Violette de Bordeaux from Dave Wilson

fluffyfinchApril 28, 2012

Has anyone here purchased a Violette de Bordeaux from Dave Wilson Nursery sometime in the past few years? I just picked one up yesterday and the leaves look nothing like the long, five-fingered lobes I've seen in photos. I'm sure it has FMV since the leaves are misshapen and a little blotchy. I've pretty much given up on getting anything FMV-free from a commercial grower. Perhaps the leaves will start looking normal when the tree gets bigger and stronger?

Anyway, if someone here HAS purchased a VdB from Dave Wilson, how was the resulting fruit? Is your tree vigorous and healthy despite FMV?

If anyone knows a source for FMV-free VdB, please pass the info along to me--I really appreciate it.

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ejp3(7NY)

I thought I had a fmv free vdb since the plant shows absolutely no sign of it. But when I root cuttings some of them show the fmv. However every one has outgrown the disease. Mine is originally from edible landscaping.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 3:09PM
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sweet_lemon

I purchased a VdB from Dave Wilson this year. And I have another from EL. They both are young and just coming out of dormancy and it's too early to tell if the leaves are the same.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 5:43PM
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melikeeatplants

I got one from Trees of Antiquity. Seems healthy to me, I don't know what to look for in FMV though. Attached a picture of the leaves. I think DWN is one of their suppliers , not sure if that is the source of the fig or it's their own (no tags were on it)

Here is a link that might be useful: Trees of Antiquity Figs

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 6:42PM
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bronxfigs

Ordered a fig tree from a well known, western nursery, that ships their trees "in soil". Trees came with FMV, and the varietal identification tag was from DWN. I tossed the tree in the garbage. I was pissed! They sent a replacement tree, in full leaf when shipped...FMV again. A "reputable" nursery should have instantly recognized FMV infection, but they sent the trees to me anyway. I originally ordered a "Texas Blue Giant" and they sent me a tree, with FMV, and with a name-tag reading: "Celeste". They eventually replaced the wrong tree with the right tree, which also had FMV. So, two trees, both with FMV, both from DWN, both in the garbage. Will I order from them again? What do you think? I got my money back. The end.

Frank

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 6:45PM
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fluffyfinch

Frank,

I agree that it is definitely irksome when the wrong tree is shipped. And you'd think that nurseries would recognize FMV in their stock and try to get rid of it. Unfortunately I haven't found a commercial source that guarantees no FMV in their figs. I live in the San Diego area and had posted ads on Craigslist more than once looking for FMV-free cuttings of VdB and Black Mission but I had no responses. However, some figs handle the virus well and their crops are seemingly unaffected, so I was wondering if someone had a VdB from DWN that turned out vigorous and fruitful despite FMV.

My tree's leaves are similar in shape to the one posted by melikeeatplants, but with a little more blotchy-ness. VdB is definitely a bit more scraggly-looking than other figs (like my nice and neat Verdone fig), but I'm hoping the fruit makes up for it. Thanks for sharing your input about DWN.

I live on just over an acre and for now I keep my FMV carriers planted well away from my (seemingly) non-infected ones.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 1:21AM
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bronxfigs

I remember reading a post, in the recent past, that most growers/nurseries get their fig cuttings used for propagation from just a couple of major, commercial sources. It went on to say that most cutting sources on the West-Coast are full of FMV, so most nursery stock is also infected.

I happen to have clean, trees that show absolutely no symptoms of FMV and I want to keep it that way. That's why the infected trees went from the shipping box, right into the garbage. Yes, the nursery admitted that their trees probably had FMV, and that's why they refunded my money, including postage.

Caveat emptor re: figs from West-Coast nurseries. Anecdotal story...just thought I'd share.

Frank

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 9:06AM
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Centurion_(Verde Valley AZ Z8)

I would have taken those trees in a heartbeat.

I have read on the other forum from experienced fig growers that few, if any fig trees are actually fmv free. Some show symptoms, many don't. Some show symptoms one year and appear fine the next, and some seem to outgrow it.

I have trees from respected growers that have allready shown signs. I think that with fig trees, fmv is a fact of life. Your figs may appear not to have it, but a year or two down the line you may be in for a rude suprise.

I would like to be wrong on this. But I don't think that I am.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 8:49PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Centurion-
I agree with you. If I was willing to only accept fig plants and cuttings that were "guaranteed" to be FMV-free, I wouldn't have much of a collection. And there is really no way to insure that it's not present, anyway, even if there is no evidence at first.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 6:33AM
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bronxfigs

Interesting thoughts and comments.

