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Subject: BB10 from Cajun Dan Replies: 25
Posted By: robertharper Views: 857
I would take one also, depending on price.

My email address is

Bob Harper

Subject: Figo Preto Replies: 16
Posted By: robertharper Views: 772
John, what is the average low winter temperature, in your garage?

Bob Harper

Subject: Best figs at your location Replies: 308
Posted By: robertharper Views: 76,644
Michael, is so right about the fig data one might find on the Internet.

One must do ones own investigating if you are planning on investing in a large fig orchard. The best you can get from those of us who are growing figs outside, in cold parts of the country, are cultivars to investigate. Not make a final decision on what to plant based on information we might post.

There simply is no definitive material out there on figs in cold areas. Plus, each location can be so very different. A fig that grows well in one location can be a total disaster grown just 6 miles away.

My testing is now going on 12 years or so, and we are still trying to find a fig, that is the best for us, as close as possible for our location. But, what was good two years ago, can be a total bust two years later.

As of this moment I like Hanc's English Brown Turkey, LaRadek's English Brown Turkey, and Florea, for our zone 5b/6a area of Connecticut. Last winter got down to minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit, and both Hardy Hartford, and Marseilles Black vs, were able to keep wood alive at a height or 8"and 12", with out any type of winter protection. Which is acceptable for us, since we prune our figs any way down to around 24", each fall.

JOE D, You appear to be in a growing zone 6b, in Rhode Island. So, you might want to investigate the above five figs. After they have become mature, they may work for you.

This is my first posting after being out sick for the last two years. So, I'm running way behind on filling orders for plants. But hope to be able to start filling back orders sometime later this fall. 

A tentative report of what we have grown and testing here 10 years or so, is available. But, it is also two years late in being edited.

If any one wants to read it, send a request directly to me at:

Bob Harper 

Subject: H.C. Fig Candy Replies: 13
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,369
Never had any fig to split when covered with the plastic cups.

Bob Harper @ T. Pine

Subject: Are there any apple growers here? Replies: 21
Posted By: robertharper Views: 426
I spray them if either my sprayers are not broken down or I'm not broken down.

Lately all they get is spot spraying from my two gallon sprayer, when I can.

The three I mentioned give us more apples then we can handle, even when I can't spray.

This summer we only spot sprayed Caville Blanc. The other 12 or so got no spray, since it was dry here all spring and summer.
Caville Blanc gets attacked by brown rot. Keep Sake tends to lose it's taste in storage. Cox Orange Pippin is outstanding in being pest resistant with great flavor. Early McIntosh scabs badly. Ribston Pippin great flavor, but have not been able to stop the rots. Sweet sixteen has great flavor, and gets by most years without needing to be sprayed. Hudson's Golden Gem would be good for organic growers. Ashmead's Kernel is another one  that should be good for organic growers, Freyburg out standing flavor, but needs mulch and a lot of organic fertilizer to get tender fruit, and a spray program to get good fruit. Pittmaston Pineapple fruits rot badly. Espous Spitsenburg is hard to grow because of rots. But, I keep it anyways because of its outstanding flavor from the few good ones I get.

A lot of progress has been in the last 50 years in growing apples organically. If one selects varieties that have proven to grow a reasonable amount of good fruit, in their area, they should be able to succeed. But, I don't think it can be done with apples grafted onto dwarf root stock. The deer will never allow them to grow. Plus, I'm not certain the root system on the dwarfs can spread out enough to reach all the nutrients, the tree will need to fight off pest.

Bob Harper @ T. Pine 

Subject: Are there any apple growers here? Replies: 21
Posted By: robertharper Views: 426
Asmead's Kernel, Hudson's Golden Gem. No apple scab. No mildew. No Ceder Apple Rust. a strain of Cox Orange Pippin, the same disease resistance. Maybe, 10 to 25% apple maggot from those three some years. We have others apple trees. But, those are the three that do the best in our part of Connecticut.

Those three produce more good looking, good tasting apples then we can use.

 I would not grow anything smaller then a simi-dwarf size tree. Has be tall enough so the deer can't reach the apples. I prune them so that the first limb does not branch out under 7 feet.

Bob Harper Zone 5b/6a

Subject: Cuttings Available Replies: 42
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,930
Shirley, that's an outstanding specimen of Desert King. Looks like it is 12 to 15 high?

After looking at the great pictures, it brings to mind two question.

I notice that you only had 117 cooling degree days, in 2011. Do you recall how the fruit tasted in 2011. 

Seeing a CDD number that low, is going to stop be from me complaining about the cool summers we have in New England.

Also, looking at the  picture of the cuttings, they look like they have been either dipped in wax, or sprayed with dormant oil. I was wondering which?


