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Subject: Seedlings and Cuttings Replies: 13
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 1,513
*Edited Jan 30,'10*  Pictures Below Added*

Today I put some of the fig seedlings (sown about Oct. 30 and repotted into the 4" pots on Dec. 12) and some cuttings that I had potted around Dec. 20 into a large tub and bottom watered them with a dilute solution of Shultz Bloom Food (10-54-10).

So I decided to take some pictures and share them here.

The first picture is an overhead of them, with the various "unkown" cuttings on the right. On the lower left of the picture the two larger seedlings are ones that I had repotted out of the germinating tray about 2 or 3 weeks earlier than the rest of the seedlings. Also in this picture you can see one of the smaller seedlings with a plant tag in its pot bottom center of seedlings). This is my favorite right now because it had three cotyledons (seed leaves) instead of the usual two.

The second picture is a close up of that "tricot" plant. Its first pair of true leaves tried to copy the three seed leaves, by having one of them be a double leaf off the same leaf stem. After the first two at the same node true leaves fig seedlings seem to go to a single leaf per node, and this one has too.

The third is a close up of the two seedlings that had about 2 weeks head start on the others. These have started to grow quickly now! These seedlings are from seeds from a Panache fig growing in the wasp area of California, part of a very large collection that includes a number of persistent caprifig plants.

The last two are close ups of cuttings from three different "unkown" plants I found in my area.

I'll try to post some more pictures of the other cuttings I have started soon. Hope you enjoy the pics!

*I added some current pictures. Three are of the largest seedlings, to show how much they have grown in 24 days.
 One of the pictures shows three different sizes, and another picture shows the one that had three cotyledons (The one that has a double leaf in the lower center of picture).

Attached Images
jpeg a1tray_seedlings_cuttings.JPG (757.75 KB, 119 views)
jpeg a2_tricot.JPG (779.60 KB, 62 views)
jpeg a3_big_seedlings.JPG (903.21 KB, 69 views)
jpeg a4_roots.JPG (997.37 KB, 106 views)
jpeg a5_cuttings.JPG (272.42 KB, 65 views)
jpeg big_seedling1.JPG (703.00 KB, 36 views)
jpeg big_seedling2.JPG (613.20 KB, 49 views)
jpeg big_seedling3.JPG (581.82 KB, 28 views)
jpeg tricot_2.JPG (653.44 KB, 48 views)
jpeg three_sizes.JPG (396.45 KB, 33 views)

Subject: Fig trees in Maryland? Replies: 2
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 1,203
I hope everyone had a good Christmas, and wish you all a happy new year!

I am currently visiting my in-laws in the Frederick Maryland area, and I was wondering if there were any fig trees in the area besides the one I planted last summer in my Father in laws back yard. It is a Celeste that I got from a local nursery called "Meadows Nursery" and it is doing pretty well.

Does anyone on this forum know of anyone with figs in the Western Maryland area?

When I get back to Utah I will be sharing some pictures of some of my propagation efforts.

Subject: How old can fig trees be? Replies: 5
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 686
I was thinking about figs recently (surprised?) and how I have read that evidence has been found of people cultivating parthenocarpic (Common) figs 8 to 11 thousand years ago.

That made me wonder; is it possible that some of the fig trees that we like to grow now might have been handed down from generation to generation since the tree was first discovered as a seedling maybe 10 thousand years ago?

It seems that this is possible. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this? I find it awe inspiring to think that one of the little fig plants I am growing may have originated from a seed that germinated many thousands of years ago, having survived by people always propagating cuttings and passing them on.

Subject: Fig Seedlings Replies: 9
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 1,237
My understanding is that fig seeds can grow into any of three kinds. Caprifigs (which are the functionally male trees that produce pollen), Smyrna type females (which are the type of female flower only trees that require pollination to ripen figs) and Common type females (which are the type that we all have that produce figs without pollination).

And in regards to those that do grow as Common, the same variability applies as with apples etc. That is the trees might produce fruit that is inferior to the parent tree, or if one is lucky, they may produce fruit that is better than the parent tree.

So with figs, the chances of getting a better fruiting tree than the parent are small. I am hoping to be lucky and get not only some that produce good figs, but also have a resistance to the cold winters we have here in Utah. I expect my luck might be better when I try some seeds from crosses I plan to do using known cold hardy female trees such as Celeste or Hardy Chicago or even some of the 'unknown' types I have located doing well here in Utah.

