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pitangadiego

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San Diego, CA

Black Mission is a very widely planted fig. It has large fruit and a heavy crop. Very sweet berry flavor. Almost always has cracking of the skin when ripe, I tend to think of it as a later season fig requiring some heat, but it is heavily planted along the coast, near the beach in what is often our fog belt, so I assume it must be working there. Some of the coastal trees are 75+ years old. Leaves usually have some pinkish hue in the leaf stem, vary widely in their shape and are usually somewhat thin and floppy.

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can this fig grow and produce in South Carolina or is it one of the figs that has to have the wasp?  sorry for my ignorance but I have a few fig var. but not that knowledgeable.
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So far, so good here in Wilmington, NC. Mine is fruiting for the first time this year. Really good dried, having a thick, dark caramel flavor, almost like molasses. I like it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron8888
can this fig grow and produce in South Carolina or is it one of the figs that has to have the wasp?  sorry for my ignorance but I have a few fig var. but not that knowledgeable.


No wasp, it is a common fig

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L.I. NY-z7a
My Mission , bought this spring is a big bush. Figs are all over it , albeit small as yet. Which fits in with Jon's assessment of it as a late fig. I have noticed a tremendous amount fig drop on this bush. It is in sun with late afternoon shade as it seemed to get leaf droop when in all day sun. Maybe that's what's causing the fig drop? I really think it needs to be up potted , or root pruned . This fall will have to unpot the monster and check.

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Reply with quote  #6 
This was my first fresh fig.  I didn't know there were figs outside of dried and tasteless.  I rented a house in Sacto, CA at 23 yrs old and I didn't recognize the fruits.  They ripened from August to Sept and were amazing.
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Reply with quote  #7 
Forum Members.....Herman, Martin ??

I am growing "Black Mission" for the first time. The tree is at bearing age, is approx. 5 ft tall, and growing in a 5-gallon bucket.  Last year the tree had about a dozen hard, but reddish-purple figs, that never ripened by the time cool weather hit NYC.  This year, I have only a few main-crop figs, but they seem to be under-developed compared to the rest of my fig varieties.  I have my doubts as to whether or not I will see ripe figs on this tree by the end of my short season.  I have about another 3-4 weeks, and then, it's over.

Now, I have just read that "Black Mission" can be considered a late-season fig, and that it has to cook in the heat of an extended season to ripen figs. This season has been unusual in that the spring was very cold and all my trees were very late to leaf out, this "Black Mission" included.  Could this be a reason for the delayed development of the figs?  The developing figs seem to have a vivid, rose-violet pigment on the top side of the fig that's exposed to the sunlight.  The leaf-stems also have the same rosey-pink coloration.  Leaves are thin, and the tree is asymptomatic of FMV/D.

So...has anyone in Zone-7b ripened "Black Mission" consistently?  All my questions may be premature and moot.  This is only the first year, and the tree may be great in subsequent seasons, but still, I'd like to know what's ahead, if predictions can be ventured.

Thanks for any suggestions and cultural information that you can pass along.  My other varieties are starting to ripen, so "Black Mission", growing with the same cultural and growing conditions, should be ripening some figs also....I hope, soon.  By the way, "Black Mission" fig trees, are sold in local Garden Centers in this area.  I've even seen them being sold at the local Home Depot.  Is this an indication that this fig variety is matched to my climate, and is it a to be considered a 'late-ripener'?


Frank


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Reply with quote  #8 
Alan, I agree with you the California Black Mission figs I have eaten have never had a berry taste.

 Pete
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Reply with quote  #9 
Is the red tint to the leaves common?  I bought three from the guy in San Antonio ( ebay seller coralgroher) a great seller.  I am expecting great things from this fig.
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jtp

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Reply with quote  #10 
Are not Mission figs also called Franciscana, as they were brought to California when the old missions were set up by the Spanish? While you can find Mission plants everywhere now, I always thought all Mission figs originated in California. Anyone?
pitangadiego

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Reply with quote  #11 
John, no figs originated in California. All figs in the US were brought from Europe and Asia.

