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Subject: Getting rid of figs - part 2 Replies: 3
Posted By: pylot Views: 817
 
I can't seem to locate my first post regarding my extra figs, so I'm making a new one. Long story short: new baby, no land -> no fig time, so I'm reducing my collection. After the first round still left with some. The following are rooted last year, around 3-6 inches tall, and just coming out of dormancy. $15 each includes shipping. Sorry, can't afford to offer them free... If interested please EMAIL me - DO NOT PM. My PM inbox is almost full and I don't have time to clean my messages.

A few unknowns
Beall
Celeste
Dauphine
DFIC A-10 5 164-5
DFIC A-10 8 164-8
Early Violet
Flanders
Giant Amber
Ischia White
Marylane
Naples White
Sal's
Santa Cruz Dark
St. Anthony
UCR 291-4
White Texas Everbearing
Verte
Yellow Neches


Subject: Fig trees available - reducing my collection :( Replies: 24
Posted By: pylot Views: 2,201
 
I just updated the list. For those I confirmed with, I will mail on Mon or Tue. Thanks!

Subject: Fig trees available - reducing my collection :( Replies: 24
Posted By: pylot Views: 2,201
 
I will update the list as they become unavailable. I apologize for terse / late replies, swamped :( Those I confirmed with, I will mail them out early this week (Mon or Tue).

Beall
Bourjasotte
Dauphine
DFIC 164-5 A10-5
DFIC 164-8 A10-8
Downs Celeste
Early Violet
Elana
Flanders
Giant Amber
Grise de St. Jean
Ischia White
Long d'Aout
Marseille Black VS
MaryLane
Naples White
Paradiso
Pied de Boeuf
Sal's
Sal's Corleone
Santa Cruz Dark
St Anthony
UCR 291-4
UCR 309 B1
Verte
Yellow Neches
White Texas Everbearing


About the baby - it's a boy, and he's named Octavian after his great grandpa - and the Roman emperor :) He's doing great, although not gaining weight as fast as he should, he's at the 7th percentile. Hopefully he'll catch up.

The time has come, unfortunately. We just had a baby in December (yay!), and have no more time to take care of the 100+ (maybe now closer to 200?) pots with treelets I've been nursing the last couple of years. Plus money is a bit tight right now due to various reasons, so hoping to get some extra cash. I don't want to do the ebay thing, I would rather you guys get them. I also hope this post is not a faux pas on this forum - if so let me know and I'll remove it.

So - here's the extras I have (if I already promised you one of those, fear not, it's reserved). They were all rooted this past spring, but because of the baby preparations I didn't have much time to nurse them. They are in gallon pots and height is between 2 and 8 in, the norm being around 4-5. But they should take off nicely next year. Also, because I never got fruit from them, I cannot guarantee true to type, although I have no reason to believe otherwise (all from reputable sources, not "ebay" - if you want to know the source of any particular tree ask me in private) I can send them anytime you want (now or later in the spring), either as a plant, semi-bareroot, or totally bareroot. I must warn you though that they will start leafing out by the end of February.

I would love to be able to share them freely, but that is unfeasible for me. So let me know what you think they're worth it to you. I also ask, in case my remaining copy dies, that you'd be willing to share with me a cutting if need be in the future.

If you are interested in something end me an EMAIL through my profile, and I will get back to you, although it may take some time. DO NOT PM ME - my pm box is almost full :)


Subject: Brebas caprified? Replies: 1
Posted By: pylot Views: 563
 
I had to travel to Europe due to a family emergency, and we stopped in Spain (Barcelona) for a few days. I got some huge sweet delicious brebas at the farmers market. As far as I know, the fig wasp is present there. Does that mean there's a good chance the brebas are caprified (and hence have viable seeds)? Or is it only the main crop that can be polinated by the wasp? It would be fun to grow some seedlings to see if any will produce good fruit.

