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Subject: Cactus pears Replies: 108
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 8,116
Great pictures Ken! I assume that critter is a hare as apposed to a rabbit - ?

Here are a few pics of my young prickley pears. All are still in pots but I plan to get most of them in ground before winter this year.

 Hopefully I'll get the pleasure of sampling some fruit next year:

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Subject: Sad day for me Replies: 37
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,418

I'm very sorry to hear of the loss of your dear mother. The fact that she 'never met a stranger' reminds me of my mom who passed just a couple years ago. It's one of those things you know is coming eventually but that certainly doesn't make it any easier when the time does come.

From my heart, you have my most sincere condolences Gene. 

Subject: Cactus pears Replies: 108
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 8,116
Sara....I have 4 varieties started in pots only. I plan to grow three of them in ground once I get a spot set up for them. The 4th one is the same variety as Ben's. It hasn't started growing yet but it should show some growth by summer's end. I don't think this one is cold hardy so I will have to grow it in my cold frame or indoors come winter. I do plan to test its cold hardiness though - once I have a couple that are well established in pots.

I don't have pics of any of these yet but I will take some & get them on here for everyone to see. Three of them have some nice new growth on them but other than that they don't look too special. Mine haven't bloomed/fruited yet and I'm curious to see if any of them will do so this season. 

Subject: Hardy Chicago? Replies: 27
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 2,985
I put this tree in ground this spring. I've been pretty busy so far this year but I do plan to get some more pics of this tree posted here this season. It's leafing out nicely now so I may pluck a leaf or two to photograph once it is fully leaved out.

Hoping to find out more about this one myself. It's in a good location so, hopefully, it will put on some good growth this summer.

Jason; Glad to hear it rooted well for you.

Subject: italian figs to trade Replies: 29
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 2,179
Hey Mario. Good to see you posting again. I knew there would be some folks here that would be interested in your Italian fig trees.

You still have the three varieties of bamboo coming to you from me that I owe you. Sorry about the delay but I will get them out to you soon.

By the way Mario, I sent you a PM.

Subject: Cactus pears Replies: 108
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 8,116
noss; The tape is a great idea & I've actually used it. It gets most of them but if you have one or two that get buried kinda deep you may still have to use tweezer to coax 'em out.

Jason; The open flame idea makes alot of sense to me. I plan to try that with my campstove (or propane torch maybe) next time I have some fruits. No gas range in the house unfortunately. 

Subject: Cactus pears Replies: 108
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 8,116
Ben. That yellow-fruited prickly pear is looking very nice. Looks like you will have a fair abundance of fruit from it this season.

@Bass. Those flowers on your cactus look alot like the little spring daffodils that just finished blooming in our area. Strange coincidence huh ;) ?

A couple of the prickly pear I have are just starting to put on some new pad growth. No flowers yet though.

Subject: Anyone answer a question about AU Rosa plums? Replies: 54
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 4,833
Wow, that is something how fast the rootstock is trying to take over. Hopefully, once the graft gets a strong foothold, the rootstock will become less aggressive.

I did my first graft yesterday (cleft graft). I'm trying some plum scion on a peach rootstock that re-grew after the cultuvar died back a few years ago. I'm about to go out & graft the rest this afternoon. I'm using latex paint to seal the wood after wrapping the graft with strips of plastic. Anyone have a reason why the paint is a bad (or good) choice?  We'll see how it goes......

Subject: Anyone answer a question about AU Rosa plums? Replies: 54
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 4,833
Good job Jason. They are looking good.

I haven't attempted my first graft yet but it is now time for me to do so. We should be past any danger of a late frost so I can start anytime now.

Even though I've not done any grafting yet Jason, I would agree with what Bass says - remove all growth on the rootstock. That energy should be directed into the bud wood. This based soley on everything I've read & been taught so far.

I've been debating what I should use to seal the graft union as well as the rootstock. Keeping in mind that the rootstock I'm using will be large, well established, in-ground trees. I've heard that laytex paint will be ok to use. Anyone have any suggestions?

Please keep us updated on how your trees progress Jason. The pics & info are very educational for us all. Thank you!

Subject: Dreading Replies: 8
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 665
@lampsalot. You are required to figure out how to load those pics before your 65th post or your membership will be suspended -------- just kidding man!

I'm sure you will get it figured out in time. Sorry, I will be of no help where the Blackberry is concerned. But actually posting pics to this forums is one of the easiest I've seen. There may be a little glitch from time to time but even those are usually easy to overcome with a little help.