Subject: Best Brebas for the Northeast (and other cold climates)? Replies: 33
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,542
Kelby, I have been testing MB vs for at least 6 or 7 years, and I have never seen more then a couple breba on it.

It may of course depend on where it is being grown. But, here I need more then a couple dozen breba, for it to be useful.


Subject: Best Brebas for the Northeast (and other cold climates)? Replies: 33
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,542
I like Brooklyn White. Took ours about five years before it stopped producing tuff skins. Has produced honey sweet brebas here, even when we could only register 565 cooling degree days. It also puts out a good main crop, even after being hit with frost.
We got our start of Brooklyn White from Bass, at Trees of Joy. Bass found this one growing in Brooklyn, NY., winter uncovered. Made my self sick last fall for eating them all day for a week. 

Next would be LaRadek's English Brown Turkey. Big crop of brebas. It has produced big breba crops with out being covered, even with winter lows of 10 to 15 below Fahrenheit. Sweet but does not have as much flavor as Brooklyn White. But it makes up for that with volume. Although, I tried to get new customers to try Desert King,  LaRadeks EBT is the one most asked for.

Third, for me, would be Desert King. Not as cold hardy as the two above. But, it's being grown as far north as Michigan in a zone 5b, covered. It's also being grown out side in Canada. Simply can't be beat for those who like honey tasting figs. In a pot inside, It gives us big great tasting figs as early as July. Well worth the effort of covering for the winter. If you plant them at a 45 degree angle, you should be able to bend them to the ground come fall. We then cover with about 10 40 lb. bags of potting soil. Which can be had in the fall for pennies on the dollar, or free. Should only take 30 minutes to an hour to cover each year.

We are testing the above here in Connecticut, zone 5b/6a, along with others. But, have not been testing them long enough to recommend.

 Valliery is starting to look very promising, for a heavy producing breba. But, have not been able to tell much how cold it's breba can take.

Sodus Black, is producing breba without being covered in up state New York. Has been very hard to propagate.

I can provide a list of both main crop and breba crop figs we have been testing here in Connecticut for the last ten years or so.
Can send to any one who wants it.

Send a direct email request to: <>




Subject: Mountain Figs - cold hardy early ripening Replies: 85
Posted By: robertharper Views: 9,454
As to whether Bayernfeige Violetta should be on the list.

It is cold hardy, large, attractive, and exceptionally sweet. But here, it has not been the most cold hardy fig tested. I suggest it now only for growers who can accumulate at least, 800 cooling degree days, calculated with a base of 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Or grow it in ground roughly no colder then a zone 7.

In the years since we have been testing it against 24 or so other cold hardy figs, it has not ripened its main crop but 40% of the time.

Whats the sense in growing any fig, cold hardy or not, if the fig needs more heat then your area of the country can supply.

But, since it bears so heavily, I think for any one who has a green house it might make a good potted plant, in areas of the country that are colder then zone 7a.

For those who are interested in growing cold hardy figs, I can send to them a list of the figs we found to be cold hardy. Send the request to <>.

Use the heading, "Cold Hardy Fig List"



Subject: Adrianos inground desert king Replies: 8
Posted By: robertharper Views: 893
Nelson, thanks for the picture of Adriano's Desert King.

I have several pictures of Desert King shown, being grown in cold northern areas.

Adriano's Desert King is one of the reasons why I started growing figs in the north. I figured if Adriano could grow a cold tender fig that originated in California, I should be able to grow cold hardy figs in Connecticut. We have never lost a fig to winter cold, that was bent to the ground, and cover with something.

In looking at the picture that you posted I was wondering if that picture was taken after the brutal winter of 2013/2014?

If he still had an abundant breba crop.

My understanding is that Adriano bends his in-ground trees to the ground. The same as I do. With the Desert King he then places a simple A-frame over it.

Thanks for your response.


Subject: Three cultivars got ripe fruits here: they are: Replies: 81
Posted By: robertharper Views: 3,763
Good to have you back Herman.

Herman looking at the last pictures you posted, I can tell the second to the last plant is Improved Celeste.

What is the name of the fig in the third picture?



Subject: 2014 ,New fig embryos,here in NJ Replies: 44
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,990
Herman, were would you place on the list Florea?

Also, are there any figs that could be earlier like 65 and or 60 days?

Bob Harper

Subject: Any really good first year figs? Replies: 13
Posted By: robertharper Views: 567
For me, Hardy Hartford, started out tasting good the very first year  I planted it in ground.

Then later each year it started to taste more and more like a Marseilles Black VS, or a Sal's EL. 

One of its attributes is producing good tasting figs right away, for people who don't want to wait three or four years to have good tasting figs.

