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nkesh099

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Reply with quote  #1 
Yesterday evening I went down to the Petals from the past nursery and bought few figs, Lemons and Persimmons trees. They also had some LSU Black for sale, I had never heard of it but bought one in 3 gallon. The owner (Jason) told me, the tree came out of LSU Ag. program and the fruit resemble the Black Italian but a little smaller and very sweet.<div>My question for you all of you who has more knowledge about the figs came out of LSU program is,  do you have this tree in your collection, if so, how would you compare its sweetness to O'Rourke and VDB, is this a closed or open eye fig and do have any pics from your own LSU Blk that you can post?</div><div><br></div><div>Navid.</div><div><br></div><div><br><div><br></div></div>
Dan_la

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There are three LSU black figs......LSU Scott's Black, LSU Late Black, and LSU St. Gabriel Black.   Scott's Black has the tightest eye of the three and a flavor profile closer to VDB than the other two black figs. All three are very good tasting figs that do quite well in my yard. 

My guess is that you have the Scott's Black variety. It is the common one now found in the retail trade. The other two black LSU figs are a bit harder to come by. A few forum members have LSU Late Black. This particular one that they have originated from me. I have not yet given out my St. Gabriel Black to anyone. I posted pictures sometime back on this fig forum.

Dan
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Dan_la

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Reply with quote  #3 
Scott's Black is a great fig by all measures. It does not split in my yard. My tree has never produced any breba figs.  It is a mid season fig and its main crop figs are producing figs after Celeste stops producing. It is a good second cultivar to have if you only have a Celeste.....like many people in Louisiana do.  I highly recommend it. FYI....this variety has extended Herman2's fig season in New Jersey into late summer early fall. He too finds merit in this particular cultivar. It deserves wider distribution.

Dan
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nkesh099

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Reply with quote  #4 
Dan,

Thanks so much for the information. I did find some threads on-line about this fig and it seems like a keeper. I will call Jason at Petals from the past to ask  him which LSU black variety it is, just to make sure.

Thanks again.

Navid.
JD

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Reply with quote  #5 
Navid,

Per this thread http://figs4funforum.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=5124385, I have not followed up with Jason. Please let us know when/if you do.

JD


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Dan_la

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Reply with quote  #6 
Navid,

I had posted pictures of LSU Late Black and Scott's Black (fig and leaf) in the thread that JD posted...........not the best pictures in the world due to poor lighting.  I have a picture of St. Gabriel Black posted in some other thread. I'm too lazy to look for it........

Dan
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Beyondista

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Reply with quote  #7 
Anyone know where to get LSU Scott's Black via mailorder?  Would prefer cuttings but would also consider a smaller plant if the price was reasonable.

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JD

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Reply with quote  #8 
Beyond,

I think I can help. I will check once I return from travel.

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satellitehead

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Reply with quote  #9 

I got one from James Robin in Louisiana about 20 months ago, I think.


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Jason
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nkesh099

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Reply with quote  #10 
JD and Dan,

Thank you for the links to the pics. I will call Jason this afternoon and will ask him which LSU blk. it is.

Beyondista,
You can buy it from Petals from the past nursery. They have the LSU blk in 1 gallon for $9.00 and 3 gallon. They charge only $10.00 for shipping (I think they only ship the 1 gallon ones since the one in 3 gallon are a little heavier). I usually go there and buy my trees. 

Navid.



Beyondista

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Reply with quote  #11 
Navid, I don't see LSU Black listed on their website.  I see LSU Purple & O'Rourke listed...

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nkesh099

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Reply with quote  #12 
Beyondista,

I know they don't have that on their website, but they do have it on their field
 You can just call them and ask for Jason or whoever works outside with fruit trees. 
They also have few more varieties that are not listed on their site but have them available outside. 
I usually go there whenever I am in Birmingham and buy my plants. 
They did not have the LSU black last year, or I didn't see it.....

Navid.


nkesh099

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Reply with quote  #13 
JD,

I called them today but they were closed. I left a voicemail for Jason to call me. As soon he tells me which LSU blk it is I will let you all know.