Also, there are others here that may be able to help you with the Blackberry thing. I won't volunteer them though - they'll have to do that.  

Subject: Dreading Replies: 8
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 665

Wow! You guys got some serious stuff! We got heavy rain & thunderstorms, but nothing like you all got. Hope everyone is OK.

Subject: Anyone make fig wine? Recipes? Replies: 7
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 4,098
In case any of you don't know of this place yet -

They carry a huge selection of high quality wine yeast as well as a myriad of other wine-making products. I have no stock in promoting them. Just seems to be one of the best places to get everything you might need & then some. I've ordered from them several times.

Subject: squirrel damage Replies: 30
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,335
Those motion sensor, water repeller doo-dads look like a pretty good idea. Just might work. Takes the fun out of shooting them in the head though. 

I do like your rat trap idea Jason. Sounds like you've put the fear into them for now anyway. They could just be consulting with their fellow squirrel scientists right now. Trying to figure out how to diffuse those big things that go SNAP!! on their heads......

I wish you the best in your 'squirrell wars' Jason. Cue the battle scene music!!

Subject: New ( to me) organic small animal repellent Replies: 9
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 729
rafed; I may have mentioned the pellets with the pointed tip. They are much more accurate than the ones with the flat tip. Other pellets can be found that are reported to give you a little more velocity & accuracy as well. Probably have to find those online unless you have a local store that caters to the higher powered pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air guns.

I'd say one of those at Wal-Mart that claim to achieve a 1200 FPS velocity (or there-abouts) would be quite sufficient for the pest problem. I hear that you should never dry fire one of those "break barrel", single cock types though. Apparently it weakens them if you do so.

A small scope might increase your odds of a dead-on-shot. Depening on how much you wish to commit to the mission ;) . I have a bit of a hunters spirit so I think I might enjoy this challenge somewhat more than others. Just my 2c. 

Subject: Anyone make fig wine? Recipes? Replies: 7
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 4,098
I have made a few wines based on some of Jack Kellerman's recipes. Strawberry, Elderberry, Blackberry, Grape, etc. Most have turned out very well. 

I haven't done fig wine - YET. I fully intend to try my hand at it as soon as my trees produce enough surplus to do so.

 Here's one thread where wine making has been discussed before;

Subject: squirrel damage Replies: 30
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,335
@Olga. You made a very good point when you said "huge birds". I think this is exactly why I have never seen a squirrel in my yard. We have too many Red-Tail Hawks, Owls, & other predatory birds. I see one or more of them almost every day.

This, coupled with the fact that my property is surrounded by open farmland, must be what keeps the varmits in the woods. My house is like an island set away fom the woods. I know there are squirrels in those nearby woods too because I've seen them. The little varmits just don't have enough cover around my house and it's too treacherous a trip to cross the open fields to get here even if there was. Suits me just fine.

Subject: squirrel damage Replies: 30
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,335
The one I'm thinking of cited a pellet gun being used. Definatly squirrells too. Picking them off on telephone poles, from trees, etc. Must be a popular choice for background music :).

Don't recall if it was 22 cal pellet or not. He may have been using one of thosed pre-charged pneumatic air guns though. Many of them are every bit as powerful as a rifle. Not that it takes much to pop a squirrell though. 

Subject: squirrel damage Replies: 30
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,335
Jason. Squirrels love peanut butter. Slather some on a log, rock, telephone pole, etc. Grab yourself a big glass of iced tea & have a comfy set in your favorite lawn chair. Make sure you have a clear view of all the baited sites. Add a healthy dose of patience. 

When those cute little rascals come down to have a taste of peanut butter, feed them a tiny piece of led (about .177 to be exact). I hear they really love the lead :-) ! Once they've had a belly full they don't ever come back! It will bring you a great deal of satisfaction as well (would me anyway). Also, if you're up for it, you will have a nice store of fresh frozen meat come next winter.

I had a specific youtube vid in mind for you for inspiration but I can't seem to find that one at the moment. It was a compilation of backyard "shots" that clearly demomstrated someone else's love for these fine little furred critters. The whole video was played to one of the tunes from star wars - the one that was always playing when Darth Vador was on the scene. I guess the squirrells were feeling the full wrath of the dark side! The music is very fitting.

Anyway, there are a number of good vids on utube that show folks carrying out there vengence on squirrells with pellet guns.  