Bob Harper

Subject: Danny's Delite and Desert King Replies: 1
Posted By: robertharper Views: 408
Mat, as far as I can tell, the true Danny's Delight is a dark fig. It is one of my all around best cold hardy main crop figs. I would not want to be without it.

At my location in Connecticut, I would describe it as a better version of Hardy Chicago. Same flavor profile. But, a much more stronger flavor. Produces heavier crops. Ripens earlier, and appears to be more cold hardy.

2013, was another overly wet, and cool spring and summer. To much rain, and not enough sun. But, our Danny's Delight still produced a big crop of sweet, great tasting figs. 

Desert King took around 3 to 4 years to start producing breba figs for me(2 figs this year). I have been growing it in a pot. I keep it to use as a standard for comparing to other breba producers. Desert King is a great breba producing fig. But, I have been testing for a more cold hardy version of a Desert King. Because in New England, we not only have cold winters, we can also have cool wet spring/summers. So, we also need breba producing figs. Figs that will ripen in July and August, when we have the most heat.

Bob Harper

Subject: 2014 ,New fig embryos,here in NJ Replies: 44
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,990
Herman, will your Tacoma Violet have time to ripen it's fruit, this year?

If so, how many fruit do you think it will ripen, before first frost.

If I remember right, Tacoma Violet was found by Gene Hosey, right?

Bob Harper

Subject: New greenhouse Replies: 26
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,020
Bass, the last time you and I talked on the phone you were talking about your dream of having a bigger place. I think that was about the time your kids were around two.

I'm happy you were able to achieve your dream, and wish you the very best of luck going forward.
That was an enormous feat with such a young family to take care of at the same time.

Now you have me dreaming about a large greenhouse.

Hope your back is doing better.


Subject: I'm looking for VERY cold hardy figs zone 6 or above Replies: 44
Posted By: robertharper Views: 18,643
Danny's Delight is an outstanding fig for the north.

But, keep in mind all figs are tender until they become mature. In the north, that can take any where from 5 to 10 years.

They must be protected when they are young. They can not be planted and cared for like an baby apple or baby pear tree.

You're going to end up loving your Danny's Delight. Yes it has been reported to be hardy down to minus 20 degrees Celcius.

But, a fig trees ability to handle cold will depend a lot on how well the grower understands the fig trees needs.

Bob Harper

Subject: I'm looking for VERY cold hardy figs zone 6 or above Replies: 44
Posted By: robertharper Views: 18,643
I have been searching for, growing, and testing cold hardy figs now for around 10 years, in a zone 5b/6a.

There are now many cold hardy figs available that were not known 10 to 20 years ago.

I can provide a list of figs from our testing results, if requested.

For any one who would like to see that list, send to me a direct email request to:               robertcharper@

The list is 17 pages long with pictures. So, it is better if sent by email.

Bob Harper

Subject: -3* F Friday night,here in Zone 6b. Replies: 42
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,222
We had lows around 9 to 10 below.

The in ground figs only suffered from 0 to maybe 3 to 5%. Most lost only an inch or so of tip growth. Some lost nothing.

Even Kathleen's Black, which was bent to the ground and covered with bags of potting soil, and aluminum bubble insulation, came through with no cold damage. But was hit hard by mice. The only one were the mice ate the rat poison and then ate the plant. 

Uncovered figs died back to several inches above ground to may be 2 to 3 feet from ground.

Bob @ T. Pine 

Subject: -3* F Friday night,here in Zone 6b. Replies: 42
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,222
Herman, which three figs that were killed back the to ground, will produce, and ripen all its fruit, for you this summer?

Also, which one will produce the most figs of the three, before frost hits.

Plus the name, of that fig that will produce the most figs after being killed to the ground, and how many individual figs will it produce, after being killed to the ground.

Thanks for information Herman.

Bob @ T. Pine

Subject: Gino -vs- Sal's -vs- MBVS similar? Replies: 18
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,647
Frank, of all the cold hardy figs the wife and I are testing, we have had the longest experience with, Hardy Chicago, Sals's EL, Marseilles Black VS, Hardy Hartford, and Danny's Delight.

These indeed are duplicates in taste to either each other, or to other figs we have in our collection. They all have strong points and weak points.

But, for us, getting great tasting figs in a cold wet zone 5a/6b, we have to concentrate on cold hardiness first.

It makes no difference how great the fig has been reported to taste, if it gets killed by our cold New England Weather.

At one point in time I was considering pulling out some of them because they appear to be some duplications in taste. But what I found was that each year, they all performed differently.

To my taste buds;

Hardy Chicago and Danny's Delight have the same taste profile. But, to my taste, Danny's Delight is a more spiced up berry tasting Hardy Chicago.