Growing figs in Zone-7b is not easy on the fig trees, and the winters can be stressful. Stressed trees with FMV perform poorly. My growing season is very short, maybe three months. I have no time to waste waiting for diseased plants to do what they are supposed to do....make figs. I haven't the time or growing space to wet-nurse a sick tree. Now, if someone gave me a free tree, and it turned out to be infected with FMV, than I might try to nurse it. If my growing season was much longer, I might also try growing infected trees, but it's not, so I don't. Also, why would I risk infecting my symptom-free trees, with diseased stock?

I paid big money for not only the fig trees, but S&H doubled the price...and I was still sold diseased trees, and not even the variety that I asked for. Yes...I was pissed. There were no provisos expressed, or, implied, when I ordered the trees either.

In the future, my now, clean trees, may in fact show symptoms, and when they start to give me trouble, they also will be in the garbage.

Frank

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 9:35AM
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dieseler

Growing fig trees without fmv is almost impossible.

One may think wow my plant is fmv free only to find out the next season or 2 that they notice some peculiar spotting on a few leaves or a few misshapen leaves.
FmV sometimes hides very well only to show itself and later wane but it will always be there.

Most of the very best tasting figs have FmV.
Most plants do excellent despite FmV , my Viloet De Bordeaux shows it early in season then it wanes as season progresses and produces some very tasty figs.

Don't let it scare you away from growing a desired cultivar if it has FmV you will be missing out on some very good figs.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 9:35AM
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wisner_gw wisner

If you bring in a FMV infected tree will it spread to your other trees?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 11:11PM
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sweet_lemon

I understand your concern Bronx Boy. If I thought my trees were fmv free (they are not), I also would want to keep them that way.

I hope if you order new figs from another nursery in the future however, be sure to tell them that you absolutely insist on a refund if you get an fmv infected tree - that will save both you and them time, money, and misunderstandings.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 11:18PM
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bronxfigs

wisner....
From what I read, yes, the infection is spread by mites. How they get from one tree to another, I have no idea. That's why I didn't want any infected plants near my "clean" trees. Why invite problems.

sweet lemon:
I did find a source for my "Texas Blue Giant" and I was sent a beautiful clean tree. Before I ordered, I explained my concerns about FMV. As far as they knew, their stock was clear. This is year two, and I haven't seen any evidence of the blight...yet. In future years, who knows?
I ordered from PINE ISLAND NURSERY, MIAMI, FL. (305-233-5501)

My original trees may very well have FMJ, and they may show symptoms in the future, perhaps this season. I've had them since 2007, and they're still clean. I simply didn't see why I should keep infected trees around my clean trees...that's why the sick trees went into the trash.

************************************************************
While we are on the subject of trees infected with FMJ:

I find it very curious that not one of all the in-ground trees, planted in The Bronx, and other areas around here, show any evidence of FMJ. The trees look perfectly clean, lush, and vigorous, and I hardly see any trees that are covered for winter protection. When I was a kid, everyone wrapped their trees for the winter. Now, no more mummies. I do see some trees that have rust-spots, but that's usually toward the end of the season, in September.

I wonder why no FMV in my area?

Frank

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 7:46AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I have 2 VdB, BOTH from UCD cuttings, both with FMV, both are fast growers and both are loaded with figs! I see no problem with FMV,but I do get webbing from spider mites which are rampant. We wash them off weekly, but they come back, and I don't like getting my figs wet. They tend to crack. My Panachee does not show FMV, and they all exist close to each other.

Suzi

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 10:18AM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

I think the mites that transmit FMV only survive out West, but could be mistaken. They live in the soil around the fig trees. I've read that you can spread FMV if you cut a tree that is positive without disinfecting the pruner blades, but not sure about that, either.

Gee, but I'm a lot of help, aren't I?

noss

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 12:25AM
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thisisme(az9b)

Thought I would post a few picks of my FMV Free Violetta de Bordeaux. I had three other large FMV Free Violetta de Bordeaux's that I gave away to members of the Arizona Gardening Forum. This is the only one I have left in the ground. Though I do have three cuttings rooted and leafing out in a pot. I took lots and lots of cuttings from this tree last season hoping to root them and sell/trade and gift them. I put them in water though before the ends had callused over and it ended in a massive failure.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 10:13PM
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Heatherleigh

Hi

This is off topic, but do you know how big the VDB figs get? I planted one the other day, but I keep seeing conflicting information about how large they get. I was hoping it would be a shady tree one day.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 10:39PM
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thisisme(az9b)

Heatherleigh I think a lot depends on how you grow them and what your climate is. Until two years ago all of my trees were in pots which dwarfs them. Not to mention our poor soil and extreme heat also has a dwarfing affect. So does planting trees close to other trees and until a few months ago there were trees three foot away on either side of this one. Not to mention I prune my trees to keep the fruit reachable so they never get very tall. Given all of that I am not a very good person to ask.

