Outdoor Celeste Late Bloomer?

figgi11April 13, 2010

Hello. With the abnormally mild Spring this year, my brown turkey fig has bloomed already and even sprouted little figs. This tree has been unprotected and surprisingly hasn't died back.

I also have two Celeste that I planted last year. They are about 4 feet tall and bore a decent crop last season. Both have been protected over the winter. Thing is, neither have budded yet. I know the hardier figs tend to bloom later.

Can anyone confirm whether or not is is common for Celeste to bloom late in this area? Should I be concerned at this time or is it still early? Thanks.

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I can't confirm for your area. However, I have two TRUE in-ground Celeste trees that are still fast asleep in my yard. I live in zone 9 and almost all of my other figs trees came out of dormancy a month ago. It is quite normal in my hot area for some Celeste to be the first fig to go dormant in the fall and one of the last to awaken in the spring. Hardy Chicago acts the same way in my yard.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 6:44PM
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This is hopeful news! My only other concern is that the branches seem dry as if they would snap easily if bent enough. The bark is a grey brown color whereas on my other fig tree that has already bloomed, the branches are greenish brown toward the top. Can you attest to the same with your Celeste? Are they budding yet?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 2:05PM
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Yesterday, I watered the heck out of my dormant Celeste trees just to make sure the dry ground around them is not the factor that is keeping them dormant. The stems are green and not brittle at all. I actually have three rather than two Celeste strains that are still very dormant. The last of my Hardy Chicago strains bloomed this week. My Southern Brown Turkey (not the "Southeastern" BT....but, the southern one) bloomed weeks ago. The Southern BT is reputed to be a bud sport of Celeste. It is claimed to be more productive than its mother Celeste. It's dormancy period in my yard seems different than Celeste. All of my other cultivars have bloomed weeks ago.... some have already grown a good twelve inches.

I have not yet fertilized any of my fig trees.....doing this on purpose for experimental reasons. I usually apply fertilizer to them just before bud break.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 4:12PM
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Bloomed? Fig tree flowers are inside the figs.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 3:59PM
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You have 2 Celeste,you planted,last year,both had decent crops the first year ,and :
YOU LEFT all the figs to be matured,for very young plants.
You depleted the stored energy that the plants had,so they might be dead to a certain height,Half,three quarter,to the soil line,and rarelly the plant die totally.
You should leave only less than a dozen ,first year up to 2 dozen the second,3 dozen the third and so on.
Figs behave like Grapes,if you leave too many fruits when young(Less than three years,the plant will die back,sometimes totally)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 11:19AM
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What do you mean by leaving all of the figs to mature? Do you suggest only letting a dozen to ripen and pick the rest off? Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 2:42PM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

If you are worried about the best interest of the growth and stability, you really need to remove most of the fruits before they get a chance to mature, or in some cases, you'll risk losing the plant.

For example, I had two grapes on my porch I started two years ago. Neither fruited the first year. The second year, one had two bunches, the other had six bunches. I left on all of the grapes to see what would happen.

This year, the one with 6 bunches almost died to the base. The one with two bunches is vigorous, blowing up, and is three times the size of the other.

This is really an uncontrolled experiment, and there could really be any number of factors that set this grape back, but it has been my experience that this is usually how it works with any number of fruiting plants that are just getting started out.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 8:28PM
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Yes,in the first year.
Even a dozen is a little too much,half dozen,is about what the plant can safelly produce the first year in ground.
Of course you brake off the rest.!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 3:24PM
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The tree is more than a couple of years old. It came in a 5-gallon container and was already 4 feet tall when I purchased it last spring. Shouldn't it be mature enough that the the majority of figs are able to ripen without die-back? Or does the plucking process apply to all first year in-ground trees regardless of tree maturity? Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 3:18PM
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I would say it does need to be helped a little in the first year inground,because the tree is not established inground yet.It does not have roots grown into the soil,and have limited energy reserves accumulated in,so it can withstand succesfully to the cold (much too cold for figs),winters in NJ.
What I am telling you is from my Experience and is not science.
I have 4 Celeste strains in trial here,and all are allready leafing out fine with very minor die back.
They are:
Blue Celeste
UCD Celeste
Tiny Celeste
Improved Celeste.
All in New Jersey,Tiny Celeste,UCDavis Celeste,and Blue Celeste,went trough this Winter without any protection,here in NJ.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 10:45PM
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Thank you Herman. I know that I want to try a Celeste. Just didn't know where to begin.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 8:27PM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

There is a 20' tall Blue Celestre tree down the road from me. It's fully leafed out at this point, but if you can't find one before fall, when it goes dormant, I'm happy to send you some cuttings to get started.

I'm not enamored with the flavor, but it's not bad.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 12:32AM
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I'd love some. When Fall comes do you remind me or do I remind you? I still haven't got the "hang" of forum etiquette.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 12:49AM
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