For pollen, I plan to grow my own by growing a few caprifig trees. From those I will extract pollen, and not having fig wasps here I will then cut a small pencil size plug out of the fig that I want to have make seeds, and use a puff of air to blow the pollen thru a straw into the inside of that fig. I should get pollination that way, and viable seeds to try with.

Subject: Potted Figs Stored for the Winter Replies: 15
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 955
Here are two pics of my potted plants in their insulated box inside my old 'tack shed'. I have a light on a primitive thermostat (goes on at 35, off at 45 F.) to keep it from freezing. I am paranoid about killing these potted small plants. My first winter as a fig caretaker saw me at the beginning with one in the ground and one in a pot. I left both of them outside for the winter, the one in the ground cut back to 24" (which is about 1/2 of how big it got from a cutting its first year) and covered with leaves, the one in the pot just sitting on a bench in the back yard. Guess what. The one in the pot didn't wake up this spring, while the one in the ground got to 6'. Anyway, now I have over 30 varieties and more than 50 individual plants rooted in pots (increasing  soon with rooted cuttings). I am trying to let them be dormant, but some haven't lost their leaves. I am thinking about leaving the light unplugged for a few nights. We are having lows predicted of around 28 f. so inside the box it likely won't freeze their roots. I am worried about that.

Any thoughts on how tender they might be?

Attached Images
jpeg figs_in_shed.JPG (989.51 KB, 50 views)
jpeg figs_in_shed2.JPG (912.34 KB, 39 views)

Subject: Another unknown white Replies: 7
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 686
Actually, the three cuttings in the picture are the second group of these fall cuttings that I have tried to root. The first group had 4 sticks, and one of those is definitely rooted, while a second probably is and the other two still might. I don't see or smell any sign of mold. The one that rooted for sure (showing on sides of clear cup) had these fuzzy soft root initials on it too. So did some of this other kind of fig cutting for about a week, and then real roots showed up and now 3 out of 4 of them show roots in the cup.

I'll post some pictures of the rooted ones soon.

Subject: Another unknown white Replies: 7
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 686
Here is a picture of some cuttings from another Salt Lake tree, that the owners enclose in a plywood box for winter. It seems like it's leaves did curl up during a light frost that left the other trees around town that I know of undamaged. The figs from this tree are larger than those from the hardier unknown white, but are quite similar in sweetness and taste. Yellow skin, amber pulp.

I wonder why there are so many little white fuzzy spots and no real roots yet, after about 2 weeks.

Attached Images
jpeg greek_white.JPG (466.84 KB, 65 views)

Subject: Unknown White pruned... Replies: 1
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 562
Here are some pictures of what I trimmed off of an unknown white fig tree. This tree produces nice small to medium yellow with amber pulp sweet flavorful figs. It produces a small breba and ripens a large main crop here in Salt Lake City. The tree is on the side of an old home that has tenants who don't care about the tree, and the next door nieghbors had to have some trimmed off of their patio, which is what the first picture's branches came from. In the other two pictures I show what the first round of cutting them into rooting size pieces resulted in. After these pictures I washed them off with 1 to 10 bleach solution, let them dry, cut some into shorter pieces, then covered all the fresh cut ends with grafting wax. I got over 100
nice plump pieces from this pruning. I have all but 12 of them in the fridge, while I see how 12 of them do in paper towel/ziploc in warm area. After only 6 days there are little root bumps on some of them.

Attached Images
jpeg a_street_pruning.JPG (557.44 KB, 39 views)
jpeg a_street_pruning_2.JPG (570.02 KB, 36 views)
jpeg a_street_pruning_3.JPG (577.30 KB, 47 views)

Subject: Fig Seedlings Replies: 9
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 1,237
We don't have the wasps here in SLC, Utah either. I ordered the seeds from UCDavis.

If anyone is interested in some seeds let me know. I got more than I can use up.

Subject: Fig Seedlings Replies: 9
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 1,237
I thought folks might want to see some pictures of some fig plants that I have started from seeds. These were sown about 30 days ago, and while one had sprouted after 7 days, there are still some that are just sprouting now. These seeds are from the clone Panachee with unknown wasp carried pollen parents. I am hoping that the striped stem may show up in some of the seedlings.

I know that I have a low probability of getting an edible common fig tree that is worth growing, but I am still having fun with this long-term project.