Marseilles Black VS, Sal's EL, Gino's Black, and Hardy Hartford have to me, the same taste profile, figgy and sweet. But, Sal's EL keeps that very sweet taste even when we have a very wet and cool summer.

With our other 24 or so figs, they also have strong points and weak points, and I have learned to appreciate them all in one way or the other.

If I were you and you really need the space, instead of pulling some out I would graft onto the ones you want to get rid of, with the ones you want to keep. But, I would keep at least one cane of the ones you want to get rid of, that way you may notice later on, they have certain merits worth keeping.

Bob @ T. Pine 

Subject: Atreano hardiness Replies: 8
Posted By: robertharper Views: 702
Of the two dozen or so figs I'm testing for cold hardiness, I rank it no lower then a zone 7b/7a, for cold hardiness.

That is once it has become mature. Gets at least 8 hours of sunlight during it's growing season. If the soil is not to wet. It has not been overly fertilized. Is protected from cold winter winds. Is protected from late winter and early spring sun. Also, like Dennis suggest, make sure it is not a one gallon plant, when you plant it in the ground.

In other words I don't recommend it for beginners.

I have not been overly impressed with it's taste at my 5b/6a location. I think along with needing dry soil, it also needs a longer, hotter growing season then I have been able to give to it.

Remember, Hanc had it planted on Long island, in a zone 7, and he winterized it. Plus, it was created for growers in Italy, who did not have to worry about all the things we have to be concerned with, in a cold climate.

I have my stock plant, for cutting's, planted in a 5 gallon pot, and only keep it because customers keep asking for it.

Bob @ T. Pine - Connecticut zone 5b/6a

Subject: Biblical Fig Tree Replies: 12
Posted By: robertharper Views: 800

Even Desert King is cold hardy to zone 5, if covered, and it's owner understands the figs needs.

One of the biggest problems we have with our hobby of figs, is the miss-labeling of figs with large companies who sell them.

To a lot of companies, a fig is a fig. I have lost count of how many times I heard people tell me they waited for five years and their fig keeps dying to the ground. Or, "Why is it I never get more then a couple of figs from my plant?". Or, ""My fig is loaded with figs every year. But, they never ripen. Why?.

If you stay with Figs 4 Fun and read the post, you will understand why a lot of people want to only buy from members of this forum.

The best fig a person can have is the one already growing well in your neighborhood. Locate it, and ask the owner for cuttings. The second best thing is to buy from a member of this forum.

These are people who care about and know figs. They probably hate miss labeled fig plants more then any one else. Not to mention companies who are miss leading in their advertising.

Bob @ T. Pine

Subject: The Abruzzo game! Replies: 16
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,057
Bob c, attached is the picture you requested of a plant of Danny's delight, with the fruit covered with plastic cups.

So, far I have used the plastic cups on Danny's Delight, Hardy Chicago, Hardy Hartford, Marseilles black VS, Abruzzi, Atreano, Hanc's English Brown Turkey, and Brooklyn White.

This appears to have helped a great deal last growing season, where we had rain when the fruit was ripening

This has helped keep the rain and the dew off the fruit of all, and allowed the fruit to reach perfection Plus, it has kept the birds from damaging the fruit.

But, the extremely ripe fruit attracted more wasp, flies and ants.

So I had to put out wasp, fly, and ant baited traps about a month before the fruit was scheduled to become ripe. If I didn't the sweet fruit at the end of summer attracts these pest from miles away.

Bob @ T. Pine Connecticut zone 5b/6a

Attached Images
jpeg DANNY'S_DELIGHT_PLASTIC_CUPS_2013.JPG (528.99 KB, 43 views)

Subject: The Abruzzo game! Replies: 16
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,057
Vito, I use a small propane torch, to heat a old discarded knife. I then simply slice through the cup from the top down to about an inch of the bottom of the cup.

I then simply slide a cup over each fruit on a branch.

Besides protecting the fruit from rain, it has also protected the fruit from birds 

I get the cups from a restaurant supply company.

Attached is a picture of a cup that has been sliced.

Bob @ T. Pine Connecticut zone 5b/6aSLIT PLASTIC CUP.JPG

Subject: The Abruzzo game! Replies: 16
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,057

That was a comment I made in reference to a post titled, I believe it was called, "Love at first bite"

We have a Abruzzi fig grown by Aldo Briagotta. That may not be the correct spelling of his name.
But, he has been growing it here in Connecticut for over 20 years or more. But, our start came from a gardener who is growing it in up state New York, in tunnels.