Subject: Spanish figs for cool weather Replies: 1
Posted By: pylot Views: 580
 
I managed to obtain and root several varieties of figs that originated on the northern coast of Spain near Santander. According to the original source, they ripen well while Ischia Green fails. According to my research, Santander has a long season, but summer temperatures are very mild (average highs in the low 70s) and it rains often. Unfortunately, all #4 failed to root (which looks the most yummy to me). Any ideas if they may be named varieties? PS: the pics are not mine, comments are form the original source.

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Subject: Advice on a slow-to-start main crop? Replies: 5
Posted By: pylot Views: 807
 
I would pinch the tips if the branches have at least 5-6 leaves and/or 1 ft of new growth. That always did the trick for me on 2-3 years old trees. I would not fertilize, that usually only creates lots of leaves (unless the trees look stunted)

Subject: how soon do you add lime to the cuttings? Replies: 9
Posted By: pylot Views: 791
 
I always add dolomitic lime to my rooting media, about 1 Tbsp per gallon. Don't know if it helps, but I root in pine bark & peat which are acid.

Subject: Trade figs for blueberries (low chill) Replies: 2
Posted By: pylot Views: 601
 
Is anyone growing low chill (< 500 hrs) blueberries interested in trading for figs? I don't care about yield as much, flavor is the top priority. I've heard Sweetcrisp is one of the best, but definitely open to other choices. My preference in terms of taste is juicy, with a good acid / sugar balance (i.e. sweet but tangy)

Subject: Adding Lime Replies: 7
Posted By: pylot Views: 1,199
 
I've heard a few theories that figs like to grow in limestone / calcareous soils, especially in mediterranean areas. Not sure if it's the alkaline soil or the extra calcium. Also that young trees like a slightly alkaline soil, while more mature ones a slightly acidic soil (ph 6.5)

Subject: Growing tip dying on 1 year old treelet Replies: 5
Posted By: pylot Views: 879
 
Thanks for the answers! I wonder if they need some N fertilizer. Except compost tea, I haven't fed them anything (they were rooted last year).

Subject: First brebas - and a question Replies: 19
Posted By: pylot Views: 1,488
 
I would do branches. I don't think you can get enough root mass from an air layer to support a big tree above. Of course, it depends on how big the tree is. I have a suspicion that some nurseries airlayer / root a big straight branch and sell it as a 2ft tree next year.

Subject: First brebas - and a question Replies: 19
Posted By: pylot Views: 1,488
 
Desert King is suppsed to be THE fig of choice for NW, lots of brebas in July/August. If I were you, I would make an airlayer on the tallest branch of the tree. This way you not only have an extra one, you also reduce its total height :) Plus, if in a few of years you want to do some major pruning on the big one, the air-layer will have started producing by then so you don't have a season with almost no DK. Just my thoughts.

Subject: Help ID store bought figs Replies: 3
Posted By: pylot Views: 676
 
Actually there's two that have figs. Berkeley Bowl (where I found the ones above) in West Berkeley, and El Cerrito Natural Grocery in El Cerrito on San Pablo. Both have nice produce sections with lots of fruit choices. Lots of varieties on the usual (apples, pears, etc) and some more exotic ones (feijoa, cherimoya, white sapote, etc), wild mushrooms in season, etc. There's also Monterey Market with good produce, but I don't know if they have figs.

Subject: First brebas - and a question Replies: 19
Posted By: pylot Views: 1,488
 
I have a Desert King in it's 3rd year. It is a super vigorous tree, even with pinching it grows about 2 feet per season, somewhat upright. I doubt leaving the breba on would negatively affect the tree (it may slow it down which in my opinion is a good thing)

Word of caution: if you want you tree to branch out low I would prune it severely at planting (more experienced members may confirm). I cut mine at about 2-3 feet, and now I regret I didn't prune it 10 in off the ground.

Subject: Brown Turkey questions Replies: 30
Posted By: pylot Views: 3,526
 
My only experience with Brown Turkey is from store bought figs. They tasted like a mixture of cucumber and cardboard, with a little bit of sugar. That being said, I've heard there are some really good strains: English, Vern's, etc + close relatives (Bayernfeive Violetta, Sweet George, etc).

