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pitangadiego

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Reply with quote  #1 
I wanted start a new series of topics, to collect data that can be added to the Figs 4 Fun database, and that will help new figgies pick out varieties suitable to their climate and region. I probably won't get a new one started every day, but will try.

Please include you city and state in your reply so that people can identify the comments that are pertinent to their.

San Diego, CA

Celeste, here, has been a workhorse variety. It has been the most consistent performer even in the yo-yo hot-cold summers of the last couple of years. It is very sweet, will dehydrate on the tree, if the humidity stays low. Taste is very sweet, and even though the flesh tends to be reddish, the taste is more in the date-raisin zone than the berry zone. The fruit can be small to medium and can have a longer pendant shape, or be almost round.


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Reply with quote  #2 
Here in Wilmington, NC, Celeste is great. It is planted all over the place. Seldom drops figs. Handles winters beautifully inground and in pots. Sweet and juicy.
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Reply with quote  #3 
Newnan, Georgia, here in the Deep South, Celeste is one of the most reliable figs available. It is very sweet and
produces an abundance of generally medium size figs. I have a five year old in ground tree and it is a prolific
tree with no winter die back without any protection.
dkirtexas

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Reply with quote  #4 
My two cents -

Celeste is without a doubt the most common fig in the NE Texas area.  There seems to be difference between the really old trees (40+yrs old) and the newer trees in that the older trees definitely produce heavier crops and are less likely to "throw" figs prior to ripening.  The Celeste in this area make a beautiful "Mound" shaped tree when left alone but will respond to training if you want a groomed, single trunk tree.  They will freeze back to the ground in some areas and grow back to original height and produce figs the same year when they are 8-10 ft tall.  Larger trees are extremely cold hardy in this area zone 7b-8.  Taste and size is consistent tree to tree.   Many of these trees are descendants of Tennessee and Alabama coming west with original Texas settlers in the early to mid 1800's

Generally all ripe and done first week in August, depends on heat index

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Thx, glad to be here

Danny K "EL CAZADOR DE HIGO"
Waskom Tx Zone 7B/8

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happy_fl_gardener

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Reply with quote  #5 
For me, Celeste is my workhorse.  My Celeste fig trees have finished producing for this year. 

Christine

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7deuce

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Reply with quote  #6 
A fine fig in Egg Harbor Twp., NJ as well.
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Jason V
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greenfig

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Reply with quote  #7 
Jon,

That is a great idea!
Just a suggestion, for a presentation it would be nice to see a common leaf shape and a sliced fig. 

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Reply with quote  #8 
Great idea Jon , would be so helpful.
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cobb4861

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Reply with quote  #9 
What is the difference between the varieties of Celeste? I know of the regular Celeste and the golden Celeste. Is there a difference with a blue Celeste? Are there any others out there?
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Meghan Cobb ~ Growing zone 9 Wish List: Pane e Vino White and /or Dark, De la Reina, Iranian mountain fig and anything else that is great to grow or at least try in the hot and humid Southeast Texas.
pitangadiego

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Reply with quote  #10 



This leaf is from Celeste GM. In my experience, Celeste leaves generally have a center lobe that has one of two "side lobes" and the center lobe overlaps the other lobes when flattened out.



I do have a couple dozen different Celestes and Blue Celestes from every corner of the country. When they were DNA tested (long story) at USDA/UC Davis they were determined to be the same. But over the years certain ones have been better performers. Many had different characteristics, size, shape color, etc. But over time you find all of the various characteristics on all of them, even if some predominate with each different one.

For me, they all have a darker bottom end, usually more bronzish/brownish. They vary in color from brownish to light purple to almost pinkish. Most have a silver blush on the upper portion. Most all have small brownish spots that almost look like knots in a piece of wood. It has been very hard to find a single fig that has all of the characteristics at the same time.


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HarveyC

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Reply with quote  #11 
I have nothing to report....I was just telling another forum member early today that I don't have Celeste, for some reason.  Maybe reports of its small size discouraged me from getting it.  Can someone give me an average size (weight) that they experience and if it seems to have decent prospects to market fresh figs? Thanks!
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Harvey - Correia Farms
Isleton, CA (Sacramento County) USDA zone 9b, Sunset zone 14

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timgoodin

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Reply with quote  #12 
My celeste is performing well in my USDA zone 6b in ground with southern exposure next to the house and also doing ok planed out in a field setting (some tip dieback).  Somewhat cold hardy. Very nice flavor in an average year.  Ok this year but some soured on the tree with rain everyday for almost a week at ripening time.
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Tim Goodin
USDA Hardiness Zone 6b/7a
West KY
My trees: Celeste, Brown Turkey, Hardy Chicago, Mission, LSU Purple, Gold and O'Roark, Desert King, Condria, Hollier, several others rooting