Mission is associated with being introduced into CA by the Franciscan Monks from Spain, via Mexico.

Danny, In my experience they have a pinkish tinge in the stems of the leaves.

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BronxFigs
Forum Members.....Herman, Martin ??

I am growing "Black Mission" for the first time. The tree is at bearing age, is approx. 5 ft tall, and growing in a 5-gallon bucket.  Last year the tree had about a dozen hard, but reddish-purple figs, that never ripened by the time cool weather hit NYC.  This year, I have only a few main-crop figs, but they seem to be under-developed compared to the rest of my fig varieties.  I have my doubts as to whether or not I will see ripe figs on this tree by the end of my short season.  I have about another 3-4 weeks, and then, it's over.

Now, I have just read that "Black Mission" can be considered a late-season fig, and that it has to cook in the heat of an extended season to ripen figs. This season has been unusual in that the spring was very cold and all my trees were very late to leaf out, this "Black Mission" included.  Could this be a reason for the delayed development of the figs?  The developing figs seem to have a vivid, rose-violet pigment on the top side of the fig that's exposed to the sunlight.  The leaf-stems also have the same rosey-pink coloration.  Leaves are thin, and the tree is asymptomatic of FMV/D.

So...has anyone in Zone-7b ripened "Black Mission" consistently?  All my questions may be premature and moot.  This is only the first year, and the tree may be great in subsequent seasons, but still, I'd like to know what's ahead, if predictions can be ventured.

Thanks for any suggestions and cultural information that you can pass along.  My other varieties are starting to ripen, so "Black Mission", growing with the same cultural and growing conditions, should be ripening some figs also....I hope, soon.  By the way, "Black Mission" fig trees, are sold in local Garden Centers in this area.  I've even seen them being sold at the local Home Depot.  Is this an indication that this fig variety is matched to my climate, and is it a to be considered a 'late-ripener'?


Frank



Frank the Mission plant i had was Monrovia's strain out of their growing field in California .
Tremendous producer of figs that started to ripen in container here in yard toward end of August thru second week of September.
From my experience with this type it was aggressive grower along with its root system 5 gallon bucket seems small for this type of cultivar unless root pruned quite often as it can fill with roots a 5g bucket if properly fertilized and watered in a mere season.
Got rid of it as the figs were average to me and i dont want average or good figs.
It made some beautiful figs otherwise.



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Reply with quote  #13 
Thanks to all, and to Martin for the added information.

I will probably have to up-pot the trees next season, and hopefully I will get a main-crop to ripen before cold nights stop the development of the figs.

I guess I will have to wait for next season, or, maybe I will get lucky and see some figs getting ripe by mid-September.


Frank

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jtp

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Reply with quote  #14 
Well yeah, that is what I said. I guess when I said "originally," I was talking about U.S. distribution from a point where the fig was first planted. I assumed everyone would understand the statement about the Spanish and their missions to mean they brought them to the U.S., rather than having discovered them in Sacramento or something. To clarify what I meant - Spain to California (via Mexico) to your local Lowe's in other states.
pitangadiego

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Reply with quote  #15 
John, I suspect "Mission" figs have arrived here many time in many ways. There also seems to be some distinction between Mission and Black Mission - though the two are somehow related. I have had some mission figs that were not much better than a Brown Turkey.

Another problem is that many people who have Brown Turkey actually have Black Mission, and more than a few Black missions are really Brown Turkey. That accounts for some of the disparity on reports about their taste.

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HarveyC

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Reply with quote  #16 
Jon, is the Black Mission you show in the photo of the "NL" strain (which is what I got from you several years ago)?

Black Mission NL produced some good breba figs for me also this year.

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jtp

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Reply with quote  #17 
Of course, nearly everything is a Brown Turkey in the minds of those who do not even realize there are different figs. If it is not labeled Celeste here, it mostly certainly has the BT tag, even if it is green. It's kind of like calling anything with feathers a chicken, not even considering other birds or chicken breeds.