Subject: Raspberry Latte Climate Replies: 41
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 3,980
I have one RL that made through the fumblings of my first year of rooting cuttings last season.

It has one branch only about 1 1/2" long with another about 5". It's beginning to leaf out now and is looking good so far. I'm going to give it the royal treatment with hopes of it putting on some good growth this season.

It will be nice to compare notes on how it does in our various climates. If Jon's parent tree & the vigor some of you have observed is any indictor, it should do well in our hot summers here in W KY.    

Subject: Emma Fig Replies: 11
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,573
Emma is a very well adapted,to our conditions.

That's good to hear H2. I hope it does well here in KY.

Subject: I'm quiting Replies: 46
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 2,363

Thanks for verifying Jon.  Seems like it would be a better alternative than waiting for your tree to re-grow from the roots or from cuttings.

Subject: UC Davis orders Replies: 71
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 4,609
Hey Jason. I did that once too! Bids were great for awhile. Based on the image I posted of me with my shirt off, people thought they were bidding on a live Sasquatch!!

I thought I was really in the money! Unfortunately ebay didn't let me collect from the final bidder. Said my pic was too misleading. Something about humans not being allowed to represent themselves as a mythical beast....... Where's the fun in that?

Subject: I'm quiting Replies: 46
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 2,363
Has anyone ever heard of a bridge graft? Supposedly you can take branches from a fruit tree that has been girdled (complete bark removal around the tree) to use as a bridge above & below the damage.

The process invloves stab-grafting multiple pieces of viable branches into the good bark above the damage & then spanning the damaged area & grafting into the good wood below the damage on the tree. That is as long as there is still some vaible bark to be found below the girdled area.

Apparently the tree can be saved this way.

I saw some info & pics on this somewhere. I'll see if I can find that again.

Anyone ever tried this? 

Subject: UC Davis orders Replies: 71
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 4,609
That's great Bass! I hope you made some good $ on those.

Guess we better be careful. Someone will think we're serious ;) . 

Subject: Varieties with Brebas worth Keeping Replies: 21
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,524
I don't have enough experience to comment on good brebas. But I do hope to learn much more about them in the very near future.

I rec'd a cutting or two of Grantham's Roayal as well this season. Hopefully I'll get one grown out to maturity. Will be nice to see what the brebas are like. 

Subject: HOW I DEAL WITH CRITTERS Replies: 6
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,058
Hey Lou. I don't have a clear answer as to why it works exactly either. Jon may be heading in the right direction though.

I do know that aluminum has a tendency to react with various oxidisers such as pool chlorine, some fertilizers & drain cleaners. In fact, mixing water, Al foil & sodium hydroxide (comercial drain cleaner. aka lye) will cause water to release hydrogen gas. I don't reccommend trying this at home though. The gas released is pretty nasty & explosive. Nasty because the gas will also still contain trace amounts of the caustic NaOH. 

Just trying to make a point about how al foil can be reactive under certain circumstances. This could give us a clue about what's going on. Al foil may have some mild effect when it comes in contact with saliva (acidic). This effect could be more pronounced with mammals much smaller than ourselves.

Whatever is actually going on, I really like the idea. It's simple & inexpensive (the best solutions to a problem usually are). I'm certainly going to give it a try on my trees. Thanks for the tip Lou :) !  

Subject: I'm quiting Replies: 46
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 2,363
Sorry to hear about the rodent problems Bass. The only thing I can think of for future consideration is rat poison. Gotta be some better solutions. 

I plan to cover all my larger trees this fall instead of burying them. I will be doing plenty of research before then to consider all my options. I live in the country where there are plenty of field mice as well as voles & moles.

Subject: Have you uncovered your trees Replies: 13
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,011
Bass. I just dug up two of my trees that I had buried in the ground. Haikel & Blue Celeste. Suprisingly, they look very good. Branch tips/buds all look good. They both look to have some tiny brebas forming as well.

I'm suprised they look as good as they do because the ground has been very wet. The leaves they were covered in were all soaking wet & matted down. No mold though.

But, so far so good. Got about a dozen more to dig up. Hope they look as good as the first two did. 

Subject: Emma Fig Replies: 11
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,573
Well there ya go!

It's nice to know the origin of this fig Vern. Thank you for replying. EBT or not I hope to grow it out to fruiting size. Especially since you say it's one of your favorites. Does it seem to fit pics & general info of EBT that you've seen?

