Tender Fig Cutting

justfigured(6)April 30, 2010

Much to my dismay, a squirrel clipped off about a 10 inch section of a combo of last years and this years growth on one of my fig trees. This clipping had a breba on it, and the bandit then snipped or broke the growing tip, about 4 inches, and left it behind. The breba is long gone (it was a quite plump one, too). This was discovered about a week ago, and I placed the tip into a cup with well aerated medium, and into an inverted peanut butter jar for humidity. Since this is all this year's growth, does it have a chance of rooting? It currently looks healthy, not drooping or dehydrating. Has anyone rooted this tender of a cutting before? If so, are there any pointers that you can share?

Thank you, Barbara

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Figs are a very robust tree specimen that tend to survive
many mishaps (including squirrels). My (naive) squirrels,
so far, do not seem to bother my figs. Others have had
less luck. Not sure if/how to permantly get rid of them
(squirrels tend to keep coming back).

I did have a loosing battle with them with the wild bird
feeder, till I put the feeder on top of a 7' metal pipe
(in the middle of the backyard, yes they do jump/fly)
together with a dome (baffle) righ tunder the feeder.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 2:24PM
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......both gun lead and peanut butter bon-bons (equal parts of peanut butter and plaster of Paris) will PERMANENTLY get rid of any fig eating squirrels.

It will be very difficult for you to root that particular tip......just not enough energy reserves in rapidly growing "this year's" tender wood. Maybe someone will have a better answer for your question. Best of luck to you.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 2:59PM
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I have heard of that peanut-butter/plaster paste solution
before...what it does really is a good 'plug' at their rear-end.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 3:18PM
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The moisture inside of the animals stomach is absorbed by the dry plaster of Paris. This causes it to harden and solidify.....completely blocking their intestinal tract. The peanut butter is used for its smell attractant and the oil in the peanut butter is what keeps the bon-bon balls soft. Gotta really hate squirrels to get rid of them by this route. However; many get so angry having their fruit and vegetables stolen, that they use it as a last resort. Got to be real careful that dogs and cats do not eat it.....


    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 3:30PM
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I like that squirrel bonbon idea! Hurricanes Rita and Ike decimated squirrel populations here. We previously had so many that the birds being fed on the driveway could hardly get to any seed. This town was built on what was once a huge pecan orchard and there are large pecan trees in almost every yard in town, hence the large squirrel population. Now, if it'll work(the bonbons) on the neighborhood feral cat population, I'll be a happy man. I own a cat too, but it's not allowed to run wild. Tim

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 8:16PM
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Dan, thats a good idea for those having to deal with mice.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 12:34AM
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My goodness, some of you have quite an "evil twin" side! LOL

I do not know if I have the heart to do that to the squirrels over one fig/fig branch - but I guess I should reserve judgement until I see what happens to my main crop! We have a couple of live traps, and usually my husband gets them out once or twice a summer and busses them about 10 miles away. Our neighbor used to trap them and bring them across town, and the little varments would beat him home using their version of the El (telephone wires). He didn't believe me, and he spray painted the tip of one's tail and found out that I was right!

I will keep my fingers crossed concerning the green tip, but I suspect that you are right, and the energy reserves just are not there. I will update you either way.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 8:19AM
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I had not thought of using bon bons for mice....but, that is really a GREAT IDEA. Those of you who wrap your fig trees for winter protection might consider putting some small peanut butter bon bons for insurance against those pesky rodents. I'm betting that it would work.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 11:15AM
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Before diverting the use of your household supply of peanut butter from your kids' sandwiches to all the neighborhood varmints, you might want to take a look at this:


    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 4:54PM
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I love the controlled experiment that these guys conducted. That is the way things should be done. I'm glad someone took the time to test the bon bon theory. Funny to see the actual pictures of those plaster of Paris squirrel poops. They were huge but managed to come out the back end. Thanks for posting.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 8:38PM
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After a particularly awful week where everything seemed to go wrong (including the computer dying), I sat down on the porch Friday morning and picked up my inverted peanut butter container with my cutting inside and opened it up. As I have become accustomed to doing, I tugged on it, almost absentmindedly, and before I realized that it resisted, I pulled out the cutting, along with about 30 1 to 1/2 inch roots attached to it! I had checked it not 4 days before and there was nothing there! This little cutting was completely this year's growth and only about 4 inches long at that, with one leaf. I now have a new little plant. Needless to say, it put a smile on my face. It took just 5 weeks, with absolutely no signs of anything the weekend before.

Finding out that I had 2 days left on my DELL warranty when the computer died also helped! I am back up and running, with essentially a new computer in an old box.


    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 11:50AM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Hi fatnsassytexan,

I know cats that are loose can be pests and put footprints all over one's car and all, but consider this--They kill rats, mice and squirrels. The cat who lives next door is a skilled huntress and I wouldn't want her to be kept inside. We don't get any rats or mice because of her. Snowball is getting so old and is showing her age. She won't be around much longer. There are a couple other cats who patrol the neighborhood at night and some of them are young. It's been a blessing to have Snowball living next door, though.

During the time of the bubonic plague, it was then that people killed all the cats they could find. The plague was spread by the fleas on the rats and the rats ran rampant and it caused the epidemic because the cats were not there to kill the rats and mice. We still have pneumonic and bubonic plague in this country and also hanta virus and who knows what else. I'm not saying that an overpopulation of cats is good, but cats are very useful creatures.

One needs to be aware that cats can carry rabies, but raccoons and skunks do also. Always avoid an animal that is acting strangely and call animal control--Especially if it's a nocturnal animal that is out in the daylight hours.

Just MHO, for what it's worth,


    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 8:21PM
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This little fig was potted into an 8 inch pot of pine bark, pine park fines and perlite, and it now has four new leaves (five total with its original). This little guy appears to be very robust, despite its less than ideal beginning. I am very surprised at how well it is doing.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 11:34PM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Hi Barb,

I'm glad your little fig tree tip seems to be doing well.

I stuck a tip into regular soil in a clay pot in April and it's been putting out new leaves and a couple of sprouts since then. I have no idea if it has any roots and am resisting trying to repot it into a clear cup so I can track its progress for fear that I'll kill it. The leaves on it are so tiny that I can't believe it's doing well, or even has roots.

Good luck with your baby,


    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 1:06AM
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I am glad your greentip is growing well for you. I have rooted hundreds of figs with the green 8+ inches of newly grown wood, they have for the most part, 95% o them grown into healthy rooted thriving trees that are being enjoyed all over the country. I just make sure that the growth is thicker. Once you take these tips off to root, then it produces more branches and actually speeds up the fig growth. This is my observation which I rarely ever talk about, but has worked wonderfully with me! I just also stick them into a clear quart cup with a mixture to keep them moist and bury about 75% up the branch.. I do cut in half any leaves that may be near the tips except the ones closest to tips and remove the ones further back, Good to bury them at least 4 nodes. Ciao

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 6:25AM
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