I think the popularity is part due to ease of propagation, part due to confusion (Brown Turkey being almost a generic name for figs), and part due to the fact that either people who sell it don't taste the fruit, or that we are all used to visually perfect but tasteless produce.

Subject: Help ID store bought figs Replies: 3
Posted By: pylot Views: 676
 
We have a neally nice co-op near us (near San Francisco CA), and in season they bring more fresh figs than the usual suspects. I've seen Panache and Calimyrna. Before I had the fig bug, I got some figs that were pear shaped, about 1.5-2 in long and 1-1.5 in across. The skin was dark green, a little bit wrinkled and somewhat thick, but not tough at all. The center was dark strawberry and delicious. Any idea what they might be? My suspicion is they were caprified Desert King or Adriatic, but I've never had either so I can't compare.

Subject: Growing tip dying on 1 year old treelet Replies: 5
Posted By: pylot Views: 879
 
I have a Viollete de Bordeaux rooted last summer in a 1 gal pot. It is about 1 ft tall. It already put 3-4 leaves and it's trying to set 2 brebas (which I should remove). The problem is that the growing tip shriveled and dried out. The leaves are green and healthy, no sign of wilting or anything. What may cause the dying tip, and is it serious?

Subject: Fig wasp & edible caprifigs? Replies: 10
Posted By: pylot Views: 2,457
 
So my current understanding of the matter is this:

Fig wasps live only a couple of days (at least in flying adult form). They can only lay eggs/reproduce inside a caprifig. Once the eggs hatch and the females fly away (with polen from the caprifig), they will randomly go to either a caprfig (repeating the cycle) or to a common / san pedro / smyrna fig. If they end up in an edible fig, they cannot lay eggs but will pollenize it.

I guess my standing question is: when there are no figs around (e.g. in cold months) where do they live? Do they migrate south where it is warmer and caprifigs persist over winter? :) It seems like they need a year-round supply of caprifigs in order to survive as a species.

So the advantage of having a caprifig around is such that, in case a fig wasp flies by, it can use the tree as a host to reproduce and the offsprings will pollinate the edible fig trees around.

Subject: Fig wasp & edible caprifigs? Replies: 10
Posted By: pylot Views: 2,457
 
Anyone knows if edible caprifigs (e.g. Gilette / Croisic) can be a host for the fig wasp? I'm considering getting one, and it would be a definite plus if it would help polenize others (e.g. Desert King main crop)

Subject: My rooting experience Replies: 9
Posted By: pylot Views: 905
 
Local law... I fear my wife more, she thinks they're cute! :)


I'm kind of looking forward to a squirrel stew, a bit afraid though they may have parasites or disease. I really got into local foraging, went along the coast yesterday and got some mussels & limpets (and a lone mushroom).

Subject: Pruning a young stick of a desert king Replies: 11
Posted By: pylot Views: 1,477
 
Good for you for being brave and cutting it low! Desert King is one of the most vigorous, and grows mostly straight up even when it branches.


When I got my Desert King I was too chicken to prune it, and now all branches start at about 3 ft. In a few years it will be taller than I can reach, I'll have to do some major pruning to reshape it (i.e. start an air-layer as a back-up, then cut it off 1 ft of the ground)

Subject: any Dark Skinned fig suggestions for PNW (Vancouver bc) Replies: 7
Posted By: pylot Views: 954
 
I've heard Barbillone might be a good one. Quite rare though.

Subject: My rooting experience Replies: 9
Posted By: pylot Views: 905
 
I have some kind of vermin in the back yard that digs into the pots. Probably a squirrel, I fancy. No fatalities so far, but it exposed the roots a couple of times. Quite unnerving.

Subject: My rooting experience Replies: 9
Posted By: pylot Views: 905
 
Indeed, that was my first experience with heat. Some areas of the mixture would dry out and some would stay soggy and warm. So part of the cutting would start rotting and part would dry out. I stopped using bottom heat after my first attempt (I actually root them in an unheated room), and I had much better results. Takes longer to get roots, but the environment around the cutting is more uniform and mild. And there's no need to water again, which in my limited experience is not an easy task to get right.