I have three separately sourced Missions currently (maybe more). All are supposed to have unique flavor profiles. Is it possible that plants from different times and places ended up in California and got lumped under the Mission label for uniformity, good intentions and/or laziness? Have there been any DNA studies to date on the Mission variety?

Also, imagine how many family/neighborhood trees out there - all dark figs - are really Mission, instead of their colloquial titles like Aunt Betty's Black, Toledo Street Turk, on and on and on.
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Reply with quote  #18 
Now you got me wondering about ....will the real "Black Mission" please stand up....

Is there a definitive way, besides looking at the fruit and/or leaves, to tell the differences between a "Brown Turkey", and a "Black Mission"?   Is there a special characteristic that proves one and not the other?  For example, "Black Mission" has leaf stems that are a rosey-pink.  Then with leaves, stem color, and figs....bingo....yep, it's a "Black Mission".  What about "Brown Turkey"?  Do they both show some of the same characteristics?  What about leaf texture, fig eyes, growth characteristics, and appearances of the tree as a whole....etc?

Wish list:  Comparison pictures of "Black Mission" and "Brown Turkey"...side-by-side, showing fruit, leaf, eyes, and leaf-stem characteristics.  I think I have a "Black Mission"-Lowe's, but I don't have a "Brown Turkey"....so, I can't do a feel-the-leaves test ...etc.   Most web-site pictures really don't help....too vague, and not variety-accurate.

I'd also be curious to find out if many of the trees growing in The Bronx and surrounding areas are really the "unknown Italians"...or, just some "Brown Turkey" trees.  I tend to think the former.  Almost always, the owners when questioned, say that their trees (wood) "came from Italy", and they are probably not the type of people who would ever think of buying a fig tree from some Garden Center.  They tend to keep things in the family, so I'm almost certain, their special, heirloom, fig trees came over from the other side.



Frank

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jtp

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Reply with quote  #19 
Yesterday, I harvested a really ripe fig off of the Mission tree I got at Lowe's. It was sweet and very berry-flavored, per Jon's description. I have always liked dried Missions, but this was my first fresh one that was not of suspect lineage and purchased from a grocery store. It is a keeper.
twobrothersgarden

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Reply with quote  #20 
I have 5 black mission fig trees, (three in ground and two in pots). I bought them from different nurseries. They all produce a black shiny fig with a white/honey center. The stems and tips of new buds are rosy/pink, but the pulp is never red or strawberry or raspberry or pink....
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Reply with quote  #21 
My "Black Mission" managed to ripen just one fig - (about a dozen figs suddenly dropped off) - in this lousy, fig season here in The Bronx/NYC.  The taste of the one fig was very flavorful.  I will not judge this fig yet.  I will give it a few more seasons before I give it the thumbs up, or thumbs down critique.  I have a feeling it will do much better in a larger container, and, as the tree puts on some age.  I think the tree out-grew the 5-gallon bucket...which may have led to the sudden dropping of the fig crop.

Thanks Martin for the growing tips.  My 5 ft. tree probably needs a larger container.  I'll slip it into an 18-gallon, Home Depot storage tub.  I'm encouraged....if "Black Mission" ripens in your climate, then I'm sure it will ripen in NYC/7b.


Frank


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Reply with quote  #22 
Great lessons on Black Mission thanks.

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Reply with quote  #23 
I'm relieved you got at least one Frank.
I got a large (5') Black Mission very healthy from Eden at the beginning of the season and put it righ in ground. It dropped the first set of figs and hasn't developed a main crop. I am a little concerned about possible nemotodes. Is there any way to tell aside from digging it up?