Looking for any named varities hardy zone 6 and tasty.
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Reply with quote  #13 
Here in south Louisiana Celeste is the most comon because its the most reliable. If you drive down the road and see just one fig tree in someone's yard you can just about garuntee its Celeste.
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Ryan Zone 9a SeLa, wish list:   
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Reply with quote  #14 
I have 2 year old Celeste in ground 7 a, dropped early figs in July, but now loaded with very sweet ripe figs.
pitangadiego

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Reply with quote  #15 
Harvey, the small size might discourage people at the farmer's markets, but sample will rule the day. I would guess that they are 8-10 to the pound.
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jtp

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Reply with quote  #16 
An unknown from one of our islands, North Topsail, is likely a Celeste. It is great in baked goods. In a pie, its flavor was like strawberry/rhubarb. Strangely, when those same figs were made into a cobbler, its flavor shifted and went toward fresh peaches.
musillid

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Reply with quote  #17 
I started two Blue Celestes two years ago, thanks to Jon. Both are in pots. One was loaded this year and has since dropped most of its fruit. The other, kept inside over the winter, fruited not at all. Somewhat disappointing, but a trial for me, after all.
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Pattee

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Reply with quote  #18 
Long Island ,NY- z7a
I have a Celeste. It is new to my collection this Spring. Spring here was very cool and rainy .It has a nice amount of main figs now. None as yet are ripe but getting larger. There has been no fig drop on it . It is in full sun and has been fertilized the same as all my trees. It will be up potted in the next weeks as the pot it came in is rather small.

edit : just ate a nicely ripe small one this morning and it was very sweet !!



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Chapman

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Reply with quote  #19 
It seems to me that Celeste is one of the underrated figs. My Celeste is from an heirloom tree on my Great grandparents place.  They moved to Louisiana from Kentucky around 1920.  I would like to know if they brought the tree with them or got it after they moved here.  There is no one left that could tell me.  This is some of my Celeste http://imageshack.us/a/img812/8572/2qrq.jpg[/CODE]
These are some I dried.
http://imageshack.us/a/img43/9633/009tix.jpg[/CODE]

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pitangadiego

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Reply with quote  #20 
I agree. I could eat them all day.
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HarveyC

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Reply with quote  #21 
Okay, I want to get a Celesete.  Which strain should I get?  Maybe I can pick one up at the fig fiesta either from you or another member going (if I make it....looking good right now).
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Womack

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Reply with quote  #22 
In northwest Georgia Celeste is the most common variety along with brown turkey and lemon. To me it is the best flavored of the three. I agree with the date description for flavor. When they get ripe and start to dry out they can have a brown sugar sweetness. Also the best fig for making traditional southern whole fig preserves.
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Womack
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GreenFin

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Reply with quote  #23 
Thanks for starting this thread.  I had passed on getting a Celeste because of the small size and because I'd gotten the faulty impression that it was a boring, sub-par fruit whose popularity was mainly due to its ability to grow in so many people's yards.

I feel like I need to apologize to Celeste for naively ranking it with the Brown Turkeys of the world...


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James, zone 6a Kansas (zone 10 greenhouses); wish list is in my profile
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shah8

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Reply with quote  #24 
It *is* a fig like Black Mission and others, where it has one taste, a lot of vegetal taste if not completely ripe, and a lot of sweetness.  It's a snack fig, nothing more, and people grow this variety because it's generally reliable and a good producer.  Make sure you get O'Rourke, or one of the other Improved Celestes.  Also consider Scott's Black.


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Especially desired figs: UCD 187-25, UCD 200-48, UCD 157-17, UCD 309-B1, Princesa, Black Madeira, high quality sugar fig that ripens Sept-Oct.

Probable desired fig: Smith, St Jean, JH Adriatic, CddB, Gulbun, Pastilliere, Sucrette

Rooting:  Smith, CDDB--this pretty much means I have my fun tries (tho' important since they are truly desirable), and only interested for this year: Gulbun, BM, 187-25, or something wildly exotic or precious that nobody has any good reason to send me.

shah8

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Reply with quote  #25 
Does need to be said, though.  Brown Turkey, the real stuff when it's properly ripened in a hot and dry climate, is a better fig than Celeste in terms of having nuanced flavor.  The taste is lighter and less sweet, though, and in the SE, the only reason to grow it is for it's reliability and heavy production.

