How tall should container figs be?

keepitlow(6)April 16, 2010

What is a good height to shoot for with container figs?

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Dennis AKA Snaglpus(8a)

You're going to get a lot of different opinions on that subject. To me, it depends! It depends on how high you want your tree to grow. If the tree is a fast grower like the LSU varieties and a few others, you may want to trim it down in the Fall. Pruning a tree makes it stronger in my mind. You have to cut the root ball down some every 2years and depending on the age of the tree, increase your container size for future growth. Also, how do you plan on winterizing your tree? Most carry them inside their garage for winter or wrap them outside. If the tree is over 10 feet tall, I don't think it will fit inside a garage. So, it depends. None of my trees are over 5 foot yet but I will probably let them grow to about 7 feet which is a little taller than I am so I can reach the fruit. cheers, Dennis

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 1:32PM
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Yes, garage storage in winter. Are yours in pots or in ground?

Why does pruning make them stronger?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 5:49PM
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keepitlow my trees are in pots and they stay out year round. My pots are 18" tall and I keep my trees in the 6-7' or shorter.

I only have two reasons...

1) I don't want to have to use a ladder to pick the fruit.

2) Starting this year I plan on using a chick wire cage to protect the fruit from birds and want a one size cage fits all system.

Keep in mind trees that only produce a main crop can be cut back very short in the dormant season. The reason for this is because the main crop is grown on current years growth while the breba crop is grown on last years growth. The same can be done on trees that produce a less than tasty breba crop and a really tasty main crop. Then the tree will have very little wood from last year to grow a breba crop on. Then the tree can spend all its energy growing new wood for a larger main crop later in the season. At least thats the way it was explained to me.

So the height in the growing season does not matter because they will be cut back before storage. Some trees you will want to cut back severely while others that produce a tasty breba crop you don't want to cut back so much or you will be cutting out the wood that will produce those tasty breba fruit.

I hope that make sense if not let me know and I will try again.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 11:39PM
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Thanks thisisme.

Are your trees 6-7 after pruning? If not, what are your final heights after pruning?

I will be dealing with Celeste, Black Mission, Chicago Hardy Kadota and Brown Turkey. Should these be cut back light or heavy?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 9:42PM
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You can have them as tall as you want.. My brown Turkey is about 10' high and it is growing more this year.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 3:33AM
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Hi keepitlow two of mine are 6-7' after pruning. Many more will be that height at the end of this season. I don't have to bring them in during the winter so you would have to keep that in mind.

As far cutting them back goes I think all of your varieties bare two crops. We all have different tastes too. One person may hate the breba crop and love the main crop of one variety while some one else may love the breba and hate the main crop of the same variety. The best way to decide would be to keep a journal and keep track of which crop you like the most from each variety.

You may find that you like both crops in which case you will want to do only the minimal pruning you need to so they can fit in your place for winter storage.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 12:45PM
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"One person may hate the breba crop and love the main crop of one variety while some one else may love the breba and hate the main crop of the same variety."


Nor sure what the difference is? Does breba figs taste different?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 5:16PM
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Hi keepitlow, with fig trees that bare two crops breba and main. The breba crop is born on last years wood. The main crop is born later on wood that grows this spring. There is usually a difference in taste or texture or both and with some even the shape size and or color are different in the two crops. Also in cooler climates the main crop of many fig trees does not have time to ripen.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 8:16PM
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