My guess is that if a Violette de Bordeaux were planted in the ground in a favorable climate in good soil in a place with full sun they could get very big if left un-pruned. If a fig tree were to completely stop growing you would not have any new wood and they would stop producing fruit.

I don't think there is any tree that just stops growing at some set height that continues to produce fruit year after year with out having to prune them. The beauty about fig trees and fruit trees for that matter is that you can keep them at any height you want with a little pruning now and then.

If someone tries to sell you a tree that never needs to be pruned and never grows larger than a certain size and produces lots of fruit every year just walk away. They are a lier.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 12:05AM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

This is me,

Is it really you? Where have you been?

That's a beautiful tree and the foliage is so delicate-looking and pretty.

Nice to see you,

noss

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 1:25AM
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thisisme(az9b)

How nice of you to notice noss. My health was pretty bad the last half of 2011 and I cut way back on my posting. Felling a bit better now. Nearly all of what you see in that tree is new growth. I had cut it nearly to the ground. It came out of dormancy in early March and has grown 3'-4' already. I would not be surprised if it grows 7'-8' this season.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 2:41AM
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Centurion_(Verde Valley AZ Z8)

Thisisme, the one you gave me is also now planted in ground. It's just now starting to bounce back after that long transport and sitting in my garage for two months.

Thank you again, my friend. It's a beautiful tree.

Dave

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 10:39PM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

This is me,

I did notice you were not there. Your name sticks in my mind because there's another fignut whose name is, isthis me? and I think the two of you go so well together and I got suck a big kick out of both names that they stuck in my mind. Isthisme? Lives not too far from me.

I'm sorry you had health issues last year and am very glad ot hear you are feeling better.

I was trashed the first part of last year due to medication changes and then my husband was sick the last half. Had to have two surgeries, but is all right now, thank God.

Hope to see you around even more,

noss

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 1:27AM
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Heatherleigh

Thank you Thisisme,

The man at the store where I bought it said if I didn't prune it, it would get big. Then I did some research online and kept hearing the the VDB fig is more of a dwarf variety and that made me sad!

Happy to know it will get big and beautiful one day. I do live in Phoenix though. It is in full sun, about 5 feet tall. I just planted it about 5 days ago. I read that I should keep it moist for about 2 weeks and give it B vitamin a couple times. So that is what I've been doing. Do you have any other advice. I planted in in regular AZ clay earth. Maybe that was bad.

I'm so frustrated. I just realized the fruit trees that came with the house were taken over by trifoliate- I think I have to dig everything up except the tangelo and the ash trees. So, I really want to make this fig tree my pride and joy!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 1:30AM
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thisisme(az9b)

Dave the Violetta de Bordeaux you went home with was bigger than the tree I posted pictures of when you dug it up. It should get huge this year. I took those pictures with the camera you recommended. Best $ 20.00 I have spent in a long time. Thank you for all your help my friend. Tell Glenda we said hi.

noss glad to hear that you and your hubby are doing better. I have never run into is, thisme? You're right though. Is, thisme? is a lot like thisisme but there is only one thisisme and it's me not he.lol

Heatherleigh with our long growing season this is a great place to grow figs. There is nothing wrong with our native clay. As far as dwarf goes its a relative thing. When it comes to fig trees dwarf's are still big.

If you want your tree to get big here is my advice. Add a 3"-4" deep layer of mulch around the tree. This will keep the soil cool and help the soil retain water. Don't drown the tree but keep the soil moist. On the 1st of February the 1st of May and 1st August fertilize it with Arizona's Best Citrus Food. It has a good balance of fertilizers and has some sulfur which is needed in our alkaline soil and water. There has been much debate about vitamin "B". Some sware by it but the general consensus is that it does nothing.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 8:53PM
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thisisme(az9b)

Heatherleigh I almost forgot. Do you mean you think your trees were sprayed with a defoliant? A trifoliate is a variety of orange.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 9:00PM
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greyongray

What a timely thread, I just picked up a VDB (from HD but it has Dave Wilson tags on it) and yep, it has FMV. Which was not immediately apparent because for a 2 gallon tree, it's huge - 6-7 feet tall in the pot! But I can see there are a few runty weird leaves and even the large ones aren't perfect. I didn't inspect too much at the time because it looked really good and even had some figs on it (not edible though).

Since I have just gotten the fruit tree bug this year, and my other 3 trees seem to also have FMV (3 different sources), I'm not ready to scrap them in effort to get rid of the infected stock. But it does seem to be problematic when the trees come out of dormancy and put out stunted little leaves... I don't know, I'm new here and have my "eyes on the prize" of the fruit, but I have to wonder if ficus carica is just so hardy that it thrives in spite of FMV.