Never buy anything but the proper tasty strains of either Celeste or Brown Turkey, and know that in suboptimal climates, Celestes drop fruit (unless it's Improved) and BTs go from mild tasting to almost worthless without dry heat.  These two varieties have justifiably given a bad name to figs in terms of refined appreciation as dessert fruits in the humid SE.


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Especially desired figs: UCD 187-25, UCD 200-48, UCD 157-17, UCD 309-B1, Princesa, Black Madeira, high quality sugar fig that ripens Sept-Oct.

Probable desired fig: Smith, St Jean, JH Adriatic, CddB, Gulbun, Pastilliere, Sucrette

Rooting:  Smith, CDDB--this pretty much means I have my fun tries (tho' important since they are truly desirable), and only interested for this year: Gulbun, BM, 187-25, or something wildly exotic or precious that nobody has any good reason to send me.

Johnparav

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Reply with quote  #26 
Shah8 ,

Lsu Scott's black is I guess crossbred with Celsete and another variety ? Is it an improvement in some way ?

John
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Reply with quote  #27 
Greetings All

Our Celeste here in central Maryland is doing well so far. Bought this tree late last Fall and over-wintered in our sun room until late Spring. It was then planted outside and we were able to sample the first breba in early July. Quite tasty, almost honey like. It has now grown niicely and has severeal main crop figs that we hope to sample before the end of the season. I recently started an air-layer as well on this one.

Attached Images
jpeg image.jpg (816.69 KB, 162 views)
jpeg image.jpg (199.35 KB, 162 views)
jpeg image.jpg (835.03 KB, 131 views)


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Mark B., Glenn Dale, MD Zone 7a

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Reply with quote  #28 
Celeste - hardy, rain proof, sweet, consistent... Easy to see why it was (and is) the standard here in the south...
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Reply with quote  #29 
So far this year I have tasted Celeste, Hardy Chicago, Sultane, and an unknown I believe is probably Brown Turkey.  I live in north Georgia zone 7.  I would say that Celeste has been the taste winner hands down.  With different figs having anywhere from a melon to a berry flavor.  With all the rain we have had this summer sometimes they taste just sweet real sweet almost honey like.  I have taken to eating them early when they are ripening during lot's of rain and while not the great berry flavor and not the sweetest still very good.  Especially good compared to leaving them to ripen on the tree and splitting and then tasting like vinegar.

In fairness to Sultane and Hardy Chicago they are 1 yr old plants and the Celeste is probably 5 yr old large and with lots of figs.

I like Celeste a lot and have several cuttings rooted and in 1 gallon pots I plan to plant in ground next yr.

goss

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goss
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ascpete

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Reply with quote  #30 
Ulster, New York, Zone 6.

One Celeste cultivar has been a bit of a disappointment. A large locally purchased plant, with four 5 foot tall verticals in a 5 gallon nursery pot has not produced 1 edible fig in 2 years. It was up potted to a 15 gallon container last year, it dropped every fig last year, and has produced none this year.

On the other hand a distinctive cultivar called "improved Celeste AE" has produced figs within the first year from cuttings. This is not the same as "improved Celeste PP" which also is very prolific and productive or the LSU Improved Celeste which is also named LSU O'Rourke.

Pictured are my container grown "improved Celeste AE", although this summer has been cool, overcast and rainy (night low temperatures have been in the 50's for the past 3 weeks),  I'm only a few days away from harvesting ripe figs from one of the 1 year old trees. The single stem plants are 1 years old, in 3 gallon nursery pots in a modified 5-1-1 potting mix, they have put on almost 3 feet of linear growth and set about 1 dozen figs each, most are currently at the stagnant stage. The multi branched 2 year old tree has regrown from the soil line approximately 9 linear feet of new growth, and had put on over 1 dozen figs, but they all have been pinched.
<edit> 8/31/13...Harvested the first two Celeste this season, although a young plant, the figs were very sweet, sugary sweet, with a mild fig flavor, no complex after taste and a thin skin.