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Reply with quote  #24 
Tami:

The one fig that I tasted was delicious, and I'm hoping for good things to come from this tree as it ages a little. I noticed that the figs had turned a rosey-violet color towards the end of the stagnant stage, then suddenly, all but one, aborted. When I saw the main-crop figs laying all over the floor, I was shocked. If the tree was a "Celeste", I would've expected this....but a "Black Mission"? The one, fig, continued to grow, and it turned a deep black, but before I picked it, I waited until the skin showed some cracks. I took no chances and organza-bagged the fig as it ripened, and controlled the water reaching the roots. I will grow the tree for a few years, and after I learn how to treat my "Black Mission", I'm sure it will settle down and be a respectable tree.

Nematodes: Sorry, but I can't help you, and I think the only sure way of knowing if roots are infested, is to probably dig up at least some roots and give a good look. Why do you think your tree has a nematode problem? Usually, trees drop figs due to stress, and/or something wrong with the culture, watering, heat-stress, etc.

Frank


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Reply with quote  #25 
Frank,
Where I live nematodes are a huge problem. Our soil is sandy loam. The tree was planted and everything was going great then it started getting figs. Nothing changed with the weather or the watering and feeding regiment so I am trying to look deeper and see if there may be another problem.
I guess I'm going to have to dig it up and see.

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Reply with quote  #26 

Tami

I live in SW Florida and our soil is infested with nematodes. They do not like mulch and concrete.
To control them either we plant near concrete (a wall or a pathway etc..) or we supply some compost to the soil and then we add between 4 to 6 inches of mulch. This keeps the soil moist and eliminates the nematodes.


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javajunkie

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Reply with quote  #27 
Thank you for the info, I'm going to give it a try.
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Reply with quote  #28 
Has anyone ever seen a black mission with leaves like this, this is an air layer I took, the mother tree is about 6 feet tall and never put out any figs yet. It has pinkish stems and red tips. I got it from a nursery out of Florida.


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Reply with quote  #29 
At Ryan....YES!
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Reply with quote  #30 
Thanks Dennis and Alan.
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Reply with quote  #31 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quackmaster
Has anyone ever seen a black mission with leaves like this, this is an air layer I took, the mother tree is about 6 feet tall and never put out any figs yet. It has pinkish stems and red tips. I got it from a nursery out of Florida.

HELLO RYAN.. YOUR TREE LOOKS GREAT... WHAT KIND OF FERTILIZER DO YOU USE ON IT AND HOW OFTEN?
THANKS
THEVICSTER

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Reply with quote  #32 
Quote:
Originally Posted by THEVICSTER
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quackmaster
Has anyone ever seen a black mission with leaves like this, this is an air layer I took, the mother tree is about 6 feet tall and never put out any figs yet. It has pinkish stems and red tips. I got it from a nursery out of Florida.

HELLO RYAN.. YOUR TREE LOOKS GREAT... WHAT KIND OF FERTILIZER DO YOU USE ON IT AND HOW OFTEN?
THANKS
THEVICSTER
ALSO, YOUR FIG TREE LOOKS MORE LIKE A Green Adriatic fig leaf F.Y.I. !!!
 

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Reply with quote  #33 
Just an update:

......"IT'S ALIVE....IT'S ALIVE' !!!!!  (Colin Clive/Frankenstein)

The Winter of 2013-2014 has laid waste to my small collection fig trees, and most of my prime trees were killed off.  However, I am pleased to announce that my  5 ft. "Black Mission" fig tree has managed to survived, and, has even started to sprout some new leaves.  I believe it survived because I stored it in my unheated shed along with some of my older trees.  It was the only one that wasn't killed, even though it was frozen solid before I could get in into the  protected area.  I thought it was a gonner, but I held on to it because there was just a tiny hint of green after doing the "scratch test".  So, I waited, and, I watered, and I fertilized .... (Drum roll) and, it sprouted - after almost two months of nail biting suspense.

I'm hearin' the Jive Five's version of "I'm A Happy Man" playin' in my head.


Frank


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Reply with quote  #34 
Glad to hear that Frank.
Any idea why this one made it while so many others did not? I didn't think Black Mission was particularly more hardy than other varieties?