This strain of Abruzzi that we our testing for cold hardiness here, has neither a figgy taste, nor a honey taste, nor a berry taste. A taste all of it's own.

It's only draw back that I can see so far is that it does not like rain when it is ripening. Ours may have over reacted to rain because it is being grow in a five gallon nursery pot. Maybe once it gets planted in ground, rain will not effect it as badly.

Normally, I would have put it into the burn pile as soon as I saw it explode from being rained on while it was ripening. Which is what I do with any fig we are testing that explodes when it rains, sours, or has it's flavor diluted from rain.

But, I had just learned to use slit cups, So, I put slit cups on half of the fruit that was in the ripening process. The difference was like night and day. All the Abruzzi fruit that was not covered exploded, and the flavor was washed out. But, all the fruit that was covered with slit cups was simply out standing.

In the past any fig that could not take the rain here in New England, I would not recommend it. But, this fig has such a outstanding flavor, that I do recomend it to every one trying to grow figs in a cold northern climate. Especially since it's ripening fruit can be protected quickly and easily with slit, 32 once, clear plastic cold drink cups.

Bob @ T. Pine zone 5b/6a Connecticut
 I'm looking for any Abruzzi figs that are being grown out side, without cover in a zone 6a or colder. 

Subject: Top Tier Figs? Replies: 28
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,324
Dennis, I'm happy to hear that Hardy Hartford has turned out to be a good fig for you.

It has never had a bad year here, as far as taste is concerned. Here it has the same taste profile as Marseilles Black VS, and Sal's EL. It appears to a Mt. Etna type fig.

It does not split or become sour during rainy or wet growing season, and it always produces sweet tasting figs, regardless of a cool summer. Also, were a lot of figs require several years in ground, to start tasting good, Hardy Hartford started producing really good tasting figs here, it's very first year in ground.

It's one of about half dozen or so figs we suggest to beginners in zone 6 or warmer. A lot like Marseilles Black VS. A cold hardy, no fuss, no experience in growing figs needed.

Bob @ T. Pine Zone 5b/6a Connecticut

Subject: Fig tree trade Replies: 3
Posted By: robertharper Views: 487

Rex, your Danny's Delight was shipped yesterday, 12-19-13.

Will be ready for pick-up at your post office, this coming Monday, 12-23-13.

Bob @ T. Pine

Subject: 2013 Figs Rated 8 or better in a bad year Replies: 30
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,660
Herman, that is absolutely amazing, your climate is just like mine. Except for the fact that we are 4 weeks behind you. Plus, we do not get as much heat as you do.

But, yet your Danny's Delight was fair. Don't understand it. Makes absolutely no sense at all.There would appear to be more things that effect fig quality, then we realize.

The only thing I think of at the moment, that might  have made a difference, is our Danny's Delight is planted next to a large boulder, had a large boulder planted at the bottom of the planting hole, has a large well rotted piece of hardwood in the planting hole, and we placed slit plastic cups over each fruit, about 100 or so. But, the rain must have caught about 50 fruit, before we covered the rest, and that 50 that ripen without the cups, were outstanding.

About 25% of the fruit had started to ripen. Then it started to rain again. So, we then placed slit plastic cups over the other 75 percent, that had starting swelling. It rain for a full day on the Danny's Delight before we got a chance to put on the slit cups. 

After what you reported with your Danny's Delight I'm no longer sure what is going on. But, I will be trying to duplicate everything with any other figs, we plant, that we did with the Danny's Delight.

So, I guess it's as they say, "Go Figer".

Bob @ T. Pine Connecticut zone 5b/6a

Subject: 2013 Figs Rated 8 or better in a bad year Replies: 30
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,660
Dennis, it's the brown one. Early, on we sent Herman pictures of fruit, and leaf. He identified it as the one that Hartman once sold as Danny's Delight.

Even though we had a very cold wet spring, that rained for what seems like almost three months. Danny's Delight was still, simply outstanding. We planted from one plant to three fig plants of each variety of fig plants we're testing. If I had know what I know now about Danny's Delight, I would have planted ten plants of Danny's Delight.

I'm glad to hear that you like Hardy Hartford. It has never failed to produce a crop of figs since we have been testing it here. Nor, have I ever seen the mother plant in Hartford not have a crop.

Hardy Hartford has a taste profile similar to Sal's EL, and Marseilles Black VS.

Bob @ T. Pine - Zone 5b/6a Connecticut

Subject: 2013 Figs Rated 8 or better in a bad year Replies: 30
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,660
Herman, Connecticut was like your growing area in New Jersey. It was so bad here with the three months of cold rain, that never stopped. That even Concord seedless grapes never got any bigger then the size of peas. I thought the cold wet spring would never turn to summer.

