The real 'atreano'?

shane11March 22, 2013

What is the latest thinking on the variety atreano. Is the one from Rolling River nursery in CA different from the original introduced by Hanc Mathes? If it is still believed to be different is there a nursery mail order source for the original strain?

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From all that I have read on two fig forums, it is my understanding, that there are some bogus, look alike, "Atreano" varieties that originated on the West Coast. They have been known to be inferior in production and in flavor quality.

The "real" variety originated with Hanc Mathies, and wood was propagated by the now defunct and lamented Belleclare Nursery, on Long Island. This is the provenance for this variety.

The original "Atreano", sometimes called "Atreano-Gold" is an East-Coast fig variety that found its way into selected collections. The rest is history. A very respected fig grower told me that it was bred in Italy, for superior fig production, vigor, and for excellent flavor. They succeeded. In my opinion, "Atreano" will be a classic "white" fig in the coming years. When grown well, and properly ripened, the golden-yellow figs are too good to be forgotten.

Starting in 2007, I have grown this variety in large 18-25 gallon containers, and the trees have lived through some tough, NYC winters without die-back, or damages from freezing weather. The trees are unprotected, and the containers are resting on a cement driveway. The trees are exposed to the elements, and are watered by rain and snow. I used to store them in an unheated, storage shed, but the last 3 years, they stayed outside.

Understand that NYC is now Zone-7b, but it is really much warmer, most winters. We rarely get into the low teens, and the temps are in the 20s and 30s at night, a little warmer in the day. So, most of the time, the climate is really like Zone-8/9a, with occasional Z-7b temps. There was a time when Bronx fig trees were routinely covered, but now, most just grow without any special treatment, or protection. However.... because of the short, cool season, many Bronx figs do not ripen before the cold nights set in. These are in-ground trees, and most owners never pinch back growth to set earlier main-crop figs. Very little scientific fig growing in Da Bronx. I have seen only one other grower who has his figs in half, wine barrels.

Original strain "Atreano" is worth seeking out, and growing with the proper horticultural techniques, i.e. granular limestone top dressing, pinching back, withholding water at roots as figs ripen, etc. will make you very happy.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 3:47PM
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Encanto Farms carries 2 strains of Atreano -- one from Rolling Rivers and the other Jon denote it as Atreano OR(Original). A few years ago Jon mentioned the "OR" strain is better.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 8:48AM
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