Once the roots got going and potted them up, I didn't notice any ill-effects from keeping them on the deck in the sun. But again, the summers here are quite mild usually low-mid 70s, and we get morning fog too that increases the humidity.

Subject: My rooting experience Replies: 9
Posted By: pylot Views: 905
 
I'm really grateful this forum exists - and I want to thank everybody for sharing cuttings & experience. I'm a new fig nut still learning the ropes. My first try last year with cuttings from a local exchange was a disaster. Out of about 10, none survived. I used perlite, rooting hormone and bottom heat.

Since then, what works best for me is Jon's small plastic bags (u-line) method. As the rooting mixture, I use fine bark (3-4 handfuls), peat (1-2 handfuls) and perlite (1 handful). To this, I add a spoonful of dolomitic lime, and enough water to moisten it (so it barely sticks together). I bury the cutting leaving only 1-2 inches above, or even less if the cutting is short. I put all the bags in a plastic container that I keep covered. Twice a day, I fan the box with the cover. I keep the box in a cold-ish room (55-65). That helps the cuttings not leaf out too early, and minimize mold. Once I see new growth, I move the box outside in the morning (with the cover off), so they get used to the sun and I don't have to worry about that once they have several leaves. It also helps that days are cool (60-65) and humid, but I also spray the leaves with water. If I see the top inch of dirt dry I add/spray a little bit of water.

Once I see decent root development, I pot them up into 1 gallon pots, in 100% miracle gro moisture control (but this year I'm trying 1/3 bark, 1/3 miracle gro, 1/3 potting soil) and out they go on the deck (but we have mild summers here, rarely above 80)

I got about 50% success, but that has proven more than enough for me. I ended up with about 30-35 treelets last year, and probably the same this year (I'm in the process of up-potting the first rooted batch). I almost never get mold (unless the cutting was moldy to start with), and if they fail, in 90% cases the cuttings just shrivel up with no roots for whatever reason: failures mostly happen in the baggie (last year I only lost one after potting up) I'm sure this can be improved substantially, but it works out pretty well for me.

I think the key is the bark. It keeps the mixture aerated, can soak up excess moisture and regulate humidity, and I suspect it may have some chemicals that keep disease / mold at bay. I love bark! :)

Subject: Love the rooting technique, can I do this with other trees? Replies: 7
Posted By: pylot Views: 837
 
Grapes, tomatoes, sage & some passion flowers can be easily rooted too. Apparently it can be done on peaches / nectarines too, I'll give it a try this summer:

http://www.cloudforest.com/cafe/gardening/can-nectarines-propagated-via-cuttings-t1393-10.html

Also, the apple rootstock I received (M27) seems to have been grown from cuttings.

Subject: Violette de bordeaux brebas Replies: 15
Posted By: pylot Views: 1,348
 
Awesome looking! I've also got brebas on my VdB, although mine are smaller and darker. Also got a few brebas (or leftover mains from last year) on Excel, Grantham's Royal, Jean, Black Madeira, Bifara, Danny's Delight, Bayernfeige Violetta, Osborne Prolific. And of course, Desert King is loaded.

Subject: Lets Wish "Ottawan" Good Health Replies: 55
Posted By: pylot Views: 2,373
 
Fast recovery Akram!

Subject: My best productive variants ... what's yours ? Replies: 9
Posted By: pylot Views: 1,393
 
I wonder if there's various strains of Osborne Prolific. Mine only grows about 6-10" per year, basically once I pinch the branch tips in June-July it won't push new buds until next year. I may have to feed it more...

Subject: My best productive variants ... what's yours ? Replies: 9
Posted By: pylot Views: 1,393
 

I have a Desert King too, it's awesome for brebas, 4-7 on each branch of my young tree (3rd year). My Osborne is not as prolific, 2-3 figs per branch but quite yummy.