But, Danny's Delight was again an absolutely outstanding fig. Plus, Sal's EL was so close that I would have to rank it also as number one. Sal's EL, has already been selected by Paul Tracesky as the winner of his 1990's fig evaluation test results, for Connecticut. Each year, I understand more and more why Paul chose Sal's EL, for his location here in Connecticut.

I'm still trying to figure out whether it was my imagination or not. But, I think the three months of a cold, wet spring, actually made Danny's Delight, taste even better then last year.

It not only was able to handle the three months of cold rain, but the cold rain did not keep it from producing a large crop of good sized figs. Plus, none of it's fruit split or spoiled. 

I'm really eager to compare Danny's Delight to your rain tolerant Nero 600M.
Were you able to draw any conclusions on how Nero 600M performed, last growing season?

By the way Herman, how did your Hardy Hartford do, this last growing season?
Here it ripened sweet fruit. But, the cold rain reduced the crop load.

Bob @ T. Pine Connecticut - zone 5.b/6a  


Subject: Mountain Figs - cold hardy early ripening Replies: 85
Posted By: robertharper Views: 9,454
*BILL, to be on the safe side the fig should be between 5 to 7 years old.

Kept in a pot or covered if planted out side.

Make sure the root zone of the plant is insulated against freeze, with something like leaves or hay.

Make sure you put down mouse poison. Plus, a lot of other things needed to keep a fig alive in a northern climate.

Some times customers will come back in the spring, and say, "Bob I waited 5 years like you said". But, my plant lost a portion of it's top". You said it would be cold hardy after 5 to 7 years.

Then I have to explain to them, "Yes I said it would be hardy enough after 5 to 7 years to plant in the ground. I did not say the entire plant would be cold hardy enough. Remember the top one to three feet of growth you had last summer was only one year old. Not 5 or 7 years old, like the bottom portion. But, that is not a problem. Since in the north, one has to grow figs in a bush form, they have to be pruned back each year to a height of 2 to three feet. Main crop fig fruit forms each year on new wood, not old wood".

I do not have a lot of experience in what figs would do good in your part of the country. But, from what you described I think Florea would be at the top of my list.

If you would like a list of what we have been testing for growing in a northern climate, send me an email, and I will attach the list of figs to your return email.

My email address is

Bob @ T. Pine 


Subject: 2013 Figs Rated 8 or better in a bad year Replies: 30
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,660
Dennis, that is a impressive list.

If you think you had a problem last growing season, with to much rain, and not enough heat, try growing figs in New England. That is our fig growing season every year.

I'm surprise to see that Bayernfeige Violetta made your 8+ list, for last year. It was a totally wipe out for me here, this last growing season.

It simply could not handle the three months of unending cool, wet spring weather we had, last season. Which was even more cooler and wetter then usual.

Which fig was your earliest fig from that group?

Thanks for the info.

Bob @ T. Pine

Subject: 'Love at first bite' varieties of figs. Replies: 23
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,596

Recantor, if you like Marseilles Black VS, then your going to love Sal's EL.

Same taste profile. But, much stronger.

Bob @ T. Pine - zone 5b/6a Connecticut

Subject: 'Love at first bite' varieties of figs. Replies: 23
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,596
From all the northern climate, cold hardy figs we have been growing and testing here, for the last 8 to 10 years. It has to be our selection of Abruzzi. Fantastic taste from day one, growing in a 5 gallon pot. Can't imagine how much better this fig can get in the coming years, once it has been in ground for 5 years.

It's the type of fig that makes you not want to wait 365 days to taste it again.

I now understand why Aldo Biagiotti has been growing it for some 20 years, in Connecticut.

It also makes me want to start collecting and testing all the different Abruzzi figs I can get my hands on.

Although it is also being grown in tunnels in up state New York. We have not had it long enough to tell how cold hardy it will be, uncovered here.

Bob @ T. Pine zone 5b/6a Connecticut

Subject: Should I remove all leaves with rust before greenhousing? Replies: 12
Posted By: robertharper Views: 715
Mike, I use Immunox.

Bob @ T. Pine

Subject: Should I remove all leaves with rust before greenhousing? Replies: 12
Posted By: robertharper Views: 715
Soni, I not only remove leaves that look like they may have rust, but I also spray the plant, the top of the soil, and the pot, with a spray for rust. Then apply enough live compost to the soil surface to completely cover the top of the soil. Rust can be difficult to remove once it gets on your plants.

When spring comes do not place pots back in the same spot, until you have sprayed the area.

Bob @ T. Pine Connecticut - zone 5b/6a 

Subject: Figs for drying Replies: 2
Posted By: robertharper Views: 412
Sal's EL, dries on the tree also.