Navid.
JD

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Reply with quote  #14 
Beyondista,
Check your PMs.
JD


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nkesh099

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Reply with quote  #15 
Dan,

I have a question for you since you know more about the figs from LA. 
Is there a black Italian heirloom fig that is from somewhere in south, possibly Louisiana? Or was this tree originated from Italy? 
Last year I bought couple of them (1 yr. old) and they produced lots of figs which tasted very sweet, like honey, the fruit's color was dark purple to black with dark pink inside. 

Navid
Dan_la

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Reply with quote  #16 

There is a fig being sold in retail nurseries as "Black Italian".  That particular strain was "found" growing in the New Orleans area. It was brought to the US by Italian immigrants many years ago. It was propagated and first introduced into commerce by the Becnel family in Belle Chase, La. The Becnel's have a nursery in Eastern Texas, which has this cultivar for sale. It is available at a few nurseries in the south.  It is a very good tasting sweet fig. The eye is colored a bright almost fluorescent pink.....not quite as pronounced as the Chico Strawberry fig.

"Native Black" is another black Italian fig that was "found" in the New Orleans area. It too is a completely different cultivar. It is much like a LARGE Black Mission fig. It was introduced to the retail trade by the Becnel's too. Same with the Smith fig.....it is an Italian heirloom fig "found" in the New Orleans area and introduced by the Becnel's.


Also, I personally have "found" yet another "black Italian" heirloom variety that was likewise brought into south Louisiana many years ago by Italian immigrants. It is a different cultivar. My little tree was killed to the ground this past winter......so it is unlikely for it to fruit for me this year.

Here's a link to a Texas wholesale nursery that sells this particular fig:

http://www.brazoscitrusnursery.com/fig.htm

Dan
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nkesh099

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Reply with quote  #17 
Dan,

Thank you for the clarification. I bought my blk Italians from Petals from the past last year. Unfortunately my aunts like those trees so much that I gave both of my blk Italians to them as a gift. I am going to buy couple more of them next week.
One more question, out of LSU blk, Blk Italian and O'Rourke which one is your best pick based on fruit's taste and growing rates in LA's weather?

Dan_la

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Reply with quote  #18 
I have not eaten as many O'Rourkes as the other cultivars, only a few from some else's tree....not mine That was because of the O'Rourke/Improved Celeste confusion that exists.  Hopefully, you know that I have proven that they are two entirely different cultivars....and both excellent figs.

I would rank O'Rourke as number 1.....followed by Scott's Black and then the Black Italian. However, personal tastes will differ. The eye on Black Italian is a bit larger than on the other two figs. I would not give up growing any of these cultivars.....partly because they fruit at different times and mostly because they taste so good.

Dan
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nkesh099

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Reply with quote  #19 
Yes, the O'Rourke and the Improved Celeste are two different figs, one with longer neck than the other one and slightly different taste too, as O'Rourke being sweeter. However I lost my O'Rourke last winter due to freezing. Last week I bought a 3 gallon O'Rourke to replace my lost one. 
Since this year will be the first year that will have the LSU blk can't comment on its taste, but O'Rourke is my number one, followed by VDB and then Blk Italian.


Navid
Dan_la

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Reply with quote  #20 
You will enjoy your Scott's Black (LSU Black) too. It is a great fig to have in any collection.

Dan
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nkesh099

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Reply with quote  #21 
Dan,

It sounds like a good fig to have, but I might get crazy and buy 2 more of it when I go there next week (right now I have only one). I plan to buy 4-5 fig trees and some Persimmon, lemon and other fruit trees when I go there. 

Navid
 
nkesh099

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Reply with quote  #22 
Dan,

Do you recommend the Durio nursery at Opelousas, LA for buying fig trees from? I was thinking about taking a road trip there next time that I am in Birmingham, AL. There are about 7hrs from my place at Birmingham.
I am sure some members have purchased fig trees from them, if so, would you recommend them to others? How tall or healthy are their 1 gallons trees?

Thank you all.
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Reply with quote  #23 
I've wanted to order from Durio for a long time.  I had a list made up and everything. 

The thing that stopped me was the damned high shipping prices.

I just sent a 1gal tree, packed with moist soil, bundled in a shoebox-sized box for about $8.50 by USPS priority mail.  It took me about 15 minutes to pack it, take it to the post office and get it out.  If I would have sent it "cheapest shipping possible", the price would have been $5.20.