I recently found another old fig tree not far from where I work. It's owner said it made lots of purple figs every year. It is likely 70+ years old in the spot it is in. It must be cold hardy to have lived here in Salt Lake so long.

Anyway, one of the three seedling pictures is of a sprout that has 3 cotyledons, instead of the usual 2 like the other plants pictured the first picture is of the largest of the seedlings.

Attached Images
jpeg seedling_fig1.JPG (354.38 KB, 57 views)
jpeg seedling_fig2.JPG (342.80 KB, 44 views)
jpeg seedling_fig_tricot.JPG (341.58 KB, 43 views)

Subject: Cuttings in baggie with Sphagnum moss Replies: 29
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 1,762
One other way I have tried, besides the drill method, is to use a utility razor knife and cut notches around the outer bottom edge. I just make two small slanting cuts that meet and it makes a small diamond shaped hole in the bottom and side, which are the low points of the bottoms of the 24 oz SOLO brand clear cups I got at COSTCO. I make four of these around the edges of the cup and they drain great. It takes more time than drilling 4 at once, but I like the result better.

Subject: Fig Espalier Project. Replies: 8
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 1,425
Gene: Yes the plant is about 30 inches out from the building. There is another 20 inches or so to the edge of the lawn, so it has a bit of a buffer zone to protect it. I planted this one before I learned about espalier, and as I plant more along the 160 foot frontage of the school, I plan to plant them closer. And, since I AM the 'maintenance people' until I am gone you can bet it won't get hit with a mower, and by then I hope it is much too big to get hurt!

Ken: one of the 50+ year old fig trees is located in an easy to find spot. On the west side of Capitol Hill, on Center Street just south of 500 North. At that point Center Street is about 240 West, so a good way to find it is go to 300 West and 500 North, then turn East (uphill) and go to Center Street, turn right (South) and the tree is in a large area of lawn between the road and the sidewalk on the East side of the road about 100 feet south from 500 North.

Martin: It gets pretty darn cold here. Usually the cold temperatures get down in the low teens, although sometimes it drops into single digits and has been as low as zero fahrenheit for short periods, below zero is even more rare, but also has happened here. But mostly during the coldest times night lows get down around 10-15 and daytime highs get up to 20-25.

Subject: Fig Espalier Project. Replies: 8
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 1,425
I thought I would share some pictures of the beginnings of a long term 'fig project' I have started on. I am relatively new to fig growing, but have read a lot about it on the internet. One thing I read about is the practice of training a tree to grow against the surface of a wall that is refered to as espalier. Having the thermal mass of a wall on the south side of a building helps create a micro climate that helps plants grow and ripen fruit over a longer period of time.

Anyway, one of the three pictures is of the south facing front of the school I work for. My project involves covering all of the concrete between the upper and lower windows with figs!

The other two pictures are of the oldest fig plant that I take care of, it has been in ground for 2 summers, and was started from cutting the previous fall (bad time to start them I have since learned, after very many failures). It is from a plant that has lived at least 50 years here in Salt Lake City that produces small to medium size rich tasting yellow skinned with amber pulp figs. The parent plant gets only the protection of a house on its north side. I don't know the variety name of this plant.

The pictures show how flexible the plants stem is. This plant has a girth of over 1.25 inch at the base, and I am amazed that it could be bent over so sharply. From where it is now, I expect it to take 1 or 2 years to train to the top of the lower windows, and then a couple more to really fill in that empty concrete area. I also plan to plant more varieties every 15 feet or so along the front of the building, to allow full coverage. I will also be making some patterns in the way the branches are trained, so it looks interesting in winter.

If any one has any suggestions on how to make this project a success, let me know.


Attached Images
jpeg espalier2_start.JPG (443.87 KB, 91 views)
jpeg espalier_start.JPG (454.12 KB, 93 views)
jpeg school_before_espalier.JPG (365.75 KB, 87 views)

Subject: Storing cuttings in the fridge? Replies: 4
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 1,230
The following is from Ray Givens' FAQ on his website:

Q. How do you store cuttings over the winter?
A. Seal them in zip-lock bag right away. Don't wet the cuttings or place a damp paper towel or anything like that in the bag. You can dust them with a fungicide before you seal AND label the bag. I also like to dip the cut end in melted grafting wax. (Wax, not parafin which gets too hot.) Store them in the vegetable/fruit bin of your refrigerator until the weather warms and danger of frost is past.