I acquired about 30 varieties last year, maybe some will perform better for the main crop figs.

Subject: Dauphine, St. Jean and Pastilliere from UC Davis? Replies: 5
Posted By: pylot Views: 1,216
 
Does anyone have Dauphine, Pastilliere or St. Jean from UC Davis? I wonder if they're true to type / same as the European versions, or at least have similar characteristics: good big brebas for Dauphine, very fine brebas and a vigorous tree for St. Jean, and very early and tasty main crop for Pastilliere.

Subject: 6 Cuttings On Wish List Replies: 176
Posted By: pylot Views: 17,501
 
1. Barbillone
2. Bataglia Green
3. Italian 258

Happy Holidays!

Subject: Barnisotte, Calvert and Sucrette from UCD? Replies: 5
Posted By: pylot Views: 1,288
 
Does anyone have experience with the Calvert, Sucrette and Barnisotte from Davis? I've read they're all tasty cultivars, but how about earliness, FMV, do they split?

Subject: My little baby fig trees Replies: 8
Posted By: pylot Views: 721
 
Thanks everyone for the kind words. Indeed, I caught the bug - I think my wife has already given up hope I will be normal again :)

I hope they will survive the winter. Here it almost never goes below freezing, so the only option for winter "storage" is outdoors (the garage is way too warm). I need to build some kind of roof/shelter for them, as it rains quite a lot in winter and I'm afraid the roots might rot.


Subject: My little baby fig trees Replies: 8
Posted By: pylot Views: 721
 
I'm a new fig person, until this year I only had two in-ground trees. This spring I decided to expand my collection and was able to root a bunch of cuttings from a couple of generous forum members and Davis. They haven't grown much (between 2 and 6 inches) but they look quite healthy (in my uneducated opinion)

I thought I'd post a picture of them to show some greenery now when most trees go dormant. The weather here is quite warm, mid 70s last weekend. I still get ripe figs from the ones in ground (although they are not as rich as a month ago). I want to thank again those who helped me with cuttings or advice, you guys are awesome!

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Subject: Osborne Prolific performs well in cool weather Replies: 7
Posted By: pylot Views: 1,237
 
Actually my Osborne Prolific has morning shade. This year it was definitely earlier than last year, when it managed to ripen 2 figs in mid-November.

Subject: Osborne Prolific performs well in cool weather Replies: 7
Posted By: pylot Views: 1,237
 
My in-ground figs are ripening, here's Osborne Prolific harvested yesterday. The highs last week have been in the mid 60s and rained for a few days (first storm of the season). The tree is in its second year. Taste: quite sweet especially considering the weather, but not as jam-like as some Zidi or Panachee I've had. Definitely a keeper.

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Subject: Young trees for trade or free Replies: 9
Posted By: pylot Views: 1,098
 
Theman7676 - good question. It's my first time dealing with young plants, so I don't know. Here, we do have a long season, in ground trees go dormant in late Dec / early Jan and wake up in mid Feb. Winters are quite mild, barely a couple of days of frost.

Subject: Young trees for trade or free Replies: 9
Posted By: pylot Views: 1,098
 
Westcoastgrower: Actually I'm not in San Francisco proper, but close (Richmond) so we don'tget that much fog. In Vallejo you should have much better weather. I have two 2-year old trees in the ground. Desert King ripens around mid-July. Osborne Prolific ripened a good breba in early July, and now the main crop is starting to ripen. This year I started a project to find out what other varieties might ripen here. So it will take a couple of years to find out probably.

Vito: I'll send you a message.


Subject: Young trees for trade or free Replies: 9
Posted By: pylot Views: 1,098
 
I was able to get extra cuttings to root this spring (from kind forum members + UCD). Unfortunately, if I want to expand my collection I have to limit myself to one tree of each variety. The following are available for trading when they go dormant (or for free to a good home if no one is interested in trading).