I have heard nothing but good things about the plants.  But as someone that ships a few fig trees per year to folks, I cant get on board with those prices.  If it was $20 for 3 one-gallon plants or something, I think I'd bite. 

I understand he combines shipping - I think I recall it being $20 the first tree, $10 each add'l tree.  I would even pay $10/tree.  It just chaps my ass that I can practically get a whole tree shipped to me for $20 from one of the other forum members, JV, BB or RW, for example.


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nkesh099

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Reply with quote  #24 
Jason,

Totally agree with you about their shipping cost. I did call them this morning and the person on the other side of the line said, they will charge $20.00 for a small box that can contain 2 1 gallon pots or $40.00 for a large box that can contain 4 1 gallon pots or 1 3 gallon pot. They would charge the same price if they wanted to send it to AL or any other states, I would think the shipping coast would be cheaper to ship it to one of the neighboring states, but its not. 

Any other inputs will be greatly appreciated.

Navid

Dan_la

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Reply with quote  #25 
Navid,

Yes, I can recommend Durio nursery. Dalton is running a real nice small nursery. He took over the business only a few years ago following in his dad's footsteps.  They sells lots of stuff besides fig trees.....rare flowers and plants.  The sizes of his trees vary.  FYI.....it is quite possible some of the fig trees you buy from him actually originated from me.

Should you make a visit to the Opelousas area, you can also visit James Robin's KT nursery which is only about 5 miles away. Should you go there, you will never forget your visit.....JR is a one of a kind true Cajun. You usually can buy plants from him before he sells to mail order. You can inspect your plants too while there.


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nkesh099

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Reply with quote  #26 
Dan,

I am really thinking about taking a road trip there because I will be in Birmingham for only three more weeks then heading north to Cambridge, MA for rest of the summer. I was afraid by going there I would end up buying too many trees from them, usually that happens when I go to petals from the past anyway, I go there to get two trees then walking out with 6 or more. Now you mentioned James Robin's nursery, I think I am in trouble (in a good way :))
 How much does Mr. Robin charges for his trees? Do you have his address? if so you can send it to me via a private message if you don't want to post it here. 

Thanks Dan.

Navid
Figluvah

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Reply with quote  #27 
Hi  Navid....Dan I hope you don't mind me doing this?

I'm not Dan but I will post James info here, be sure and tell him "Cecil & Dorcas said hi"

James Robin

4017 Highway 357

Opelousas La 70570

Phone (337) 407 0188

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Dan_la

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Reply with quote  #28 
I am the guy who first "outed" JR's KT Nursery on the internet (with his permission) a few years ago. It all started with a shiny black fig named Sal's. Don't expect to see a large city type nursery. Here is his address:

James Robin
4017 Hwy 357
Opelousas, La. 70570
337-407-0188

Dan
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Dan_la

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Reply with quote  #29 
......Cecil, you are faster than me. Ha ha. I had to go through my pile of papers to find the address.

Dan
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Reply with quote  #30 
Thanks Dan
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nkesh099

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Reply with quote  #31 
Thanks Dan and Figluvah,

By any chance do you all have the list of plants that Mr. Rubin has for sale? Or do you all know which varieties that he carries or the prices?

Dan,

Is Mr. Rubin's nursery opens on Saturdays or do I have to call him and make an appointment with him?

Navid
Dan_la

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Reply with quote  #32 
It is best to give him a call to find out current info. His nursery is in his yard right next to the house. Saturdays or Sundays are not a problem if he is at home.

Dan
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nkesh099

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Reply with quote  #33 
Thanks Dan,

I am planning to drive down to LA on the 23rd of this month. I'll go first to Durio nursery since they close at 5pm on Saturdays then will stop by Mr. Rubin's house. I'll call him in advance to make sure he will be there on that day.

navid
Dan_la

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Reply with quote  #34 
HIs name is Robin............pronounced   "row bearh" in cajun french.

Dan
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nkesh099

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Reply with quote  #35 
By the way, Jason from petals of the past told me that LSU black is in fact the LSU Scott's blk. As Dan mentioned before.
Dan_la

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Reply with quote  #36 
I was 95% sure it was Scott's Black.........thanks for confirming. Again, you will love this fig.