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Reply with quote  #35 
that's great frank ! kinda odd tho. i understand that tree to be zone 7. you had zone 6 trees that died, right?
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Reply with quote  #36 
Great news Frank!
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Reply with quote  #37 
Thanks-

I wish I could give you a definitive answer as to why this "Black Mission" lived, and the other hardier trees died.  "Atreano", "Bryant Dark", "Red Italian" are varieties that have survived NYC/Zone-7 without protection...however, NYC rarely gets hit with Zone-7 temperatures.  Often, winter temps, when cold, plunge into the teens.  Most of the time, temps. hover in the high 20s and mid 30s.  We do get some cold snaps, but the temps. usually moderate within a few days.  This past winter, we got freezing, bitter cold weather, and it stayed that way until March.

So why the "Black Mission" tree lived, and the other trees were killed, I can't tell you, since they were all stored in the same frozen shed.  I am as surprised as you are that the "Black Mission" lived.  So be it.

However, I will take precautions when the cold weather comes back.  So, dormancy, Wilt-Pruf,  then the trees will go into the storage shed (with some heat), in that order. I don't want a repeat of last winter.

Frank

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Reply with quote  #38 
That's great news Frank !!
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Reply with quote  #39 
Just an update to posting # 36:  My enthusiasm quickly turned into an ironic situation.  

While the "Black Mission" fig tree managed to barely cling to life over the last winter, and push out new leaves, it is also showing all the ugly symptoms of FMV.  The leaves show terrible deformities, the chlorophyll is blasted and blotchy, and the tree looks like it belongs in some hi-tech ICU.  I never expected this tree would survive, but after months of looking dead, it sprouted.  Not to be out foxed, I had bought a "new" "BM" tree to replace this tree, from a nursery that claimed their trees were disease-free.  Well, the 2nd "BM" tree proved to be just as virus-infected, contaminated, and sickly, as the original survivor.  They will both go into the garbage.

But wait!  There's more....There is a silver lining around my dark cloud.....Wellspring Gardens sent me 5 beautiful, tissue-cultured, "Black Mission" treelets.  Guess what!  No FMV, they are clean with a capital "C" and all are vigorously growing.  They have tripled in size over the last month.  Granted, it will take a few years for figs to show up, but at least the trees will be disease-free, healthy and productive.

My future plans for these five, tissue-cultured "BM" trees..... a five-stem braided-trunk....trained into a standard, tree-form... with branches near the top end.  Anyway, that's my goal, but who knows?


Frank

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Reply with quote  #40 
tissue cultured trees seem the way to go. mine is far  more vigorous than older purchased trees.

i've read of them being slow to produce, but my HC is 18 months old n has 4 figs growing. that's as good as my 3 year olds.

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Reply with quote  #41 
Hi Suzie-Q

I'm done with wasting my time on any diseased trees.  Season's too short to waste on compromised, weak fig trees.  Garbage...say hello to my "Black Mission" trees.

So far, my T-C trees have outgrown my other trees, over the same time period.  I can actually see my "Black Mission" and "Olympian" tree growing taller from day to day.  The "Olympian" trees are now just about 2 ft. tall, but remember, my area had a freezing cold Spring, so these trees went outside, late.  The T-C trees have averaged about 1 ft + of growth p/month.  (I'd kill to have a longer growing season).  I have read that T-C trees can "stall" in an extended juvenile stage, and can be slow to produce figs.... I guess not.  Your trees are a perfect example.  I'll bet my trees will push out some figs by next season.  I wish they would T-C some difficult-to-find varieties like: (insert varietal name here) so we can grow some disease-free "connoisseur figs".

So far, I have been very impressed with my T-C trees and I am not sorry at all that I bought them.  Now, I just have to keep them alive through each winter.

Thanks for the response.  Happy growing to you too.


Frank

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Reply with quote  #42 
frank, i was looking for an olypmian, after you mentioned it months ago.i didn't see it at well springs.
where can i get one, cultured?

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Reply with quote  #43 
Suzie-

I just checked, and they are in stock.