Bayernfeige Violetta  - gone
Drap d'Or
Excel
Ischia Green - gone
Magnolia
Monstruese - gone
Violette de Bordeaux - gone

Thanks!
Daniel


Subject: Desert Kings - remove main crop figs? Replies: 7
Posted By: pylot Views: 2,383
 
I have a Desert King fig in ground (second year) that is putting out lots of main crop figs for it's size (about 15, maybe 20?). In order to make the tree branch, I pruned the new growth when it was about a foot long, and since then it grew several more branches. It seems that pruning encourages fig growth. So here's my two questions:

1. We don't get the wasp here, so probably none will ripen. So I'm tempted to remove the figs to give the tree more energy. But I remember reading that someone remove all the main figs on the Desert King and then the following year there were no brebas. What's the strategy?

2. Is the summer pruning (remove tip after 5-6 leaves) the best technique for keeping the Desert King small and bushy? I would love to grow the tree with multiple trunks, but mine has already a main one, I'm not sure I'm comfortable cutting everything off close to the ground and hope it will sprout from the roots next spring.


Subject: Tea tree oil for mold control? Replies: 22
Posted By: pylot Views: 2,324
 
Noss - I don't know. Do you have mold / fungal issues with the fig trees in early spring?

Last year I sprayed the tea tree oil mixture on other dormant trees (plum) and did not observe any adverse effect. However, all the leafy greens it touched (chard) got burned. Probably because of the sun and oil combined? So definitely don't use it on any green growth.



Subject: Tea tree oil for mold control? Replies: 22
Posted By: pylot Views: 2,324
 
I guess I can see a problem if the whole cutting is covered in pure oil. I was suggesting making a diluted solution, maybe 1/s tsp per quart of water with some soap mixed in, and then wash the cuttings with this solution.

I got this idea from another forum, a CRFG member used it for peach leaf curl (a fungal disease). I did the same for the last two years on my peaches and got no sign of disease or adverse effect (spray the dormant tree with the aforementioned solution).

Maybe I'm just paranoid about mold :)


Subject: Tea tree oil for mold control? Replies: 22
Posted By: pylot Views: 2,324
 
Has anyone tried to use tea tree oil to prevent mold when rooting? It's supposed to be anti-fungal, and I have some left from spraying the peach trees, so I was wondering if there's any harm in using it. The only thing I can think about is it may inhibit root growth?



Subject: Trade cuttings Replies: 4
Posted By: pylot Views: 880
 
Is anyone still interested in trading cuttings? From UC Davis and a local scion exchange, I ended up with an extra cutting of each of the following:

vernino,
excel,
st jean,
monstreuse,
col de dame,
castle kennedy.

My wish list (I know it's long, but anything helps :)

san pietro (dalmatie),
melanzana merdascola (longue d'aout?),
dauphine,
pastiliere,
hollier,
yellow neches,
pied de boeuf,
ischia white,
italian 258,
noire de caromb,
lattarula,
croisic (gillete),
madelaine de deux saisons,
marseilles vs black,
ronde & rouge de bordeaux,
royal vinyard / drap d'or,
hative d'argenteuille.


Subject: My first try at the baggie method Replies: 2
Posted By: pylot Views: 648
 
I just got a cutting of a variety I really want (Verte) and I need to make sure I do everything right to maximise the success of rooting. In the past I would just stick them in potting soil and maybe half would root. Now I want to try the baggie method, but there are still some unclear aspects, and I would appreciate if someone could give me some pointers:

1. What concentration of bleach solution do I use to clean the cutting? Do wash it off at the end, or let them air dry?

2. Do I do anything unusual to the cutting (i.e. scratch the bark, cut a ring around, remove the terminal tip, etc?)

3. How much of the cutting do I wrap in damp paper? The part that I want to grow roots (i.e. bottom) or the other part (i.e. the top of the cutting)? Do I wrap the towel around the end, or leave it free?

4. Once it show some root growth, I transfer it to clear plastic containers with a mixture of mostly perlite (say 80%) with some soil - right? How deep should I place the cutting in? Do I compact the media around the cutting, or let it be fluffy with more air pockets?

I guess that is is for now. I'm so excited!!!


 

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