Dan
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Reply with quote  #37 

JR is who I bought my Scott's Black from.  And it's about 3' tall right now.  It was a good purchase.


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Dan_la

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Reply with quote  #38 
FYI.........those of you who purchased a Scott's Black from JR a couple of years ago. You MIGHT have a Scott's Black and you just might have something else.  Somehow his Scott's Black plants got mixed up with some other yellow fig. So if your Scott's Black produces yellow figs....you got one that was mixed up. Should not be a problem with current trees he has for sale.

Dan
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nkesh099

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Reply with quote  #39 
Planning a road trip to LA in two weeks, will stop at Durio nursery to buy maybe 4-5 trees, then heading down to Mr. Robin's house. These are the trees that I plan to buy from either Durio nursery or Mr. Robin;

Smith, Hollier, Sal's, Genoa and Blk Spanish.

What do you all think about my selection? What other fig trees would you buy other than these five? Possibly dark colored ones.
This morning I spoke with Dalton at Durio nursery and he mentioned that he stocks 68 different varities of fig trees and some are not listed on his website yet. 

One more question, does Nematodes can be transmitted (I know its not a virus) to other trees grown in pots that are nearby the infecetd tree?

Durio:  1 gallon is between $15-$20 (depending on the variety)
             3 gallon $25-35 (depending on the variety)
Mr. Robin: Said he sells his trees in a 2 gallon pots for $18. 18-30 inches tall.

Dan_la

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Reply with quote  #40 
If you get the Smith or Sal's from Dalton, it is highly likely that those strains originated from me. His Fico Negra that he now lists came from me......plus some others that are not yet listed. He had lost his Smith mother tree and I gave him an air layer in trade for some of his figs.  I gave him the Sal's fig since it seems to still be in demand. FYI....his is the Sal's El version. Both Smith and Sal's are excellent figs in my yard.  My Smith originated from old man Becnel who originally "found" this fig growing in the New Orleans area.

Also, JR was selling a fig a couple of years ago that he listed as Sal's too. However, I personally traced the heritage of this particular fig and know that it is completely different than Sal's Corleone and Sal's El. In reality this strain is an unknown Sicilian black fig (AKA Robin's Sicilian Black). These are large black figs which will split and sour during very heavy rains. It can handle light rains with no problem. The taste is very good often with a concord grape taste overtone. The honey that leaks from this fig will sometimes be red in color.

Hollier is a very sweet fig and large fig. My tree gets killed to the ground each year. Next year I intend to give it some winter protection to help it get better established.


..........bet you come back with more than you think you are going to buy!!


Dan
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nkesh099

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Reply with quote  #41 
What is the difference between Sal's EL and Sal's Corleone? I know the EL stands for Edible landscaping. Would you recommend to buy all my trees from Durio or some from Mr. Robin's too? My only concern with Mr. Robin's trees is the Nematodes that has been mentioned before.

No more than five trees, it will be hard but I can do it :)
Fatnsassytexan

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Reply with quote  #42 
Hi Navid, I've bought trees twice now from James Robin with no nematode problems. Just pull them out of the pot and check. He won't mind. All trees I have from JR and Durio have grown very well. Can't wait to go back. JR also has LSU Scott's Yellow(he calls it "Brandy" ) I got one last fall and is growing great. If you want the true O-Rourke, buy it from Durio. The one from JR, in my opinion, is actually one of the Improved Celeste strains floating around. I'm in no way knocking JR, but others believe they are two distinct cultivars. Dan has said that both are very good figs. It'll definitely be worth your trip.
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Dan_la

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Reply with quote  #43 
Not knocking JR either.......


However.....I have personally seen TWO different strains of LSU Improved Celeste at JR's place.  He will argue with you emphatically that they are the same. And I will tell you with 110% certainty that they are NOT the same. They don't even look close to being the same fig. You can tell the difference between the two by the leaf pattern on the young tree......I have given out leaf descriptions for these two in other threads.  And, yes BOTH of those are super excellent figs.

In fact, very few people know (until I advised otherwise) that there are even THREE strains of LSU Improved Celeste fig trees being sold in South Louisiana The third one is a yellow fig.  All three are definitely sibling figs that managed to find homes outside of the  LSU test orchards long before LSU officially released the one they named "O'Rourke". There is more to this story than what I can reveal right now......waiting until I publish my work.