I hear good things about VDB and same, that it is a smaller tree (10-15'), will post when I finally get a fruit I can eat ;)

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 1:51PM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

thisisme,

["noss glad to hear that you and your hubby are doing better. I have never run into is, thisme? You're right though. Is, thisme? is a lot like thisisme but there is only one thisisme and it's me not he.lol"]

Thanks.

LOL! That's too cute, thisisme, and you're a poet, too. I thought maybe isthisme was doing a takeoff on your name, but he said no.

It sounded like she was saying that the rootstock took over the tree that was grafted onto it. Trifoliate is used as rootstock because it's so tough, but it's always trying to take over because of that strength. Turn your back on it and it sprouts. The same thing happened to my neighbor's little lime tree. The lime tree was killed by the cold, so the rootstock took over, but she didn't know it. I saw the graft line and knew what had happened.

We'll see what she says, though.

noss

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 11:47PM
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Heatherleigh

Yes, trifoliate- the root stock used for citrus trees. It was a bummer digging them up, but I planted a pomegranate tree instead! I'm excited about that. Thank you for the advice. I'm going to pick up some mulch next week. I hope it does okay until then. I noticed some new leaves sprouted, but the leaves over all look a little droopy, but still firm to the touch.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 4:44PM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Hi Heahterleigh,

I'm sorry that happened to you when you thought you were getting good citrus trees. I hope your pomegranate tree does well for you. How come you didn't put in more citrus trees, as well?

noss

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 9:31PM
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Heatherleigh

I still have what I think is 4 small lemon trees (we'll find out when the fruit ripens) and one huge minneola- it's very old and full of fruit! Can't wait til X-mas. I guess it gets fruit every other year usually. In February I found one Honeybell on it and boy was it the most delicious one I have ever had! I had space for two more trees in the yard.

I planted the pom because the do well in this harsh climate and the fig because they are delicious and smell so beautiful.

I'm actually having some trouble with my little fig tree though. She's suffering in the heat (110 today- supposed to be hotter tomorrow). I reluctantly white washed her today, to help protect her delicate trunk, still haven't picked up the mulch, but temporarily put a bunch of tall grass I whacked this morning over the well and around it to try and block the sun from baking the roots.

It didn't seem to work. I came home from my job interview at 3:30 to see poor Figgie horribly wilted. I know it's the heat! I gave her more water and covered her with a slightly sheer old curtain for the time being. Do you think that will help? Any suggestions on how to keep her alive through her first Phoenix summer... or better yet how to keep me alive :)

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 7:30PM
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Centurion_(Verde Valley AZ Z8)

Mulch 4 to 6 (preferably 6) inches deep in a two foot circle around the trunk. Keep the mulch a few inches away from the trunk as best you can, but that kind of heat will definately bake the roots if you don't find a way to keep them cool. Shade cloth would also be good to help it get through it's first summer. I have mine arranged so my new little trees get full morning sun. But here in the Verde Valley our temps run about 10 degrees cooler than yours.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 7:55PM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Heatherleigh,

Get some shadecloth and make a shield for her as well as mulching her. The shadecloth does keep things cooler. Were you unable to plant her in a place where she only gets the morning sun, or is that just as harsh?

You got a Honey Bell from your tree? A mineola has Honey Bells?

I found Honey Bells this past year online and boy were they good. The ones from out West were far better than the ones from FL, though.

noss

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 11:01PM
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Heatherleigh

I think they call them Honeybells... that's what wiki said, but who knows.I bought some mulch, but I can't afford the shade cloth right now. The horticulturist that works at Home Depot said it was okay to use my curtain during the hottest part of the day.

As for where I planted the fig. I didn't know that it only needed morning light. I was under the impression that it liked full sun. I don't know where I got that idea.

It is in full sun all day, but really- there wasn't any other option with my yard. One day when the AZ Ash tree gets big it will probably filter some of the light. If only Figgy can survive until then. Do you think it will be okay? There is one other spot in the back of the yard that gets a bit more shade from the neighbors humongous eucalyptus trees that hang over my yard. I fear it is too late to transplant though.

Can I use some citrus fertilizer for my fig?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 12:18AM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Heatherleigh,

I wasn't questioning whether you got a Honeybell, or not, but was interested in it because I found them this past year and they were so good. I wouldn't mind having a tree that produced Honeybells, so I was hoping you might have more information.

It depends upon where you live, whether the fig trees need more, or less sun, etc.

I missed the part where you were talking about using your curtain--Don't know where my mind was at. :)

Anything that could shade her would help until she gets established. It's rough for them when they're first planted if it's hot. Anything you could put in front of the tree to block the sun would help.

I hope she will grow big and fruitful for you.

noss

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 2:00AM
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