Go to: "Wellspring Gardens"... Fruit section.... and go to page 2.  OLYMPIAN is listed @ $6.95.

Good luck.


Frank


EDIT:  Burnt Ridge Nursery also retails this variety.

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Reply with quote  #44 
thanks frank. i guess they were out when i checked before. as soon as temps go down, i'll get some.

right now it's in the nineties so plants will  never survive truck time.

yeah, i have a longer growing season than you, but there are drawbacks.

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Reply with quote  #45 
Good for you Suzie Q ...

Frank

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Reply with quote  #46 
Never saw a Black Mission that wasn't infected. But many are 20-40' tall, grow like weeds, and fruit like crazy. Their leaves do show a lot of splotchiness.
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Reply with quote  #47 
Hi Jon...

So far, the tissue-cultured "Black Mission"-Wellspring Gdns. seems to be clean, robust, and show no signs of FMV.  But, my fingers are crossed.  Time will tell if the trees will stay clean.  So far, so good.

I don't think virus-infected trees will survive our cold winter climates for very long.  You're lucky.  You live in an area that has a very long and warm growing season.  The infected trees have plenty of good sunshine, over a long period of time, and possibly, are not as stressed.  So, they have plenty of time to thrive, grow tall, and produce plenty of good figs. 

It's the exact opposite, here on the East-Coast, especially in the colder climate, short-season areas like NYC.  I personally have never seen any local, in ground trees -growing in NYC, and surrounding areas- showing any signs of FMV infections.  In fact, these local trees are very robust and always have clean, healthy-looking leaves.  Some have lousy figs, some have great figs, but, they are all clean.  However, by mid-September/early-October the leaves do start to look ratty.  Rust, yes...mildew yes... but no FMV that's visible.  I don't think badly infected trees could survive, here, for very long.  They will become severely stressed, and will eventually die off.

For some, FMV is no big problem.  For me, it is, so I need to at least try to avoid it.


Frank


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Reply with quote  #48 
Frank,
Is it possible that it is not the trees with FMV that would have a hard t ime to survive but the FMV itself ?
Maybe the reason you have no virus is the virus cannot tolerate the cold well?

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Reply with quote  #49 
greenfig-

I couldn't even pretend to give you a scientifically correct answer.  Good evidence points to a certain fig mite as the spreading vector for this FMV, and this mite cannot survive in colder climates.  Warm areas, like in California, have this mite and the mites can infect trees that were previously clean.  If I sent you a clean, East-Coast tree...sooner or later FMV symptoms might show up because it may get the FMV infection from your local population of mites.

My conclusions are based on things that I have read, and not observable fact.  I just don't know.  I do know this:  None of my locally sourced "clean" trees, or my tissue-cultured trees show infection symptoms, and the virused "Black Mission" trees seem to be the only trees that grow poorly.  I have kept the "BM" trees showing virus, far away from my good trees...just in case a thirsty insect decides to visit my trees.  I also take precautions and sanitize my hands and any tools coming in contact with the infected trees trees, just in case.

To your question....I would love it if FMV was killed off by the cold weather, and subsequently, allowed the trees to survive and thrive.  I just can't say for sure.  Trees without FMV infection are far hardier than the same variety with FMV symptoms.  This might be why "BM" has a reputation of being a variety that does not do well in colder areas.  Why?  Because "BM" is a variety that's almost always infected with FMV.  So, the infected trees gradually die off in colder climates because they become too weak to survive any stressful conditions.  Who knows?

Anyway, my "Black Mission" trees with FMV are now in some garbage dump.  They have been made redundant.


Frank

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Reply with quote  #50 
frank, i'm not sure heat makes fmv less of a problem. i have a sick tree that i have not dug out yet. i see that it gets stressed by lack of water
before healthy trees. i'm using it as a meter. when it wilts i water all the trees. that way, no other trees show stress.

everyone here says that infected trees can be productive if you baby them.  i'm not a collector, i'm a fruit grower. my objective is maximum yield for  minimum work.
clean trees are necessary for that. i need tough trees. 

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