go dormant and transplant in a location with full sun? 

My sister lives in northern Florida and she grows fig trees down there.  She plants them in locations where live oaks or scrub oaks shade them pretty much the whole day, but they seem to do fine and have a large crop.  There is enough filtered sunlight that with the long growing season they might actually be happier there.  She also has chickens running around doing their thing.

I really think what you're doing is a great system to keep growth in check and have easy access to all the fruits.  Did you ever think of selling cuttings at the end of the year?  With 194 feet of growth at 8 inches per cutting that would be about 300 cuttings.  VdB is certainly a variety that could fetch a lot of interest, but there are other varieties that are in even more demand for cuttings. 


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WillsC

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Reply with quote  #43 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob
Wills,
It is interesting that there are zero branches.  However, this is not necessarily a bad thing.  If you grow in this style, don't you actually want the verticals to just keep growing upward with a fig at each node?  Isn't that ideal?  Yes, the fact that they are 14' high might mean that you need to use a ladder, so maybe you'd rather have them at 7' high.  Maybe try spacing them closer together? 

Maybe they are getting slightly less light than they want and that's why they keep growing straight up?  That combined with the stepover method?  Some types of trees really don't branch much.  Think about some types of pine trees.  There is one central leader and then a bunch of small branches off that.  Maybe since your central leader is now growing horizontally with each of the verticals essentially a branch.  There is clearly abundant nitrogen and water.  So the limiting factor on the the trees' growth appears to be sunlight, so growing straight up might be an attempt to get more sunlight. 

I don't know if that makes sense or has any basis in horticultural theory, it just seems to match up with the growing conditions to me. 

As an experiment, maybe rip one of them out of the ground after they go dormant and transplant in a location with full sun? 

My sister lives in northern Florida and she grows fig trees down there.  She plants them in locations where live oaks or scrub oaks shade them pretty much the whole day, but they seem to do fine and have a large crop.  There is enough filtered sunlight that with the long growing season they might actually be happier there.  She also has chickens running around doing their thing.

I really think what you're doing is a great system to keep growth in check and have easy access to all the fruits.  Did you ever think of selling cuttings at the end of the year?  With 194 feet of growth at 8 inches per cutting that would be about 300 cuttings.  VdB is certainly a variety that could fetch a lot of interest, but there are other varieties that are in even more demand for cuttings. 




Rob,

You are correct that no branches is a good thing.  I was not complaining about the lack of branches, I don't want them:)  Just found it curious.  Technically the verticals are branches so we would be talking about the sub branches. 

I do sell some plants but VDB is not hard to get and remember the 194' is just 1 plant and there are 7 of them around the pool cage so it would be 1000+ cuttings?  Just don't see anyone wanting 1000 VDB cuttings and I sure would not want to mail them out 3 cuttings at a time:)  If anyone is interested in 500+ cuttings at a shot feel free to PM but don't think that is likely. 

While closer spacing might be ideal that ship may have sailed as I don't know if those nodes will now fire again come spring.  I may graft on to the plant or rip the suckers out and try a few different cultivars in their place, not sure.    
Rob

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Reply with quote  #44 
Maybe you could find a commercial nursery that would want a large quantity of cuttings, but who knows.  Maybe a way to make a quick few hundred bucks.  Maybe not. 

If you decide to grow or graft on one of those apparently highly sought but slow growing cultivars like Black Ischia or Black Madeira, I'm sure we'd all love to hear about your progress. 

Keep up the good work!


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Rob
Maryland Zone 7
http://rbfigs.webs.com/




ascpete

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Reply with quote  #45 
WillsC,
The reason for non branching is exactly that "Technically the verticals are branches" each one is a shoot producing auxins which are being sent to the roots, regulating the root cytokinins.
recap-aux-cytok_e.png .
Quote:
pdf Plant_Physiol.-2006-Dun-812-9.pdf ,
Feedback regulation (Fig. 2j) is commonly involved
in maintaining homeostasis in systems. In terms of
shoot branching, lateral bud outgrowth is balanced
with the growth of other plant parts, particularly other
shoots. The feedback mechanisms identified thus far
for shoot branching involve auxin, cytokinin, and SMS

m5allen

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Reply with quote  #46 
Dang Wills, that is some good duck poop.  I have read from various sources that VDB is not that vigorous and good for container culture, but you have told me otherwise.  Now I see the proof. 

Would love to see some pics of the inside of your VDBs.

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-Mike

Tampa, FL Zone 9b. Growing: Black Madeira, CDDG, Malta Black, VDB, Petite Negra, LSU Purple, Celeste, Battaglia, Alma and Grasa's Unknown Seattle Purple
Rob

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Reply with quote  #47 
If I try this in a colder climate (Maryland, 7a), I have some questions:

1. how close to the ground should they be
2. how deep should I cover them
3. does it matter whether it's mulch or soil?  presumably the heavier (soil) will have a higher level of thermal mass, therefore being more effective.  But also somewhat more difficult to uncover each spring.
4. If I cover them up in December, will the plants try to grow roots from the horizontals, and will this be a problem in the spring.
5. when should I uncover them?

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http://rbfigs.webs.com/




WillsC

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Reply with quote  #48 


1. how close to the ground should they be

Closer the better.

2. how deep should I cover them

no clue:)


3. does it matter whether it's mulch or soil?  presumably the heavier (soil) will have a higher level of thermal mass, therefore being more effective.  But also somewhat more difficult to uncover each spring.

Soil would protect better i'm sure.


4. If I cover them up in December, will the plants try to grow roots from the horizontals, and will this be a problem in the spring.

Even if they did root which I doubt they would that time of year it would not matter.  When you uncovered them and exposed the roots to air they would dry up and fall off no harm done. 


5. when should I uncover them?

No clue:) 


WillsC

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Reply with quote  #49 
Quote:
Originally Posted by m5allen
Dang Wills, that is some good duck poop.  I have read from various sources that VDB is not that vigorous and good for container culture, but you have told me otherwise.  Now I see the proof. 

Would love to see some pics of the inside of your VDBs.


I have heard that there are strains that are more vigorous, more healthy than others when it comes to VDB, perhaps I just got a healthier strain?  

Had said I would post pics of them anyway so thanks for the reminder.  Just a cell phone pic but you get the idea.

VDB.jpg 



m5allen

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Reply with quote  #50 
That looks really nice. 

I see the Empire State building in that cutting board. 

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-Mike

Tampa, FL Zone 9b. Growing: Black Madeira, CDDG, Malta Black, VDB, Petite Negra, LSU Purple, Celeste, Battaglia, Alma and Grasa's Unknown Seattle Purple
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