I got that from his website:

Anyway, I got some grafting wax for my birthday!!

I expect to get a fridge full of cuttings from some local unknown but hardy trees!

Subject: Available plants Replies: 2
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 726
Looks like quite a selection. Is sending an email to encantofarms at cox dot net with a list of varieties I want the way to proceed?


Subject: Caprified figs ripen earlier Replies: 3
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 827
I am interested in obtaining wasp laden profichi crop caprifigs too. I talked to Howard at UCD about a month ago, and he told me that he didn't think they could send insects out of the state. He said he would look into it, but hasn't got back to me yet. I then contacted my Utah Department of Agriculture to see if I could get a "license" or "permit" to import 20 or so caprifigs with wasps, and they haven't got back to me yet either, its been about 3 weeks. The woman I spoke with said that it was doubtful they would permit import of insects, and asked for a copy of a USDA Risk Assessment for import to California. I replied that the wasp was imported by the USDA in 1899, and that I was unable to locate any Risk Assessment for its import. I also informed them that the wasp would not be able to survive unaided here in Salt Lake City Utah, where we routinely have night time low winter temperatures in the single digits for at least a week at a time, and at least a month of continuous sub freezing temps (lower 20s day and night).

I talked with a person at the Valley Fig Growers association in California, and she informed me that some of their members are "caprifig growers". I asked for contact information, and was told that the association couldn't release it, but they would forward mine to some caprifig growers. I haven't heard anything in over 3 weeks.

I had wanted to obtain some wasp laden caprifigs for several reasons, one of which was to see if a local tree that dropped all its huge crop of figs might hold onto them if caprified. I have since seen several of the large main crop ripen, after it dropped most of them, which leads me to the conclusion that it was lack of water that caused the drop, not lack of pollination.

Anyway, I am still interested in getting some wasp laden caprifigs like the Calmyrna growers use over here to Salt Lake to see how they change the fruit from the trees that grow here. I have read that caprified fruits are different than those that aren't even if it doesn't need it.

If anyone gets information on where I can buy some of these caprifigs (should be around next June) let me know.

Subject: eBay... Arggghhh! Replies: 11
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 1,002

I never said that I begrudge anyone. I am glad the sellers got what they got, and wish they could have got even more. I can only afford to spend so much, so I didn't win.

I am happy that the seller got more than if I hadn't bid on the items. In both of the auctions I just missed, it was by the next bid increment allowed by eBay. I was kinda bragging while I was complaining, bragging about being the one who got the price up to what it sold for, complaining about not winning.

No one else pushed the recent price up from $38.77 to $43.03. I did it in the last 10 seconds of the Auction, and I am glad the seller got that price. I am sorry I couldn't afford more at this time, but I am sure it will all work out fine.

Next eBay fig tree auction I win, probably another forum member will make me pay more than if there was no competition, and they will then be able to brag/complain too.

Subject: eBay... Arggghhh! Replies: 11
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 1,002
I just drove the price up another $5 dollars on another fig tree that I then didn't win (again) on eBay.

The other day I was bidding on one that has the same name as my wife, Deanna, and after driving the price up on that one... I didn't go high enough. Or someone else went too high if you want to look at it that way.

I guess someone really really wanted the Marsiels vs Black that I was bidding on too. The bid was stuck at one dollar higher than my previous maximum bid, so I waited till the last 10 seconds of the auction and increased by old maximum by five more dollars. The opponent must have had an even higher maximum bid, because it came back that I had been outbid by a dollar, and then the auction was over.

Oh well. I am sure I will get lucky other auctions. I did pretty well on a Nazarti and a Lindhurst White recently so I really can't complain seriously.

Fig collecting can be exciting!

Subject: Rooting cuttings and dormancy Replies: 2
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 612
If these cuttings are like the three I received today from an ebay order, then they probably need to be potted in perlite, vermiculite or sterile potting soil soon. Mine came wrapped in a damp paper towel with rooting hormone powder clumped on the lower half inch of the stem. There are root initials growing all over the entire 8" or so stems (except where the powder is clumped). These are healthy cuttings but they are already rooting, and it sounds like yours are already leafing and likely starting roots, so I think you should pot them. That is what I am going to do, and I will try to grow them in a well lighted window this winter.