Also Pictured is my container grown "improved Celeste PP", I'm only a few weeks away from harvesting ripe figs. This plant is 2 years old, in a 5 gallon bucket in a modified 5-1-1 potting mix, has put on over 15 linear feet of growth and set 5 dozen figs most are currently at the stagnant stage. The Celeste PP seems to be very cold hardy , judging by its performance last winter and the new green growth lignifies very quickly (within 3-4 weeks).
[image]

Leaf_Celeste_improvedCeleste1AE_7-2-13.jpg Leaf_Celeste_improvedCelesteAE_7-2-13.jpg Leaf_Celeste_improvedCeleste2AE_7-31-13.jpg Leaf_Celeste_improvedCelesteAE_8-28-13.jpg Leaf_CelesteEL_8-28-13.jpg Leaf_Celeste_improvedCeleste1AE_8-28-13.jpg Leaf_ImprovedCelestePP_7-14-13.jpg Leaf_ImprovedCelestePP_7-15-13.jpg Leaf_ImprovedCelestePP_7-28-13.jpg Leaf_improvedCelestePP_7-29-13.jpg Leaf_Celeste_improvedCelestePP_8-8-13.jpg Leaf_Celeste__improvedCeleste_AE_8-31-13.jpg Leaf_Celeste__improvedCelesteAE1_8-31-13.jpg Fig_Celeste_improvedCelestePP_9-9-13.jpg Fig_Celeste_improvedCelestePP1_9-9-13.jpg Fig_Celeste_improvedCelestePP2_9-9-13.jpg Fig_BlueCeleste_9-13-14.jpg Fig_Celeste_improvedCelestePP_9-13-13.jpg Fig_Celeste_improvedCelestePP_9-11-13.jpg 

GeneDaniels

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Reply with quote  #31 
Is the pulp of a Celeste always reddish? My reason for asking is that I am trying to identify a large old fig from which I have started a cuttings. Your description sounds a lot like this bush, but the pulp is not reddish, its much closer to a amber or even tan.

Also, what is the difference between Celeste and Texas everbearing? To my understanding, and please correct me if I am wrong, the fruit is similar but the TE tends to more of a tree form where as the Celeste is more of a bush?

By the way, of my four in ground figs, 3 are from local trees that have questionable identities.

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Zone 7b (Central Arkansas) Trees in the ground: Hardy Chicago, Celeste(?), Italian Black, Sicilian, Strawberry Verte, and Unk yellow.  Tree in pots: CdD
GeneDaniels

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Reply with quote  #32 
My tree which I think is Texas Everbearing was a sucker from larger 30-40 yr old tree here in Arkansas. The figs are small to medium size, and right now I cannot remember the exact shape of the leaves. But from looking at pics last summer that is what I figured it is. 
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Zone 7b (Central Arkansas) Trees in the ground: Hardy Chicago, Celeste(?), Italian Black, Sicilian, Strawberry Verte, and Unk yellow.  Tree in pots: CdD
bullet08

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Reply with quote  #33 
most Celeste i have seen on this forum had either red to light pink pulp. haven't seen one with amber or tan pulp on Celeste before. 
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Pete
Durham, NC
Zone 7b

"don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash." - sir winston churchill
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***** all my figs have FMV/FMD, in case you're wondering. *****
***** and... i don't sell things. what little i have will be posted here in winter for first come first serve base to be shared. no, i'm not a socialist...*****
GeneDaniels

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Reply with quote  #34 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullet08
most Celeste i have seen on this forum had either red to light pink pulp. haven't seen one with amber or tan pulp on Celeste before. 


From the color and shape of these compared to the Celeste pics I have seen, I am pretty sure what I have is a Texas Everbearing. But from what I have read, identifying figs is almost futile, esp. as concerning certain varieties.

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Zone 7b (Central Arkansas) Trees in the ground: Hardy Chicago, Celeste(?), Italian Black, Sicilian, Strawberry Verte, and Unk yellow.  Tree in pots: CdD
bullet08

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Reply with quote  #35 
true. there are some figs that stands out and can be readily identified. but there are others that just doesn't ring a bell. some might be unnamed variety that's been around forever. most people will call it either Celeste or Brown Turkey. 
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Pete
Durham, NC
Zone 7b

"don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash." - sir winston churchill
"the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." - the baroness thatcher

***** all my figs have FMV/FMD, in case you're wondering. *****
***** and... i don't sell things. what little i have will be posted here in winter for first come first serve base to be shared. no, i'm not a socialist...*****
GeneDaniels

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Reply with quote  #36 
I don't know anything about Gillette or Crosic, but according to people around here every fig is either Brown Turkey or Texas Everbearing. I will not even buy one at a local nursery because they are all marked as either BT or TE. 