Dalton grows his own fig cuttings. JR's cuttings come mostly from others. Again, I am not knocking either one of them. I would buy from either one of them without hesitation.  Just make sure to check the roots for nematodes. And that applies to buying fig trees FROM ANYBODY......check those roots BEFORE planting in the ground.

Dan
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Reply with quote  #44 
Whichever you buy from, I will repeat sage advice from above:  slide the tree out of the pots.  The roots should be smooth.  If there are any bumps, lumps or bubbles on the roots, you need to run like hell. 

One of five trees I've purchased from one of the Opelousas nurseries (I won't say which) was moderately infected with RKN.  Another one of those five died from a mysterious disease less than 18 months later.  You can't protect yourself from the latter, but you can from the prior.

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Dan_la

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Reply with quote  #45 
.........you'd be surprised to know the reputable nurseries who in fact have sent out trees with nematodes. Always, always, always check those roots.... no matter who sent you those fig trees. Even if I sent you an inspected tree........check those roots!!!

Dan
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Reply with quote  #46 
Indeed. I can say the owner of the Opelousas nursery I'm referencing handled the situation better than anyone I've dealt with buying trees to this day, and I appreciate it more than he will ever know for sure, to the point that I never even cashed the reimbursement check he sent to me. He went above and beyond what was expected for sure just to make sure we were square. That's an honest businessman.

Not everyone in the fig trade is so kind. I won't name names publicly or privately, but I had one purchase from a reputable individual where the dormant tree never fully woke up and I got no offer of refund, not even an offer of cuttings for the cost of shipping. Nothing. Just a note that more would be for sale soon. No hard feelings, I'm just wary of doing business with them till that seller makes it right (they aren't in Opelousas, in case it's not clear).

In short, I would buy from the Opelousas nursery that sold these five trees again if I went in person, even with the issues, because the seller is an honest man that cares more about customer satisfaction than the money, a good businessman that cares about his product and customer just the same.  I don't like the idea that someone has (even mistakenly) sent out trees infected with RKN, but ... as it was stated before, it happens commercially and from big names also.  You just need to know how to recognize it and get rid of the damned tree ASAP.

Three of those five trees were great, by the way. Some of my best growers.

Sorry if it seems like I am being cryptic. I've rubbed people the wrong way in the past by offering very frank purchase details, exact names and unbiased accounts of my experiences (I'm one to tell it straight up like it is).

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Reply with quote  #47 

Nkesh, Sals el and corleone are 2 distict cultivars.  You don't have to buy them from robbins or durio.  Plenty of people have those varieties.  I don't know why anyone would take a chance with jr when so many others have the same stuff.  


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Dan_la

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Reply with quote  #48 
I specialize in the LSU bred figs and other Louisiana heirloom figs. I actively hunt them down all over south Louisiana. You will not find much written about the Scott's Yellow fig because it is a little known and rather rare O'Rourke fig selection.   You can read about the taste and fruiting characteristics for Scott's Yellow and a few of the figs that I am growing down here....in the link below:

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/fig/msg0621220325558.html

FYI, this particular fig produced very "good tasting" Breba figs for me last year......almost a month before regular Celeste figs ripened in my area. This indicates to me that it MIGHT (note I said MIGHT....it is not proven yet)  do well in "short growing seasons" up north. It is a very productive fig.


Noss............isn't the mystery of figs sometimes fun and yet so frustrating at other times??  FYI, the Improved Celeste (not O'Rourke) has the stronger "figgy" taste of the two.

Dan
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Figluvah

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Reply with quote  #49 
I might have posted this before, If I did please look over me, I have a bad case of CRS
Disease.

This is my O'Rourke leafs and LSU improved Celeste, I might have lost due to freeze my JR O'Rourke.

Attached Images
jpeg Improved_celeste-O'Rourke_leafs.JPG (433.34 KB, 45 views)


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Dan_la

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Reply with quote  #50 
Cecil,

That sucks.......

FYI, I most likely have lost two of my most prized fig trees this winter.  My Col de Dame White and my Cajun Honey seem to be completely gone. Yesterday I saw green finally emerging from Blue Bingo. IMO, I believe these all exhausted too much energy tying to ripen late season figs. Always something to learn........

Dan
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