Subject: Introduction of somewhat new member... Replies: 4
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 641
By UC Davis, I meant the Nat'l Clonal Germplasm Repository for Tree Fruit and Nut Crops and Grapes, which is part of the USDA Agricultural Research Service and is located at UC Davis. Do a google for "Nat'l Clonal Germplasm Repository for Tree Fruit and Nut Crops and Grapes" and you will surely get their site.

Their order form states that they are "not an alternative to commercial nurseries" and that they give priority to "Researchers and Breeders" of the material they provide.
There are a lot of interesting plants you can obtain thru them, just check out the website.

Subject: Introduction of somewhat new member... Replies: 4
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 641
I have been a member for a couple of months, and have posted a few times, but I thought I should introduce myself better than I have.

I currently have about 30 total fig plants. These include:
 - Celeste (from cutting from Frederick, MD)
 - Brown Turkey (from cutting from Cambridge, MD)
 - Hardy Chicago (from Edible Landscaping
 - Violete de Bourdeaux (one each from Burnt Ridge and EL)
 - Oregon Honey (from Burnt Ridge Nursery)
 - Desert King (from Burnt Ridge Nursery)
 - Osborne Prolific (from EL)
 - 'French White' (from cutting from Cambridge, MD)
 - Unknown (from cutting from Cambridge, MD)
 - Unknown (from cutting from Cambridge, MD)
 - Unknown Yellow from Local tree (really good fig) 5 in pots and 1 in ground
 - Unknown tree from local tree (this one I had thought was maybe a smyrna type, because it dropped a huge crop of brebas, and then has dropped nearly all of its main crop figs without enlargement or ripening. But recently the parent has started to enlarge and ripen a small handful of fruit.) I have 8 small plants of this in pots and 4 in the ground, since it has proved hardy without protection here in SLC. Hopefully they will all produce next year, though I will be giving some away in the spring.
 - Unknown 'White' fig from local tree

I have ordered TXBA-1, and St. Anthony's from EL (should ship next week) and Adriatic and Flanders from Burnt Ridge Nursery (should ship next March). I have also ordered 32 different cuttings from UC Davis. The order from UC Davis includes some Caprifigs.

I also have made friends with a local man that has an unknown small black fig which he has agreed to share cuttings of with me this fall.

It is my intention to try breeding figs, in the hope that more varieties of cold tolerant plants might result. It should be interesting to see what results.

I have only been 'passionate' (obsessed) with fig plants since about late spring early summer of this year, but I did get a cutting established at the school building I manage from the unknown yellow fig last year.

I have plans to continue growing figs, including breeding them, to discover what types do best here in our climate.

I have really enjoyed and learned from this forum. Thanks to all of you.


Subject: I'm being lazy Replies: 10
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 1,164
I found the information on this website to be helpful in understanding more about this matter.

Subject: Trying to identify a fig variety... Replies: 4
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 1,305
The USDA hasn't updated their zone map for a while, Salt Lake is listed as 5-6 by them. The Arbor Day Foundation has recently published an updated zone map, and it places Salt Lake in zone 6-7.


Subject: Trying to identify a fig variety... Replies: 4
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 1,305
I forgot to mention that there is a "main crop" still on the big tree (none on my small starts this year) and my recollection is that the main crop figs I had last year were somewhat pinker on the inside than these brebas. I will share pictures of those figs when they are ripe.

Subject: Trying to identify a fig variety... Replies: 4
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 1,305
I am trying to learn what variety a fig tree I have is. Here are some pictures:
Above is a picture looking down at plant

This one is a single leaf

Two breba fruits

Inside of the breba fruits,

And finally a closeup of the eye of one of the breba fruits from this currently unknown fig variety. There is a tree in Salt Lake City planted outside that has survived for several decades, and I have a few starts growing from it. The figs are quite tasty in my opinion, but I don't have a lot of experience to compare them with others yet.

So, if anyone has any ideas what kind this might be, please let me know.



Subject: Fig advise Replies: 20
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 2,728
Thanks! Can I email you my address?


Subject: Fig advise Replies: 20
Posted By: bluesguy Views: 2,728
I just joined the forum, because I am interested in obtaining a caprifig plant or two for the use of the pollen. Would the originator of this thread be interested in sending me a few cuttings from this caprifig? It looks like it might be able to be pollen parent to some large fig common figs, since it is so large.

Anyway, I have just gotten seriously hooked on fig growing this year, and I only have 7 named varieties and 5 unknown cuttings started. I have only tasted fruit from one of these plants so far.


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