Paul Trecesky, the guy who discovered Sal's EL, near Huntington station, on Long Island, got rid of all his test figs. But kept Sal's EL. Sal's EL is not as juicy as Hardy Chicago. So, drying it would be easier. Also, Hanc's EBT will dry easily on the plant. But, It is some what small.

Bob @ T. Pine

Subject: H.C. Fig Candy Replies: 13
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,369
Ryan, the stock plants that we have of Hardy Chicago, and Sal's EL, came directly from Edible Landscaping, at the same time. Michael, once told me that he was purchasing some of his fig inventory from a wholesaler, in Tennessee. I also read were Mike at one time, had said that he thought that the two were the same.

My feeling on that subject is that some time in the past, Michael's wholesaler shipped to him his order of Hardy Chicago and or Sal's EL, together. But some where between the wholesaler's shipping people pulling Mike's order and Mike's people unpacking the order, some of the stock got mixed together. Also, if I remember right, a lot of nurseries buy figs from the same Tennessee wholesaler, that Edible Landscaping, and Millers nursery does. So, I would imagine there are years when that wholesale nursery, may have to get their cuttings from any where they can, just to fill all their orders. 

Soni, Maybe I should have used the word slit cup, verses split cup. I have inserted a picture of a slit cup into the original post.

Chivas, here figs have to be protected against ants, flys, and yellow jackets. If they are going to be allowed to dry on the plant. Especially here in the north, where fruit that sweet growing outside is not common.

Musillid, water enters the fruit through the plants roots and the skin. Also, here even when it does not rain for days on end, fig fruit will be cover with more water then you can imagine, from morning dew.

Michael, in my mind, that is why I feel the name of a fig is not as important as much as whether or not you like the fig's taste, and that it will grow well for a person. I my self, suspect that they are several different strains of Hardy Chicago, out there. Not to mention the fact that I suspect that figs can mutate a lot easier then most people realize.

Bob @ T. Pine

Subject: H.C. Fig Candy Replies: 13
Posted By: robertharper Views: 1,369
Last year one of our customers, stopped by to pick up five more Hardy Chicago fig plants.

Since he and his wife already had bought over five from us, over the years, I asked him if they would like to try some of the other figs we sell. But, he said no, and that they thought our strain of Hardy Chicago produced some of the best fig candy they had ever produced.

That statement surprised me. Because I had always thought Hardy Chicago to be to juicy for drying. So, I never brought any into the house for drying. So, I asked him and his wife, "How are you drying Hardy Chicago, in a dryer or in a oven?"

His wife told me that they were using a dryer. But, they allowed the fruit to dry on the tree first. That reply confused me even more. Because I could never get the fruit on our Hardy Chicago to ever dry up, before rain would soak the fruit. After a little more asking questions, they explained to me they were using 32 ounce clear, slit soda cups to cover each fruit. I thought that was very time consuming. But, they said they together could do well over 500 fruit within an hour.

So, this year I decided to try the slit plastic cup trick on our Hardy Chicago. All, I can say is, "WOW!!!".
I like all fig candy. But, Hardy Chicago does in fact make some of the best fig candy, I have ever tasted.

Eight to ten years ago, we obtained our Hardy Chicago start from Michale at Edible Landscaping. After wards I had read that a lot of people thought Hardy Chicago from Edible Landscaping and Sal's EL, were the same. The ones that we have are in no way the same. Hardy Chicago is more spicy, when dried. Sal's EL is sweeter, with a more figgy taste. Plus, Sal's EL appears to be more cold hardy, then Hardy Chicago. 

Attached are pictures of Hardy Chicago fruit drying on the plant, using slit, clear plastic cups.
Additional benefits to using the slit clear plastic cups, was it also helped keep the morning dew from being absorbed by the fruit. Plus, there was no bird damage with fruit that was covered with the plastic cups.  

Bob @ T. Pine

Attached Images
jpeg FRUIT_&_PLASTIC_CUP.JPG (337.18 KB, 239 views)
jpeg HARDY_C._2013.JPG (78.54 KB, 223 views)
jpeg HARDY_C._DRIPPING_HONEY_2013.JPG (209.19 KB, 207 views)
jpeg HARDY_C._OVER_DRIED_2013.JPG (326.12 KB, 203 views)
jpeg SPLIT_PLASTIC_CUP.JPG (293.30 KB, 175 views)

Subject: What's your best black tasting fig for 2013?(one only...) Replies: 52
Posted By: robertharper Views: 5,009

For just taste alone, this year, 2013, it is Abruzzi. It beat out last year's Danny's Delight.

The wife tells me that this year her favorite is still the old, cold hardy, gold standard for this part of Connecticut, Sal's EL.