I'm guessing moshepardess originally got hers from you. She sent me a few cuttings of it this season. It must be doing pretty good in her hoop house. Thanks Elizabeth!

Subject: New member Replies: 54
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 3,426
I'm interested in this as well Sue. Why not post some more info/pics about it here? I'm interested in the trap set-up but the no-secondary-kill bait sounds even more important to me.

That type bait would mean your pets wouldn't die from eating the dead or dying critters. Also means that other predators wouldn't croak from eating them either.

I've heard of snakes dying from eating rodents that had consumed rat poison. Contrary to popular opinion, snakes are your friends when it comes to rodent control. The enemy of your enemy is your friend. 

Subject: Emma Fig Replies: 11
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,573
Thanks H2. EBT huh?

I got some ctgs of EBT started from texascokatoos this season. They are of the unk fig she found that you confirmned as EBT. So, I have them both to grow along side each other for comparison. Looking forward to seeing if there are any differences at all.

Subject: What color is this Fig? Replies: 11
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,003
@ gorgi, HaHa! It does look like somethings wrong with it doesn't it - a little moldy maybe. I think Bass would have told us that though :-) .

Its an interesting fig Bass. I look forward to hearing more about this one later this year.

Subject: Cactus pears Replies: 108
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 8,116
GTO; You will likely find some in your area eventually if you keep your eyes peeled for them. If not then I'm sure someone will offer some.

Bass says he has some. Also see the PM I sent you. 

Subject: What color is this Fig? Replies: 11
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,003
Mottled (Stippled) with a pink eye. Very unusual. Maybe you should nick-name it "Pink-Eyed-Mottled" fig :-D .

How's the flavor Bass?

Subject: Cactus pears Replies: 108
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 8,116
Bass; I'm glad you started this thread. It's great to hear more about these cacti. Now you got me thinking about starting my own cactus garden :) . I might make a raised bed out near the road just for them.

Ben; Thanks for the great tip on the gloves. Looks like I'll have to take a drive up to our local Harbor Freight - about an hour north of me.

71GTO; Apparently there may be several large-fruited prickly pears that are plenty cold hardy enough to survive zone 6 winters. I'm sure they will do fine in large pots. Although they may be happier in-ground. 

Subject: Emma Fig Replies: 11
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,573
Anyone grow the fig known as Emma? Any pics or info to share on it?

I checked Jon's varietal pages & did a search here but came up with nada. Any info is greatly appreciated.

Subject: Is there a 12 step program? Replies: 9
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,009
You will find no direction toward therapy here my friend. Only suggestions on ways to live at peace with your addiction "grasshopper".

You may now attempt to snatch the fig from your fellow addicts hand. But beware, you must be prepared to suffer the consequences......... ;)

Subject: Cactus pears Replies: 108
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 8,116
I started some of these in summer of '09 (Note: This was before I was bitten by the figbug) . I found one of the reddish-purple ones growing locally. I was impressed with how big the fruits were on this one so I asked the owner about it. She had no idea where it originated but was happy to share some starts with me. Opuntia are very easy to start from the pads by the way. 

This one is obviously very cold hardy as it's been growing here in Z6 for many years. I've seen others around here but this one really stands out because of the large fruit. It has very few large spines but it make up for it with an abundance of the glochids mentioned previously.

I rec'd a different one with long spines from a friend. It may have even larger fruit than the above mentioned one (purplish in color). He's been propagating and keeping his outside in pots year-round so it's proven cold hardy as well.

I also picked up a spineless one recently from a local nursery. Nursery owner said it will grow outdoors just fine here as well. We shall see.


Subject: UC Davis orders Replies: 71
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 4,609
Boy, I'd hate to think that was the case Jason.

I just took another look at my box and have similar numbers on mine. Doesn't quite add up to a date though. On one side are the numbers 20110183. I assume the 2011 is the year but the 0183 doesn't make much sense by itself. 

The numbers 183 are also on one end of my FedEx box along with my last name. This all leads me to think that those numbers just may be a designation assinged to a particular order/request. May just be coincidence that yours looks like an actual date Jason. 

Subject: UC Davis orders Replies: 71
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 4,609
I received my very first shipment of cuttings from UCD today as well. At least one ctg of each variety I requested. Very nice! I'm very grateful for this fantasitc source of high quality material. I'm looking forward to working with all of it.

I was a little concerned when I first saw the FedEx box because it looked like it had rec'd some pretty rough treatment. But fortunately, all material inside was in pristine condition.

