When should they break dormancy?

campbellms(North MS 7b)March 28, 2010

At what point should a fig break dormancy and start showing some buds?

It was a pretty hard winter (for Mississippi), with several nights in the teens and lower. Had my fig bush covered up with pine needles for insulation, but not sure that was sufficient.

Got a few dead tips for sure that I'm cutting off now.

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Watch local (hardy) trees/shrubs (e.g., maple/forsythia)
to first-break spring buds.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 5:13PM
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I live south of you in zone nine. Most of my in-ground figs trees have broken dormancy a few weeks ago and have nice new leaves and breba figs. However, the ones that are the MOST COLD HARDY (Celeste, Southern Brown Turkey, Hardy Chicago, Sal's, Dark Portuguese, GM #11, Dalmatie, etc.) are just now beginning to open their buds. I have been observing in my yard for the last few years, that the hardier fig cultivars are the first ones to drop their leaves in early fall and are the last cultivars to completely leaf out in the spring. A few of my less hardy cultivars, have been killed to the ground this past winter. They should come back up from the roots within a month.

Sometimes when the buds and tips are badly damaged by the cold, it takes a few weeks longer for new buds to form and become evident. This year we have had a colder than normal winter in Louisiana and Mississippi. It's been many years since I have seen such a cool spring in our area.....we still haven't gone above 80 degrees....very unusual.


    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 7:08PM
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Hi Campellms,
thay will not break dormancy like clock work every year they respond to soil temperatures mostly and as stated in thread to get an idea look at the trees around you they do the same.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 8:21PM
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campbellms(North MS 7b)

Thanks for your feedback everybody,,,,guess I'll wait a bit longer

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 8:30AM
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here in 8b/7a, i'm not completely sure, half my figs have broken dormancy, & half have not

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 8:59PM
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still watching my Bavarian Fig for break in dormancy...

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 11:27PM
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Have a Black Jack that was left outside that is just starting to break! Saw some sprouts coming from the roots and a couple of buds lower on existing branches today. I am in NJ and happy to see it alive :-)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 5:41PM
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campbellms(North MS 7b)

Just a quick update:
My fig still hasn't started budding yet. It's been over 80 for the last 2 days , and all the local late bloomers forum members mentioned checking, have started budding or flowering.

Also, found an older fig at an old homestead, that has started budding as well.

My Brown Turkey is firmly committed to being Brown

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 8:57PM
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Use your fingernail to scrape into a bit of bark of your tree and look inside that scrape.....if it is green inside you will know that it is still alive. If you do not see green you will know that that part of the branch is dead. Start from the end of a branch and work towards the trunk of the tree checking for green under the bark. If you do not find any green all the way to the ground.....then you tree has been wintered killed to the ground. But do not give up hope yet, your tree may still sprout from its roots. I live in a warmer zone than you and I have a few of my young fig trees that were killed to the ground. I'm still waiting for them to sprout from the roots.....most should.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 9:29PM
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Correcting myself, I just observed that unprotected
(surviving) fig-tips tend to break ~2-3 weeks after
most other local-(NJ) trees.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 11:47AM
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campbellms(North MS 7b)

Well, appears the old bush does have a little life in it....bark scraping confirms a little green on some of the bush....Guess I'll trim off the dead bits and ignore it for a while...Thanks for the advice!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 7:30PM
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