We are about as far north as one can get and still ripen, in ground figs before frost. We still have Brooklyn White, and Bayernfeige Violetta to ripen, and taste, as of 10-02-2013.

We still only have one stock plant of our strain of Abruzzi. Which is probably a good thing. Because if I had 10 Abruzzi trees, I would probably stand there and eat the fruit, until I got sick. I thought it was that good.

Bob @ T. Pine zone 5b/6a Connecticut 

Subject: Mountain Figs - cold hardy early ripening Replies: 85
Posted By: robertharper Views: 9,454
Tony, I should add that the three that I recommend for a zone 5b/6a, without winter cover, would be after the plant has become mature. May 5 to 7 years. Even then it would depend on the growers experience.

You will have to be able to not only control the cold, but also, soil moisture, winter winds, late winter early spring sun, amount of fertilizer given, and when it was given, whether or not the grower removed new fruit and new tip growth, after the 5th or 6th leaf, and probably several other factors, that I'm not aware of since our cold weather testing is not scientific. nor has our testing been long enough. But, hopefully as more and more growers like your self become interested, we will gain more and more knowledge on how to grow figs successfully in cold areas of the country. 

Because we have only been testing for cold hardy figs for around eight or so years, each year we find another factor effecting winter survival.

Although I'm not aware of any other figs that would take 6a cold, without cover I would not be surprise if some fig collector did find one.

Also, in my mind when one says mountain figs, I see the Iranian figs that I hear about. Figs that are suppose to be able to take as low as minus forty degrees Fahrenheit. I would imagine some time in the future fig growers will be able to order Iranian mountain figs from any nursery. 

But, until that day Florea main crop, LaRadek's EBT's breba crop only, and Hanc's EBT main crop, of which Herman has identified as actually being a very cold hardy version of Southern Brown Turkey, are the only figs I would want to try into a zone 5a

Bob @ T. Pine zone 5b/6a Connecticut   

Subject: 2013 ripening order ,main crop in NJ Replies: 26
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,045
Our in ground figs started to ripen main crop figs here September 15th. We started picking fruit on September 19th.

The order in which they started to ripen was; Danny's Delight, Sal's EL, Hardy Hartford and Hardy Chicago.

Danny's Delight was also the first to ripen, last year.

Bob @ T. Pine zone 5b/6a Connecticut

Subject: Mountain Figs - cold hardy early ripening Replies: 85
Posted By: robertharper Views: 9,454
Tony, different people have different definitions of cold hardy.

We are testing a lot of the ones you have on your list.

My idea of cold hardy is that it can be grown outside without winter cover, in a zone 5b/6a.

So far, I would only recommend three for an area that cold, without winter cover.

Florea, LaRadek's EBT, and Hanc's EBT.

Although Hardy Harford was re-discovered by us growing in Hartford, Ct., with out cover for over 30 years. It was growing in a very protected spot. Hartford is a zone 6b. That is a lot warmer then 5b/6a. So, I do not recommend Hardy Hartford, any where colder then 6B, if it is planted in a well protected spot.

I have not learned how to add attachments to the F4F forum email yet. Send to me an email to and I will send you a list of figs we are growing, and testing. I can attach the list to your email.

Bob @ T. Pine zone5b/6a Connecticut

Subject: The Sweetest fig of 2013 - Violet Sepor Replies: 20
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,278

Dennis, isn't Don Fortisi a English Brown Turkey?


Bob @ T. Pine

Subject: Col de Dame Blanc Replies: 13
Posted By: robertharper Views: 932

Barry, are you growing the plant in a pot or in the ground?


Bob @ T. Pine

Subject: The Sweetest fig of 2013 - Violet Sepor Replies: 20
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,278
Dennis, with your very lage collection, could you rank the 4 sweetest figs you have tasted, from 1 through 4?

With 1. being the sweetest going down to four.


Bob @ T. Pine

Subject: The Sweetest fig of 2013 - Violet Sepor Replies: 20
Posted By: robertharper Views: 2,278
Are you talking about the Bayernfeige Violetta you got from me?

Yes, I found the Bayernfeige Violetta to be a super sweet fig. I like it because it is a late fig here. Even with the weather being cool when it ripens, it still is a good tasting fig because it starts out so sweet.

So, your saying the Violet Sepor is not as sweet as Bayernfeige Violetta?????

Bob @ T. Pine

Subject: Sodus Sicilian Replies: 59
Posted By: robertharper Views: 3,305
Johnnyq, the fruit reminds me of a English Brown Turkey.

Does any one else think it looks like a English Brown Turkey? 

Bob @ T. Pine zone 5b/6a Connecticut


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