But I am hoping some of my unknown local cuttings root as they are VERY different figs. One is large, flat and yellow. The other is green with a red eye drop. If/when I get some fruit I will enlist some help on the forum to identify them. Maybe I will be able to "prove" that some of the older figs in town are something other than BT or TE ;-)

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Zone 7b (Central Arkansas) Trees in the ground: Hardy Chicago, Celeste(?), Italian Black, Sicilian, Strawberry Verte, and Unk yellow.  Tree in pots: CdD
GeneDaniels

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Reply with quote  #37 
Well that information pretty much confirms it, the tree started from a friend's single upright fig is a Texas Everbearing. My other one is from a huge bush (20+ ft tall) and it is a Brown Turkey. Both are as I suspected.
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Zone 7b (Central Arkansas) Trees in the ground: Hardy Chicago, Celeste(?), Italian Black, Sicilian, Strawberry Verte, and Unk yellow.  Tree in pots: CdD
happy_fl_gardener

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Reply with quote  #38 
I've been growing Celeste for quite a while now (over 20 years).  I got my original plant at a local farmers market.  It also was my very first fig tree.  I air-layerd some plants from it when I moved 15 years ago to my current location because I liked it so much.  They are still growing fine and produce very good tasting figs.  I read a comment that Celeste is a large tree but mine are compact.  I also read a comment about fig drop but I have never had that problem.  The only problem that I get is fig splitting/souring when we get some very heavy rains at ripening time.  Unfortunately, the figs ripen just as the rainy season begins.

Until I started reading posts on this forum, I had no idea that there were different strains of Celeste.  Since I acquired my original Celeste many years ago I presume that my plants are not from any of these strains.

Here are some photos that I took 6-23-2009.  The only cut fig photo that I have is of my batch of dehydrated figs.

IMG_0379.JPG IMG_0352.JPG 


IMG_0401.JPG

happy_fl_gardener

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Reply with quote  #39 
I guess I clicked the wrong thing and I posted before I was finished.  I also wanted to say that I have about a dozen varieties of fig cuttings rooting now. So, in the next few years I will be experiencing a variety of new fig flavors.  I'm looking forward to that.  I have this fig forum to thank for my ever expanding knowledge (and enthusiasm) about figs. 

Christine
zone 9a, Central FL
happy_fl_gardener

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Reply with quote  #40 
Alan, When I dehydrate the figs I just cut them in half.  Because of the high sugar content and thickness they don't turn into chips.  They stay soft and chewy.  They are quite delicious.  That's what I do with the figs when friends and family just can't eat another fig.  I have 3 of the mature Celestes so I get a large harvest.

Christine
zone 9a
snaglpus

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Reply with quote  #41 
Celeste is an amazingly sweet fig. I've got 8 different Celeste fig trees. Two are in the ground, the other 6 I got from Jon, JR, and a few others. I also have a real Texas Everbearing. They are nothing like Celeste or Brown Turkey. I also have Big Al, Blue Celeste and Black Celeste. When Celeste starts to wrinkle and dry on the tree, the sugar content is extremely high. Which is why they call Celeste the sugar fig. In my area, Celeste and Brown Turkey are every where!
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Charlotte, North Carolina/Zone 8a 

happy_fl_gardener

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Reply with quote  #42 
Alan - Congratulations on getting your new dehydrator.  It's a nice handy item to have around.  I use mine to also dehydrate other fruits that produce abundantly.   As for dehydrating the figs whole, it will take much longer but I'm sure it can be done.  Cutting the fruits up into pieces sounds like a good idea too.   As for drying figs on the tree, that could never happen in my area.  We are just too humid and wet at that time of the year.  Wouldn't you be concerned about critters eating your fruit?

Dennis - Is there much of a difference in flavor and production among the different strains of your Celeste trees?  Do you have a favorite?  I have seen a huge Texas Everbearing tree at a u-pick fruit grove.  Unfortunately, it was not fig ripening time when I was there so I didn't get to taste any.  Brown Turkey is the main variety of fig that is grown in my area.

Christine
zone 9a, FL
m5allen

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Reply with quote  #43 
I have read conflicting information - does Celeste produce a breba crop? 
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Tampa, FL Zone 9b. Growing: Black Madeira, CDDG, Malta Black, VDB, Petite Negra, LSU Purple, Celeste, Battaglia, Alma and Grasa's Unknown Seattle Purple
happy_fl_gardener

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Reply with quote  #44 
m5allen - My Celeste trees produce figs on new wood only.  Sometimes they try to produce a light later crop but those never develop into anything edible.

Christine
zone 9a, FL
happy_fl_gardener

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Reply with quote  #45 
Alan - That was an interesting post about how to dry figs on the tree.  I'll have to see this summer if that method works for Celeste also.  Thanks for the link.

Christine
patriota

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Reply with quote  #46 
can you spare 1 or 2 cuttings of this one. I am here local.  I will pay for postage.
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