No mold issue of any sort either as a couple of you seemed to have experienced. Sorry to hear about that. Cold have been a variation in packing technique or could have just been the variety maybe - ?

Subject: UC Davis orders Replies: 71
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 4,609
Hey Ben. If UCD billed your stuff to my FedEx accnt, it will be easy for you to make it up to me since I've been wanting some tropical plant material from you ;) .

I'm thinking I had the foresight to not select overnight shipping but don't recall for sure what I did. 

Subject: Early leapers this year Replies: 22
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,136
Everything seems to be lookin pretty good Jason. Glad to see those IH are taking off for you. They do seem to be fairly easy to root & tend to take off with some vigor. May be why so many folks have that one :) .

I have 11 ctgs of this Italian Honey that have been in the fridge for nearly 15 months. Kept them from last Dec. as an experiment to see just how long ctgs can be stored & still be viable. Will start a separate thread soon to begin sharing my experience on that.

Subject: Still Have Some IH Ctgs Replies: 0
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 603
Just wanted to let those who may be interested know that I still have  number of Italian Honey cuttings available.

Healthy, fully dormant material.

If interested, please PM or email me.

The cuttings come from the same tree as the fruit in this picture:

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jpeg 000_3395.JPG (317.88 KB, 36 views)

Subject: In The Attic Replies: 4
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 716
Hi Martin.

I was just in my attic earlier checking on my small trees as well. Due to the warm weather we've been having, some of mine are starting to break dormancy.

Unfortunately I don't have my cold frame finished yet. Looks like I'm gonna have to set up some lights temporarily. Should have the cold frame finished by mid next week. Once I've got the cold frame set up I can put everything from the attic in there.

I also pulled back some mulch from a couple of the trees I have buried on the S side of my house. One looked alive & well. Another looked as if it had been knawed on by something. Hope that's not evidence of a widespread issue :-[ . Have to wait for things to dry up a bit before I can get a better assessment.  

Subject: UC Davis orders Replies: 71
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 4,609
Hongisto; To answer both of your questions:
1) As far as I know,  UCD won't honor your request unless you have a FedEx account.
2) Yes, I'm pretty sure they no longer ship summer ctgs of figs. You should be able to confirm answers to both of your questions via their web site -

Subject: Giant Amber Replies: 6
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,601
Thanks for starting this thread Ken. I have a couple of Giant Amber ctgs that are looking pretty good at this point.

go4broek; I'm a little disappointed that it may be SCD. Not that I don't want SCD it's just that I requested SCD from UCD this year. So I may have extras by season's end. All depends if UCD sends me some or not. 

Subject: Zucchini Fig info? Replies: 28
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 2,107
Nice pix Jon. You can sure grow some oddball figs out in Cali.

Noss, I hear the var that Jon has pictured can get some really large seeds, especially if you let them fully ripen.

BTW, I know nothing about the Zucchini fig, but I do know a bit about what Jon has pictutred. I like 'em breaded in a little four, seasoned with salt & pepper, then pan fried in a tad of veggie oil. I prefer yellow straightneck but I'll eat the green ones too. They make a nice bread also :-) .   

Subject: Rooting in a bag, NEW Style Replies: 109
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 11,555
Hi Lisa. Welcome to the forum. You've found the best place on the web to learn about figs & fig propagation -IMO.

There may not be anything wrong with your method. Personally, I'd prefer the option of being able to open my bag to check on the cuttings every couple days or so. Most of us here might be a little too paranoid about not letting in the fresh air every now & then to help keep mold at bay (one of the biggest issues when rooting fig cuttings like this).

Not saying your method  won't work. Just sharing my personal thoughts. As long as the sp-moss isn't too damp, your cuttings will likely start to root. Otherwise mold and/or rot may become a concern.

Keep asking questions. Everyone here will be glad to help :-) .  

Subject: Roots & Stuff Replies: 20
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,221

Just sharing another pic. This one is a cutting I got from a local fig I found. I know nothing about it yet other than it's a dark fig. Seems to be a good rooter though:

Attached Images
jpeg Unk_S_16th_Roots.jpg (617.07 KB, 22 views)

Subject: Roots & Stuff Replies: 20
Posted By: saxonfig Views: 1,221

The Giant Amber is interesting in the way the very tip of the terminal bud died (I think it was touching the side of the palstic container I'm rooting them in). This didn't slow it down much though. As you can see it's still busting out out the seams ;) . 


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